By on June 3, 2016

check

The difference between genius and stupidity, they say, is that there is a limit to genius. How else can you can explain the latest brake checking crash video making the rounds?

But if you’re willing to limit your stupidity just a tiny bit, you can avoid being the next fellow who finds out the hard way about those steel cables in the middle of the freeway.


As usual, for those of you who can’t watch the video, I’ll provide a quick recap:

  • A car identified as a Subaru Legacy GT is driving down the left lane of a rural freeway, at a speed about 10-15mph above that of most traffic.
  • A Honda Pilot pulls into the left lane, a few hundred feet ahead, to clear slower traffic.
  • After passing the slower traffic, the Pilot stays in the left lane, with a clear right lane next to it and plenty of clear space ahead.
  • The Legacy pulls up to within two car lengths of the Pilot.
  • The Pilot brake checks the Legacy briefly before speeding up.
  • The Legacy stays about a car length, maybe a little more, behind the Pilot.
  • The Pilot brake checks again, this time harder.
  • The Legacy swerves into the right lane briefly…
  • …before crossing back into and across the left lane…
  • …and sliding slideways down the road into the median…
  • …where the nose impacts a steel-cable median barrier…
  • …causing a rollover crash.

As with the road rage/trans-racial/cross-gender fistfight video discussed earlier this week, this incident occurs out of a double narcissistic injury.

The Subaru driver is offended that the Pilot is remaining in the left lane for no reason, and the Pilot driver is enraged that the Subaru driver is daring to get within twenty feet of his back bumper. The situation is exacerbated by what I think of as “Mackenzie Brothers Law”. It’s common for the uneducated, moronic, and/or economically disadvantaged to completely misunderstand the law. Sometimes, they believe that “finding” a mouse in a beer bottle entitles you to free beer, but more often they believe that “the car following is always liable for a collision”.

Any police officer who watched this dashcam video would assign at least half fault to the Pilot; he’s clearly not attempting to avoid any road obstacle with this behavior, and he brake checks twice out of nothing but self-importance and inappropriate rage. On the other hand… how stupid do you have to be to tailgate a second time after being brake checked once? Particularly when your driving skills aren’t up to the task of using the brake pedal on an empty road.

So let’s focus on the driving mistakes here, not the idiocy. Let’s say that you’re in the position of the Legacy driver during the second brake check. What should you do?

The first thing to understand is that you should almost never swerve to avoid an obstacle unless

  • You can see around that obstacle to a clear path;
  • You can safely steer around the obstacle without losing control of the car.

I’m virtually certain that a mid-2000s Legacy can match or beat a Pilot for stopping distance. The best thing to do is to step on the brake. A little bit of “iguana stare” helps here, because you’ll need to monitor your rearview mirror to make sure you aren’t going to be rear-ended yourself.

Still, the behavior we all see on rush-hour freeways, where somebody hits the brake at about 50 percent of stopping capacity and the cars behind react by arrowing all over the shoulder and the adjacent lanes, is almost never the right solution.

Had our Legacy driver managed to keep his hands off the steering wheel, he’d have been fine. Instead, he swerves into the right lane. Which leads me to the next piece of advice: slow hands at speed. Any time you’re above 40mph or so, your steering wheel motion should never be faster than the gentle wave you’d do at a concert when Hootie starts singing about loving you the best that he can. Not only should your hands move slowly, they should move as little as possible.

With slow hands, our friend in the Subaru could have zipped around in the right lane, no problem. Instead, he hauled at the wheel to the extent that he now feels that he’s pointing at the right-side shoulder. So he steers in the opposite direction. When he does that, the car’s initial response is to do nothing. When you steer past the tire’s ability to change direction, the front tires start acting as a brake, slowing the car down to the point that the front tires can grip and turn again. Of course, when that happens, you have said tires absolutely cranked, so the resulting change of direction will be rapid, massive, and permanent.

In this case, the left-hand “recovery” of the right-hand “swerve” causes the car to begin sliding. At that point, the driver is now a passenger. So what should he have done? The correct answer is almost always straighten out the wheel and brake. Had he straightened the wheel and braked once he entered the right lane, he’d have been fine. Experienced racers do this all the time; the car ahead slows due to a mechanical failure or mistake, so you swerve to the right or left as slowly as possible then immediately straighten the wheel and begin fixing the situation.

Let’s boil this down to two commandments:

Slow Hands

Straighten The Wheel

You can remember that, right? If you can, then you can survive all of the Honda Pilots, and their furious-faced, rage-filled drivers, in the world. And I know, that’s two tips when I only promised you one. What can I say? That’s a trick that I’ve pulled on people before, too.

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218 Comments on “Avoid Brake Checking Crashes With This One Weird Tip...”


  • avatar
    scott25

    I will never understand the American aversion to passing on the right. Go where they ain’t is rule number one of the highway.

    • 0 avatar
      Ian

      I find this is the only way to get around the left lane bandits in Ohio. Passing on the right has become normal for me.

      I had a Ford F-150 last week literally come into my lane while I was passing a semi truck on the highway. He laughed and flipped me the international sign for low-IQ while trying to run me off the left shoulder. I slowed, and switched to the vacant right lane. I still passed the line of traffic he joined, in addition to the slow semi in the right lane. I was at fault for being in his way apparently, and not leaving a gap between my front bumper and the car in front of me wide enough to fit his work truck.

      I wonder, did he think that was ok because he owns the road, did he learn to drive that way from experience with other terrible Ohio drivers, or was he just born an entitled jerk? Endangering life and property to pass, seems like a lose-lose idea to me. In a work vehicle, even more so to risk your livelihood.

      This begs the question, how many drivers yearly are killed, because they’re less important than the driver trying to pass them?

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      That’s probably because you haven’t seen that aversion used properly.

      When everyone stays to the right except to pass, you get a nice straight line for faster traffic to pass slower traffic. You also don’t have to worry about anyone darting past you when you’re about to take an exit. It’s remarkably safe, efficient, and makes for a pleasant driving experience for both dawdlers and speed demons. My driving demeanor was far more relaxed and courteous the 5 months I lived in Western Europe and people drove like this.

      The problem in North America, and elsewhere where education is too poor to teach people that it benefits everyone when people focus on being courteous and maximizing traffic flow, is that you’ll inevitably come up to some clown who decides that the left lane belongs to him to go as fast or slow as he wants to. At that point, yeah, you have to pass them where they ain’t, but you end up with a system that’s far more dangerous and less efficient for everyone than if people would just try to stay out of each other’s way.

      In the US you have an Interstate system that’s modelled after Germany’s to be used for efficient high speed travel, but you have drivers with the driver’s education and impulse control of third-world countries. That’s bound to frustrate drivers who see the wasted potential.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        Driving in Western Europe was an orgasmic experience in the context of the lane discipline. I really miss it. It was so relaxing. I am getting stressed out just thinking about all the people who are going to cut me off on the way home today.

      • 0 avatar
        Testacles Megalos

        The yurpeens also have draconian traffic rules. Use the shoulder for driving to skirt a traffic backup 100 meters before your exit—-license pulled for a year (happened to my brother in law). OTR trucker stops at a pulloff to take a leak in the bushes – CDL equivalent pulled and fine levied (friend of father in law). They’re serious about driving over there and do not tolerate foolishness.

        In Murka, we can’t even decide what “boy” and “girl” mean anymore and have no idea what that hole is for (quoting Chrissie Hynde). No wonder our roads are idiot war zones.

      • 0 avatar
        Xeranar

        Juniperbug

        Two Things –

        1.) The autobahn & the NJ/PA Turnpike could arguably duke it out for who had the conceptual point of a highway first. I’ve not seen any historical evidence to suggest our Interstate system is based on anything like the Autobahn. If anything it more than likely stems from our own Turnpike models and some Autobahn similarity is merely form-factor issues.

        http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/interstate/brainiacs/eisenhowerinterstate.cfm

        2.) American drivers aren’t any less educated, there is just a very low barrier for entry. Combined with a very high individualism streak, you get a society of drivers that tend to become roadhogs simply because culturally that is the way to be. It’s not like this is a new issue, it’s just a more easily seen one with the ubiquity of filming.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Xerner,
          US licencing and driver training is not up to what most of the OECD has in place. This is one of reasons for the high fatality rates on US roads. This incident does occur in other countries for sure.

          It the idea that all should be allowed to drive, as it is a right.

          I believe to be given a driver’s licence and to be “let loose” on public roads all drivers must be made aware of thier responsibilites.

          First, driving among others is not an entitlement. You must earn that right and respect the rights of others.

          This aspect of US culture abounds in many instances from loose firearm laws to how people use your roads.

          People must be taught exercising your freedom can impact the freedom of others. This is when people who have freedom must be able to distinguish how far and what they can do to limit reducing the freedoms of others.

          This is just selfish behaviour. That attitude “because I can” with little respect for others in society is not true freedom

          The ability to gauge freedom is where the US is losing.

          All drivers on roads must be made aware of THEIR responsibilities.

          The person in the “fast” lane should of pulled over and allow the passing of the faster vehicle. There should be laws to allow others to pass. I do know here in Australia any multi-lane road with a speed limit of above 80kph the vehicle in the fast lane must pull to the right and allow the quicker vehicle to pass. Even if the slower vehicle is travelling at the speed limit. The speed limit has little to do with this law. It’s to do with safety. The same applies when pulling from our right hand lane to pass a slower vehicle you must give way to vehicles in the faster lane and vice versa, if moving from a fast lane into a slower lane the slower vehicle gives way.

          The person that attempted to pass the Pilot should also be fined for dangerous driving. In no situation should an operator of a vehicle place another in a situation where death or injury can occur.

          This incident was caused by two a$$hole drivers who should have their licences suspended for thinking they have the right over the other.

          Freedom comes at a cost. It called accountability and responsibility.

          Education and adequate infringements are the key to ensure road users act in the interest of the public.

    • 0 avatar
      Piston Slap Yo Mama

      The “fast lane” increasingly isn’t. Wanna go fast on America’s highways? Constantly pass on the right – which goes against the grain of all traffic codes and perhaps also the general codes for being a decent human being. So the choice is yours: creep along in the “fast lane” behind a Hyundai Santa Fe driven by a distracted soccer mom or be a jerk and constantly change lanes. Lately I’ve become a self-loathing jerk.
      Recent excursions in Austria revealed a population who *dive* out of the fast lane when faster traffic approaches & they go to great lengths to never pass on the right. What’s up with that – are they our genetic superiors?

      • 0 avatar
        JuniperBug

        Exactly this.

        During certain parts of the day around here the right lane is THE lane to go in if you want to make time. No one will drive in it, because they all think they’ll get to where they’re going faster if they hog the “fast” lane. The problem then is that you become the guy no one’s expecting when they change right to take their exit, or that you’ll eventually come up behind one of the few who are properly using the right lane for its intended purpose – driving slower than the rest of traffic.

        I sometimes do it, and it can work, but you’re not improving the overall traffic system. If everyone would just move a lane over, we’d all be happier. The Germanic countries figured this one out decades ago.

        • 0 avatar
          Acd

          Drive left, pass right is the new reality on America’s highways. Figure out a way to pass the assholes clogging up the left lane on the right and get on with life instead of getting in a pissing match with them.

        • 0 avatar
          Matt Foley

          Sadly, you guys are correct about the right lane now being the fastest way through. Unfortunately, I am beginning to encounter a new type of asshatters: expecting drivers in the slow lane to speed up or move left to allow them to speed by.

          There I am, doing 71 in a 65 in the right lane of a three-lane expressway, when some phallus in a Tiguan comes up at about 80, rides my bumper, and starts flashing his lights. I looked at his face in the mirror and imagined how much fun it would be to bash his skull in until he looked like one of those Zika babies.

          How could anyone think that a driver speeding in the slow lane has any obligation to speed up further, or move? That’s what the left lanes are for. If they’re full and you’re in that much of a hurry, use the berm or an off- or on-ramp to pass.

          • 0 avatar
            Featherston

            @ Matt Foley – This. I’ve never actually had someone flash his lights, but I’ve been tailgated plenty when going 10 mph over the speed limit in the right-most lane, and on several occasion with the left lane(s) wide open. Lunacy.

