Commuting Tips: Well, at least the ones I follow

On the way to work every morning on weekdays (not counting Tuesdays when I leave in the afternoon) I start off in a rural community and then I travel through a small city to drop my son off to daycare. I then spend about 40 minutes on the interstate. When I get off the interstate I travel 10 minutes through a larger city to get to My Place of Work.
passing a car

So I wanted to write up a list of tips derived from my observations thus far. (and get upset about when they aren’t followed by others)

Rural traffic

  • I don’t go under the speed limit
  • I am patient (to a point) with farm machinery, although I do not appreciate it when they travel long distances on the main road
  • There is often a better way to go somewhere depending on the time of day
  • It doesn’t pay to get frustrated by drivers who don’t realize the speed limit has changed (45->55), but it is hard not to

Small City traffic

  • on a 4 lane road with no left turn lights it is often optimal to be in the right lane
  • the people you honk at might be your neighbors. So honk out of courtesy and not frustration
  • be doubly sure the lane is clear before switching lanes

Interstate

  • I always give more leeway to semis, let them into the left lane if they want to pass (they know what they are doing)
  • I do not pass semis slowly (you never know when you are going to be in their blind spot)
  • The left lane is for passing. I stay in the right lane as a default
  • I always get over to the left lane when emergency vehicles are on the side of the road (actually I just do that for any vehicle)
  • I use cruise control whenever possible, but I try to keep my foot near the brake pedal just in case I need to release it in a hurry
  • I cannot abide fluctuations in speed
  • I accelerate to the speed of traffic while driving up an ‘on ramp’
  • In general I avoid breaking whenever possible
  • I really don’t like it when someone passes other vehicles *really* slowly. It shouldn’t take more than 1 minute to pass someone. If it does maybe you just need to nudge your cruise control down one notch and stay there
  • Do not stay behind dumptrucks of any kind. Gravel from the trucks will kick back from time to time and crack your windshield
  • there *is* a best gas station to stop at. Find it and keep going there.
  • State Troopers drive Chargers FYI
  • Personally I don’t believe in radar detectors at all. They give you a false sense of confidence. Just drive the speed you feel comfortable with and stay there.
  • Maintain your lane

Larger City Traffic

  • remember to reset your cruise control so you don’t engage it and all of a sudden start going interstate speeds
  • account for traffic during different periods of the day
  • When I get into a turn lane I try to get into it as quickly and safely as possible, so as not to hold up traffic behind me

If you have any to add please do so below, thanks!

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1 Comment

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One response to “Commuting Tips: Well, at least the ones I follow

  1. If you notice someone gaining on you (not a problem for Jason (or me) it seems) while you are in the left lane:
    1. do not slow down
    2. use gentle pressure on your accelerator to finish passing that slow(er) bozo
    3. use turn indicator and promptly (SAFELY!) move out of the left lane
    4. do not tap brakes and return to your previous speed (especially not in front of a Semi)

    Some other notes (as a former truck driver and almost 2 million mile driver of 2, 3, 4, 6, and 10 wheeled vehicles):
    5. never cut off a truck – the laws of physics are very difficult to violate and have some pretty severe side effects
    6. if a truck signals to come over, PLEASE let the truck over – there may be a very good reason for the truck to come over
    7. Better safe than sorry – if you are the slowest vehicle on the road, you are as dangerous as the fastest car on the road.
    7a. if you have not passed anyone for a while, you may be the slowest car on the road (add 2 to your current speed)
    7b if you have not been passed by anyone for a while, you may be the fastest car on the road (subtract 3 from your current speed)
    7c if you pass me:
    “Yay! I’m not the fastest car.”
    Also, you’re welcome to receive the ticket; 73+ is plenty for one person.

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