Pick A Lane!

I did two round trips on I-10 between Phoenix and Tucson this month and lost all patience with my fellow road warriors and part of my faith in humanity. Oh, the stupid and annoying!

I continually remind myself that I have plenty of time to get there or get home and that, if I arrive a few minutes late, it's OK. But, as soon as I get on the road and encounter a driver who violates "my" rules of the road, my blood pressure rises and I start fantasizing about owning and operating a portable rocket launcher.

The Left Lane

Is the above sign that difficult to understand? Maybe there are just that many illiterate drives on the road?

I know I'm a fast highway driver. I don't expect everyone else to be. If you get in the left lane to go past some slower traffic and slow me down for a bit until you can move back over, it's OK. What's not OK is if you pull in front of me and then drive at exactly the speed limit. If you pull in front of me and drive below the speed limit, I will wish upon you a long and painful death that starts right after you drive yourself off the road and into the bush filled median.

The Right Lane

Here's what I understand about the right lane. It's the merging lane. Traffic goes on and off. Completely acceptable.

It's understandable that a car may not get up to cruising speed by the time it merges. What's not acceptable is not making an attempt to get up to cruising speed miles after you've merged. Seriously, if you're unwilling, or your car is unable, to drive at the speed limit, get off the highway and enjoy your leisurely drive on the backroads. Where a tractor may take you out because you're going too slow.

And, those people who get down to 35 MPH on a 75 MPH road as soon as they spot the exit in the distance? They deserve a special spot in traveling hell. Maybe they just enjoy the risk of getting rear ended because the drivers behind them can't fathom that they would go that slow? Maybe they think their brakes won't slow them down on the offramp? Again, if you or your car can't handle it, get off the highway altogether.

The Middle Lane

Part of I-10 there is now three lanes wide. One would think that would eliminate all the issues that bother me so. The fast people can stay in the left, the slow people can stay on the right and the middle is for those somewhere in between.

One would be wrong.

The reality is that the people in the middle adjust to the speed of the people on either side of them. And, by adjust I mean that they will drive at exactly the perfect speed and angle so that they're in your blind spot at all times. If you speed up to pass, they speed up. If you slow down to move behind them, they slow down. It's uncanny. It makes me want to go NASCAR on them and tap their corner bumper so they go spinning off the road. But, I don't think a "Oops, couldn't see you since you were in my blind spot for the past five miles, you frakking idiot" would get me out of a ticket.

The Ideal

If I could make a rule, here's how it would work. The right lane is for anyone at or below the speed limit. The middle lane is for anyone up to 5 miles above the speed limit. The left lane is for the rabbits who want to risk a ticket by driving 6 or more above the speed limit.

Seems workable and reasonable, right?

Well, except for the drivers in two out of three lanes breaking the law.

There is that.


Michael Pizzo said…
I-10 "used to" be a blast once you got past the urban areas at either end. Instant on radar took all the fun out of triple digit travel on this road.

If you want to avoid the left lane bandits on I-10....you're gonna have to drive late at night.
Kathy Pfister said…
It is certainly better when I come home late.

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