Sunday, May 22, 2005
Drives Me Crazy  

This is a bit of descent into the mundane.

It is a wonder that the United States is a superpower because it would seem incumbent in the twenty-first century that the most powerful country on the earth be populated with people who know how to drive. However, as far as I can tell, the majority of Americans do not know how to get their vehicles around from point A to point B.

Now my wife would tell you that I am no one to talk about poor driving. It is true that she has experiential knowledge that points to my own driving problems. But that does not prevent me from commenting on driving theory. The whole genesis for my renewed concern about driving was my having to travel about 60 miles back and forth along one of our nation's highways. In each direction the interstate has two lanes.

In my understanding of how to drive the left lane is primarily used for passing other cars. It is not the lane you pull your car into to hang out for a good 40 mile stretch. Yet this is precisely what I experienced. Car after car would get into the left lane and just drive along, maybe passing a car or two, but taking a leisurely minute or two to get around the car on the right. After passing the car, would the driver move into the right lane? Are you kidding! This behavior had me really bothered, and it occupied far too much of my thinking as I drove down the road. I recalled how I have seen this behavior on many roads in the South and the Eastern Seaboard. I wondered if it occurred elsewhere in the country where I had not driven.

I do not know if it is a law in the state of Virginia, but, if not, it ought to be a law that you use the left lane primarily for passing. It really is simple. Drive in the right lane. When you approach a car to pass, put on your turn signal, move your car into the left lane. Quickly pass the car. Put on your turn signal, and move back into the right lane.

Lest you think that this is just a pet peeve without justification, I will illustrate the problem with left lane driving. As I drove along today, a couple of state troopers came flying on to the highway only to be slowed down by a series of left lane drivers who could not possibly move to the right lane because they were in the midst of their lazy-paced passing of cars in the right lane.

Back to the law. As the campaigns for statewide offices heat up, I am compelled to add my driving concern to the list of hot button issues. I want an attorney general who will make changing driving behavior a priority. After the candidate's position on life issues, this comes next. Without knowing any of the possible candidates' positions on highway driving, I believe that the conservative candidate would have the advantage. He could tout that he will promote a "Drive Right" program while his opponent consistently stays on the left causing frustration and risking harm to the citizens of the Commonwealth.

Enough complaining. For now.

Posted by David at 12:01 AM  |  Comments (0)  | 


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