On the Road

I love to drive and it’s a good thing because I hate to fly. Last week I took a 1,600 trip from Albuquerque back to the mid-west. It started out interestingly enough when I discovered that I-44 through Missouri was closed due to flooding. Naturally, I found out about this the night before I departure. That left me with some major re-routing so I ended up driving mostly two-lane roads for 10 hours. That prospect seemed pretty bad until about 3 or 4 hours into it I noticed I wasn’t seeing anyone else on the road. That was good news. I have a supercharged pick-up that likes to get up and go and with all the empty roads that what I did. I think I averaged higher mph than I would have on the interstate. Extra added bonus was zero police presence on all those deserted roads so the old radar detector never made a peep.

In addition to tunes I usually load up on many hours of pod-casts prior to trips like this. I like Strangers and Risk quite a bit. If you’re into true stories those two are very good. There are others of course but those two come to mind.

A week later on the return trip I-55 and I-44 though St. Louis were mostly open again so I was back on the interstates but I sure missed the lonely two lane roads.

Things have changed on the interstates over the years. The sheer volume of heavy trucks is astounding and as far as the drivers of those rigs go, well it ain’t like it used to be.

I’m going to talk a little bit here about a few drivers so don’t go nuts on me because it’s just a few. But, a few out of hundreds of thousands ends up being quite a few.

Now I know drivers have a job to do and they want make good time, and hate to down-shift for any reason and in all fairness the majority are decent. But, dang  so many will pull out directly in front of you. Then you’ll sitting behind them at 60 mph in a 75 mph zone waiting for them to clear whatever slower rig they’re trying to pass. If you’ve been out there you know exactly what I mean. Nobody behind me, (that they can easily see) and they just pull to the left and sit there. Besides being dangerous it’s incredibly inconsiderate.

There’s not much someone in a smaller vehicle can do about it. I guess I could flip them off but then 100 miles down the road you’re both at a rest stop and then what? So, I’ve taken to carrying a hand held CB radio and discussing the driving techniques of some truckers over the air. Seeing as I have no antenna they have no clue where the comments are coming from but man I let em have it verbally when a trucker yanks a rig right in front of me. Some of the reactions are pretty funny and some not that funny. A few drivers will then sit in the left lane longer than they would have otherwise but the  vast majority won’t and instead pull their rig over to the right fairly quickly. I noticed that my method works a lot better on drivers working for a large cartage company than it does those who are independent.

Some cities have taken to requiring trucks to use the right hand lane only and that’s a huge help although, even then a few knucklehead drivers don’t observe the law. Not many but a few.

I know everyone who’s out on the interstates notices the same thing that I do and it probably infuriates them as much if not more. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a regulation coming that would require trucks to use the right hand lanes only one day. I know a very few members of congress have tossed that idea around a little. It would actually be too bad if it came to that because the majority of truckers are pretty decent out there.

I was more activist about it a few years ago but I guess I’ve come to expect this behavior from a few drivers now. I don’t accept it though so, for now, I’ll keep on talking to those few rude, inconsiderate and dangerous drivers over my secret CB.

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