Americans Don’t Drive

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Americans are a passive people – much as they like to imagine themselves vigorous, decisive and independent. They like to watch football. And they certainly don’t do much more than that behind the wheel.American lead pic

Driving is an active verb.

But observe the typical American driver. He is soporific passivity personified. He coasts along, lost in thought (or lost in chat). Eyes half-closed, mind half lit, he rarely pays much attention to things outside his immediate orbit – unless it’s something edible. Forget about what’s happening in the rearview. He target fixates on the bumper of the car head. He plods along in line with bovine serenity.

If there are two left turn lanes at an intersection and the car head of him ambles to the rightmost one, in line with the cars ahead, so will he – even if the leftmost lane is completely empty. It will not occur to him to use that lane. Such thoughts do not penetrate his stupor.

He stops – and waits – before merging  . . . even when there’s no oncoming traffic. Then he swings wide – and creeps forward at just over walking speed. He is not concerned whether you will have to swing wide to avoid hitting him – or whether you have enough time to brake to avoid rear-ending him. driver 2

He’s busy Bluetoothing it up, arguing with the wife, nattering to his kids.

He never, ever anticipates the green light (nor the red) but only reacts – eventually – to such stimuli.

If he needs to change course or speed, he does so at the last possible moment – abruptly, and oblivious to the others in his vicinity.

The American driver (so-called) does not see the road ahead as a kind of three-dimensional chess set, anticipating possible moves, preparing to make them and then making them. He has been trained – conditioned – to never commit the fundamental sin: To think for himself and then act on it.

This is said to be aggressive driving.

Instead, passive-aggressive driving is encouraged. Rewarded.angry driver

The left lane hog is immune from tickets. The few non-fluoridated drivers left out there who try to pass him – they’re in the gunsights of every cop.

The glaucomic senile citizen who can see shapes is not “impaired.” But they’ll crucify the adroit wheelman who’s car handling can’t be faulted but who was found to have a trace amount of alcohol in his system.

Or who “speeds.”

Two lanes, a car in either lane. The light goes green – and a slow-motion race to the next light commences. No one else can get around the rolling roadblock without being aggressive. A snappy – and safe – passing maneuver momentarily over the double yellow is an outrage of Auschwitzian proportions. Eyes bug out, horns honk and high beams flash.

The penalty for not being sufficiently passive.

I try sometimes to set an example. I’ll pass in the left lane, then briskly move back into the right lane. I look in my rearview to see whether this has made any impression on the “driver” back there whom I had to pass on the right because he was qualuuding along in the left lane.

Of course not.

Unconsciousness abounds.

The car companies are dealing with this electronically. How’s Attention Assist grab ya? driver attention picIt’s the latest thing. When you fall asleep, it tries to wake you up. Attention Assist follows on the heels (logically enough) of Brake Assist, Park Assist, Lane Departure Assist and a growing roster of other forms of assistance. They’ve given up on expecting the driver to drive.

Minivans now come fitted from the factory with more aggressive wheel/tire packages than Ferraris had back in the ’70s  – and can corner almost as well as they could (in the hands of someone who knows how). But few will ever be tested.

When the speed limit was 55 – and cars were slow – people at least tried to drive them fast. Maybe it is the fluoride – or the high fructose corn syrup. Or the GMO wheat. Whatever it is, the plain fact is more people drove back in the day. Their EKGs were not horizontal. They showed initiative; they could handle things.

And did.

This, of course, was before the era of Baby on Board and its militant fallout, the Cult of Safety, whose main dogma – obey – now permeates everything. It has done to the art of driving what silica will do to an internal combustion engine if mixed with the oil. Nothing moves anymore; the works are all gummed up.

And so, the absurd, defeating spectacle of 300-plus hp cars (commonplace today) with 150 MPH top speeds that have the capability to go from rest to 60 in less than 7 seconds (and some a lot more quickly than that) being driven  – if you can call it that – as feebly as a 1982 K-Car with 86 hp.K Car driver pic

The truth is they don’t need more than that – because they don’t use more than that. Anyone who drives at all aggressively – that is, in the neighborhood of 10 MPH or so faster than the posted speed limit, especially in the curves – knows this already. An ’82 Aries K is more than sufficient to outrun almost everyone these days – if you’re trying to and they’re not.

Most of them are not trying. Because what they’re doing doesn’t qualify as driving.

It’s a slow-moving, ultra-cautious, hesitancy-laden farce – and not a funny one. There is a pathetic element to this depressing spectacle of legions of direct-injected, turbo’d, variable valve/cam-timed engines idling along at three-quarters their capacity. Of eighteen inch W-rated tires never feeling the ton, even for a few seconds. Of high-capacity brakes designed to handle the Nurburgring that hardly ever get warm. I get a sickly-angry feeling every time I roll up behind one of these misused (because unused) mechanical victims of the Safety Cult. Sick – about the mindless, pointless wastage of it all. Modern cars are not unlike 100 story skyscrapers with the top 90 floors closed off – for safety, of course. It’s ok to look – and ok to build. Waste the energy, the time, the resources.  cod piece pic

But don’t even think about using the finished product.

Might as well pour gas into the river for all the good it’s doing.

Angry – because of the poltroonish posuerism of it all. These gaudy eunuchs “driving” in slow motion congealed conformity remind me of woodcuts I’ve seen of the Codpiece Era of Europe. But wait, that’s not a fair analogy. The codpiece wearers not only had something going on under those codpieces, they actually used that something – as often as possible, if historical records are accurate.

The modern automotive codpiece is purely for show only.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. This must be a regional thing. Driving isn’t at all like this where I live. It’s an active, watchful activity, in which almost every driver is concentrating on the most quick and elegant way to maneuver to his or her chosen position. There is no way one lane would fill when two are open, unless most of the cars are making a turn. And the cars that hang in the left lane only do so because they are continuously passing the other, or because they have a left exit.

  2. Ha! Preach it, brother.
    I’ve been driving 18-wheelers for damn near 20 years.
    The stupidity I’ve witnessed in that time is monumental, and it’s getting worse.

    “…because he was qualuuding along in the left lane.”

    I get the reference. I wonder how many don’t?

  3. Missing Persons – Windows [1983] – Dale Bozzio

    Missing Persons – Destination Unknown [1982]

    Missing Persons – Words [1982]

    These lyrics, though simple and shallow in their time, seem now comparatively deeper than the deepest Socrates relative to today’s music; probably incomprehensible by today’s Cloveritic “Minds.”

    – The squeaky east coast lead singer ditzing is just another one of Zappa’s cosmoillogical jokes.

    – American’s Don’t Create Art anymore. It’s all resurrected and simulated by robots and software now.

  4. The Zappa-associated band “Missing Persons” explained this quite well 30 years ago. All Americans/Clovers want is a “window to look through.”

    American’s look at through their television, internet, and automobile wind screens, in exactly the same way. As just windows to look through. Just to be looking through something in motion, anything, that is all they require for sustenance and satisfaction.

    When the SHTF and when they look out their windows at their former neighbors, co-workers, and families, being abused and violated as far as the eye can see. As long as it’s not them, as long as they don’t suffer, it’ll be just another thing to watch. Just another act of mindless unthinking, consumption. Just another instance of being the viewer.

    Cue Squeaky-Voiced Cloverette Dale Bozzio singing “Windows”:
    Something feels so strange tonight. It’s not wrong but it’s just not right.
    Some hidden complications, fill me with hesitation. And it gets so dark in here. I can’t see through doubts and fears. Walled in by expectation, I need a deviation. Change in perspective, alternative view. To help me see clearly, observe something new.

    All I want is a window to look through. It’s the only thing that I really wanna do anyway.

    Outside the world’s so dangerous. It’s hard to find someone to trust. Fills me with reservation. Drives me into hibernation. I watch what’s going on. But I don’t want to belong. Leave me in my introspection. Safely behind protection.

    Looking through windows at the world. Safe behind windows from the world. Watching my window world go by. Without my window, who am I?

    – Throw all these Window Licker Window Lookers In The Woods!

    The Grigori – Fallen Angels – Covetous Watchers

  5. I live in a semi-rural area, and “Authoritays” put a stop sign in at a “T” intersection which had been previously uncontrolled except for one approach. It’s a perfectly clear view in all direction. I go to work at 4am, and if I’m the only car (usually) I treat it as a yield, turn safely and keep moving. I admitted this on my talk show one morning, and you would have thought I was a child molester, given the pecking to death coming from angry “Clover Nation”. Had a cop seen me and brutalized me for violating “the law”, I’m sure Clover would have figured “he got what he deserved”.

    • Hi Bill,

      I do the same nearly every day at the “T” intersection down the road from our place. As you approach the main road, where a stop sign is posted, you can clearly see (for some distance) whether there is traffic coming from the left. If there is not, I slow but do not stop and make my right turn. I see no reason to lose momentum, waste fuel and wear brakes, etc. When I tell people I do this, I get the same reaction you have.