          • 0 avatar
            Willyam

            Matt,
            I commute on one of the only truly busy three-lane highways in my state for about 15 miles. Since I drive a REALLY slow car, I keep to the far right just over the limit specifically to stay out of anyone’s way. I have encountered the new sub-human species you mention several times this spring already. Even if I were to plug in a bottle of N02 (“It’s got NOS!”) where exactly would I swerve? Left in front of the Thursday-night-drinking late-to-work bro-dozers? Those guys upgrade tires and exhaust, not brakes!
            This is Oklahoma. They gave up on driver’s ed here back in the 80’s. Now that it’s so cheap to live here that it’s getting crowded, that bit of short-sightedness really shows.
            Oh, and the Zika comment earns my vote for “coffee spitter” of the week! It’s never too early to make tragedy funny if done right.

          • 0 avatar
            JK43123

            I’ll do you one better–I had that happen where there was a line of cars ahead of me. Going the same speed. What was I supposed to do, sprout wings and fly over them? What an ass.

            As far as the video goes, I don’t see where the car was that close. Closer than I would prefer, but I’ve had people follow me so close I was tempted to pop the trunk so they could snack on the groceries I had in it.

            John

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            @Matt,

            I had the same thing happen years ago in my Chrysler Concorde. It was doing its typical “I’m gunna run like crap because I can” thing and so I relegated myself to the right most lane of the multi-lane I-5 (North of Everett, Wa). This early 90s Nissan Maxipad flies up on my bumper and starts flashing his lights. I was maintaining the speed limit, I was not a hazard. There were plenty of people also doing about the same, so I wasn’t causing a backup, either. What did he want me to do? Pull over and put it in park so he could pass without obstruction? I was the last in line of a group of cars, so what was the Subaru wagon in front of me to do? And the pickup in front of him? Should we all stop and just walk so these @$$es can have the whole freeway to themselves?

            Really hard to suppress the want for brake checking idiots like that. The middle lane was clear, the fast lane was clear. No exit was coming up, so he wasn’t “getting in line” to exit. He continued to harass me for several miles. I got in the middle lane and slowed down so he would go past me, and he did, cut me off, and slammed on his brakes. I got back over, he got behind me and glued himself the the Chrysler’s rear bumper.

            Eventually the situation ended when I saw a Washington State Patrol car that had a PT Cruiser pulled over. I pulled behind him and he walked back and I told him what was going on. He called ahead, gave the description of the car and tag number, and told me he would take care of it. While we were talking, he got word that a Stanwood police car had him pulled over and he left to go to him. I,hope the idiot at least got the dressing-down of his life.

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            Unfortunately I have used the hard-shoulder to pass..when all three lanes of the freeway are plodding along at five-under, the way ahead in front is traffic-free, and I happened to be running late! If I only have to pass the moron in front of me to get into “clear air,” and I can see that the shoulder is hazard-free (and no po-po ahead), I’m going!

            I have absolutely zero tolerance for people who make it their mission in life to correct the driving of others WITHOUT benefit of gun, ticket book or badge (or barring that, nail marks on their hands or other such connection to an Almighty)!

            I set an example by strictly adhering to lane discipline, but failing that (and provided the occasion isn’t extreme, like my first example), I will certainly use the outside lanes to pass. (Admittedly, I’ve flashed brights a couple times in that situation..where the car ahead was obviously not hooptie enough for its driver to be plodding along at fifteen under..no donut spare, just a nut behind the wheel, yakking on their phone!)

      • 0 avatar
        ammom_rouy

        People need to learn that it’s not the “fast lane” but instead is the “passing lane”.

        Re Austria – They’re (more or less) Germans, so they follow the rules.

    • 0 avatar

      There maybe an aversion. That’s nothing compared to countries like the UK where it us illegal to pass on the inside lanes. Processions are common.

      I find it liberating to pass on the inside.

      Some people seem to have an aversion of passing in any lane. Had someone approach me quickly in the second lane and tailgate. Once I moved over the car accelerated back to original speed. Two lanes to the left side wide open.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      The law prohibits passing on right in most states.
      Do you comprehend?

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Site a source for “most states” or even quote traffic law in one state.

        At least where I drive (NY, NJ, VT) passing on the right is allowed as long as there is a legal travel lane on the right of the vehicle being passed. VT also allows passing on the left across the double yellow but that’s another common misconception for another post.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      It’s a blind pass since cars in the US are mostly left hand drive. Especially if your riding hard on somebody’s six.

    • 0 avatar
      Edsel

      Passing on the right is illegal in many states.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        While I have not checked all the states not one of those I’ve checked (NJ, NY, VT, PA) has passing on the right illegal as long as there is a legal lane to the right (two or more lanes in each direction) and you are not using an entrance ramp. Since most state motor vehicle laws are similar (the words are identical in many) I will go out on a limb that you can’t provide a link to a state law that prohibits passing on the right as I’ve described it.

        • 0 avatar
          highdesertcat

          “passing on the right illegal ”

          I just today got back from a a hearty drive from Reno, NV to my home in NM, and I have got to chime in to say that sometimes a driver has no choice but to pass on the right, legal or not.

          During my 2-day drive home from Reno, much of it on I-10, there were plenty of slow-poke road hogs who acted like they owned the left lane, thus forcing faster traffic to pass them on the right.

          Of course these are the same sh1t4brains who ignore the signs that read “Slower traffic keep right.”

    • 0 avatar
      emyst

      passing on the right is illegal in most states

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        For the third time, passing on the right is not illegal (in the states I’ve checked the motor vehicle code) as long as there is a legal lane on the right. If you think it is illegal, please post the state code showing it is illegal.

        • 0 avatar
          Bearadise

          Surely passing on the right on the Interstate (like the scenario in the Subaru vs. Honda video) can’t be illegal, can it? Otherwise, why would they ever bother to build roads with more than one lane in each direction if traffic in all lanes will be limited by law to whatever speed the slowest left-lane driver chooses to go? Might as well save all that construction money, build only one lane in each direction and live with long thin backups instead of short wide backups.

          Or are y’all talking about passing on the shoulder? Pretty sure that’s illegal.

          • 0 avatar

            I’ll go out on a limb and say you are 100% correct Bearadise. The no passing on the right must surely only apply to two lane roads where passing on the right equals passing on the shoulder. On multi-lane roads safely passing where there is an open lane should not be an issue. I’ve been in situations as many have described here and the right lane was my only option to pass the individual in the left lane travelling under the posted limit.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    One of the great banes of my existence and something that I will institute once I come to power, is the removal of the right to drive for anyone who uses their brakes to slow down on a divided highway.

    Brakes are for stopping on a highway, not for slowing down.

    When driving behind a higher or larger vehicle, when their brake lights come on, who can tell whether they are stopping for an emergency or just an incompetent driver who has gotten too close to the vehicle ahead of them or suddenly decided that they are driving too fast? You must assume the worst, creating a chain of braking vehicles until the one transport following too close or driving too fast inevitably jackknives and closes down the highway. While the idiot who created the commotion drives on believing that they are a good driver.

    Last week, when having to ’emergency brake’ on a divided highway in a rainstorm, I instinctively also turned on my hazards as a warning to those following. Something The Old Man taught me. My children complained and could not understand why I did this. Their driving schools never taught them this.

    Then just this week I saw an ad for an SUV, which I can’t remember that automatically turns on the 4-ways when either the brakes are applied above a certain speed or the braking pressure is above a certain limit. I honestly can’t remember which. That in my opinion is a worthwhile safety feature.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      This again is something that occurs without fail in places like Germany; traffic comes to a halt on the highway, the last car in line activates its hazard lights. The one advantage of nearly no one doing it in North America (although large trucks almost always do) is that when I do it, cars often scatter out of the lane behind me, believing that something other than the line of stopped cars in front of me has caused me to slow down.

      • 0 avatar
        statikboy

        24 years after learning to drive, I don’t remember if driver’s ed. taught that in Canada, but I use the 4-Ways when stopped on the highway regardless because it just Seems Like A Good Idea. It’s rare to see another car do it.

        Truckers, on the other hand, understand.

      • 0 avatar
        JW9000

        I rarely see hazards used correctly in the DC area.

        I’ve seen it used most often in traffic jams caused by snow. Yes, I can see your hazards, we all can, actually, since YOU’RE ALL OF 5 FEET IN FRONT OF US AND HAVE BEEN FOR THE LAST 20 MINUTES.

      • 0 avatar
        markf

        The reason Germans are so good at using their hazards is because traffic is ALWAYS stopped on the highways (or, autobahns if you so prefer)

        After living there 5 years and coming back to the US I will take the US Driver’s habits over the chocked, clogged and generally lousy German highway system. I never spend 2-5 hours sitting in a Stau in the US but it happened to me at least 1 once a year in Germany.

        • 0 avatar
          geozinger

          Where are you driving in the States that you’re never in traffic? When I lived in Atlanta, I was always waiting in traffic. I worked on the North end of town but lived on the South side. It was routine to have a one hour commute in good weather. If storms blew in, you could count on two hours or more in the car…

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      I think this sort of feature (automatic application of hazards due to severe decel event) has been around for ten years or so.

    • 0 avatar
      Willyam

      It’s an excellent idea. I’ve “panic” flashed my brakes several times when stuck at the back of a traffic line. Too bad you can’t broadcast the word “BRAKE” into the screens of the smartphones following you.

      We had a young teacher tragically killed here a couple weeks ago while slowing for stalled traffic.

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        I use hazards on those rare freeway sudden slowdowns, but the few times I’ve used them I noticed that drivers move over to get past me causing all sorts of drama and honking squeezing into the other lanes.

        I think people don’t take the hazards at face value (unlike truckers) and don’t really slow down until they see the a justification for me them, which is usually too late. Plus everyone is distracted and really cares more about maintaining their speed and not about maintaining safety.

        In fact, I am willing to bet that most drivers don’t really know what the 4-ways are for.

        I’ve driven in Europe many times and it’s awesome to see a wall of blinking hazards ahead if you. The driving culture is like that. Maybe if more people used their hazards here it would be more effective.

        • 0 avatar
          JMII

          Its funny on track days to see the Germany cars with the flashing hazard lights in braking zones.

          I really wish that brake lights had two levels to indicate how hard they are being applied. Because there is a big difference between tapping them to slow down and the OH CRAP level of crash avoidance. It really drive me nuts when I behind someone who is just tapping away in traffic. Why can’t they maintain a slow but constant speed? Do people not understand how to coast? Granted it seems easier with my manual to just apply some engine braking via a downshift. When I rent automatics I find myself using the brakes more often.

          • 0 avatar
            cgjeep

            My E46 does brighter brake lights when you brake hard

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            @JMII: I thought that some BMWs had adaptive brake lights, and/or auto-hazards with sudden brake application.

            Because of an incident many years ago where I was almost made into the meat in a Honda sandwich by an oncoming trucker who reacted a little late to my being at the end of a line of slowpokes (and who had all 18 locked, with a trailer that was starting to skitter around), any time I have to slow down below the posted limit, the hazards come on! (Or in situations such as entering a freeway behind the inevitable fvcktard who refuses to accelerate to the prevailing traffic speed — heck, THE SPEED LIMIT would be an improvement in most of those cases!)

    • 0 avatar
      JW9000

      I’m teaching The Boy how to drive, and drive well, now. I’ve told him that there are only 4 instances where you use your brakes:

      1. You need to actually stop
      2. You’re about to imminently hit something
      3. You need to slow down for a turn
      4. There’s a cop ahead

      All other uses are null and void. Driving should be smooth and consistent.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Speaking of hazard lights, there are a lot of people around the southern United States who turn on their hazard lights when it’s raining. Then they continue driving along (just slower).

      I wish I could find the person who started this so I could choke him or her. The hazards don’t make you any easier to see than just turning on headlights and taillights; the blinking actually makes it more difficult.

      Most of the people who engage in this silly habit also continue to drive in whatever lane strikes their whim, which makes it all the more infuriating. The silver lining is that the blinking hazards also signal to me that it is a moron behind the wheel. That is my cue to get around them post haste–by passing them on the left or on the right–and be on my way.

      I need an EMP device so I can selectively shut down left lane bandits and hazard light abusers.

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        @jim – I don’t know the specific rain conditions you are talking about but if it is light rain and drivers turn them on just in case it turns into a heavy downpour, that sounds like a bit of misuse.

        That said, the hazards are entirely appropriate in torrential rain, or poor visibility conditions or when there is danger up ahead. Is the customary speed there 70 and when it rains it drops to say 40? If the other 99 drivers in front of you have them on, you must take that very very seriously. It is an aspect of driving on public roads. Do you want to be the one driver who shows the other 99 that their judgement is wrong?

