Sunday, September 03, 2006

Driving in Southern California

I live in San Diego California and love it, except the traffic. I spent the day with a friend in Colton about 100 miles north on I-15. I left just before 8 and got home a little before nine thirty. Now most of you are thinking, 100 miles in 90 minutes - what traffic? [begin rant] Well in this case the "traffic" was mostly caused by the - how should I say this - occasional clueless dolt driving in the fast lane while pacing someone in the slower lane. Please folks, get a hint! If you are in the fast lane and it is open in front of you and there are cars behind you, it is time to pull one lane over. A good chunk of the drive I did (about half) is posted for 70 MPH, however almost all of it is a constantly undulating up and down affair with very little flat. This means that if you are driving a small SUV stuffed to the gills and with stuff on the roof rack you probably shouldn't be driving in the fast lane because you are holding up traffic going up hill and are going too fast downhill to control and brake your vehicle in an emergency. Another safety tip, if you are driving an SUV and towing a trailer that is weaving from side to side, it probably is a good time to put two hands on the steering wheel instead of using one on the top of it. (That was a scary site and one I was glad to put behind me.) Another little tip, an H2 may feel like a safe vehicle, but when you try and throw it around like a sports car (attempt to weave through traffic) it simply becomes an accident waiting to happen. Oh, and for the 10 minutes I watched that performance, I didn't change lanes and the H2 "overtook" me 4 or 5 times before finally exiting the freeway. However the scariest thing I saw coming back was where the highway is 3 lanes wide. I was following a couple of cars in the fast lane when we suddenly slowed down. After a few minutes this became a solid mass of cars doing about 65 in a 70 zone. I could see cars up ahead jostling around (changing lanes, accelerating, breaking) but nobody seeming to get ahead. You could just watch the tension build in people as we drove along by the way they were driving. As the pack slowly filtered out and I moved up I found, yes an SUV in the fast lane sitting pacing a car slightly in front of it in the #2 lane and cars having to under take them both (pass on the right). When I finally snuck by them, in front was nothing but relatively empty freeway, while behind them was at least 50 cars trying do the same. [end rant]

Thanks for letting me let off some steam.


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