      It’s funny, at first.

      Then it occurs to me what an expression of slavishness this upset is – and that makes me sad.

  6. Cool and understandable when in my 5 speed legacy..
    When I drive the stupid prius I was handed down by the family even remotely quick (usually 70-85 and with the flow of traffic) every single tiny dicked dude in a truck has to pass me, get in front of me, and slowly go the speed they were doing before I passed them. Repeat ten times until my exit. Even in heavy traffic.
    The worst is when we finally reach corners and the disappear only to speed back up on the next straight. All while I’m just driving…. you know… predictably… quickly… not tailgating.

    But hey… maybe I should expect the treatment 😉

    Douche bags, Clovers and, lane fairies usually cause the significant traffic. Not left lane campers btw. Civil engineering class 101. I like this article but the tone is way too self-righteous. Not everyone cruising at 65 is a bad driver or unaware. And most people I find driving within my range of speed are incompetent, horrible drivers.

    • Hi GD,

      I have no issue with anyone else’s speed, per se. The issue is failure to yield to faster moving traffic. About that, I do tend to be righteously angry!

      PS: I share your fury about the “slows abruptly for curves” and then rockets ahead on the straights…

  7. I work downtown in my city and often see a lot of homeless people. I spoke with one guy yesterday who willingly gave up his job as a flagger and became a beggar because he was so sick and tired of literally fighting for his life every day dodging cars driven by the people who are too busy on their phones to even look forward.

    • There is a minority of flaggers that earn an honest living. They work for a man who willing pays them with his own money for taking risks and providing a service. Who paid your friend? How were they able to afford to pay him?

      The majority of flaggers are paid with money forcibly extracted from peaceful individuals by the bandits of the state. They are paid with criminally obtained proceeds ill-gotten through assault, threats of violence, and breach of the public peace.

      The majority of flaggers are maggots deserving a good beat down in front of their friends and family and then to be thrown out into the streets naked and penniless.

      They deserve to have their worldly possessions auctioned off and the proceeds distributed to their victims. If there is a remainder over and above what they immorally took, that and only that is their rightful property.

      Flaggers violate the self-ownership doctrine of entitlement, they violate the second principle of self-ownership – Justice in Transfer.

      Violating the second principle invokes the third principle: Rectification of Injustice. Because your friend has criminally obtain loot from the gang of state, he must be forced to make restitution.

      Be thankful your friend is on a better path. Whatever he receives from begging is property justly acquired. It is better to sleep in peace on a pallet in an alley, than in a luxurious mansion behind guards and alarms in fear of the day when your victims shall finally get their revenge and restitution.

      1 Principle of Justice in Acquisition – This principle deals with the initial acquisition of holdings. It is an account of how people first come to own common property, what types of things can be held, and so forth.

      2A principle of justice in transfer – This principle explains how one person can acquire holdings from another, including voluntary exchange and gifts.

      3Principle of rectification of injustice – how to deal with holdings that are unjustly acquired or transferred, whether and how much victims can be compensated, how to deal with long past transgressions or injustices done by a government, and so on.

      if the world were wholly just, only the first two principles would be needed, as “the following inductive definition would exhaustively cover the subject of justice in holdings”:

      A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in acquisition is entitled to that holding.

      A person who acquires a holding in accordance with the principle of justice in transfer, from someone else entitled to the holding, is entitled to the holding.

      No one is entitled to a holding except by (repeated) applications of 1 and 2.

      R. Nozick – Entitlement Theory

      Anarchy State & Utopia

      R. Nozick – Britannica

      INDIVIDUALS have rights, and these rights entail a host of things no person or group may do to them (without violating their rights). So strong and far-reaching are these rights that they raise the question of what, if anything, the state and its officials may do. How much room do individual rights leave for the state?

      I agree with the anarchists who claim that in the course of maintaining its monopoly on the use of force and protecting everyone within a territory, the state must violate individuals’ rights and hence is intrinsically immoral.

      I differ in the logical conclusion of this claim. I argue that a state will
      arise from anarchy (as represented by Locke’s state of nature) even though no one intends this or tries to bring it about, by a process which need not violate anyone’s rights.


      Consider the following sequence of cases… and imagine it is about you:

      1. There is a slave completely at the mercy of his brutal master’s whims. He often is cruelly beaten, called out in the middle of the night, and so on.
      2. The master is of the nicest sort and beats the slave only for stated infractions of his rules (not fulfilling the work quota, and so on). He gives the slave some free time.
      3. The master has a group of slaves, and he decides how things are to be allocated among them on nice grounds, taking into account their needs, merit, and so on.
      4. The master allows his slaves two days on their own and requires them to work only
      five days a week on his land. The rest of the time is their own.
      5. The master allows his slaves to go off and work in the city (or anywhere they wish) for wages. He requires only that they send back to him three – sevenths of their wages.
      6. He also retains the power to recall them to the plantation if some emergency threatens his land; and to raise or lower the three-sevenths amount required to be turned over to him. He further retains the right to restrict the slaves from participating in certain dangerous activities that threaten his financial return, for example, mountain climbing, driving without seatbelts and airbags, cigarette smoking.
      6. The master allows all of his 10,000 slaves, except you, to vote, and the joint decision is made by all of them. There is open discussion, and so forth, among them, and they have the power to determine to what uses to put whatever percentage of your (and their) earnings they decide to take; what activities legitimately may be forbidden to you, and so on.
      7. Though still not having the vote, you are at liberty (and are given the right) to enter
      into the discussions of the 10,000, to try to persuade them to adopt various policies and to treat you and themselves in a certain way. They then go off to vote to decide upon policies covering the vast range of their powers.
      8. In appreciation of your useful contributions to discussion, the 10,000 allow you to vote if they are deadlocked; they commit themselves to this procedure. After the discussion you mark your vote on a slip of paper, and they go off and vote. In the eventuality that they divide evenly on some issue, 5,000 for and 5,000 against, they look at your ballot and count it in. This has never yet happened; they have never yet had occasion to open your ballot. (A single master also might commit himself to letting his slave decide any issue concerning him about which he, the master, was absolutely indifferent.)
      9. They throw your vote in with theirs. If they are exactly tied your vote carries the issue. Otherwise it makes no difference to the electoral outcome.

      The question is: which transition from case 1 to case 9 made it no longer the tale of a

  8. Article is spot on, never thought of it like this. In my 15 years of driving I have NEVER been in an accident, including driving sports cars and motorcycles. Except for while sitting in stopped traffic one time a car clipped me as they were changing lanes, and low sided on a motorcycle in gravel. Never an *actual* accident, and I attribute that to DRIVING. Always looking at the other chest pieces, calculating the best moves, anticipating their behavior and executing with precision. I know someone that has totaled 4 cars over the last 10 years, all of them being no fault of their own… All of them being avoidable non the less.

    • In Wichita, I’ve been there, there’s no traffic to speak of. The roads are well below capacity. Thus cloverism’s impact is trivial. So it may be trivial to you, but that sort of driving does not scale and is a real pain when the road capacity is lower than it needs to be.

  9. Just yesterday I was sitting at a light about 5 cars back, waiting to turn right, the light turned green. No movement from anyone. I sat there probably 10 seconds or so and still no one was moving, honked my horn, nothing. Checked the mirror and went to the left and around the idiots just sitting there and made my right hand turn. When I got up there I saw what the issue was, someone was crossing the road, but they had already crossed over to the other side of the 6 lane road and the guy was still just sitting there, I looked back as I made my turn and someone else had followed me. This guy could have made his turn as soon as the person crossing had crossed the first lane but instead he apparently was waiting for him to get across all 6 lanes before he was going to go. Either that or he had fallen asleep.

    • Yeah, been there got that t-shirt. One night I got off the 10 at 59th Ave in Phoenix, heading south, and traffic immediately stacked up in front of me. I figured it was for a wreck judging by the time of night, but by the time I worked my way to where i could see, I could tell that the problem was the train crossing signal was stuck on stupid. It was down, with the little red lights flashing, and the bells ringing etc. but there was no train for miles in either direction. So, seeing as there was no traffic coming (the oncoming lane was just as stopped), I simply pulled into the oncoming lanes, zipped down to the front of the line, then maneuvered the truck past the rail road crossing arms and all their blinky flashy lights, and on with my life. I would imagine some of those idiots sat in line fuming silently until some workman came by and fixed the crossing.

      • That’s a classic, Paul!

        Am I right in assuming the Clovers you passed were furious? Enraged by your outrageous display of non-Bovine consciousness?

