Vote of the week: Changing lanes on the Interstate
It's time again for my family's annual summer roadtrip. We're in the Pacific Northwest right now, a region of the country not known for major theme parks, so the trip reports won't start coming for another week or so, when we visit Six Flags Great America, outside Chicago.
But with so many of us visiting our favorite theme parks by car over the summer, I thought I'd lay a driving-related vote on you this week.
Here's the scenario: You're driving on the Interstate, and there is a car up ahead of you in the lane to your immediate right. That car's driver signals to come over into your lane.
What is your immediate, gut reaction? I'm talking the reflex reaction, discounting any context of what's happening in that other driver's lane, or elsewhere on the road.
What do you do? Do you speed up to get ahead of that driver before s/he can come over? Or do you instinctively let up on the gas, to give that driver more space to change lanes?
Be honest. Your vote is anonymous (though comments aren't). Please click the reaction you feel like making most of the time.
I suspect that this one might provoke some, uh, lively comments. So tell us in the comments what you think about this situation - one we've all seen countless times on the road. And have a great week!
I speed up because I live in Orlando, FL and the last thing I need is a lost or confused tourist (or some other bad driver) in front of me.
I was raised in northern New Jersey, about 11 miles from NYC. A lot of people in that area like to get into the left lane even if they're not going the speed limit. So yeah, a lot of the time I speed up. It all depends on the situation, though. I'm a lot more likely to let people in nowadays, but based on history, I have to go with "speed up."
Typically, I do nothing. If there's sufficient space, then I shouldn't have to slow down. If there is insufficient space and they're driving maniacally, then I speed up. If they're driving well and have been trying to merge for a while, I'll slow down and let them in.
If I am already closing the gap I speed up. If they are going about the same speed and will probably speed up once in front of me then I'll let them in.
While you're in our amusement park black hole here in the Pacific Northwest, be sure to take a whale watching excersion around the San Juan islands. Also, the wildflowers on Mount Rainier should be in bloom right now and are a must see!
IT all depends. How much of a rush am I in to get where I am going. Rush hr on the Interstates in NJ is prety crazy.
Tough to answer – It depends how much I had to drink…
I always slow up the way my driving instructor taught me to do and now that we're past that horse and buggy era, I still slow up, lol.
This Jersey Boy slows up. I hate it when the space is there to safely move over, and JUST as you get your tire in the desired lane...the jerk behind you (Usually a New Yorker...sorry...they really can't drive...) decided to floor it. It's so dangerous.
I witnessed a serious accident because a driver (who was not paying attention) merged into the left-hand lane, and the car that was there decided to try and play "driving police" and close the gap. Unfortunately, one car ended up in the ditch and the other ended up on its hood.
It really depends on what town I'm in. I've traveled thousands of miles on the road, and some cities are more full than others of knucklehead drivers. Typically I would be passing someone if they are to my right, so I would probably speed up a little so that they can get over more quickly. If the driver is clearly psychotic (as so many are), then I might slow down and let them go endanger some other life.
The correct answer isn't provided for in the poll: Maintain speed. If they're changing lanes ahead of you, it is the other driver's responsibility to adjust their speed appropriately.
It's far more dangerous (not to mention downright rude) to try and cut someone off from making a lane change, as described. If someone wants to merge into the lane I'm in, I let 'em do it, and then decide if I need to move around on my own based on how the other guy (or gal) is driving.
When I'm on vacation, I just take my time driving. If people feel the need to fly past me or need to get over, I let them, mostly because I'm usually in an area I'm not familiar with.
I try to get ahead of them-and get ready to lay on the horn in case I am in their blind spot.
It really does depend on the unwritten "rules of the road" in any given locality. Not every town follows the driver's ed handbook, nor do they follow the posted speed limit. Slowing down in many big cities is more likely to get you or someone else rear-ended, especially if you are in a passing lane. Driving like a little old lady down I95 is just as dangerous in many spots as speeding. Anticipation and driving defensively, but with the flow of traffic is the safest in my accident free experience (knock on wood).
I have to said that like a lot of people here, it depends. But in my case it's just not about the situation only, but my mood. I know it's not the prettiest answer, but if I'm in a good mood I let them past even do if I have to decide to slow down or speed up, well; they're probably doing something wrong. But if I got a history with such driver in which before he wouldn't let me pass, or accelerated when I was passing. Then I take it personal, and don't let such driver pass. Sorry! Time to eat dust now! I know that's not the nice thing to do, but while doing this, I tried to never endanger any ones life, especially my own...
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