        Also, lights all around are essential in inclement weather as you point out but not only. They are there to help other drivers see you. Their vision, ride height or a million other factors might affect if they see you or not. Adding hazards on top of cruising lights makes some difference in visibility but it is mostly there to serve as a strong advisory against fast drivers. Perhaps you have very good vision and can see through the spray mist to the cruising lights up ahead but if most other drivers need more help, hazards can and do help. If cars are appearing in front of you at a distance where you’d need to slam hard to stop you are going way too fast for the conditions. The posted speed limit is for perfect driving conditions.

        I wanted to post this to lay out how all this works. It may or may not apply in your case.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          I disagree – if the rain is indeed so torrentially dangerous that you believe you can’t see or be seen with ordinary lights, the sensible thing is to pull over and get off the road, not turn on your hazard lights to be “safe” and continue driving.

          Hazards make YOU a little easier to see from behind but their brightness makes it harder for other drivers to see other important things… like the lane markers. In a heavy rain, if you have your normal lights on then you’re plenty easy to see from behind.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Hazards are used to indicate to others that you are stopped or traveling at a speed that is lower than others may anticipate.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          Where this idea that it is safer to drive with the hazards on came from is beyond me. With everyone driving with hazards you won’t notice brake lights or signals losing important information about what the other driver is doing. If visibility is that poor get off the road.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            completely incorrect understanding of the use of hazards. they are a convention and like any other you adopt it if you want to drive on a road that is not yours, not redefine it for everyone according to your own understanding. Professional drivers will always slow down and follow hazards at a safe distance, rather than try to beat them, or overtake them (they have the skill and ability to do both if they want to, but they understand exactly why they should not do that, and it has to do with following rules that make it easier for everyone, not just their own rig). If you have a disagreement on the proper use of hazards with everyone else on the road, it is definitely your issue, even if everyone else is using their hazards incorrectly.

            Much of that subjective interpretation of driving rules will go away with the wider adoption of autonomous systems and vehicles. But unless there is a more information-rich system that goes beyond simple flashing lights, autonomous system designs will not try to second-guess hazard lights on the car up ahead, even if those systems can “see” ahead. When cars start exchanging information in real-time a lot more optimization is possible.

            @pragmatic – if hazards are too bright to see road markings, two suggestions: back off and anti-glare coating on glasses.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            NickS, your “convention” argument about improper use of hazard lights is circular logic.

            They don’t really make you much more visible than regular lights but they are obnoxious as sh#& in crowded traffic at night. Using them to “warn” other drivers about an ***obvious downpour with twenty feet of visibility*** is not the same thing as warning others that there is a crash ahead, blocked lane, animal, etc.

            Hopefully you don’t also subscribe to the other “convention” that high beams in the fog area a good idea.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            I don’t know the exact driving conditions. if it’s bumper to bumper on a downpour, hazards don’t serve much purpose. but you now say there is a downpour and you have 20 ft visibility (that is very poor visibility), and earlier you spoke about overtaking them post-haste and all that. At 20ft visibility there shouldn’t be much overtaking at any decent speed — what is everyone else’s speed under those conditions, and what is your speed when you are supposedly overtaking them on the right or left (post-haste as you say)?

            No, high beams in a fog are definitely not a convention — you are using a straw-man argument to somehow counter my point. These two are not equivalent, and you know it.

            There is also no convention that permits you to second-guess all drivers ahead of you. You need to accept this: the car ahead of you has defacto higher priority and validity in judging the road conditions up ahead (and what trailing drivers should know) than you ever will. Definitely true with 20 foot visibility. Again, if glare is an issue, there are anti-glare coatings for your glasses.

            One last fact: hazards contain very little information, so they are not meant to give you an exact reason why they are turned on. If you want to know that, you are basically looking for reasons to advocate that everyone else is a bad driver, an idiot, etc. Hazards are a very low-tech interface but it is a convention, i.e., an agreed-upon way of exchanging the bare minimum we need to in order to prevent accidents. Not higher speed, not shorter commute. Just safety.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            North America just has to adapt the European system of rear fog lights and this discussion would not be an issue.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            @Arthur Daily
            ” North America just has to adapt the European system of rear fog lights and this discussion would not be an issue.”

            Like they do with heavy trucks. It is a major problem in Europe and those fog lights are needed

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Sigh, left lane bandits…

    Get out, pass, get back in the non-passing lane.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Left lane bandits are always holding up the left lane!

      If you are gojng to get close to another car at least be prepared for them to hit you or act erratically.

      For this opening my right signal would have flashed twice and I’d be on the right side of them passing. I used to kepoing flashing and using highbeams but the thrill is passing on the right side, especially if they start to accelerate as you pass.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        When someone pi$$es me off that they warrant a “you’re # 1” and a horn blast as I go around them, nowadays, I’ll make sure I have room (and lack of law-enforcement) to keep accelerating enough that I put considerable distance between myself and they.

        Most of the time, I do notice that after several cars go by on the right like they’ve got rockets attached, even the most idiotic left-lane bandit will finally get the hint and blessedly more over!

    • 0 avatar
      ammom_rouy

      Left lane stokers is what I call them.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    That has to be the lamest morning DJ conversation in history.

  • avatar
    NoID

    I think this bloke was texting or something, his swerve response was typical of the “look up and see brake lights” crowd. He was in a better position than the first time, really, and yet he responded even more dramatically. But either way, he’s an idiot. In these cases two wrongs make a right: If they won’t abandon the left lane, pass them on the right.

    Also, those cables and the damage they cause are why we can’t take home certain high performance vehicles named after serpentine invertabrates without four good reasons, three professional references, two levels of approval, and one child sacrificed to Moloch. I’m 100% convinced that they are the worst barrier possible, and I’m 100% perplexed as to why they aren’t removed and replaced with something less rollovery and decapitatey.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      Cables are cheaper to install and to repair. And rigid guardrails have their own issues; if you catch them at the beginning of their run, they can spear your car, their rigidity at a glancing blow can cause far more damage than cables, etc.

      Ain’t No Free Lunch.

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      Serpentine invertebrates?

      Worms? Centipedes?

    • 0 avatar
      NickS

      @noid – That was my first hunch also. He drives like he is in and out of situational awareness.

    • 0 avatar
      SSJeep

      Properly installed cable barriers have roughly the same barrier crash characteristics of a solid barrier. Solid barriers bend and break as well, and sometimes with worse results. The ultimate goal of both barrier types is to keep vehicles from crossing into traffic going the opposite way at high speed. It seems that the barrier did its job in this video.

      I agree with Jack on this one. While I am positive the Subie driver was either distracted or possibly under the influence, that Pilot driver shares 50% of the blame for this accident. There is no excuse to slam on the brakes that hard when there is not just cause – and the Subie driver, while cocky, was not directly up his rear end. Something tells me they had an altercation previously and figured they would continue to proceed in their pi55ing match.

      The Pilot’s plates are probably visible in the video. I suppose there is a possibility of a reckless endangerment charge forthcoming.

      • 0 avatar
        pragmatic

        Cable barriers should be banned. At least with a well designed solid barrier a biker has some (even if its small) chance. The cable barrier is just a slicing machine. Also I don’t know why in this videoed road they have been installed so close to the road. They should be in the middle of the divider not on the side of each direction of the road.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Exuse me for my spoken word minutia matter, but I am compelled by a higher power (that I know little of/about):

    self important to the point of singularity
    7 billion, give or take
    all monarchs of all that we survey
    jack of all trades, master of none
    in a big hurry, to matters trivial
    ashes to ashes, dust to dust
    ride those bumpers in front, they mine
    it’s always a matter of a fire to go to
    I’m important, and my issue can’t wait
    I would pontificate further, but I’m already late
    so whatever you think, forget the brake check
    cuz I may just put you into a a$$ over head wreck
    ya dig?

  • avatar
    NickS

    Every driver is responsible for operating their car within its and their capabilities. Your own safety is primarily your responsibility. Following too closely is akin to handing blindly YOUR safety to someone you don’t know. If that someone is a jerk, like the pilot driver, you’ve just taken a huge gamble with your life and safety.

    There are some idiots out there who use their car to limit everyone else to their speed or enforce the speed limit.

    If you set out to win over an idiot, one thing is certain: one of the idiots will win, which one is irrelevant.

  • avatar
    Davekaybsc

    Really stupid drivers on both accounts.

    Pilot: if you’re moving to the left to pass slower traffic, be aware that “71 is good enough for everyone!!!!!!!” is in fact not a sentiment shared by anyone but you. If you simply must stay no faster than 71 while passing the right lane traffic, pass and then get out of the way.

    Legacy: Give the annoying Pilot a few moments after passing to move back over to the right. Don’t be a dick because you were momentarily inconvenienced. If the Pilot driver simply can’t be bothered to move back over after a few beats, pass on the right. Don’t be a dick about that either. If the right lane isn’t clear, wait until it is, then pass on the right. Everybody goes home, nobody goes to the hospital.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I actually have taken a cue from the National Motorists Association (where June happens to be “Lane Discipline Emphasis” month), and will flick my left signal on a few times before escalating to flashing brights, and it sometimes works!

  • avatar
    cartunez

    I don’t understand why assholes can’t just get out of the left lane. While I understand people will fault the driver in this scenario the person in the Honda Pilot needs their ass kicked without mercy.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    This is why you suppress the urge to brake check people. This could have ended really badly for some bystander because not every road has a center barrier to prevent someone from going into oncoming traffic.

    Isn’t the Legacy GT equipped with the sub-6 second turbo four? Passing on the right would have been a better alternative and he had the power to do it. But then, judging from his long reaction time to the second brake check and his discombobulated swerve, this guy wasn’t paying much attention to his surroundings.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      Brake checking doesn’t cause crashes. Being so close behind another vehicle that you can’t react properly does.

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        “Brake checking doesn’t cause crashes. Being so close behind another vehicle that you can’t react properly does.”

        If you can see someone behind you who you know will react badly to a brake check and do it anyway, heedless of the consequences, and yet consider yourself blameless based on a technicality, your moral compass isn’t correctly magnetized.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “If you can see someone behind you who you know will react badly to a brake check and do it anyway, heedless of the consequences, and yet consider yourself blameless based on a technicality, your moral compass isn’t correctly magnetized.”

          But Peri, it’s for the greater good of society! Better to rip the bandaid off in one fell swoop.

          Just kidding… sort of…

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          @peri – let me rewrite your post with some changes:

          If you can see someone ahead of you who you know will react badly to a tailgate and do it anyway, heedless of the consequences, and yet consider yourself blameless based on a technicality, [insert appropriate conclusion here].

          Bottom line, it’s not a driver’s business to psychoanalyze other drivers and guess how they might react to stupid moves they both make. Assume everyone will be annoyed by a tailgater, and a passing lane hog.

          The driving task is all about creating and maintaining your own safety envelope PRIMARILY, without limiting that of the other vehicles on the road. Both have lots of blame, but look how it turned out for the guy who decided his safety distance wasn’t his problem.

          You don’t use your vehicle to enforce the speed limit, or to force someone out of the passing lane.

        • 0 avatar
          NMGOM

          PeriSoft – – –

          In Driver Training in 1959, we were taught to provide enough spacing and awareness to stop at ANY speed, — just in case the vehicle in front stops.

          Reason: “You can never tell when a little animal runs out in front of the vehicle in front of you, and he/she suddenly stops.”

          Wonder how that would apply to tailgaters today…

          ===================

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “Brake checking doesn’t cause crashes. Being so close behind another vehicle that you can’t react properly does.”

        If you want to be that technical it wasn’t the following distance that caused the crash either, it was the steering input that exceeded the tires’ traction. My point still stands that brake checking creates the situation that the tailgater cannot properly react to and is therefore dangerous. That’s analogous to keeping your foot on the gas & t-boning a car pulling out in front of you when you could have braked to avoid the accident. My intentional failure to brake didn’t cause the crash, pulling out in front of me caused the crash.

        Tailgating is stupid, but Perisoft is dead-on

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          Avoid tailgating, and the problem goes away.

          You should be able to respond to what happens ahead of you. Unless you are cut off in some way, you as the striking vehicle are responsible for the crash. The Honda may not have been particularly nice (and the driver should have yielded to faster traffic), but tailgating is the responsibility of the driver who chooses to do it.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “…brake checking creates the situation that the tailgater cannot properly react to…”

          Without the tailgating, there would be no brake check. The tailgating is what created the situation for the brake check to occur.

