Pet Peeve #37

My alarm rings precisely at 4:45 am every weekday morning.

That gives me enough time for unhurriedly doing everything I need to do before hitting the road. The program includes performing 12 surya namaskars (when my motivation level is high; I wish I could say that that was every day), three full glasses of water to ingest, a tall cup of coffee to wake me up and a quick check of fb and my email – mostly the stuff that has arrived overnight from India or  from my around-the-clock hard working CFO, right here in the US.

Once I’m ready for the office, I get in my car for the 25 minute drive to the office around 6:15, never later than 6:30 am. It’s all part of my strategy to beat the crazy rush hour traffic (not crazy as in India – never that crazy), but crazy as in most large metros in the US.

Being a morning person definitely helps this strategy going.

Atlanta_75.85

Most of the roads traveled from home to office have 6 lanes, at some points widening to 8 lanes, with posted speed limits ranging from 55 to 65 mph on that highway.

I can attest to being a safe driver. Over all these years, I have had one fender bender and one speeding ticket to my credit. Or  just ask any passengers who have ridden with me.

I can also attest to being a fast driver. To make the 25 minute drive, my speed on that highway ranges from 74 to 82 mph. Okay, 84.

The fact that I have only ever received one speeding ticket either makes me extra alert or very lucky. Or a bit of both.

So, what is my pet peeve #37?  Hah, it’s more like my pet peeve #3!

Slow drivers in the fast lane.  

There he or she is, chugging along in the left lane at 55 mph or even 65 mph, blocking all the drivers behind, when there’s a mile of empty road ahead of them.

Why, why, WHY?

They may think they’re driving safely but actually they are causing safety issues for the rest of us.  Not to mention slowing down all the traffic behind them. 

Clogged_Arteries_in_AtlantaWhat is it with American drivers? If you’ve been on the roads in Europe, particularly Germany, you will see that the left lane is NEVER used, unless it’s for passing. They’ve got it down to an art.

Here, not so much. Here, they don’t even appear to teach that good practice in driving school. Even if it’s not used for passing, at least drivers should know that that’s the FAST lane!

For someone with my normally calm and cool temperament (really!), I just lose it at this point.

A different personality takes over. I get aggressive, my blood start boiling, I start talking to myself loudly and then I tailgate those slow pokes, sometimes even flashing my lights. I know that most folks who know me well wouldn’t even recognize me by then. 😦

I do feel bad about it later but never right at that moment. Never.

Many times, I force the slow poke blockers to move to the right lane with my antics. Sometimes they speed up (wake up!). But sometimes they just keep chugging along, probably well aware and quite pleased that they are blocking my path and making me visibly upset.  It’s crazy. Why do they do this?

If you are one of those slow drivers in the left lane, you certainly don’t have to admit it to me. But realize that on these multi-lane roads, it doesn’t matter whether you are going at the posted speed limit or not, if there’s someone behind you who is driving faster, they need that fast lane that you are occupying.  Please, move to the right! 

I’d really, really love to forget how to tailgate!

Yes, this happened again, yesterday and no, I’m not living in a fool’s paradise thinking I’m going to save a nation of bad drivers. Sigh.

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Photo credits: 

By Brett Weinstein from Scarsdale, NY, Atlanta, GA, London, UK (Clogged Arteries) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Atlantacitizen at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons

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Posted on March 28, 2015, in Back in US, cars and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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