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Wednesday, January 26, 2022  

Traffic Jam PlanPublished 5/23/2005

I would like to attempt to alleviate some if not all of the traffic situations that we all run into daily. I am going to use a herd analogy to equate driving and driving behaviors with status and position. Understanding of course that each are allowed his/her own judgement to which one they belong.

I will describe general herd behavior along with their modern counterpart. Out front you will always have the yearlings they are young and strong and fast. They make the herd run. Always making the rest move a little faster to keep out of their way. These are what I think of as die-hard right-laners. Someone that will stay in the right hand lane and ride on your bumper until you are going faster than he is, in order to stay in front, making you one of these same or, you move over and let him pass. These are probably one of the most aggressive of the herd. Behaviors include rude hand gestures, stomping of breaks by the leader, and purposeful blockage of passing attempts.

Then we have the herd elders that have run things in their time and still have the underlying control in a larger sense by naturally slowing the herd by sheer force of their importance as elders. These are what I refer to as left-laner’s. They travel speed limit or less but not necessarily in the left lane. I have named them this in hopes that they recognized their position and finally know it. Left-laner’s please use the left lane when you realize you are going the speed-limit or less and although those passing are speeding let them pay the price for their sins on down the road.

We also have youngsters in the herd. They always want to get where they are going as fast as they can even if they don’t know where that is. They do have someplace to be and it is important that they get there. These are the drivers I will give the title rally racer. They are always going very fast and don’t care which lane they are in, should be in, or need to be in. They just move as fast as traffic will allow taking any space that is open and moving in. I am hoping to convince some of these that there may be an alternative that will work to their advantage. Slow down during driving and be a part-time left-laner. While on your way to your next appointment or scheduled affair, take a little time and drive in the left-lane and pull yourself together and just prepare yourself for where you are going and the task you will be engaging in. Really couldn’t you use a minute to get yourself together?

I would suggest that every other herd member is aware of and secretly loathes the straggler. This is a herd member that is either aimless or just in that time between young and old when they just can’t keep up like they used too. In driving I relate stragglers to the dreaded rubber-necker. This most wretched of drivers that will slow traffic for miles in either direction in order just to get a peek at what happened on the road. I don’t contend these are a separate group specifically but a rubber-necker can be found in any of the herd groupings not just the stragglers. I attempt to make this a singular failing rather than an entire subset.

So my final suggestions are the following. Decide which of the groups you belong to and begin to separate on the road accordingly. If you are a left-laner then please when possible use the lane that is named for you. If you are die hard right-laner then we would all appreciate it if when you see another of your designation you be the first to recognize and alter the behavior to benefit the greater good of the herd and prevent wrecks, road rage, and any manner of traffic hazard. If you are a rally racer become a die-hard right-laner and follow above credo. If you are a part-time left laner please use the right lane sparingly and drive safely. If you are a new driver try becoming a part-time left-laner and observing some of the behaviors you see there and also drive safely. I will not even ask you to turn down the music as long as you appear to actually have a destination. Finally rubber-neckers, you know who you are. Please do not hold up traffic to appease your curiosity or fulfill some base need to witness others suffering, keep traffic moving and go home and turn on CNN you can see plenty suffering without watching the traffic in you own neighborhood.

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