          Both are stupid and ill advised.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          You guys are polarizing this for reasons inexplicable to me. Making a statement about the danger of brake checking is not an endorsement of tailgating.

          Both are irrational and emotional acts of aggression with potentially dangerous consequences. If you want to get tedious and defend one over the other using arguments that make no sense because they also apply to the other act, go for it. I’m not sure of the point, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            You should always be prepared for a driver ahead of you who is stopping.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            I never wrote or implied that it wasn’t.

            Did you even read the comment you were responding to or is this the result of some compulsion to always have the last word?

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            The Subaru is 100% at fault. Brake checking isn’t nice but it doesn’t cause crashes.

            We might have fewer crashes if people could figure out that if you hit it and it didn’t cut you off, then you probably own it.

          • 0 avatar
            sirwired

            “The Subaru is 100% at fault. Brake checking isn’t nice but it doesn’t cause crashes.

            We might have fewer crashes if people could figure out that if you hit it and it didn’t cut you off, then you probably own it.”

            Another driver operating their vehicle recklessly is not a license to try and test exactly HOW dangerous the reckless behavior is. If you brake for no reason besides aggression on a wide-open highway you certainly are partly at fault.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            “If you brake for no reason besides aggression on a wide-open highway you certainly are partly at fault.”

            It’s unwise and it may be rude. But at fault? Absolutely not.

            Again, we would have fewer crashes if drivers would acknowledge that it almost always entirely their responsibility to avoid hitting stuff. There is almost never an excuse, so stop making excuses.

      • 0 avatar
        Arthur Dailey

        @pch101: Please read my first comment and it will explain exactly why brake checking does cause crashes.

        It may not be the idiot behind you that crashes. It is the chain reaction of braking and brake lights that will result in a crash somewhere behind you.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          Arthur, I disagree here. PCH is entirely correct. As a driver i am VERY limited in capability to increase the safety for the traffic behind me, IF that traffic decides to give up their safety distance with me. It’s a contract. I am responsible for them up to a point, i.e., so long as they do their part to keep themselves safe also. Trailing traffic also has an obligation to not run up to my bumper and are required to follow my judgement and use of signals. I can slow down and create much more distance CE with the car ahead of me, to give me more distance so that if I have to stop ahead, I have enough room to gradually slow down the jackass behind me without getting slammed. So, I am basically having to be the adult for my safety and that it the guy behind me who cares zero about his. If they can fly over me, I am fine with that. Until then, the vehicle ahead dictates the max speed on that lane, whatever the reason (legitimate or just being a jerk).

          Take away the tailgating and it all becomes much much safer, especially for the tailgater. They have zero insight as to what is going on with the vehicle ahead of them they are tailgating, and no legitimacy in forcing the car ahead of them to go faster.

          Also, I read your first post and I fully agree with everything said there. But the root problem is not the use of braking to alter speed per we. Fromwhat I see it is two things: much more crowded highways and roads, and a lot of inattentiveness and seriously distracted driving.

          On some newer cars with automated/adaptive speed features, those systems get triggered far too often when driven by distracted drivers. They prevent accidents but the schizophrenic manner of driving they permit forces everyone else to react further exacerbating slowdowns and their cascading effects. If you have the right equipment you can see a lot of the bad driving behavior logged into the onboard systems.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “They have zero insight as to what is going on with the vehicle ahead of them they are tailgating,”

            No, not zero. Some of us pay attention to the the traffic well ahead of us and behind us and we actually remember what is where and how far away. It gets to be pretty easy picking out which cars and trucks are driving randomly and irrationally; those are the ones who pay no attention to anyone a reasonable distance behind them and so they make it necessary for you to either get around them or to get their attention by driving close enough that they notice.* It’s also easy to figure out who the do-gooders are who will hold up a row of traffic in the fast lane to let everybody into that fast lane.

            *That does not include drafting or making yourself crash.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            Nick: Agree that there are many more distracted drivers and many more congested roads.

            And that the tailgater is endangering you.

            And as a result I have been obtuse enough to both brake check and gear down on occasion in an attempt to get the tailgater’s attention.

            However there have been studies on ‘wave theory’ regarding highways and highway collisions and braking creates a wave that too often results in a collision somewhere behind the driver who originally applied their brakes.

  • avatar
    sirwired

    I’ll admit to brake-checking tailgaters before, but I do it by blipping the brake lights with the barest tap, not actually slowing my car. The idea is to get the tailgater to back off (“If this were a real brake application, you’d likely be eating my bumper right now”), and not actually test his/her reflexes while they attempt to avoid hitting my car.

    (I only brake-check when I can’t simply get out of the way… that’s ALWAYS Plan A.)

  • avatar
    zerofoo

    I see two lessons here:

    1. Don’t tailgate – it’s rude and puts both vehicles at risk.

    2. Learn the handling dynamics of your vehicle before you drive on a road with steel cables in the median.

  • avatar
    kefkafloyd

    Tailgating is a worse crime than not being 15 over in the left lane. If you’re not in stop-n-go and can’t maintain a follow distance, you’re a menace not just to yourself but to others. It’s probably the most dangerous thing you can do in active driving other than not paying attention to the road.

    That said, I don’t approve of brake-checking – I try to get out of the way and let a tailgater get past me. But look at the traffic here, it’s not like it’s a wide open road. Look in front of the Pilot and you’ll see that it’s, at best, a few car lengths behind the other vehicles in the left lane when it first starts. In the span of a minute going on in the video, the up-the-road situation is changing with plenty of cars visible. It also looks like the Pilot is trying to clear multiple vehicles in the right lane, and had the person not been tailgating they would have seen the pilot working to overtake another silver SUV. Even if the Pilot moved over into the right lane when there was a minor gap, the Subaru would have just moved on to tailgating the truck that was in front of the Pilot a few seconds ahead.

    If the Subaru driver had moved into the right lane they would have discovered that other SUV and would not have been make any more forward progress, and I bet they would have either tried cutting people off or making risky lane changes to get ahead.

    Defensive driving (as I was taught) is about putting yourself in control, about making your moves so that you do not put yourself into bad situations. Getting out of the way safely (what the Pilot driver should have done) is the defensive choice, as is not following too closely (what the Subaru driver should have done). Tailgating and brake checking are not part of that playbook. I have my share of getting annoyed at other people on the road but brake checking can backfire on the checker just as much as the check-ee. That said, the spin-out of the Subaru is due entirely to not knowing how to drive the car in bad situations at speed. Classic case of over-correction. Had the Subaru just braked or gently moved to the right the accident wouldn’t have happened and it would have just been a close call.

    • 0 avatar
      KixStart

      “That said, I don’t approve of brake-checking – I try to get out of the way and let a tailgater get past me.”

      I’ll touch the brakes without taking my food off the gas. It gives them something to think about without bringing them closer.

      • 0 avatar
        kefkafloyd

        “I’ll touch the brakes without taking my food off the gas. It gives them something to think about without bringing them closer.”

        I admit that I have done the gentle tap to light up the lights, but I don’t consider that a brake check (and you probably don’t either). And it’s also usually if I can’t move into the right lane (e.g. there are cars in front and to the right). I try to stick in the right hand lane generally.

        • 0 avatar
          pragmatic

          First I don’t put my self in the Honda position I either go back into the right or I’ll speed up (if there are vehicles on the right I still need to pass). If I can’t speed up (someone is in front) and I’m being tailgated I gently slow down (no brake and usually just a slight lifting of the gas).
          Of course I do not commute by car so I’m rarely in rush hour traffic.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    The real tragedy is that they *both* didn’t wreck each other.

  • avatar
    Polishdon

    Looks like Michigan plates and I think that’s I-96 out near the Michigan Indiana border. However fault lies with both people.

    But……

    Majority lies with the Subaru:

    1) Tailgating. He is well under the two car length/2 second gap.

    2) There is NO LAW that I am aware of that a driver must move over for a faster driver (Law enforcement, etc. excluded). If you are doing the top end of the posted speed limit (i.e. If the speed limit is 70MPH, minimum 45MPH and you are doing 70mph) than anything faster is in violation of the posted law. That said, I rarely see people even following CLOSE to the posted speed limit in construction zones, etc.) IF I AM WRONG (LEAGALLY, not in opinion), correct me.

    3) The Honda should not have brake checked, period. If the moron in the Subaru wants to do 100mph, just let him pass. I’m sure there is a officer up the road waiting for him.

    4) There was at least one or two opportunities that the Subaru could have changed lanes and passed the Honda but did not. He wanted to force the Honda out of his lane.

    5) Begs to question why the Subaru just happened to be recording the trip? Was he/she showing off and the video was edited to show this one scene to make him/her look better?

    • 0 avatar
      Steve Lynch

      I believe it is illegal to block the left lane, no matter how fast you are going. That is why you see signs on Interstates saying, “Slower Traffic Keep Right” and “Left Lane For Passing Only”

      Two of the moronic moves I see by idiot left lane blockers are refusing to move for LEOs with lights and sirens on (because they drive with theirs heads up thieir asses) and when they realize their exit is RIGHT THERE and cut across alll lanes of traffic at a 45 degree angle, usually cutting off other cars.

      • 0 avatar
        MrGreenMan

        If this is indeed Michigan:

        2 lanes going the same direction: The left lane is passing only.

        3+ lanes going the same direction: Whatever you want.

        The three lane one seems peculiar to Michigan, but the Pilot was definitely supposed to get over.

        Edit: So, yes, given that this was two lanes, it is Michigan law that the Pilot should have gotten over for the faster driver. He was well clear of the pickup. The right lane was open enough that the Subaru driver should have just taken the right lane, but, as the MSP says on their website, in terms of left lane behavior, the Pilot had an obligation to get into the right lane as he had completed his pass and was not overtaking another vehicle.

        • 0 avatar
          Polishdon

          From Michigan.gov. Is says nothing about the left lane is for passing only.

          Section 257.634
          MICHIGAN VEHICLE CODE (EXCERPT)
          Act 300 of 1949

          257.634 Driving on right half of roadway; exceptions; driving on roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction; traveling on freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in same direction; ordinance regulating same subject matter prohibited; violation as civil infraction.

          Sec. 634.

          (1) Upon each roadway of sufficient width, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle upon the right half of the roadway, except as follows:

          (a) When overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding in the same direction under the rules governing that movement.

          (b) When the right half of a roadway is closed to traffic while under construction or repair or when an obstruction exists making it necessary to drive to the left of the center of the highway. A driver who is driving on the left half of a roadway under this subdivision shall yield the right-of-way to an oncoming vehicle traveling in the proper direction upon the unobstructed portion of the roadway.

          (c) When a vehicle operated by a state agency or a local authority or an agent of a state agency or local authority is engaged in work on the roadway.

          (d) Upon a roadway divided into 3 marked lanes for traffic under the rules applicable on the roadway.

          (2) Upon a roadway having 2 or more lanes for travel in 1 direction, the driver of a vehicle shall drive the vehicle in the extreme right-hand lane available for travel except as otherwise provided in this section. However, the driver of a vehicle may drive the vehicle in any lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel when the lanes are occupied by vehicles moving in substantially continuous lanes of traffic and in any left-hand lane lawfully available to traffic moving in the same direction of travel for a reasonable distance before making a left turn.

          (3) This section shall not be construed to prohibit a vehicle traveling in the appropriate direction from traveling in any lane of a freeway having 3 or more lanes for travel in the same direction. However, a city, village, township, or county may not enact an ordinance which regulates the same subject matter as any provision of this subsection. The driver of a truck with a gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds, a truck tractor, or a combination of a vehicle and trailer or semitrailer shall drive the vehicle or combination of vehicles only in either of the 2 lanes farthest to the right, except for a reasonable distance when making a left turn or where a special hazard exists that requires the use of an alternative lane for safety reasons.

          (4) A person who violates this section is responsible for a civil infraction.

          History: 1949, Act 300, Eff. Sept. 23, 1949 ;– Am. 1968, Act 260, Eff. Nov. 15, 1968 ;– Am. 1976, Act 170, Imd. Eff. June 25, 1976 ;– Am. 1978, Act 510, Eff. Aug. 1, 1979 ;– Am. 1988, Act 346, Eff. Jan. 1, 1989

          © 2015 Legislative Council, State of Michigan

          up icon

          • 0 avatar
            Searcher

            “From Michigan.gov. Is says nothing about the left lane is for passing only. ”

            Are you kidding me? Did you even read it? It’s the first frickin line fercryingoutloud!