  10. Actually, its not a new location. I have been here (and there) for over 10 years now. Guns are strictly regulated in Germany and in Mexico. I’d rather not talk about Income Taxes but I am paying much less Personal and Property Taxes than they stick you with in the States. Consumer goods are more expensive but how many TV’s and dishwashers do I need anyway? Besides, the Autobahn and the Car Culture in Germany make up for this. And in Mexico, the last time I got a Ticket (100MPH in a 61MPH Zone), the Federali apologised for giving it to me and said how far I could drive before I could expect to see another of his kind. There was also a 50% discount if I paid within 5 working days.

    • Hi Doug,

      If only I were younger and still single… but like so many, I am trapped like a mammoth in the tar pit of obligation and connection. And, to be fair, by myself. It is really hard to imagine selling off (at a huge discount, given the economy) all my stuff and starting over someplace else in my mid-40s. One gets set in one’s ways. And one gets mad, having to even consider literally throwing away the work of a lifetime, everything I’ve built, because the got-damned collectivist control freaks and looters are taking over. I burble with rage, and will lash out for hate’s sake, if it comes to that.

      • Hi Eric – hard to move away you say? Nah…I’ve done it with my entire family, 5 years ago, when I was 42. Much freer over here in Romania, where you are expected to get out of the car and argue the ticket with the cops!

        True, we had the huge advantage of being native Romanian speakers, but one would think that after 20 years in the USA, a family is all set in their ways.

        Keep up the good work and a Merry Christmas to you all!

  11. According to a google search, states with the best drivers are:
    1. Vermont
    New Hampshire
    5. Oregon


    1. Louisiana
    South Carolina
    5. Alabama

    Of course, this is just based off of frequency of LAWS broken, so as far as actual driving skill or driving etiquette, the results could very well be the opposite.
    I’d love for someone to do a study on the most and least cloveristic tendencies of drivers among different states. Who wants to conduct this study?

    • Brandonjin

      I think this study just demonstrates which states have the most compliant population to authority and which states have the most disdain for authority. Of course a reasonable variable in the study would be the amount of active road patrol officers per driver and the frequency in which the law enforcement officer decides to actually enforce the law.

      • Bingo. Ya nailed it dere Sven. Here in Communisota, everybody knows you got to obey the law. Every law. It just wouldn’t be “nice” to have your unregistered car on your property. Lena and Greta across town might not like the way it looks, ya know.

        Clovers abound here, but maybe iceberg lettuce would be a better moniker for this little bit of Valhalla on earth.

      • I agree Chad. It seems there are too many variables and definitions of the words “good” and “best” to accurately determine where the best drivers are.

    • Hi Brandon,

      I used to travel a lot. And what I saw was a relationship that I believe holds true almost universally:

      The more rural and depopulated an area, the better (skill-wise) the drivers.

      Density amounts to a general dumbing-down because there will be more dullards and Clovers per square mile. Everything caters to them. It is the Government School “mainstreaming” model writ large. No Clover Left Behind.

      There are of course Clovers in depopulated areas, but far fewer of them because they do not like living in areas far from the hive that makes them feel “safe.” Accordingly, they are in the minority – and (generally) unable to dictate policy. Also, one can evade and avoid them.

      But once the population density reaches a critical mass, it’s over.

      This is an axiom.

      • Probably a lot of it is learning to drive on a tractor at 8YO (or less). Though even some of those have automatic transmissions now.

      • I think a fair bit of it may be put down to anonymity or lack thereof. In rural areas you are far more likely run into the person you mistreated and may end up being confronted for your actions. In the city, the chances of ever seeing someone you offended are barely non-zero.

        (in general) People are more likely to be dicks when they think they can do so without repercussions.

        This too may be an axiom.

      • This is a shame, Eric, because I can’t really see myself living in a rural area. The correlation between density and cloverism makes sense though. I was just hoping that there was an actual geographic reason for shitty drivers. The northeast stereotypically has poor drivers, so it’s my hope that leaving the northeast will result in a less stressful, less dangerous, and more efficient driving experience.

        • It is a shame, but if you stop to think about it, the truism holds.

          America grew less free as it grew more populous. Even today, the more free areas are the less populated areas. Alaska, Montana, Wyoming… as opposed to California, Massachusettes and New York.

          A dense population is a mass. And the mass is incompatible with individual liberty. You get mass – collective – politics. Demagoguery. The least common denominator.

          End result: Clovers. They’re attracted to this – and they’re bred in such environs.

  12. You’re Rant is exactly the reason I moved out of the USSA. I don’t have enough years left to wait for things to get better while, instead, they are getting worse each day. I enjoy cars and driving too much to put up with that (North) American Shit. Also appreciated are the additional Freedom and Privacy Laws afforded me which your Dear Leaders have seen fit not to allow.

  13. I gave up riding my Triumph Speed Triple several years ago due to not being able to get there from here. Pleasure riding/driving is gone period. It does not matter if it is rush hour or 2 A.M. road blockage abounds. My latest nemesis are tractor trailers that seem to plug along for miles oblivious to anyone trying to pass them. Courtesy of the road when out with V-8 engines. I am glad I am old and remember the days when it was possible to go zooming down some country road and only having to worry about deer.

    • I hear you, 2Knives… it’s one of the main reasons we relocated to rural SW Virginia. But ten years later, and the same factors that made living in Northern VA insufferable are becoming factors here, too.

      In another ten years, I expect this place will be no different than Sterling was circa 2000.

      • Its funny you mention Sterling. I work there and live in the Shenahdoah Valley, and traffic is much better during the week (with the flow-in, flow out pattern) than on a weekend (every which-a-away) due to people running their errands. My hometown is like that too. That’s why when I come home Fri nite, the car is parked till Mon morning…

  14. The flip side of this coin is the smoovee driver who is somehow invincible in hazardous conditions. I’m normally about 5+ mph over most of the “cautious” drivers on icy or snow packed roads, but I often times see the “invincible!” driver fly past me, knowing that all those high tech gadgets and all wheel drive will keep them safe.

    More than once I have caught up to them, because they have come to a complete stop in the median, sometimes showing off the 4wd transfer case and driveshafts for us to see how cool the underside of their vehicle looks. If not them, then one of their peers, perhaps in conversation with the other smoovee drivers talking about the epic conditions on the mountain, or how bad the roads are, or how terrible it must be to not have one of those vehicles that don’t have all the safety devices on board.

    Keep in mind, I’ve not changed my view that having a self-driving car for day-to-day tasks would be fantastic. Just that I know better than to trust even the simple stuff we have now like traction control. I’m sure the answer to the self-driver in snowy conditions will be “you will work from home today.”

    • “Keep in mind, I’ve not changed my view that having a self-driving car for day-to-day tasks would be fantastic.”

      Self driving cars are a pipe dream. If people went to self driving cars just think about all of the revenue that the state would lose out on. Gone are all of those extortion notices (in the form of traffic tickets), then gone are the arrests for DUI/Driving on a suspended license/etc, now you don’t need as many mindless, depraved, uniform goons, lawyers, judges, prison facilities, prison gaurds.
      Just think of all of the government leeches you would be putting out of work! And, don’t forget about the revuneues that the for profit prison system would lose out on.

      Let’s not forget about the auto insurance industry now. With self driving cars the real need for auto insurance becomes debatable… at the very least the real cost of providing auto insurance would be drastically reduced. Then without a whole bunch of accidents, what would you need all of these personal injury lawyers for. Self driving cars: a great idea, we possess the technology for it… but it is doomed to fail because to many people make profit off of people who violate the traffic codes.

      • Chad, money is but the mechanism to get power. Automated roads would be power, money is secondary. The goal as I think I see to be, as it seems to be forming, is to get the mundanes to again live their entire lives in a three mile radius. Traffic tickets, taxes, and other things are just steps along the way. The automated roads of the future won’t be for you and me to use. We won’t have permission to use the roads either immediately upon them being mandated or some time later. It’s just about the order in which they (those who see themselves as the ones who should organize society) get various powers.

        • Brent, Eric – Although I understand your pessimism that “pay by mile” would be the way the “authorities” would attempt to garner more revenue, but if everyone only knew that roads are created in Fee Simple, meaning they’re constructed using tax monies from just about every public source and are therefore owned by the people.

          This is an ancient principle first drafted in the Magna Carta which was put into force in 1215 and has never been repealed. The right to “travel” (not “drive” – which is a paid profession according to every law dictionary on the planet) on the King’s (now the Queen’s) highways is a Civil Right – not a privilege.

          Oz is still a Monarchy as per our 1999 Federal referendum, but I believe that Amerika’s Constitution and amendments sees it the same way. Once a form of “pay by mile” is enacted, your Constitution etc. is the perfect way to fight it.

          • ‘Once a form of “pay by mile” is enacted, your Constitution etc. is the perfect way to fight it.’

            Based on how badly the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 5th amendments have been ignored, I have to disagree.

          • Nobody cares about the USC. They are currently training children in the government schools on how to rewrite the USC. Most americans were taught and believe driving is a government granted privilege. The preparation for what is coming started decades ago. The pay-by-mile is something that is already a decade plus in the making.

