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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Autos

Your driving affects others

It’s nice when it happens, but we seldom occupy the roadways all alone.  As a consequence, it’s advisable that we consider how our driving affects others.  Use the rare occasions that you are in isolation to drive selfishly — at all other times, please consider surrounding drivers.

Whether we label it selfish, inconsiderate, thoughtless, oblivious, or just plain poor, a driving style based on “owning the road” has never been popular with the victims of such a mentality.  If your driving habits are based strictly on your own whims, they can easily ignite the short fuse of drivers who are prone to road rage. 

Much of this driving, which caters to self-interest and disregards the welfare of others, is based upon time.  When you have plenty of it and are moving slowly, you still might be unnecessarily holding up others.  These other drivers, even if in no particular rush, should not have their schedules dictated by your oblivion.

Drive-through lanes

Have you ever waited and waited behind the customer in front you at the drive-through teller even though their banking was complete?  I have often sat behind vehicles with operators who attended to personal whimsy well after they had removed their paperwork from the container in the tube.  Why not pull out of the drive-through lead position the moment you are finished?  If you need a minute or two to get organized before your journey begins, at least pull ahead far enough to let the next car in line to the teller while you do so.

Departing a traffic signal

Am I the only one who has noticed that many drivers allow two or three car lengths to open up when the light turns green before pressing down on the gas pedal?  This lackadaisical practice often works out fine for the perpetrators, but sorely ignores those behind them.  In other words, they make it through the intersection just fine, but their actions limit the number of trailing vehicles that can.  These vehicles must wait for a second or third light while the inattentive, lazy driver is merrily on his or her way.  Please stick reasonably close to the vehicle ahead when departing from stops — you can still achieve a proper following distance as the vehicles reach normal speeds.

Rolling road blocks

This category of selfishness rears its ugly head when vehicles ride in the left hand lane beside vehicles to the right, neither passing nor returning to the right hand lane.  In virtually every state, the law dictates that vehicles must “stay right except to pass.”  Unless you are passing another vehicle, about to make a left turn, or are moving left to allow a merge from the right, please fight the temptation to “hang out” in the wrong lane — the left one.

Speed variation

If one were the only car on the highway, it would be fine to try out each speed from 50 mph to 80 mph in one mile-per-hour increments on a highway with a 65 mph speed limit.  It is not okay, and is dangerous, however, to do it amid multiple lanes filled with traffic.

Such drivers are evidently traveling whatever speed feels good to them at the moment, but may not realize how their unpredictable behavior is placing their lives and those of others in great peril.  Please maintain steady speeds among other cars and trucks.

Readers may contact Bill Love via e-mail at precisiondriving@spokesman.com.



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