            (1) Upon each roadway of sufficient width, the driver of a vehicle shall DRIVE THE VEHICLE UPON THE RIGHT HALF OF THE ROADWAY, except as follows:

            With the exceptions being when passing, or road work with the right lane closed, or more than 2 lanes in 1 travel direction.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            257.634(1) says that Michigan drives on the right (i.e. it ain’t England). Roads with more than one lane in each direction are addressed in 257.634(2) and (3).

          • 0 avatar
            ponytrekker

            As if michigan has highway laws.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        In the US, most traffic laws are a state matter. And most states don’t require traffic that is exceeding the speed limit to yield to faster traffic.

        (I am all in favor of having such laws, but we don’t have many of them now.)

        In any case, you don’t have the right to rear-end a car because it isn’t traveling at a speed that is to your liking. That lead car’s speed also doesn’t absolve you from any blame for a crash that was caused by your failure to keep your distance. It is your responsibility to avoid tailgating, no matter what.

        It is frankly disconcerting that I have to explain this to people who allegedly have driver licenses. This should be a no-brainer.

        • 0 avatar
          emyst

          First off I am an claims adjuster and my company would sue the Honda driver for provoking the exchange that lead to the accident.

          He dove into the the left lane to clearly lane block which is impeding the flow of traffic and illegal… So is braking checking which is a huge no no…

          Then the best one which is forcing one to pass on the right…. and this alone could cause accidents and put the cause on the honda driver…

          you are to yield to the faster traffic and move right and hell I bet he is one more idiot driver that didnt know there are tickets for driver too slow.

          Oh if the honda didn’t stop then can force hit and run charges too…

          his insurance will skyrocket after this and he will be broke…

    • 0 avatar
      MrGreenMan

      It’s probably Michigan, and it’s why the police need to follow through with their threat to ticket for the Pilot behavior of not getting back into the right lane.

      Everyday, I drive about 20 miles down a state highway, two lanes each way, left turn lane in the middle. Everyday, there’s somebody entitled to the left lane, who is going to teach the world a lesson, and who is also going to over react every time she (and, I started to keep track, and the majority is female) sees a police officer and so instinctively mashes the pedal, even though she’s already five under.

      These people have the same attitude and intelligence of a surly cow or sow – they don’t want to go fast, unless you pass on the right, then they are going to try to stop you, because they were born with some entitlement to have no one drive in front of me.

      This is only topped by the lunatic behavior of the guy who comes up on you fast while you’re passing a slower vehicle, and, if you retreat from your pass to let him past, then try to resume your passing, he takes some unknown offense and starts slamming on his brakes.

      I thought Michigan’s liberal CPL policies would have fixed more of this behavior.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        “It’s probably Michigan, and it’s why the police need to follow through with their threat to ticket for the Pilot behavior of not getting back into the right lane.”

        yeah, but a state trooper needs to *be there* in order to see it happen and cite the offender. with 1,400 officers for the entire state, well, they can’t be everywhere all at once.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      Virginia Code:
      § 46.2-842.1. Drivers to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highways.

      It shall be unlawful to fail to give way to overtaking traffic when driving a motor vehicle to the left and abreast of another motor vehicle on a divided highway. On audible or light signal, the driver of the overtaken vehicle shall move to the right to allow the overtaking vehicle to pass as soon as the overtaken vehicle can safely do so. A violation of this section shall not be construed as negligence per se in any civil action.

      1989, c. 708, § 46.1-211.1.

      It doesn’t specify the speed of the vehicles and is thus open for interpretation. My understanding is that the speed is irrelevant.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        And in Virginia, you’d better be going a snail’s pace anyway, since the wallet-siphoning “reckless op” kicks in at, what, ten over?

        • 0 avatar
          el scotto

          Any thing over 80 MPH or 20 MPH over the posted limit is reckless driving. There’s a cottage industry for lawyers over this. I just run 75 MPH and get my mosey on on I-81 and I-95.

          • 0 avatar
            emyst

            doesn’t matter since you are not a cop with lights on performing your duties as a cop so anything you are doing is illegal and that reckless limit varies by state but almost all have a too slow reckless also called impeding flow of traffic…

            Then brake checking is illegal so is leaving the accident etc.. oh also forcing someone to pass on the right etc..

            being an adjuster in this youtube era is awesome and easy.. my company would sue the honda driver and win

    • 0 avatar
      NeilM

      “2) There is NO LAW that I am aware of that a driver must move over for a faster driver (Law enforcement, etc. excluded). If you are doing the top end of the posted speed limit (i.e. If the speed limit is 70MPH, minimum 45MPH and you are doing 70mph) than anything faster is in violation of the posted law. That said, I rarely see people even following CLOSE to the posted speed limit in construction zones, etc.) IF I AM WRONG (LEAGALLY, not in opinion), correct me.”

      Here in Indiana you are, legally, wrong.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    Csaba Csere of olde Car and Driver once put it like this :

    “Solve your driving problem yourself. Don’t cause problems for others in the process.”

    Stuck behind a left lane bandit?

    Go the f–k around them.I have zero hesitation passing in the right lane, left lane, center lane or even the merge lane when Seriously Dumb Driving is happening.

    Those of you who believe in civilized and orderly driving are vastly outnumbered by self important jerks and teenagers taking Tinder selfies at 70 MPH.

    From my drivers seat, it’s basically every car for themselves. Drive accordingly.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Bingo. I have a simple rule: I pass IDIOTS. This way their stupid behavior doesn’t effect me because I am ahead of them. The only problem is these same people are usually not paying attention and thus getting ahead of them increases the possibility of being rear ended. Still I’d rather go around someone who appears clueless (or drunk) then be stuck behind them wondering what their next stupid move will be. Which of course could be to change lanes without warning when I attempt to pass.

      Another one of my rules, which is difficult given the SUV craze, is driving as if the car directly in front of me is not there. Instead I watch two cars ahead and react accordingly. I assume that the vehicle immediate in front of me is not paying attention thus I don’t want to be a victim of them braking at the last minute.

  • avatar
    KixStart

    First, I’ll preface my remarks with, they’re both a-holes.

    I’d like to suggest a slightly different theory of the accident.

    I suspect that the Honda was slowly overtaking the white GMC Acadia in the right lane and didn’t want to be bothered pulling over and then back out. One can end up trapped behind slower right-lane traffic when one does this. It’s possible a line of cars had collected behind the Subaru. In these situations, I’m reluctant to pass (usually, whoever’s on my tail goes areound me on the right, with insufficient clearance and annoys me no end but I’m alert for it, so no harm).

    I also suspect the Subaru wasn’t initially aware of the Acadia, the Pilot is tall and he’s snugged right up against it, and was surprised to find it after he’d entered the right lane, thought he might hit it and decided to get back into the left while braking. Oops.

    • 0 avatar
      Jack Baruth

      Good points on all counts.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      if you pull out to pass someone, but only go 0.001 mph faster than them in the process, you should be forced to…

      … oh, I don’t know, think of something rather unpleasant.

      • 0 avatar
        PrincipalDan

        +googolplex

        YES I DON’T CARE IF YOUR CRUISE CONTROL IS SET 2 MPH FASTER THAN THE GUY YOU ARE PASSING. HURRY THE #$*@! UP AND PASS!

        • 0 avatar
          Truckducken

          And here we see at last an allusion to the biggest passing problem on America’s roads today: semis passing each other at infinitesimal speed differences. Thanks to electronic nannies and GPS taking any shred of judgment or common sense away from the trucker, the beloved ‘convoy’ is a thing of the past and the auto driver’s life on the rural interstate is now an endless succession of waits behind one- to ten-minute passing exercises at whatever the dadgum truck speed limit happens to be.

          • 0 avatar
            DevilsRotary86

            “semis passing each other at infinitesimal speed differences.”

            My wife and I call them slow races.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @truckducken: Your comment “And here we see at last an allusion to the biggest passing problem on America’s roads today: semis passing each other at infinitesimal speed differences. Thanks to electronic nannies and GPS taking any shred of judgment or common sense away from the trucker, the beloved ‘convoy’ is a thing of the past and the auto driver’s life on the rural interstate is now an endless succession of waits behind one- to ten-minute passing exercises at whatever the dadgum truck speed limit happens to be.”

            May be the most insightful on the net today.

            Why a semi going 98kms thinks that they should pull out to pass another semi going 94kms is incomprehensible.

            That is something else I will change when I assume power.
            That and making BTSR my ambassador to North Korea, BAFO my ambassador to China and Kevin Vickers my ambassador to Russia. Vickers won’t take guff from anyone.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UW08Ay7-uV4

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            Semis passing at infinestimally different speeds/slow races/turtle races…

            I especially hate it when they invoke the law of gross tonnage and just start moving over into you.

            They get reeeeeally mad if you get around them, get in front, let off the gas, and slow them down. But they *especially* get mad if you get ’em back at the bottom of a hill. Sure, it’s OK if they delay twenty cars by a few minutes each so that they can save one minute themselves, but if you cost them a minute back then watch out for hurt feelings.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Simis in a group/convoy doing the slow-pass aren’t racing each other, they’re taking turns drafting. You just have to get by them while you have the chance.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          A friend of mine followed such a “race” for ** 25 miles ** on the Ohio Turnpike one time!

          I have literally fried a horn on a car because of another such encounter — I will hit my brights, ensuring that the trucker’s left mirror is full of them, and just keep laying on the horn!

          Of all idiots on the road, that’s the worst of my many hot-buttons!

          (At least in a state like Kentucky, the trucks actually keep up with traffic, sometimes exceeding it..75mph in a downpour, anyone??!! Ohio??!! Left-lane bandits inside, semis clogging the outside!! Sometimes I think I’d make better progress by getting out and pushing!)

      • 0 avatar
        DevilsRotary86

        “… oh, I don’t know, think of something rather unpleasant.”

        Pope’s Pear!!!

    • 0 avatar
      Domestic Hearse

      Kix,

      A racing driver once told me that when he’s on the highway, he never, ever tailgates because the highway is filled with minivans, SUVs, tractor-trailers, delivery/moving vans, and tractor trailers. In other words, vehicles all taller than his own.

      Pulling up tight on a taller vehicle means one cannot see ahead, and I’m talking ahead of the car in front of you, and in front of him, and him and her and him…

      In other words, don’t do it.

      And clear tall traffic as quickly and safely as possible. Eyes up, people.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      As NoID stated earlier the Subie driver is not paying any attention (texting or otherwise occupied). There is no reaction to the accident or the skid NOTHING. Driving seems half dead. I don’t think the tailgating was to get the Honda to speed up I think that’s the speed the driver’s inactive brain wanted to go. The first brake check was mild and the Subie driver did the least amount of adjusting required. Again nothing is said (I’d have at least muttered a mild curse). The second brake check again causes the least adjusting required but then the driver wakes up and the driver goes into massive over reaction.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        Pragmatic, I think you nailed it.

        This is no sh#$:
        Several years ago I watched my younger brother drive badly while talking on his phone. Three lanes on the highway, very little traffic, a lot of dirty slush on the road, and the only car nearby happened to be ahead of us in the same lane. He rode up on it (not nearly as close as Subidiot in this video), merrily yapping away on his phone, squinted through the slush that the car was kicking up and increasingly covering his windshield, hit his wipers after a few seconds, and subconsciously backed off. I quietly watched in amazement as he repeated this sequence several times until his phone conversation reached its natural conclusion. Then he put the phone down, looked around at all the room in the other two lanes, put on his signal, and went around that car.

  • avatar

    Thank you for calling out folks for arrowing into the emergency lane. It seems it’s become the accepted way to avoid a rear end collision.

    I see people swerve and brake at the same time all the time. Cringe everytime. We need education, braking and steering don’t mix (unless you want to drift).

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      It is strange that the most basic element of car control is not stressed or practiced at all during driver training. The car must be stable before it can be safely slowed.

      Then again, I’m not sure if it would help. You can’t teach car control using words, you can only analyze it that way. It takes experience and practice for these things to become muscle memory. You don’t get to decide what your hands and feet are going to do when you have a fraction of a second to do it.