            Pay-by-mile is just another step towards an end. And end that has been in mind for a very long time.

          • I wish it were so, Rev – but the Constitution (the actual document and the language of that document) has been a nullity for many years.

            Consider: How is it possible we are routinely subjected to random, probable cause-free stops at “checkpoints” (and our correspondence – all of it – read and recorded by the state) when the 4th Amendment states in plain English that “no unreasonable searches” are permissible and require a warrant, naming the specific person/place to be searched?

            This is of course just one example. There are numerous others.

            My point is there is no limit whatsoever to the power of the state in the US. It may (and will) do whatever it wishes, at its whim. There is absolutely no legal limit beyond which it may not tread.

          • Law schools do not even teach the Constitution any more. If you take a class they CALL Constitutional Law, all you do is study “case law,” i.e., previous decisions by the Supremes on how the Constitution should be understood – in their view. Not to mention that the poor document has been dead at least since Lee surrendered at Appomattox.

          • Guys, lawmakers ignore the Constitution routinely and at their peril. If everyone stood up en mass for their rights, grubby lawmakers would have to back down. However, this isn’t the case because clovers and sheeples THINK that statutes are the will of the people. Quotes from Amerikan judges:

            “Where rights secured by the Constitution are involved, there can be no rule making or legislation which would abrogate them.”

            Miranda vs. Arizona, 384 US 436, 491

            and …

            “The claim and exercise of a constitutional Right cannot be converted into a crime.”

            Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. 486, 489

            and …

            “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of this exercise of constitutional Rights.”

            Snerer vs. Cullen, 481 F. 946

            This is case law and all above are precedents. Now go get your rights back and get as many people as you can to join in.

      • I’d suggest you’re a bit mistaken thinking the cops wouldn’t still DUI you in your auto-car. If they can give you a DUI for sleeping it off in the back of a parked car — which they can and do — then what would prevent them from nailing you in a car that drives itself?

        • They could try Darien, but they’d have to PROVE I was actually in control of it, not just possession.

          Sleeping it off in your current car they book you because you could guide it manually at any time.

          • ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N – “but they’d have to PROVE I was actually in control of it”

            You have never been to court, have you?

            I assume you are thinking that you would be ‘innocent until proven guilty’. Quaint notion, as that is just a catchphrase for the masses and has been ignored by the courts for the last 50 years at least. Now it is defacto ‘guilty until proven innocent’ (unless you are rich, a politician or somehow connected to the Man)

        • Hi Darien,

          Yup. There is in fact already legal precedent for this: You are subject to being “busted” for drinking in the back seat of a limo.

          And so is the limo driver/owner.

          • Depends on what was all involved in the original case. If someone was busted for drinking while being driven, he didn’t fight hard enough or appeal the decision. It’s all about the money, to control and get more money. Make that plain and obvious to the court, it should be embarrassed to rule a guilty verdict.

          • To say nothing of the absurd “open container” laws. If you want to take the remainder of a bottle of wine you didn’t finish with your dinner home with you, it needs to be sealed in a special bag. Very very few laws are so transparently bought by the manufacturers of one specific item.

          • Darien, you got that right about the “open container” laws, From what I understand, in my state, if you’re taking back bottles or cans (to collect the deposit fee the state imposes upon you at purchase) if the bottles or cans are in a place that is accessible to the driver, that’s a crime! And likely cause for open container. Total BS.
            So far, I just ignore the law.
            But I think about it from time to time, and what a ridiculous – threat – that is.

            Around here, we do not have the option of that “special bag” it’s simply an Open Container violation.
            Yeesh, that seems so childishly bizarre when I typed it out: ‘Open Container violation without a special bag.’ … It’s like a fine for running with scissors. … Or, when a child in school makes their hand look like a gun, or a bow and arrow.
            …Oh, mang, our civilization Really has gone insane. …Totally off the deep end. …It just hit me how bad it really is.

    • Hi Eric,

      True, that.

      I attribute it to SUVs (and trucks) having been civilized for the sake of the Eloi. When trucks had manual locking hubs and levers to engage 4WD (and so on) it kept the breederific crowd away from them. Mostly, only people who knew how to drive a 4×4 owned a 4×4.

      • I should also point out that my work truck is 4wd, and my personal car is front wheel drive. Both do equally well getting around on an inch or so of snow. The 4WD gets to show off when there’s 5 or more inches and no plows to be found.

        The reason why my car does so well is because I actually buy winter tires, made for snow. People seem to believe that all-season radials are just fine for snow, but then need 4 or AWD to make up for the lack of grip. That’s fine if all you want to do is go, but if you want to stop or make turns, forget it.

      • The core problem is that you swim in a vast sea of humanity, much of which is less able to cope with daily life than yourself. The driving/traffic environment is just a minor aspect of one’s life in society.

        This mass of driving dullards you bemoan also votes & supports those government politicians and bureaucrats who hamper your life in much worse ways. And as a bonus, these lowest-common-denominator dullards are the focus of the news, entertainment, and advertising media flooding your senses each day. The government-controlled “education” system just makes most people dumber.

        The average person has an IQ of 100 — meaning that 50% of the population has an IQ below 100. Think how complex daily life is for you (from credit-card agreement fine-print/personal finance… to technology, politics, health, religion, etc) — then think how difficult daily life must be for those Eloi masses much less intelligent than you.
        [“Life is Tough… Tougher if You’re Stupid” — John Wayne]

        You could live in a very remote location, but the trade-offs are not attractive.

        • I think you’ve nicely summarized the problem, Norfolk.

          It is getting to the point that even a person of slightly more than average abilities is a got-damned genius (and Master of Time and Space) compared with the current (and falling) average.

          I pray every day for FTL drive – and “some kind of way out of here.”

          • “It is getting to the point that even a person of slightly more than average abilities is a got-damned genius (and Master of Time and Space) compared with the current (and falling) average.”

            That sounds exactly like the plot line of the Mike Judge film “Idiocracy.” (2006)

            Life imitating art (or is it Mike Judge being ahead of the curve….)

        • The thing is, I don’t think the masses are dumb by nature. They are lazy by nature and are made dumb. The result is ignorant and dumb.

          Ever notice what a garden variety moron knows about something he cares about? Alex Jones is dead nuts on when he says he isn’t anything special, all he does is put the same effort into knowing how the world works as other people put into knowing professional sports. Some of these people are utter morons at everything but then hit the subject they put some effort into and they are got-damned geniuses about it.

          If those of us who are aware can figure out how to get the masses of people to want to learn, to put in the effort, everything gets fixed practically over night. We’re not dealing with rocket science or brain surgery. (and look at most rocket scientists and brain surgeons on other stuff) An NFL football season has greater complication than most stuff we deal with here and the moron masses can grasp the NFL. They can keep the whole season’s stats in their heads if they are in to it.

          Now we are getting standard TV characters that fit this model… Chumlee on pawn stars… moron about everything but then on shoe collecting he’s a got-damn’d genius*. People were ‘smarter’ back in the day because they had to know more about more things or they died. In today’s dumbed down world they have to know less, so they know less.

          At least that’s the way I put it all together.

          *I wrote character because, IMO that’s exactly what we see as Chumlee on TV, is a character, no more real than Al Bundy.

        • Norfolk,
          “… then think how difficult daily life must be for those Eloi masses much less intelligent than you.”

          The problem is, it IS NOT more difficult for these worthless eaters – it is in fact EASIER for them, because they ARE Eloi. They’re to stupid to know they’re stupid!
          And the effing world caters to them.

          Two problems, both solved easily by allowing the ignorant to die – and maybe helping Darwin along now and then, with a “gentle nudge.”

      • My favorite 4×4 was an ’84 Subaru wagon that I took to Alaska in ’86. The 4WD was shift on the fly, but it had both a “high” and a “low” setting, with very different ratios, depending on the terrain. Loved that thing. Used the “low 4WD” setting more than once on that trip. Only casualty was the CV boots.

        But then Subaru, sometime in the 90’s, went to AWD, with an ABS system that ALWAYS kicked in when I needed it the least (if ever!). But once I learned that, in PA, at least, it wasn’t illegal to DISABLE an ABS, I did so forthwith and was a much happier man in winter.

        • My first car that wasn’t quite a hand-me-down was a Subaru XT, the last year they had the push button 4WD 5 speed. That thing went anywhere and everywhere.

          Sill miss it today.

      • Where the H by G and a wells digger’s ass do you find the time to machine such an image? Perspiring minds want to know. But seriously, I think that all sorts of folks, not just Amerikans, have more distractions when driving now and that much of the joy of driving worldwide has been legislated out of existence. Of course cell phones are a major distraction, but I’ve seen people in Austin driving at speed, in traffic while reading newspapers, books and applying makeup. Meanwhile, I am enjoying a used Avalon which actually has to power to roll down the road at speed but is a little isolating from much of the road feel. It can be driven in a non-cloverish fashion….for me, at my age, long trips in my eleven year old Tacoma can be problematic. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Grandma was beating off the Indians…..

