Many More Beside These

09 March 2010

Out-thinking others in the fast lane

Some drivers out-fast me-- they come up behind, do not flash their brights and wait, but (since they are going 5 to 10 mph more) just merge right to pass-- something that many writers say not to do. In Germany, this is verboten (forbidden).

Today, one came up. Just as he was starting to merge right, I had decided to move over to let him stay left. The result? He saw my 2 blinks of turn signal, but since he changed lanes quickly with no turn signal, I then decided to stay left. His thoughts? Quite possibly, "if I hadn't been so quick to not let him move over, I could have stayed left." Get it?

And, 20 seconds later, he had to remerge left, anyway, because he encountered slower traffic in the middle lane. He was then still behind me.

I've used this move more than once. Almost all the time, it is inadvertent-- at the same moment as the rear driver decides. But I know it makes them think they made a mistake in judgement, as they should with passing on the right.  Oh well.


  1. [S]He didn't get your attention early enough.

    Since you didn't notice early enough - partially and initially his fault - you didn't move over fast enough FOR THEM. Obviously, you moved over fast enough for you, but this is Amerika.

    His thought SHOULD be: I should've tried to get his attention sooner, His thoughts probably were: He should've moved over by now. Should'nt even be in this lane to begin with (note that neither is a question)

    What happened to him 20 secs later is probably his fault; since it's more likely he was still focused on you not moving aside as fast as he'd hoped, he was probably too internally focused to account for the [changing] ebb and flow.

    His positional disadvantage occurred AFTER
    a) he didn't get your attention soon enough to entice you to move aside fast enough, because, statistically, most Amerikans will just resent it
    b) you didn't notice him fast enough to move aside fast enough
    c) he chose to start a pass-side pass without checking to see if he could finish it

    By my math, he is chiefly, but not entirely responsible, for his situation. Though you did not fail in any sense, for whatever reason, I'll guess that you'd have moved over sooner on der Autobahnen.

    In any case, I probably do not attempt as many passenger side passes as 'that guy' ... by an order of magnitude. I'll also wager that my 'undertake' success rate is an order of magnitude higher than his as well.

    Ultimately, of course, the blame should rest on the state of New York / Amerikan driver education, training, and testing, but fat chance of that.

    The same anonymous as last time.

  2. I could swear I posted something here, around Oct 25th? Regarding your thoughts and his, and your thoughts about his thoughts, and his thoughtlessness?

    Anyway, it boiled down to
    1) he has a lot to learn, and not just about how to properly pass on either side
    2) I suspect you'd have moved over sooner in Germany, or other more evolved driving environments, um, 'advertently'

  3. just checking this now-- there were no other posts and i never delete them

  4. Then the mistake must've been mine. Sorry.

    It's not so much what any ONE person fails to do, it's that we all have to be on the same 'sheet of music'.

    Across the pond, that driver would've flashed his lights. So do I. If they're flashed at the right time, it becomes obvious whether or not the flash was properly noticed. The rest follows logically, unless we are in a nation/driving environment where 'drivers' receive little or no familiarization on how their behavior influences others and vice versa.