      I suppose we have stability control available to make up for that deficit now. I hope he gets a vehicle equipped with that next time, or spends a few thousand hours on a simulator. Despite driving a Subaru, I don’t think he has spent much time playing on winter roads.

  • avatar
    319583076

    All discussion of laws and rules of the road are academic. The truth about driving is binary: either you drive below the limits afforded by the road geometry, weather, and traffic or you drive beyond those limits. The risk in the former case is very much lower than the latter. There are no absolutes. In fact, rigid adherence to any doctrine likely guarantees exceeding the limits simply because we drive in an extremely dynamic environment.

    Safe drivers maintain a safety margin w/r/t road geometry, weather, and traffic. Which necessarily means changing speed and strategy in anticipation of, or response to, the environment.

    This Subaru driver chose to drive beyond the prevailing limits and the risk caught up with him.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    It shouldn’t matter to anyone else what lane you are in if you are doing at least the speed limit.

  • avatar
    ltcmgm78

    I live outside of St. Louis near Belleville, IL. I commute on westbound I-64 every morning. It used to be two-lane but they added a lane in both directions a couple of years ago. So, now you get trucks and “safety zone” drivers in the middle lane, reasonably fast but not fast enough people in the left lane, and no one entering the highway on the entrance ramp who will bother yielding. In fact, there are no longer yield signs. In most cases you have slower traffic in the middle lane being passed on the right and left sides. I have never figured out where people got the idea that the middle lane is now the new “slow” lane. And, when drivers enter the highway, they do not accelerate at all. And to make it worse, drivers in the right lane actually brake almost to a complete stop to yield to traffic from the entrance ramp. Yow! I used to think they taught how to enter a freeway in Driver’s Ed. Not so much anymore, it seems.

    • 0 avatar
      319583076

      319583076’s Law:

      If the rate of population growth increases faster than the ratio of rational actors to irrational actors; the probability of encountering irrational actors necessarily increases.

    • 0 avatar
      qfrog

      ” And, when drivers enter the highway, they do not accelerate at all.”

      The idea of accelerating into open space is mystifying to a great many motorists. These folks are not planning and might not know that if you plan a couple of seconds ahead while merging it is just so much easier. These folks are driving like they are treading water.

      The lack of aggression exhibited by some is actually dangerous because they create situations where there is a VAST difference in speed. Being too timid is just as dangerous as being too aggressive/fast. Most folks driving along in traffic at a more or less constant speed expect a merge to take place within a range of speeds and over a range of distances.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        This has only started happening in Northwest Ohio within the last eight or nine years. My guess is that it was in response to the rise in gas prices.

        But you won’t use much more fuel if you accelerate smoothly to traffic speed, gradually increasing pressure on the throttle.

        But you make OTHERS use more fuel..after they have to brake to 50mph or less, then floor it to get back up to speed!

      • 0 avatar
        golden2husky

        …The lack of aggression exhibited by some is actually dangerous because they create situations where there is a VAST difference in speed. Being too timid is just as dangerous as being too aggressive/fast….

        This times 10000. I see it every day. If you want to go the limit (or below the flow), just stay right. The near-hits I see are almost always because there is a turtle in the center/left lane and traffic has to swerve around them. Get off of your self-righteous high horse and act safe. The limit in the left lane(s) is not safe if 80% of the traffic is blowing by you on the right. Move over. Mr. Subie here did not react properly, but if the jerk off in the Honda did not intentionally act the way he did, this accident would not have happened. I use a dashcam now on my daily commute just for jerk-offs like Pilot boy.

  • avatar
    dukeisduke

    Brake checking is a dangerous game. My first wife brake checked a tailgater on a four-lane city street (not a freeway) one time. Eventually, the guy got in front of her, and locked ’em up. She was able to stop in time, but got rear-ended by someone else. Oops.

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    I pin this one 99% on the Surbaru driver. I despise tools like him. Nothing boils my blood quite like tailgating and people thinking they own a lane. The Pilot driver was clearly expecting to overtake the Acadia ahead; maybe if the hothead in the Subie wasn’t tailgating he could see that. After brake check number one; just pass the dude. If you touch a stove and get burnt you gonna do it again just because you really want to? His goal wasn’t simply to be infront of the Pilot; he could have accomplished that with a pass on the right. The goal was to force the Pilot to submit to his ownership of the left lane; which clearly wasn’t happening. For this I have 0 sympathy. I saw the video’s conclusion and chuckled a bit; the idiot got his comeuppance and hurt nobody but himself.

    That said brake checking is dangerous; if you insist on being passive aggressive towards the other driver a better choice is to lightly apply the brake pedal just enough to light up your brake lights with your left foot while your right foot maintains speed. Then let off the gas and gradually slow down. I do however completely understand and sympathize the Pilot’s rage and get why he did what he did.

    In this situation were I in the Pilot I’d just ignore the Subaru until I’ve completed my passing. He can wait or drive around me. I’ve been in the Subaru’s place many times and I either wait or drive around the vehicle in front of me. I don’t tailgate and try to intimidate the other driver out of “my” lane.

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      If I was the Pilot driver I’d accelerate around the Acadia. My first rule of driving is to plan my actions so that they will require as little change to the other driver’s trajectory (speed or direction of travel) as possible. The Honda driver should have either gone back to the right lane or sped up. The Subie driver should have gone right to pass the Honda or slowed up.

      Plus I try and not to chuckle at some idiot almost getting hurt and endangering others especially when another idiot had a hand in the action.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        +1,000,000!

        I only pull out with more-than-adequate room, and when in the left lane, if I’m passing, I will speed up as much as necessary to make that pass as quickly as possible, since ** I ** never want to be accused of doing something I myself find reprehensible!

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I’ll go with Subie texting. First check – he reacted very gently, second check was a surprise and he swerved like mad. In any case it was deserving for listening to that garbage on the radio.

  • avatar
    Sobro

    I’ve been brake checked twice, both times while driving a vehicle the brake checker would not have wanted all up in his junk. Time one, I-20 east of 285 eastbound in Atlanta, Friday afternoon, typical heavy traffic. My parents’ 1991 B-250 Dodge conversion van, towing a small U-haul. Traffic ahead accordions, I hit the brakes a tad too hard, I admit. The idiot tailgater behind me assumes he was brake checked. He passes on the right, does a couple of swerves to his left as some sort of message, enters the lane in front of me, then brake checked. I was watching him warily since he had a clear lane ahead and didn’t need my lane and was ready for him. No, I didn’t swerve, just hit the brakes and the middle finger at the same time.

    Time two, ten years later, I-40 eastbound between Nashville and Knoxville, rolling hills, well after sunset, very light traffic. Driving a Class B camper on a Chevy G-3500 van chassis, cruise set at 72. Ended up in a slow motion passing situation with a semi and didn’t notice an 85-mph cruiser until he was right on me. Pressed the accelerator and went by the truck and got over to the right ASAP. The asshat in the Explorer pulled right in front of me and matched speeds instead of zooming on by. I knew what was coming and turned off cruise and was coasting with my foot covering the brake pedal when his brake lights came on. No harm, just a foul. I didn’t quite catch the color of the vehicle but saw an Explorer in the breakdown lane 20 miles further on. I like to think it was that asshat.

  • avatar
    redapple

    You cannot drive 1 hour on any expressway without encountering 3-6 (or more) dork pies that are not driving correctly.

    1- Dont get pissed. Relax and Solve your driving problem yourself (-credit above and C Csere. (SUBIE))
    2- And dont out – drive the car. (like put yourself in a situation you can get out of (SUBIE)).

    Mr Subie, at what- 75 MPH, hits the brakes – swerve hard right. Try to correct – hard left. Bye Bye in the ditch you go.

  • avatar
    FoulWX

    Here is a link to a timely video:
    http://twistedsifter.com/videos/how-inadvertent-braking-causes-traffic-jams/

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      Proves my point earlier… people need to learn how to coast or drive slightly slower WITHOUT hitting the brakes. When someone ahead of me hits the brakes I can’t tell if they are actually trying to STOP or just slow down. There is a BIG difference.

      This is why I feel safer driving on the track: brake zones! Everyone is doing the same thing, they only apply brakes when slowing down is actually required to get thru a corner. Well unless they have a Miata, because those guys don’t need brakes it seems ;)

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        JMII – – –

        “Proves my point earlier… people need to learn how to coast or drive slightly slower WITHOUT hitting the brakes. When someone ahead of me hits the brakes I can’t tell if they are actually trying to STOP or just slow down. There is a BIG difference.”

        ..and that’s a virtue of manual transmissions . Just do a nice rev-matched downshift and take her down without any braking whatsoever.
        Happened all the time in Germany in the1960’s. They were even going to institute a dim red light going on for a deceleration by downshift, as opposed to the usual bright red light from deceleration by baking.

        ==============

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          “virtue of manual transmissions . Just do a nice rev-matched downshift”

          That’s asking a whole lot out of the average driver, but it does remind me of one of the things I find personally amusing: when I hear some fart-can-muffler-car-driving poseur the whole neighborhood he doesn’t know how to drive a stick by slowwwwwly letting out his clutch (and wearing it out) in a downshift.

          It’s the little things in life.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    Apologies if this has already been said, but a few states I’ve driven through place prominent signs along the left side of a divided highway saying to drive right and pass left. Seems like a good place to start, no?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Last summer I watched a punk kid and a couple of his buddies do a nice spin on the freeway in front of me at 70+ and thought for a second that he was going to go over. He did get lucky in that in that area the median is really really wide and without any sort of barrier in the middle. Traffic was kind of heavy and he was being a bit crazy with his rate of speed. He had been going under the limit and I was forced to pass him on the right at one point. He later decided that he needed to go faster and was going to get around me and a bunch of other cars by passing on the right, when there really wasn’t a path. So he tries to go back to the left lane from the center and almost hits the guy in front of me. He cranks it hard to the right sending him to the right lane and heading quickly to the right shoulder. He then cranks hard left and starts sliding sideways down the freeway in front of a semi. The car gains traction and starts heading for the median and just in time to leave the road he over corrects again so that they sliding down into the median backwards.

    Luckily I had him pegged as an inexperienced DG kid of a driver and saw him heading for the truck well before either he or the driver of the truck did and immediately slowed way down to have more time to react to the mess that was likely to unfold in front of me. Even more fortunate for the driver the trucker was also paying attention and got on the brakes hard. I’m sure that kid needed new shorts after looking out his side window and seeing the front of a Semi coming straight at him.

  • avatar
    BrunoT

    1. Don’t tailgate

    2. Especially not at 75mph

    3. When they brake check you once, learn your lesson and back off

    4. If you want to pass a left lane bandit, do so to the right and carefully

    5. Learn how to brake your car w/o losing control before zipping around at high speed

    6. Don’t brake check people.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I’ve occasionally overreacted when startled by a car being in my blind spot which I thought was clear, sometimes resulting in my car see-sawing in the lane as I’m counteracting the swerve; I usually have the good sense to be off the throttle at this time, much less on the brakes!

  • avatar
    myheadhertz

    Best brake check I received was for slowing down in a school zone. The guy behind me gave no indication he had a problem until we cleared the school zone. I went back up to about 12 mph over the limit and this guy passes me over a double yellow line and slams on his brakes. My brakes were better than his. (There were kids and a crossing guard present in the school zone.)

  • avatar
    dwford

    Everyone is making a huge assumption that the Subaru driver was tailgating out of anger. I see people tailgating in all lanes on a daily basis. It seem stop be how many people drive these days. When I see it, I back off and give myself room just in case.

    The urge to brake check is strong, tailgating is irritating and dangerous. But aside from moving over (which isn’t always possible), letting off on the gas and coasting down will get most tailgaters to go around at their earliest convenience.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      I was thinking the same thing. Where everyone assumes the Subaru driver was maliciously tailgating, I think most drivers have no idea what qualifies as a safe distance. I bet the Subaru driver thought he was driving normally and was too stupid/inattentive to recognize that he was too close or take the hint from the Pilot. I see convoys of cars following at similar distances every day, even with plenty of space in adjacent lanes.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        “Where everyone assumes the Subaru driver was maliciously tailgating”

        Um, not everyone ;)

        By the way, this video pops up in a lot of places with a websearch. Some of the comments on Break are quite unkind to the Subaru driver.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        burgers,

        “…I think most drivers have no idea what qualifies as a safe distance.”