    • Ha, I’m that smoovee driver who is flying by everyone in the snow, trusting my 4×4 and traction control. Only, I don’t drive a smoovee and I don’t even have AWD. Oh, and no traction control, or ABS. What I DO have are top-notch snow tires, years of practice growing up on back roads, and a love of *real* driving. And I’ve never been the one showing off my underside hardware either. I did have an “incident” one time, but that was not in snow, and I was, er, daydreaming a bit. My wife complains about my speeding, but I tell her I never got into trouble speeding, only by putzing along at a rate that allowed me to imagine I didn’t need to actually pay attention 100%, which is, unfortunately, what most drivers do these days.

        • Not much, in my opinion. Once he lost it, there wasn’t a whole helluva lot I could see being done to make things better.

          The key, I think, is to not get in that type of situation in the first place.

          Gentle steering inputs, slow and gradual lane change as you plow throught the slushy parts, stay off the binders, following distance, scan the road far enough ahead, etc…

  15. I find the same thing, although people do tend to drive with a heavier foot here in Houston, TX. 5 mph over the speed limit is the average here with sometimes 10 or 15 over being the prevailing speed. There is little enforcement on the freeways and people like drive fast. This is not the norm. Travel 250 miles north to Dallas and you will find the sheep traveling in herds and about every 100th car will be on the side of the road broken down from all the carbon buildup inside the engine.

    It’s sad that 98 percent of the cars are automatics and 100 percent of them now have stability control.

    Another beef of mine is the demise of the actual car key.

    I just may write an article on that that one. lol

    • Agreed, the keyless entry systems aren’t all that great. There’s no feedback telling you the doors are locked. If you walk past your car, it unlocks, even if you don’t want it to. So then does it lock again after you get away? the only way to tell is to put your keys away (hopefully far enough away from the car) and go check again.

      And the push button to start is just a gimmick anyway. It’s not like putting a key in a slot was so hard to do…

      • From Swamp – and I disagree…

        “There’s no feedback telling you the doors are locked. If you walk past your car, it unlocks, even if you don’t want it to. So then does it lock again after you get away? the only way to tell is to put your keys away (hopefully far enough away from the car) and go check again.

        “And the push button to start is just a gimmick anyway. It’s not like putting a key in a slot was so hard to do…”

        No fumbling with keys – convenient. The system on my 2012 RAV 4 is nothing like you describe and is intuitive. Doors unlock when one grabs the door handle – not distance related. Beeps for locked or unlocked.

        • Some of these systems work (a lot) better than others!

          Some are as you’ve described; others are recalcitrant and seem to want to keep you from getting in the damn car.

          I’m retro, myself. Give me a freaking manual lock and key.

    • Hi Swamp!

      Yeah, I also hate that real keys have been thrown in the woods. It’s Sail Fawn Syndrome. Like crows pecking at a piece of shiny tinfoil, the average dolt is fascinated by electronic gadgets, even if the gadget doesn’t really do anything. He’ll pay extra for it, just because it’s “modern” and “cool.”

      • I find the most irritating (minor) thing about push button start is the fact that you cant start the car from the passenger side…like on a cold day when you want the car to warm up while you load stuff in it. You have to press the brake for some reason which means you have to get in the drivers side. Granted my truck is the same way because of a mechanical fuel injection pump (though I have to put the accelerator down, not the brake)- but there is a mechanical reason for this, not a computer programmer trying to make everyone super safe and requiring an extra step for no reason

        • Yup – gotta be saaaaaaaaafe!

          Clovers have made it “the law” that no new car can be started unless the brake pedal is depressed.

          Because some idiot Clover ran over a “child,” probably.

          • We should actually pin a medal on the clover in that case…
            Darwin in action!

            We should do a Vlad Tepes on fastening the medal, though, driving a spike through the skull to ensure no one can EVER take the medal off.

            Though, damage is done… Pity.

    • swamp, last time I was in Houston I was out there on I-10 at a farmer’s market/swap meet type thing. I was pulling a trailer and jumped on going west in a 55mph, I ended up doing 85 just to not get run over and EVERYBODY was passing me, some very rapidly too. I never even considered the fast lane…..whichever that might have been.

      • Thanks for yet another well-written article Eric – it’s as if you read my thoughts and seen my daily frustrations.

        “When the speed limit was 55 – and cars were slow – people at least tried to drive them fast. Maybe it is the fluoride – or the high fructose corn syrup. Or the GMO wheat. Whatever it is, the plain fact is more people drove back in the day. Their EKGs were not horizontal. They showed initiative; they could handle things.”

        These days it’s the nannying state – clamping down with ever greater force because it’s what they do and they don’t want to be seen idle. Just like Ray Romano’s mother, they can’t possibly desist in interfering with everyone’s lives.

        Sheeples react by simply giving up. It’s apparently just too difficult to have a bit of fun, initiative and urgency using a personal conveyance. They’ve somehow been conditioned by those of their past brethren that flashed them from behind when they’d been overtaken for being too slow or stupid.

        It’s a growing problem because giving up is simply easier.

        Over the past decade I’ve been travelling less and less during the holidays, because of the constant threatening advertising here in Oz that our Traffic Accident Commission makes, such like a cop on the screen in full garb and loud, authoritative voice stating “If you speed, drink or drive an unregistered car, the party’s over!”. It makes me sick because they have no such “authority” under ANY law to do as they threaten.

        But not only for that reason, but the fact that the cops during the holidays love the double-demerit points period and make full use of their self-appointed “authority”, harassing anyone in their vicinity with howls and gnashing teeth, becoming weapons-grade-stupid highway cowboys acting as if everyone just did a burnout on their lawn.

        Only the sheeples and clovers don’t know they’re the victims, being fleeced at every turn by a system designed as a one-way street. Once some of them catch on to this, they simply give up. Passive is easy.

        • Thanks, Rev!

          And, I don’t see it getting better. I fact, I predict “the party” will be over for good within 10 years at the very outside. Perhaps five.

          I have some insight most don’t because I have access to the Latest Stuff – brand-new cars – and thus can see the trends sooner. Did you ever watch Star Trek Next Generation? Remember the Borg? Humans implanted with hive-mind technology. They became worker bees; biological robots. Cars are on the cusp of being automated – and people will soon clamor to be implanted with the latest Google or Apple device so they can commune with the Hive.

          I am certain they will attempt to outlaw the use on “public” roads of any motor vehicle that is not autonomous – or minimally, connected to the Hive – within five years. They will do so arguing “safety.”

          It is just a matter of time and numbers now.

          Once the first autonomous car is sold to the public, the clock begins ticking.

          • Eric – “and people will soon clamor to be implanted with the latest Google or Apple device so they can commune with the Hive. ”

            Indeed. I do not own a cell phone. I am looked at as some sort of pariah by others. It is simply beyond their comprehension that I don’t ‘need’ one, never mind that I don’t want one.

            Same for car gizmos and doodads.

          • Eric;

            I am certain they will attempt to outlaw the use on “public” roads of any motor vehicle that is not autonomous – or minimally, connected to the Hive – within five years. They will do so arguing “safety.”

            They can argue “safety” all they like. Since the Magna Carta was put into force in 1215, travelling in a private conveyance of the day on the King’s highways became a Right and Rights can never be abrogated or converted into a crime, as said by a Judge:

            “The Right of the Citizen to travel upon the public highways and to transport his property thereon, either by horse drawn carriage or by automobile, is not a mere privilege which a city can prohibit or permit at will, but a common Right which he has under the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

            Thompson vs. Smith, 154 SE 579

            Statutes are made by politicians and are inferior to Common Law and Civil Rights.

            • Morning Rev,

              In principle, you’re right – and I agree with your explanation. But that’s neither here nor there as far as what the government will simply do.

              Our rights – legal or natural – are subject to abuse at whim. We may do – and not do – whatever the state decrees.

              I agree we have every right to resent it – and to resist, if it comes down to it.

              But again, that’s another question, unfortunately.

          • Rev, I figure less than 5% of the US population knows that.
            The vast majority of the public and those elected to office believe driving is a government granted privilege. I educate when I can, and have found an effective way of doing it I think. I explain that the grantor of privilege can demand anything in exchange for that grant and if driving is a privilege then government can demand anything in exchange for it. This seems to always end the debate in favor of the right to travel.

            Right now so few people know/believe in the right to travel government could very well get away with a ban on non automated cars. The timeline is longer than five years. It has to be long enough to either turn driving into something only the ‘rich’ and up do or for the technology to filter down to the ‘poor’ or subsidies created for them.

