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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Before I get in the car for Thanksgiving

Thinking of the 800 miles I’m about to drive, I have a few questions about people and cars:

1. When traffic is moving freely on an expressway, why don’t more drivers use cruise control? I’m sure you’ve seen a driver who goes 50 mph for a while, then accelerates to 80 mph, then drops back to 50 mph, then 80, etc. – making the road difficult for everyone else. Cruise control is a wonderful thing. Use it, please.

2. Why do people drive their SUVs at a snail’s pace over speed bumps? Sport Utility Vehicles are designed to handle rough terrain. The owner of every SUV paid extra to be able to run over speed bumps without stopping.

3. Why are truck drivers so obscene on CB radio? On holidays it’s helpful to monitor channel 19 for reports of congestion. But back when Ryan and Eric were young, I couldn’t expose them to truck driver language.

4. Why will people sit in a traffic jam on an Interstate highway when the parallel highway it supplanted is empty? Even if it’s two-lanes, the old road is faster.

5. Why do people buy gasoline in Georgia or North Carolina just before they enter South Carolina, which has the lowest gas prices of any state on the east coast?

6. Why do people trust a GPS like it speaks the Word of God? A GPS is no more accurate than the far-from-perfect maps that are loaded into it. In the last five years I’ve reported two errors in the official North Carolina paper highway map.

7. Lastly, why do people rubberneck? Till’s Law: when traffic in one direction is backed up x miles because of a wreck, traffic in the other direction will back up x/2 miles. If rubberneckers ever saw the gore of a high-speed automobile accident, they wouldn’t look again.