        Exactly right. And that’s because the so-called “Driver Education” nowadays teaches the dumb “count-the-seconds-past-an-object-method”; and not the “instantaneous-car-length-recognition-method”.

        How would you do the former in heavy traffic when there are MULTIPLE cars merging and changing lanes in front of you continually? You literally have to KNOW, like RIGHT NOW, how far you are away from other drivers, and adjust promptly.

        But you are right: most tailgaters are not malicious. They are just oblivious.
        I got out of my Jeep at a red light to tell the lady behind me (politely) that she had been tailgating me for many blocks. She got off her cell phone long enough to say, “Oh, was I too close?”
        Not a clue…

        ============================

  • avatar
    05lgt

    Wasn’t me.

    The LGT doesn’t have Boxter stopping power, but a Pilot? So much bad driving. It must be Subaru season, a Murano that had just come into the right lane from an onramp that I had moved left to the center lane to avoid idiots *really* needed to get around the car in front of it and, with his front bumper beside my front DOOR, still couldn’t see me and with a quick hands move came into my lane where I should have been. Sorry Jack, I moved my hands fast since the left lane was open, only drama was one of the booster seat ocupants in back hit her head on the window when I jumped left.

  • avatar
    Dave W

    Thank you Jack for a straightforward description/explanation of dynamic skills. The biggest skill needed in this example however is situational awareness. After the first brake check the Pilot driver has announced he is an unreliable actor. Do not trust this person! As a friend who was the head of the local airport told me “The superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment to avoid the need to use his superior skills”.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Who else thinks the Sube driver might have had it on adaptive cruise control?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      That increase in speed between the checks was too abrupt, IMHO. Anyone else with EyeSight have an idea? (I sometimes have to manually accelerate, or at least blip the throttle, to get my ACC to speed up at a rate which won’t pi$$ other drivers off!)

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Thinking again, that Subie likely DIDN’T have EyeSight: after our model DB does his barrel-roll and stops, the passenger window is visible, which it wouldn’t be if the car had side curtains, which I thought are supposed to deploy in the event that the car turns turtle.

        IOW, the car is too old to have EyeSight aboard.

  • avatar
    LS1Fan

    A Conservative List of Freeway Fails and Survival Tips.

    Mileage may vary, void where prohibited. No purchase or insurance necessary.

    In no particular order:

    1: Merge Shirkers. These folks enter an on ramp with the intrepidity of a politician running for relelection. 20 feet left to merge with 65 MPH traffic and these turds are going 40. As most merge lanes are one car wide, this forces the other five plus vehicles behind them to merge at slower velocity.

    Solution-Spot your own gap and execute a two+ lane change merge around the Shirker. Early birds in this case don’t get a worm,just the ability to end the drive without meeting the front end of a semi. You’ll look like a tool, but you’ll be alive.

    2:Left Lane Bandits. Usually seen blocking the fast lane of a freeway artery with the efficiency only witnessed by Dick Cheney’s cardiologist.
    On two lane interstates this can break the entire the road system, as Porsche and Prius both are trapped doing 55 behind some soccer mom who read going 56 MPH was good for gas mileage. Often this escalates into no joke safety problems as semis, Prii and Porsches start tailgating each other between Semis and panel trucks littering the fast and slow lanes.

    Solution- Ugly ones. This one means leaving your driving morality at the Flying J. Acting fast is crucial here- the slower the blockage the more idiots behind you accumulate . Some of them drive GM trucks with Ram Air (TM) hoods and lift kits. Since passing isn’t legally an option here, the best move is ducking into the slow lane and creating space by going even slower. This breaks up the conga line of potential death , and gives you some options if another lane opens up.

    Or if one closes. State civil engineers and union staff have to eat too!

    The No F–Ks Given solution – wait until an exit lane appears, and using that 500 ft of lane to get around the blockage at high warp velocity. Make sure Scotty has the power in the engine bay for the maneuver, or your Starship Enterpise is liable to get totaled faster then you can say “Shields Up!”

    On three lane interstates, wait until an opening appears in the right two lanes and get around the blockage.

    3: Aggressive Assbag Behind You.

    If you’ve executed the above survival steps properly, you’ll meet one of these turds eventually. Whether you’re doing 100 in the fast lane and its Just Not Fast Enough For Them, or they’re riding your tail in fury because you dared merge at legal speed on the onramp and passed them in the process, sometimes you get a real winner riding your butt.

    Brake checking is one technique, but the initiated and uninitiated know it well enough to counter it.

    A better approach on freeways.
    Find a semi. Any semi.
    Ones with the big “Swift” logo work great for the following.

    That done , here’s the solution.

    Get in the left lane, pass the semi in question but ONLY up to the edge of its front bumper.

    Then set the cruise control to match speed with the semi and enjoy. Watch the jerk behind you get boxed in as they’re forced to follow your lead, for better or worse. Either they match your speed and hope you go fast enough to let them pass ( at your leisure ) , or they slow way down and wait for the semi to pass you (which you will allow or deny at your leisure , again )

    Works best on two lane roads. On three lanes your best bet is to slow down enough to make them *want* to change lanes. At which point you’re behind them and can potentially witness a cool crash scene like the above .

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I have to perform a “two+ lane” merge at least once a week.

      One of the reasons I prefer N/A power to gerbil wheels: it is imperative to have the power you need YESTERDAY, and not two seconds from now, to execute the maneuvers in question!

      I’ve done a variation of using an offramp to get around sheeple: use an empty onramp! Best if they’re 0.25-miles long; I used this on the Ohio Turnpike (along with several other cars) to get around three-abreast semis before.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Interacting with traffic like you suggest nearly guarantees that sooner or later you will introduce yourself to that one out of every hundred cars piloted by a sociopath. You’ve preselected him already, as it turns out. No good can come of this.

      If you could be absolutely certain that you would come out on the losing end of every road rage incident you found yourself in, how would you behave in traffic? People whose egos won’t allow for this possibility should never, ever find themselves on a motorcycle. And, by extension, will never realize that THEY are the problem.

      • 0 avatar
        JimC2

        True for most of these examples, except for the Merge Sherker.

        You’re more likely to be struck by lightning than be on the bad end of a road range incident with a Merge Shirker. I despise the ones who tap their brakes, on a perfectly straight onramp, when they are yet going 30 under the posted limit on the freeway. After I get around them I simply never see them again. Just once I would like to see the highway patrol target these people in one of their grand “safety blitzes” they like to have.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    I have a bumper sticker that says: “WWJD? He’d get out of the left lane!”

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      That’s priceless!!

      But true! I think He’d be against making others miserable in order to set an example!

      Probably would drive a Camry..good, honest, nonoffensive; middle lane, at posted! “Go around me..no bigs!”

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    When you’re doing 75 in a 65 zone and believe that’s fast enough, the driver who comes up behind you wanting to go faster is automatically an asshole. But when you come up behind a car doing 75 in a 65 zone and you want to go faster, the asshole status automatically applies to the other driver. Go figure.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Jack – – –

    This was obviously an excellent topic (and video) for discussion, as you can see from the number of comments. I’m glad you posted this article.

    I have been driving for 53 years, — in multiple countries. In all that time, I have had six accidents: it split right down the middle: 3 were my fault; 3 were somebody else’s. In all cases, I could ask why.

    There were always two underlying causes:
    1) Too Fast / Too Close (for conditions);
    2) Not Seeing / Not Looking.

    So, in the past 35 of those 53 years, I have had no accidents. How come? What changed? Well, I have developed a sense of “traffic management”. It means doing things that put others at ease, so that tensions are minimized. It means ALWAYS signaling intensions and letting the other guy go first. Yes, that may also mean giving up your preferred driving style or “rights” as conditions warrant.

    First, let me say that you are NOT obligated to go the speed limit. That’s why it’s called a “limit”. Legally you can go ANY speed you want up to an including that limit (unless a minimum is explicitly posted). In some states, however, (like WI) you can be ticketed for holding up traffic, so pull over occasionally and “flag” others to go by. It should also be noted that speed limits apply ONLY to ideal conditions!!

    So, here are some things that have helped me:
    1) I typically go 5 mph BELOW the speed limit in traffic;
    2) I invariably drive in the right-hand lane on a multiple-lane road (one direction);
    3) I meticulously use the old “car-lengths” estimate for vehicle spacing:
    one car length (about 15-20 feet) for every 10 MPH of speed;
    4) I subtract 5 MPH for each adverse condition: rain, snow, dark, congestion, etc
    5) I drive without distractions and use the “scanning method” of looking ahead and to the side of me;
    6) I plan “escape avenues” for my exit from hazardous situations, and continually update them.

    So, that’s it. No black magic.

    But what about others doing foolish things? Like tailgating? Well, move over and roll down the window to flag them by: then wave nicely and smile. You can even do them a favor by blocking their pass if you see bad things ahead that they can’t, and put you arm downward to let them know.

    But what about “city tailgaters”? You know, the guys that are snug up on your back bumper at 30 mph? Well, it turns out that I drive a 1996 Dodge Ram truck, and let jostling, wiggling “rebar” (firmly attached) hang out the back the legal 4 feet. Nope: I don’t have any more problems with “city tailgaters” (^_^)…

    =======================

  • avatar
    baconator

    Comedian George Carlin got it right: Everyone thinks people driving slower than they are, are idiots, and people driving faster, are maniacs.

    Brake-checking is always a dangerous response to being tailgated – why anyone would choose it instead of moving over a lane, or speeding up, is beyond my ken.

  • avatar
    NickS

    the pilot is on the left lane overtaking several cars, and there is a gap of no cars there, but there are more slower cars on the right lane up ahead. some percentage of the B&B will say he should have pulled over (and good luck getting a break to get back on the passing lane), and some will say he was right to stay on until he cleared the right lane traffic.

    The subie is just trying to “bully” the pilot to increase his speed. The subie driver would do the same to the car after that, and the one after that. He may have a death wish, but he is also forcing other people with the equivalent of the classic schoolyard threat: “jump from that branch, or I’ll beat you”. De facto, no-one has the right to a free road ahead of them. If only your speed is everyone’s option, you should be driving around a track (and even there it’s not certain).

    Regardless of who is hogging the passing lane, tailgating, or brake checking, the accident was the poor driving skill of the subie driver. His own hands steered the car abruptly to the right lane, for dramatic effect perhaps, his own hands over-corrected and threw it across the roadway to the median. I’ve changed lanes thousands of times, you have to be pretty checked out to create your own accident.

    I would be hugely annoyed with a tailgater when I am passing vehicles on a 2-lane hwy. The pilot has every right to be on the left lane so long as he is overtaking at some sensible speed above what the right-lane is going at. Take the extreme case — if one car decides to go at 200 mph, that means that hundreds of cars should be forced to the right lane, just so that one car can go through at their preferred speed. There is no privilege for that on a public road, unless you are an emergency vehicle.

    The real underlying issue here is today’s reality on roads and highways: there is too much traffic everywhere, and each driver wants to everyone else to deal with it, which is an unrealistic expectation if safety is of any concern. The subie driver is proving this point.

    I hope he recovered, and I am pretty sure he won’t continue driving the same way in the future.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “I am pretty sure he won’t continue driving the same way in the future.”

      I would guess that this video ended up online because the Subaru driver is trying to blame the Honda driver for the crash.

      Judging from the comments on this thread, I highly doubt that he will learn anything from the experience. If anything, the internet enablers will provide him with assurances that he was somewhat or completely in the right. Too many drivers don’t seem to understand that you aren’t free to blame someone else for your blunder just because you choose to feel agitated.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    This discussion is mostly focused on the tailgating/brake checking since these are behaviors where solutions exist. The scary part of this story is the majority of drivers are not aware of Jack’s commandments, nevermind possessing the experience to put them to work. Drivers panic and make abrupt movements, then over correct.

    I recently saw a similar incident, minus the narcissistic injuries; I motorcycle passed a left lane bandit, then moved into the left lane apparently close enough to startle said bandit. For whatever reason the car moves left toward the concrete barrier, the over corrects to the right and ends up spinning across four lanes of traffic and into the barrier on the right side of the highway. Somehow no other cars were involved.

    It’s a jungle out there.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Strangely, lane discipline seems to vary by road, even within the same metro area. For example, on the SF Peninsula I typically take 280 instead of 101 because I find other drivers more cooperative, making it a much more peaceful experience. It’s also beautiful, where 101 is packed with billboards so bright you need sunglasses at night.