  16. An .82 Aries K is more than sufficient to outrun almost everyone these days . if trying to and not.

    I am *shocked* when someone accelerates as fast or faster than me when I am driving my Mazda Protege. 1.8L of four cylinder power in a 14 year old car. And I don’t flog it normally. Quite literally many new cars have twice the power or more, but if one watches me in traffic it quite looks like the quickest car on the planet. Just last night, the light turned green and I promptly and effortlessly accelerated to the 50mph PSL while shifting at a granny like 3-3.5K rpm or so and when I reached 50mph the nearest car was about 1/4 mile behind me. He was next to me in double turn lane at the red signal. The next a good 1/8 mile behind him… WTF?

    But on rare occasion, I wake up a clover who then has to show me the superiority of his new car. But more commonly they find the accelerator just enough to block me.

    And of course there is herding clover. They see me passing and they latch on to me. If they are along side I wait until it’s clear and I stab the brakes. It’s funny how they react sometimes as they are then forced to pass me thanks to the laws of this physical universe. Now they don’t have a ‘leader’.

    • As I read this I felt like I wrote it! You preach the troof mang! I was talking to Eric this morning on my way to work and even took some footage of this exact stuff. I pass people with my 1.5 liter Yaris without getting over 3k on the clock. It’s astonishing!

      • I also drive a Yaris, and I’m also generally the fastest thing around. Clovers driving their giant, jacked up Nissan Titans and GMC Denalis about 30 mph is the standard, and *boy* do they get outraged when some slicker in a tiny half-a-car has the gall to pass them. The usual reaction is to try to get right up behind me and then turn their brights on. That’ll larn me!

        On the subject of “assists,” my new Yaris has a feature — if you can call it that — that my old Yaris lacked: there’s a light on the dashboard that comes on if the wheels don’t have solid traction. Okay, I guess that’s not too bad, right? Well, if you actually start to slide, I swear to god there’s an alarm that goes off. What exactly the heck is the purpose of this? It’s touchy as hell, too — your wheels start to slip just a little bit (not uncommon in Alaska in December) and all of a sudden it’s beep beep beeping at you for no discernible reason.

        • “The usual reaction is to try to get right up behind me and then turn their brights on. That’ll larn me!”

          I just installed a pair of super bright LED spotties (blinding actually) in my Pulsar EXA where my original reverse lights were. Fit beautifully, with a manual override for just this purpose.

          I’ll let you know their reaction when I use them in anger the first time 😉

        • Oh, and that silly little gig-catcher alarm on your dash is yet another in a long legacy of nanny-features designed to put your attention back on the dash instead of the road, where accidents actually happen. Technology knows better than you.. apparently 😉

        • The alarm that goes off when traction is lost is completely obnoxious (all the alarms). It reminds me of a low altitude or imminent engine stall alarm and I should assume a crash position. All these new non-features are a fucking joke and geared for “Generation GMO.”

          • I have a ’14 BMW 435i right now. The little bastard erupts in brrrrrrring! brrrrrring brrrrrring! to let you know the temperature outside has dropped to 32 degrees… and will never allow you to completely turn off both the traction and stability control.

            Not without a ball peen hammer.

          • My son’s Hyundai Genesis R-spec has a 4-cyl turbo. According to him, if the “low fuel light” goes on, the ECU lowers the maximum boost allowed by the turbo, and it goes into major Dog Mode (probably = to my 1994 98-hp Cutlass Ciera, which invited me to turn off the A/C when trying to merge on a 55 mph highway lest I need to get out and push).

            Just another way the manufacturer’s software overrides the driver’s.

          • I have an ’09 Nissan 370Z. I get a warning when things are slippery, and it also wants to tell me when it’s “Icy”…usually when the outside temp drops below 40. But it’s simply a small indicator icon on the dash in each case. No annoying noises. Beeps a couple times if I don’t fasten the belt right away, then stops. Civilized vehicle. Designed for adults.

            Unlike my Subaru, which, if I don’t fasten my seatbelt immediately will hound me incessantly with blinking lights and beeps until I do. Even if I place a heavy object in the passenger seat (“heavy” being >20 lbs). I want to disable the whole thing, but fear screwing the entire electrical system.

          • Eric: Does it ring *constantly* if the temperature is below 32 degrees? And why the heck is it doing this at all?

            Blank Reg: I can’t speak for that car in particular, but a lot of seatbelt alarms can be rather simply defeated by buying, making, or cutting out of an old car a seat belt buckle and just keeping it clicked into the socket all the time. Might be worth a try — it’s less drastic than cracking open the electronics and ripping things out at random. 🙂

            • Hi Darien,

              No, not constantly. It’s one of several “warnings” that can be tailored by the driver to chime at various times. However, some of the warnings chime regardless. The Seat Belt Fuhrer, for one. And the Parking Brake Fuhrer (if you pull it while the vehicle is moving).

              I loves me my Trans-Am. It rumbles and shakes, but never, ever brrrrrrrings!

          • CloverI had to laugh at all the warnings of loss of traction. They should make it mandatory for the Eric type drivers. I recently was on the road for many hours of winter driving conditions. Some examples I will give. I was in the right hand lane of a 2 lane interstate in each direction. I felt my car starting to lose it or in your terms lose traction so I slowed 10 miles per hour. The car behind me flashed his lights because I slowed. I turned on my turn signal that I was pulling off the road so the guy would pass. 200 yards ahead over the next slight hill a cop car had his lights on helping a car that was in the ditch. I guess the car behind me was missing the traction sensor.
            The second incident down the road a big 4 wheel drive truck blew past me. I told me nephew what an idiot. We both laughed because a half mile down the road the truck went flying through the ditch with snow flying high in the air and he came to a stop 200 feet or so from the highway. i would guess I made it to my destination hours before he did. There were other cars in the ditch also but I do not have the story on them. I know, it couldn’t be that they were driving too fast. It had to be a clover that slowly drove off the interstate.

          • Clover, it’s amazing how you can conclude anyone who doesn’t make your choices is automatically reckless. Let me tell you a story.

            One early winter snow storm I found out my car’s all-season tires which had been fine the year before were now horrible in snow. I decided to take my bicycling route (25-30mph roads) to work to get off the main roads and not be a hazard to navigation, something a person like you would -never- do. On a hill a combination of a snow plow and clover forced me to a stop. I could no longer get traction. Slowly, as in inches per minute I slid backwards. My car ended up off the road on the other side of the road and I had to call for a tow. Other drivers started getting stuck in the same place in slow motion. One nearly hit my car, was able to get out and drive off.

            Now of course you’d come along and think I had been going too fast when in reality the problem was I had been going too slow and went off the road at slower than a walking pace. There was no damage to my car. Just some dirt in the rear wheel wells from trying to get out.

            Later that week I ordered snow tires for that car.

          • CloverSorry Brent that on my recent trip there was not a single car that slid backwards into a ditch. The thing that I think you did wrong on your sliding off the road was probably tailgating. The first thing you should have learned in winter driving is never tailgate and multiply that statement many times when you are talking about going up a hill. A steep hill that looks like poor conditions you make sure the other car gets most of the way up before you start up. The other thing that you did wrong was drive with improper tires. It seems to me that you wanted to jail other drivers that drive with bald tires.

    • Brent,

      I have a 2005 Honda Civic and I know what you mean about feeling like you are the quickest car out there. I am all for getting up to speed, after all the quicker you travel the less time you spend on the road and the less congested the roads will be. Unfortunately, I don’t think that most people have the mental capacity to grasp that speed directly effects the amount of traffic congestion.

      • When I’m not driving a press car or riding one of my bikes, I’m driving my ’98 pick-up. 140,000 miles, four-cylinder, 5-speed and M/S tires. I pass everyone.


        The whole thing is completely short bus.

      • CloverSorry Chad for your being mentally brain washed. Increasing speed has nothing to do with making road congestion better. That is pure stupidity. Actually it makes it worse. The super fast drivers catch up to the cars driving normal speed and congestion is created. In fact if everyone drove the same speed even if it was 10 mph there would be no road congestion. I would like for you to try to explain otherwise.

        • Clover,
          Study fluid mechanics and heat and mass transfer. Until then you’re absolutely clueless.

          The idea that you can get everyone to drive the same exact speed is absurd control freak nonsense. It can’t happen and thus engineering has to deal with it. The height of your stupidity is this statement:
          In fact if everyone drove the same speed even if it was 10 mph there would be no road congestion.

          Road congestion comes from qin > qout. The sum of qin over time t is equal to the storage term plus the sum of qout over time t. The greater the qin is over qout and longer this condition exists the greater the storage term. In this case the storage term is cars on the road. I am trying to explain this without using calculus, so those who do know calculus please refrain from pointing that out 😉

          There is a critical speed at which qout falls below qin for a time period. For instance, southbound on I-294 from the lake county line at 4pm on typical weekday the critical speed to cause congestion is somewhat above the posted 55mph speed limit. When weather limits speeds for most people to 45-55mph the result is crushing congestion.

