David J. Danto
Principal Consultant, Collaboration/ AV / Multimedia / Video / UC
Director of Emerging Technology†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††
Interactive Multimedia & Collaborative Communications Alliance††
When we think about business travel in the US, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the mess that constitutes todayís air travel.† With greedy airlines cutting back service and up-charging for everything, US airports that resemble the third world, and the nightmare that the TSA represents, itís no wonder that these are the miserable experiences that come to mind first for any road warrior.† However, flights do eventually land somewhere Ė and unless youíre Tom Hanks in the movie The Terminal, you probably have to hit the road in a car to get to your target destination.† Which brings me to the point of this bog:
WHERE DID YOU PEOPLE LEARN TO DRIVE?
In the last few weeks Iíve needed to visit a number of clients that were too close to fly to but represented very long drives - upwards of three hours each way.† After this intensive driving experience Iíve come to the conclusion that there is a significant gap between how a sane person would operate a vehicle and what it seems like all you folks are doing.
Now I should point out that Iím no ďSunday Driver.Ē †Born and raised in Brooklyn, driving in the New York area for over thirty years, I have been accused of driving a bit too fast or too close once in a while.† But gosh folks, with whatever is going on lately you are making me look like the proverbial little-old-lady behind the wheel.† Here are just a few clues to give you a hand going forward:
∑ Didnít anyone ever teach you the Three Second Rule?† When driving conditions are perfect you are supposed to allow a space big enough between you and the car in front of you to count-off three seconds before you pass whatever the other car did.† In bad weather or low visibility (or nighttime) you are supposed to allow even more.† This is to prevent a catastrophe if a car has to stop suddenly.† Itís OK that there is a gap between my car and the one I front of me Ė there is supposed to be one.† Donít think it is your divine mission to either fill it in or make me fill it in.
∑ As a corollary to the above, if I am driving on the highway/freeway and the car in front of me isnít going fast enough for you, getting right-in behind me as if Iím in your way isnít going to make me or that other car go any faster.† (In fact, the only results you can ever expect from this tailgating behavior are either spooking the driver in front of you and causing an accident, or getting that driver angry enough to start to slow down on purpose.)† If you flash your bright headlights at me from a safe distance and there is somewhere I can go to to move aside for you Iíll be happy to do so Ė but not if youíre flashing them from my back seat.† I canít make the traffic in front move any faster just because you want me to.
∑ If the speed limit is 65 and Iím in the middle lane of a three lane highway/freeway traveling Ė well, letís just say north of that number Ė youíve got no reason to tailgate me at all, and no reason to want me to go faster.† Youíve got a passing lane to our left Ė use it.† If you donít want to, well then itís frankly not my problem. †(See the two points above for more details.)
∑ That little handle to the side of the steering wheel is a turn signal control.† You use it when you want to make a left or right turn and you use it when you want to change lanes on the highway/freeway!† Itís how I would know you want to get in front of me.† If you donít use it (and Iím talking to the driver of that little green Volkswagen this morning) I have no idea youíre about to move your car (going about 40 MPH) into my lane - in front of me (when Iím going about 65 MPH.)† The highway really didnít need those extra skid marks and I didnít really need the extra Adrenaline.† Also, as a corollary here, when you see my little tail light flashing, that means I need to change lanes.† It really isnít intended as a personal insult to you that I have to be in the right lane to get to my exit.† Preventing me from getting over by driving in my blind-spot doesnít make you a superior person.† When you see the light blinking please slow-down (or speed-up if you must) so I can get into the lane.† It doesnít mean youíve lost some sort of contest by doing so.
Finally, there is no game that Iím aware of where you win by weaving in and out of slower traffic, being in as many lanes as possible on one trip.† Pick one Ė do eeny, meeny, miny, moe if you have to Ė and stay in it for as long as feasible. ††
Letís all get to where we need to go quickly but safely, so we can live to go to the next place in our itinerary.
This article was written by David Danto and contains solely his own, personal opinions.
All image and links provided above as reference under prevailing fair use statutes.