    In MA, I’ve found the mass pike more disciplined than 93/3. Too bad in MA there is typically only one reasonable route to go anywhere, so you don’t get to choose.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    I’ve been brake checked twice, by chicks, both times by cars with Texas plates, not that that means anything. And I wasn’t even “tailgating” in my opinion. I don’t do it.

    The 1st time, we were doing maybe 5 over the speed limit, and I got real p!ssed, said “Tailgating? I’ll show you TAILGATING.” I got about 3″ from her bumper at 70 mph, driving the GF’s Sentra, she was in a Mazda 3 or something. She just eeeeeeased out of the way and that was that.

    The 2nd time, I just let it go. I don’t brake check either, I’ll move over, or just ignore if I’m about to make a left turn.

    But I see way more “aggressive driving” by chicks, exponentially. OK, I did brake check this chick in a Tahoe, coming up to a light in my F-150, coming on me like a damn freight train. I was about to turn left at the following light, but I thought, if this light turns yellow, how does she know I won’t stand on the brakes?? Except that’s what the light did, and that’s exactly what I did..

    Although just for a brief second, before nailing the gas. I was surprised by her quick reactions, sidestepping to the right lane!! It was just enough have her need a change of underpants, and she just drove past on the right with a glare that could kill… Yeah, she wanted me.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Jack??

    Where’s my TEXAS EDITION BADGE?

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I’d be a damn hypocrite if I said anything about either of those two idiots. I’ve had 2 bad road rage incidents this year already, and both could have been avoided if I had just let it go.

    I usually do good, but 99% isn’t enough if the 1% kills somebody. I gotta check that temper when I’m driving.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    If you are driving in the left lane, and you are driving significantly above the speed limit, then you have a right to be there.

    Nothing more dangerous than the super speeders who think everyone must get out of their way.

    That said, the Pilot drive should have just ignored the idiot in the Subaru. Don’t hit the brakes for no reason.

    • 0 avatar
      Kenmore

      “If you are driving in the left lane, and you are driving significantly above the speed limit, then you have a right to be there.”

      That’s a novel vantage point: you have no right to something unless you violate existing law in taking it. I’d have to say that’s historically accurate; nobody has ever handed out rights, they must be wrested from the legal status quo.

      But that still sounds creepy.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Why hog the #1 lane? Because your mommy said you’re #1? Regardless of your speed, get out of way of faster drivers. It’s a d!ck move otherwise. And YOU want the same courtesy!

    • 0 avatar
      Bearadise

      “If you are driving in the left lane, and you are driving significantly above the speed limit, then you have a right to be there.”

      But if you are exercising that right and there are no cars in front of you, but the driver(s) stacked up behind you want to drive even more significantly above the speed limit, common courtesy should take precedence over asserting your right to be there.

      • 0 avatar
        Kenmore

        That will have to be decided by the SCOTUS and will no doubt (by then) be enshrined as the “Más Rápido” ruling.

      • 0 avatar
        jimmyy

        The problem is jerks who thinking nothing about driving 85+ MPH, and they use the left lane excuse as a right to do so. Dangerous. Very dangerous to everyone around. The argument seems to be it is safer to open up the left lane for super speeders. Best move is too call the police and lobby for a reckless driving charge.

        • 0 avatar
          JimC2

          85 is not particularly fast in many parts of the country.

          Saying that the problem is “jerks” that want to go fast is a no more or less valid argument than saying the problem is the other “jerks” who want to timidly bumble along a lot slower than the traffic.

          • 0 avatar
            jimmyy

            Traffic engineers design roads, and in each road design there is a maximum safe speed. People that decide they have the right to be a super speeder often operate above that safe limit, and that threatens everyone’s life near them. They have no right to endanger other lives. Thinking the left lane law is justification to open up a racetrack one lane over from my wife and kids is wrong. Where are the automatic camera ticketing systems that hit super speeders hard? What is the holdup?

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “Traffic engineers design roads, and in each road design there is a maximum safe speed.”

            Right you are, but not for the reasons you think. Most of our freeways meet a standard for 1960s era cars to go 70mph.

            I say again, 85mph is not particularly fast.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            85mph on a busy road? wow, that is very unsafe, regardless of what one amateur driver thinks.

          • 0 avatar
            JimC2

            “85mph on a busy road? wow, that is very unsafe, regardless of what one amateur driver thinks.”

            Who said a “busy road?” Oh, you just did. Putting words into people’s mouths or changing what they said doesn’t make your argument valid, regardless of “one amateur” poster thinks ;)

            Good day, sir.

          • 0 avatar
            NickS

            Once again, no specifics, and no answers to the questions I pose. You keep running away from them.

            Read all *your* comments here. *You* talked about truckers (interrupting your passes), and you introduced other scenarios like downpours, low visibility, and hazard lights that are all somehow more reason to pass everyone else.

            You know what I am getting at? You think driving skill is all about passing and speed. You don’t have an understanding of safety. You cannot talk about it. You haven’t. Is slowing down and/or NOT passing ever the safer choice for you? For anyone else? You are trying to talk around the fact that tailgating is very unsafe to everyone, and very poor driving skill. Tailgating is what you do when you don’t care about safety.

  • avatar
    NickS

    I am talking about a 2 lane hwy with lots of cars, *like in the video here*. What are you talking about when you say 85 is not fast – remote highway, the track, Nürburgring maybe?

    We are not here to speak abstractly about some vague, ill-defined scenario. It’s about the sitch in the vid.

    FYI, you could see up ahead and anticipate (both great habits btw) all you want, but you still know nothing about what goes on inside the vehicles in front of you, like the Pilot. Someone is having a mild stroke, their baby got stung by a yellowjacket and screaming like hell, they just found out they need to get to the hospital quick, or the cluster is showing a flashing CEL … but at that point you’ve already written them off as idiots and stay fast on their tail, you are even more annoyed they turned on their hazards which blind you, so you pass them on the right post haste and all that at some “not-fast” speed … did I get all of this wrong?

    If a trucker needs to pass, it’s okay that they slow down 20 cars behind them until they merge back in. This is what sharing the road means.

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      Not sure how I’m supposed to know exactly when you’re talking specifically about the video when you also talk about misuse of hazard lights in the fast lane, truckers holding up 20 cars, and bees/having a stroke//check engine lights?

      Keep right except to pass. Learn it, know it, live it. (What would Brad Hamilton do?)

      • 0 avatar
        NickS

        Once again, no specifics, and no answers to the questions I pose. You keep running away from specifics.

        Read all *your* comments here. *You* talked about truckers (interrupting your passes), and you introduced other scenarios like downpours, low visibility, and hazard lights that are all somehow blinding you yet more reason to pass everyone else.

        You know what I am getting at? You think driving skill is all about passing and speed. You don’t have an understanding of safety. You cannot talk about it without involving speeding/passing all the other “idiots”. You haven’t talked about safety at all, only speed. Is slowing down and/or NOT passing ever the safer choice for you? For anyone else? You are trying to talk around the fact that tailgating is very unsafe to everyone, and very poor driving skill. Tailgating is what you do when you don’t care or know about safety.

        • 0 avatar
          NickS

          What Jimmy is talking about a few posts up is nowhere in your horizon or comprehension. All you care about is the left lane staying open for passing. His reason is his wife and kids wanting to go somewhere without getting rammed by some speed-freak, People do die, families get wiped out. You should get to know people who didn’t think why texting while driving, tailgating, and recklessly speeding through traffic are very big no-nos, until they send someone to a wheelchair or to their grave. Scores of examples of wrecked perfectly good cars too. Therapists talk about many of these drivers developing detachment from the fact that thwir actions led to the serious accident. They feel like it wasn’t explained to them well enough, and they shouldn’t feel bad because they didn’t intentionally want to kill someone.

          And now you tell us that you are not talking about busy roads. Got it. So what were you talking about when you said crowded road, heavy downpour, low visibility? Different scenario? It’s all disconnected snippets. Is there *one* coherent and consistent scenario you can lay out that would make sense to anyone who cares about getting home in one piece?

          You still think the video here is all about the pilot not moving over.

  • avatar
    Disaster

    The tailgater made multiple mistakes. I disagree with author on what he should have done. Steering is almost always better than braking when you know how to drive and are aware of surroundings.

    1st was tailgating instead of just passing on the right. Tailgating is the aggressive “you should get over” move that leads to conflict.

    2nd was tailgating again after being brake checked.

    3rd was swerving and braking at the same time.

    A driver needs to drive aware of escape lanes, something you learn quickly on a motorcycle.

    A driver needs to know how to steer out of a problem and not hold down brakes and use up tire capacity.

    I am rarely brake checked because I don’t tailgate, but when I am…for example when I have a slow car and need to pass with momentum before changing lanes I am always ready to pop out and take advantage of the pass the guy gives me by brake checking.

  • avatar
    427Cobra

    driving in/around Los Angeles, one becomes WELL ACQUAINTED with left-lane hogs… and to a point, I understand it. Right-hand lanes tend to get clogged/backed-up at certain exits, so the left lanes do offer a smoother progression. I grew up in Ohio… and was taught that the left lane was for passing. Apparently, a lot of people were not taught that… and toddle along at, or below, the posted speed limit in the left hand lane… and will not yield under any circumstances. Have I passed on the right? Yep… all the time… an unfortunate necessity. When someone comes up on my tail, I yield… no biggie. Others are bound & determined to stake their claim on that left hand lane… and will not relinquish under any circumstances. Have I tailgated? Yep, you bet. It’s almost a requirement in L.A. Leaving the proper distance between vehicles is an invitation to 3 or so cars to slide in front of you. Have I BEEN tailgated? Yep… tho I could care less… I focus more on what’s going on ahead of me… not behind. Usually, if someone’s tailgating me, I’ll try to get over… and no, I don’t brake check. Have I been brake checked? Yep… tho any more, I’m more likely to just roll into them (I’m older & have better insurance!) Plus, I’m usually driving a 7,000 pound 3/4 ton 4×4 truck, which doesn’t exactly stop on a dime (or handle quick transitions that well). Am I an A-hole? Probably… but so are the left lane hogs & brake checkers. I try NOT to drive during peak hours these days (a difficult proposition)… it’s just a recipe for stress & anxiety… and tends to promote “undesirable driving etiquette”…

    • 0 avatar
      pragmatic

      You’ve got it right. I too only worry about what in front of me. If the driver behind is tailgating and I can get over (the Pilot driver) or out of the way I do (even if it means I’m going to make a slower trip because now I’m stuck in the right. I’m not out there to enforce my vision of good driving, I’m out there to get where I’m going with minimum fuss and stress. I too have been brake checked on occassion, just roll with it, can’t take it personally.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    I guess this little topic might be called “Lane Discipline”.

    Obviously the Honda Pilot in the video was not particularly concerned about it. But that brings up a whole flurry of issues about WHERE you should drive SLOWLY when a road has more than one lane going in the same direction. It is also obvious to me that we can’t all be going slow in any lane we choose, because if everyone did that…well, you get the idea.

    So here may be some common courtesies, even when “drive to the right” is not posted:

    1) TWO lanes: “slow” belongs on the right. (In Germany, it is the law. Pass only on the left. Flash lights to announce your faster speed in the left lane, and want someone there to move to the right.)

    2) THREE lanes: Here, it may get complicated:
    …a) Suburban/rural: “slow” should still be the RIGHT lane, with the other two for passing.
    …b) Urban: “slow” should be the CENTER lane, with the left-most lane used for passing (or a rare left exit); and the right lane (ENTRY lane) for vehicles that enter from the many on-ramps in cities.

    3) FOUR (or more) lanes, in cities and high-traffic density areas: “slow” should be the 2ND LANE from the right, again to allow easy entry of vehicles coming from the right. Again, left lanes are for passing.

    Yes, it is OK to pass a vehicle on the right if there is no other good choice (as in traffic slowing down in the left lane for a left exit), but for ordinary TWO or THREE lane highways, passing on the right should be a last option after flashing lights has failed. (I would not advocate honking horns for that: it’s too disruptive and may be antagonizing, and should be relegated for emergency use only.)

    In my experience, there has to be some convention that we all agree upon, or traffic becomes little more than automotive anarchy, with bullying and aggression being the rule of the day, — as in Russia.

    If there are any law enforcement or traffic management folks on the TTAC commenters list, please let us know if these findings/suggestions are off base….

    ===================

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