I Can’t Drive Fifty-Five

Stacy McCain just beat me to writing about our pet peeve…slow drivers on the interstate. Here’s Stacy’s rant:

Posted on | February 5, 2012 | 13 Comments and 2 Reactions

You might think that a lawyer would know better than to try something as stupid as this:

A Queens lawyer has been suspended for six months for falsely accusing a New Jersey state trooper of using anti-Semitic slurs against him, according to a ruling released yesterday.
Attorney Elliott Dear said he made up the outrageous allegations in hopes of getting out of a speeding ticket.
Court papers say the unidentified trooper pulled over Dear, an orthodox Jew, for going 84 in a 55-mph zone while driving with his wife in 2007.
Six days after getting the ticket, Dear sent a letter to the traffic court saying, “This ticket shall be dismissed immediately” since he wasn’t speeding and “the officer called me a ‘Jew kike’ — and this prejudice obviously was the cause for the ticket,” the papers say.
The letter was forwarded to Internal Affairs, which contacted Dear, who repeated that he had been the victim of an ethnic slur.
Unfortunately for Dear — and luckily for the trooper — the traffic stop had been videotaped on the officer’s car camera, and the trooper was wearing a recording device.

Next time I get pulled over for speeding, I’ll accuse the cops of prejudice against NASCAR-Americans. High speed driving is a hereditary trait.

On a related topic, last month Charles G. Hill had a post that turned into a comment thread on long-distance driving. One reason I drive fast is precisely because I so often drive long distances.

In an age of relatively cheap plane tickets, most people don’t do much long-distance driving, and when they do, they tend to drive like commuters, with insufficient concern for the “slow traffic keep right” rule. On a jammed-up metro-area freeway in rush hour — which is the kind of driving most commuters do, day in and day out, year after year — the “slow traffic keep right” rule doesn’t much matter. However, when you’re driving 500 miles from Hagerstown, Maryland, to Myrtle Beach, S.C., as I did a few weeks ago, you understand the need for speed.

Slow-poke drivers don’t get this. On your 20-mile rush-hour commute, the difference in road-time between driving 40 mph and driving 50 mph is inconsequential. But on a 500-mile trip, an average speed of 62 mph means an eight-hour trip, while an average speed of 77 mph means a 6-and-a-half-hour trip. Why should I spend an extra hour-and-a-half on the road, if I can safely drive 77 mph without getting pulled over? (On a 70-mph freeway, no trooper will waste his time busting you for 77, when so many drivers are actually doing 80.)

About safety: Driver fatigue becomes an issue on a long-distance drive and, if driving faster means driving fewer hours — as is demonstrably true — then driving faster can actually mean driving safer. And as someone who routinely drives long distances at high speed, who hasn’t had an accident in decades (if you exclude collisions with deer), I think my experience at high-speed driving makes me a much safer driver than many of the slow-pokes who seem shocked when I go flying past them on the freeway.

I’m always yelling…hey push the one on the right, you dumb ass!

I know exactly what you mean Stacy. In my travels all over the country, I’ve driven on many an interstate highway, plus several thousand miles on two lane US, state and county roads. Florida drivers, at least in the southern part where I drive about eight thousand miles a year, are probably the worst, especially down around the Miami/West Palm area. They’ve got six lanes going in each direction, so it’s relatively easy to get around a slow driver, ( seventy-five MPH being considered a slow driver.) No, what makes those drivers so bad is they’ll wait until they’re right up on their exit, then try and cut across five lanes of traffic in less than a quarter of a mile.

Hey Morons, that’s why they put those big ass signs up on the sides of the interstate that tell you your exit is coming up in a mile and a half. How about starting to slide over then instead of tying up traffic behind you by slowing everybody else down so you can sharply cut across traffic to reach your exit, huh?

Two weeks ago, we went up to Williamsburg, VA to visit our new grand daughter. On the way back, after spending the night in South Hill, VA, we came on home. We made the trip from S. Hill to our home in the upper corner of South Carolina in six hours with one stop for gas. So we averaged 60 MPH for that trip. Oh yeah, we also stopped at a rest area. That is a twenty minute stop every time.

Last week, I drove down to Columbia, SC for my Doctor’s appointment at the VA hospital. 160 miles and I had to make it in less than two and a half hours because of a scheduling snafu. I averaged 64 MPH for that trip, but the first forty miles was on “surface streets” before I ever got to the interstate. I hit I-185, the twelve mile toll road, stopping at both ends to pay the buck-fifty toll, then onto I-385 to I-26 to I-77 exit nine where the hospital is located.

Lets just say that if no one was in front of me, I was going slightly over eighty most of the way. Doesn’t it piss you off when you’re doing 80 and someone in front of you only wants to go 72? After getting on I-77, I ran up on this car

He was traveling around seventy-eight MPH or so and I came up on his left going around eighty. He gassed it and got up to ninety…I gassed my truck, ’97 GMC Sonoma with a 4.3L V-6, and got up to ninety-five…he gassed his and was going to pass me except a semi-truck and trailer pulled over in front of him. He hit the brakes…I hit the brakes to give the guy an escape route…we were still doing seventy-five, the speed of the semi truck. Here’s a side view of the car

Anyone know what make of car this is is?

I was thinking a tricked out Dodge Viper, but a friend said it was a Lamborghini. I checked out the Lamborghini website and didn’t see anything that looked close.

Alas, two nights ago, my truck blew up after 268,000 miles. I’m gonna miss that truck. I was getting 21MPG driving up the mountain and around 24 MPG on the interstate.

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14 thoughts on “I Can’t Drive Fifty-Five

  1. Pretty sure it’s a Viper.

    I used to drive fast until I discovered how much less gas I used by driving 65 or below. It’s a HUGE difference. The best gas mileage is at 55 but it’s real hard to keep our little Hyundai at such a low speed. I’m always creeping up to 80. I stay to the right and despise people who climb up my ass.

    And when people drive fast in bad conditions it really ticks me off. You want to kill yourself? Fine! Just don’t take me with you.

    I don’t see the point in making a big deal over an hour. I’d rather enjoy the scenery…

  2. Well, my gas mileage on my truck was 24 MPG at say, an average of 68 MPH in interstate driving. So I was happy. I always slow down in rainy conditions.

    Thanks for commenting,

    Mike G.

  3. I don’t know what that model is, but she is beautiful!

    Geez, you would hate driving with me….I’m a granny driver — unless I’m in my nice car — who likes to stop at every exit (Interstate driving is extremely tedious for me) That said, I do stay out of the go lane.

  4. Pingback: dustbury.com » Second gear: lean right

  5. “Alas, two nights ago, my truck blew up after 268,000 miles. I’m gonna miss that truck”

    I don’t suppose doing 95 had anything to do with the hasty demise a few days later?

    There’s a reason they have those huge signs that say “REST AREA” too. :D

      • The funny part is Kelly, that in his post the reprimand given to those who don’t see their exit sign in time, reminds me of our recent trip where he complained to the Rest Area personnel that they should have big signs advertising the Rest Area a mile or two ahead so that he wouldn’t have to dart thru lanes at the last minute. He was informed that there are signs.

    • Now dear, my truck didn’t know how to do any less than 75 or 80. 268,000 miles of hard mountain and interstate driving is what did my truck in…old age just like it’s owner, eh?

  6. I’ve seen many instances of slow drivers in the fast lane backing up traffic for a mile. Slow drivers in the fast lane also force everyone else to pass them on the right which can be dangerous.

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