          This is when someone proposes rigid enforcement of these absurd speed limits, I respond ‘bring it on’. I know it will cause horrible grid lock every day and thus devastate the local economy, wreck the system and thus produce real reform. However those living off the present system know this too so it will not happen until dumber people get into power.

          • CloverSorry Brent for your lack of logic. The fastest a qout in your terms can be for one lane of traffic is 1 car in 2 or 3 seconds. If you drove 1000 mph the fastest a qout could be is one car every 2 or 3 seconds. At 10 mph the fastest qout can be is one car every 2 or 3 seconds. With that said how do you increase qout with increased speed? The reason traffic is congested when the speed is 45 mph or whatever is because the road or traffic is such that it is impossible to keep that standard 2 to 3 seconds qout. Drop the speed to 20 mph or 30 mph and it would be possible in such a case. Congestion to me means that you have to continually adjust speed because of traffic flow. The maximum cars per mile driving 100 mph without congestion with a following distance of 2 seconds is about 17 cars. The maximum cars per mile driving 50 mph without congestion with a following distance of 2 seconds is about 34 cars. So with that said the only way you can increase qout with higher speeds is to also decrease following distance. If you want to talk about fluids out, the faucet will only let so many cars out no matter what velocity the fluid or car is traveling at. With that said it is far easier to maintain the constant 2 to 3 second following distance at slower speeds.

          • Clover, you are clearly incapable of understanding.

            Experiment for you.
            Buy a bucket. Get as drill with a 1/8 in bit. Drill 3 holes in the side of the bucket 1/4 inch from the bottom. Turn the garden hose on to a trickle… slowly increase the garden hose rate. Note what happens.

            Learn or go out into the woods and get lost.

          • Clover refuses to understand that behind every leading car is a faster one. The problem is the statist clover in front.

          • CloverOne thing you forget Brent, you are driving 200 mph and the car in front of you passes a sign. If you are not tailgating then how soon will you pass that sign? If you are driving 20 mph and the car in front of you passes the sign then tell me how soon you will pass that sign if you are not tailgating?

            It does not matter how the hell fast you are going because if you are not tailgating there should be a 2 to 3 seconds between cars. What part of that do you not understand? The only thing that increased speed does is push the cars behind you farther and farther back in distance. Just like pulling up to a stop light. The slower you go the closer the cars get and still do not endanger anyone. Your fluid examples are poor. it does not matter on a fluid example how close the molecules are. They can bump into each other and no one cares. If you bump into me with your car then I will sue your ass. If you are tailgating and I can prove it when you hit me I would win more than the damages to the vehicle because you would be willfully endangering others.

          • Clover, you’re babbling. That spew cannot be parsed into anything coherent, just like your previous spew.

            To further your education: As the road fills up with cars because more are entering than leaving eventually this acts to drive speeds down due to a lack of following distance. This then makes the rate of cars leaving the road even lower but the rate of them entering doesn’t change. That’s why it is most important to address the onset of congestion as once it sets in a snowball effect occurs.

            When you learn how flow works get back to me.

          • CloverTell me Brent if no one is in front of the car exiting then what is slowing it down? Brent it is idiots like you that cause road congestion. Tailgating causes road congestion. Switching lanes causes road congestion. Weaving through traffic causes road congestion. Excessive lane changes causes road congestion. Too many cars on the road causes road congestion. The maximum output of a road for each lane is 1 car every 2 seconds. If you interfere with that by weaving through traffic, switching lanes excessively or tailgating then it is impossible to keep that maximum 1 car every 2 seconds. The slower you go and keep in one’s lane the maximum traffic flow you can have because it is easier to keep the proper distance between vehicles. I am sorry Brent but idiots do not understand that. By eliminating tailgating, weaving through traffic and excessive lane changes then you get rid of the accordion affect that causes stop and go traffic or in other words traffic congestion. If you have more than 1 car entering a roadway lane every 2 seconds it is impossible to eliminate road congestion except for building more roads or get more to ride a train or bus.

          • Another spew of what government and media tell you.
            When vehicles are closer together the amount of storage on the road increases. However close together also means lower speeds which is the definition of congestion. Furthermore you can not logically claim that tailgating causes congestion and then claim lower speeds eliminate it by packing in cars closer together. One of the so called benefits of automated roads is high speeds with tight spacing. That is what you call tailgating, except it’s done by a central computer which ideally would then prevent crashes.

            The only way to prevent congestion is to have as many or more vehicles leave the system than enter it. Once more are entering than leaving, they build up in the system, get closer together, and eventually restricting speeds, the very definition of traffic congestion.

            What you call weaving through traffic is the direct result of a lack of lane discipline. A failure to keep right except to pass. Like most people you look at a symptom and think it’s a cause. The congestion has already begun because of the poor lane discipline. There already is a disruption to the natural flow.

            I expect yet another spew of childish repetition of what teacher told you in reply.

          • CloverBrent automated driving as you say cuts down on vehicle spacing. I agree. That is because when the car in front of you brakes your car immediately brakes without the half second or more it takes for a human to do it. Tell me what that has to do with what we have today? You are so dense.
            When someone tailgates in traffic and the car in front of you has to slow because of vehicles entering in front of it then you have to hit your brakes. The accordion affect. Instead if you are not tailgating you can keep a consistent distance just by letting your foot off the gas for a second. If you are tailgating and the cars behind you are tailgating you can have a mile length of cars behind you extend to 2 miles just by a car entering the road in front of you. Then you and I would call that congestion because it interferes with traffic flow. Tell me what part of that is beyond your mentality? Brent those are not brain washing but that is pure logic and daily observation. I understand that you lack any logical or common sense thinking ability.

          • Clover, nobody was arguing for tailgating.

            Brake waves are usually caused by poor merging. But that does not change the simple fact that once cars are entering the road faster than they are leaving it is headed towards congestion. The way to solve congestion is to either decrease the rate going in or increase the rate going out.

          • CloverTell us Brent how you plan to increase cars exiting if you say they should not tailgate? Build more off ramps? You say that merging is the problem. I agree but from my experiences it is usually the aggressive driver that forces his way ahead of another person that causes it. Drivers like you.

            Do you agree with me that an off ramp can only exit 1 car every 2 or 3 seconds unless it is more than one lane? Getting back to your prior assertion, how does speed help anything for getting cars off the road faster?

          • Exit ramps by their very nature have a higher capacity than on ramps. Thus there only need to be as many on as off.

            Distance between vehicles is the storage term of the road. It only determines how long qin can be greater than qout and by how much before speed decreases below a certain level. The condition that brings about congestion is unchanged.

            The biggest gain to outflow would be in lane discipline. Lane discipline was wrecked by the NMSL and will not return until there are 85th percentile speed limits (or unrestricted speed) and educations puts an end to the control freaks who think their speed is the best speed.

            With proper lane discipline flow is maximized. Look at the flow in a pipe. Faster in the center, slower near the walls. Split that in half, that’s what each side of the road should look like.

          • CloverThat is fine BrentP. I understand that you are too dense to understand. Again, given a point on the road the most cars that can safely pass that point is 1 car in 2 or 3 seconds. You talk about lane discipline. You have none. Lane discipline is find an empty spot between vehicles and stay there until you need to exit the roadway. That gives maximum traffic flow. It still comes down to the fact when there is a high density of cars it is best to all keep the same speed and the more dense the traffic is then slower speeds allow better traffic flow.
            To give you an extreme example it is far easier to keep a proper safe distance and traffic flow at 50 mph rather than 500 mph. If you think differently explain it. Slower driving also allows more storage until your qout happens. I know, you would rather sit on an on ramp than driving 45 mph down the road. Do not use your fluid examples any more because those examples are closer to train transportation rather than car transportation. An apple and an orange may both be fruits but other than that there are few similarities. The same holds true for fluid flow and traffic flow.

            • Hey Clover –

              Brent’s a practicing engineer. What are your CVs?

              You present yourself as a sort of Universal Genius who knows everything about everything. But you’ve demonstrated neither practical knowledge of any subject nor established formal credentials to discuss any subject.

              I let you post not because you have anything to say – but precisely because you do not. You are an example, an object for discussion.

          • CloverWell Eric i could care less what Brent’s job is. I would fire his ass if he used the common sense he displays. I have had a couple of major jobs in my career. I would have lasted but a week or two displaying Brent’s common sense. The laws of fluid flow are far different than the rules of traffic flow. If Brent wants to use his fluid flow in place of our traffic laws then we will have bumper cars on the interstate. Anyone that does not understand that should be working at their local fast food place.

            • Well then, Clover – how about sharing with us your impressive CV?

              You clearly know so much.

              Your mastery of the art of driving alone is cause for awe and genuflection.

