Monday, August 08, 2005

Traveling With Lonely Drivers

We made it home from San Ramon this evening. Everyone is safe, well and glad to be home. We're also all tired of being in the Caravan. If we weren't all involved it would have been funny watching all five of us hobbling around on stiff and sore legs. I told the kids to be careful of their knees. Because how they felt just climbing out of the car after 6 hours is how Daddy feels everyday.

The trip home was fairly uneventful except that I seemed to run into a lot of lonely drivers. Lonely drivers are the ones who when you are traveling on the interstate with your cruise control set, come speeding up behind you like a bat out of hell and then instead of passing you they slow down, match your speed while traveling in the passing lane. Usually they don't drive right next to you, be just off your rear quarterpanel. You know that place on the road that most drivers education teachers call your 'blind spot'. Well these 'lonely drivers' will shadow you regardless of what speed you drive until you approach another car in your lane. Then as you catch up with the car in front of you, your lonely drvier will stay right next to you until you have to disengage your cruise control to avoid tailending the car in front of you. You can't pass the car in front of you because your lonely driver is pacing you in the lane next to you.

Once you disengage your cruise control your lonely driver will then resume the speed they were traveling when they sped up behind you. In a matter of a couple minutes they will have disappeared out of sight up the road ahead of you.

Normally when we travel I meet about one loney driver an hour. I doubt that this behaviour is intentional. At least I hope it isn't. Because if it is intentional then there are alot of very bored and stupid people on the roads.

Today however we were on the road traveling for 6 hours. 5 hours of that time was on divided highway - the land of 'lonely drivers'. At first I thought that I was imagining things so after about an hour I started keeping track. In the last 4 hours I was driving on divided highway today I was the 'companion' to a lonely driver 12 times. And that is just the ones I counted I think that there was at least 4 more in the first hour. I averaged about one lonely driver every 15 minutes.

I normally don't get irritated when traffic requires me to disengage my cruise control. But when I have to disengage it to avoid tailending a vehicle because some moron who minutes earlier was traveling significantly faster than I am suddenly decides to match my speed. Then once I've been forced to slow down they take off driving fast again I get a little short tempered.

OK, so I complained about the morons on the road today. It won't do any good. It won't cut down on the number of idiots on the freeways. It doesn't even make me feel any better. But then just getting out of that car seat made me feel a lot better.

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