          • I wasn’t the first to see traffic as fluid flow in a network (I think the first instance was before I was born, and I figured it out in about 1997) and I won’t be the last. The problem is that roads are run by government and government by politicians and politicians pander to voters and thus it is beyond the understanding of most people including you. Instead you and your ilk repeat socially spread nonsense.

            Overly simplistic stuff that could sometimes help safety but came at a cost of efficiency. But 80-90 years ago there was road capacity to absorb it. There isn’t now and hasn’t been for decades but yet the same over simplifications still go on. In fact they get worse. With this so called ‘common sense’ we get crushing traffic congestion.

            Meanwhile Germany continues to be focused on efficiency. The result is lower travel times and smaller roads flowing more traffic. One thing you could have brought up had you a clue, would be Germany’s variable speed limits. The variable speed limits are designed to balance qin and qout of roadway segments to prevent the onset of congestion.

            Of course such things can’t be done in the USA because people like you need rigid rules and punishments for breaking them from authority rather than sensible systems that would naturally be followed by most people. Even in the USA this works. I know one city arterial that while the speed limit was 30mph people would drive 25mph because that timed all the green signals. Now some clovers have added stop signs between the lights and f’d up what used to be a smooth flowing road.

            One thing riding a bicycle in traffic teaches is that the real solutions are often counter-intuitive. That means your common sense doesn’t apply and often makes things worse. It takes a muti-dimensional or multi-level or bringing in principles from other disciplines to find the optimal solutions.

            Too bad you don’t think, but repeat the emotional manipulation that comes from the TVeee and government and corporations.

          • CloverOK Brent. You say that Germany is so good? Why do they have traffic problems around major cities? You want variable speed limits like Germany where they slow drivers when traffic is heaviest? Why? You say that more speed is what helps. In Germany drivers follow the variable speed limits. You say speed limits are just a sign and should be ignored. When people ignore speed limit signs variable limits are worthless.
            To have things better like what they have in Germany you can not have people that ignore laws like you always do.

          • CloverTell me Brent what part you did not understand? The part where variable speed limits would not work with people like you ignoring speed limits? Tell me what part of that do you not understand?

          • Speed limits that make sense are obeyed.
            Speed limits that don’t make sense are not obeyed.

            This has been proven with study after study.

        • Clover,
          Ever look at the human body? Capillaries, veins, arteries.
          In capillaries, the red blood cells (RBCs) must go single-file to fit through the narrow blood vessel. In veins, the blood is slow (veins have no muscle fibers). Arteries assist in pumping the oxygenated blood. RBCs move fast there.

          So, to recap: The SLOW spots are where you have congestion – capillaries and veins. Arteries, with no flow restrictions, have high-speed “traffic.”

          Check your premises.
          Then eat a bullet, we get tired of explaining simple physics and flow control. I’d LOVE to trace your IP, I’d make a special trip JUST to introduce myself….

          • CloverSo jean what are you trying to say? Cars slow when there is road congestion? I think I have known that since I have been driving. The question we have here is what causes or cures congestion. Weaving through traffic, tailgating and unneeded or excessive lane changes along with accidents causes road congestion or makes it worse. Speed differences also makes it worse. When you have most cars driving say 65 mph and you get a group of drivers that have to be driving 85 mph you then get road congestion particularly in the left lanes. In effect it is caused by drivers who Brent says are helping congestion by speeding. In effect it creates it.
            I was on the interstate a couple of days ago. There was a line of cars in the left lane. In the next lane over a car was slowed by vehicles in front of it. He turned his signal on to switch lanes. They let him over. Name me one person here who would slow down to let him over? None that I know of. You would then call it road congestion caused by selfish drivers.

          • CloverWell Eric what is it that people need to bring up “Capillaries, veins, arteries” because they really do not understand how traffic flows on a highway? I could come up with hundreds of examples of how traffic flow works on our highway but others have to use fluid flow or blood flow examples which are not a thing like how our traffic flow works.

            • You’ve proved yourself to be fact-bereft and logic-impaired innumerable times.

              You feel and believe.

              If “Smith” drives faster than you feel comfortable driving, it’s “too fast.” Your subjective, emotional reaction. Your speed is the right speed.

              Tailgating – your favorite straw man – which no one here has ever defended.

              You drive your speed, let others drive theirs. Don’t block them in and then call them “aggressive” and “reckless” because they pass you on the right, or over the double yellow.

              Just a few examples. I could go on and on…and have done so, many times before. It is like trying to impart geometry to a turtle.

              You’re here for illustration purposes only, Clover.

              As an example of the infantile, emotional, control-freak mindset that is transforming America from a place that could not-too-implausibly be described as a free country… one in which “he ain’t doing you any harm, leave him alone” was once the general attitude, not the exceptional one.

              You’re a shrew, a fishwife. A poltroon who hides behind “Clover” because he’s too much of a ‘fraidy cat to even use his own name on an online message board.

          • It would be a kick if Clover didn’t use something approximating its real name because it feared the government.

            Although I have to admit on some sites I do use other names. I choose them from books and movies. Which makes me consider that “Clover” comes from “Animal Farm”

          • CloverThat is fine Eric if you think I should not complain about reckless drivers. I guess you should not complain about the older driver or the slower driver or the guy you feel like is passing someone too slowly. I say that the reckless driver causes far more problem but if you want to stop complaining about all drivers then I am fine with your decision.

            • Sigh.

              The old saw about “reckless” drivers again. Anyone who “speeds” – drives faster than Clover likes, or faster than “the law” allows – is by definition “reckless.”

              We’re still waiting for your CVs, Clover. Or even your real name.


            • Thank you, Henry.

              A step in the right direction.

              Now, how about some background? What do you do for a living? Do you have any credentials/experience relevant to engineering or driving? I mean other than driving a car and having a state issued driver’s license.

          • First Clover, you chose an article from the Daily Fail er Mail. This publication is known for making things up. But the basic facts are in the links at the end of the article.

            Secondly, don’t you notice something about this story? It’s a two lane road… someone like you has decided what the safe speed should be and won’t move over to let someone pass. There’s the beginning of the story Clover.

            Now should the guy have snapped and start bumping the driver who wouldn’t let him by? Of course not. But that’s what you road trolls get off on. Trying to make people angry on the road (and the internet in your case). Of course you’ve learned no lessons from reading this at all. You’ll go on deliberately trying to anger people on the road.

            • Hey Brent,

              I bet you’ve experienced the following:

              You’re driving slowly because you have a load in the bed of your pick-up, or you’re driving an elderly car (or some such similar reason). Another car – or a motorcycle – is rapidly gaining on you. So you pull off a bit onto the shoulder and wave the car (or bike) around you. They wave back. No tension – and much goodwill.

              When I’m the overtaking vehicle and the car ahead yields, I always wave and otherwise express my thanks. Which is almost always reciprocated with a friendly wave back.

              These interactions are utterly foreign to Clover.

          • CloverBrentP if someone gets angry at any minor thing on the highway they should not be driving. If they must drive to get to work or whatever then they should live as close to possible to work. I believe those road rage drivers should be in jail if their road rage endangers others. Eric recommends the slower driver to pull over. Yes I agree if there is a safe place to pull off the road and they are driving under the speed limit. If they are doing at least the speed limit I do not feel that some law breaker behind them has more rights to the road than the driver in front of them. If you believe so then explain why they have more rights and why they need to slow their driving because Brent or Eric is behind them ?

          • Better. I once passed a woman doing 15 under. As I passed her she accelerated but her older minivan couldn’t block me. But she did start tailgating me. I then turned on to a 35mph PSL road that cops are on. She’s still on my ass. I pulled over. She went by. The end. Woman, a clover no doubt, flipped out because I passed her in a passing zone on a two lane road.

          • Brent are you sure you were not looking in the mirror. That sounds like your type of driving. Oh, I thought there was no such thing as tailgating to you.Clover
            In effect, that was just a stupid story. My guess is that the woman just did not accelerate up to your requirements so you passed. My guess is that it was your road rage that she was slowing you down so you stomped on it. You showed her. Brent I know you too well what your actions are.

          • Clover,
            You’re a troll on the road and off. Intentionally trying to anger people on the road should be illegal. But culture in this country being what it is, people blame the person who got angry but never do anything about the causes. People are just supposed to have infinite tolerance, sadly this isn’t the way to have human systems work because people have finite tolerances. The best thing to do is eliminate the causal factors, namely the road trolls and others like you.

          • CloverBrentP if me driving legally down the road at the speed limit or slightly higher goes beyond your finite ability to deal with others, then I believe you should be in a mental institution. I do not know of a single road where the speed limit is so slow as to create road rage. Your 9 mile travels that you normally do a normal guy should be able to drive half the speed limit without road rage. The speed limit is now 70 mph in your rural Illinois. if that is too slow then you definitely need mental help.

    • Hey, I’ve got a 2003 Protege 5 and I’ll back up every single word of that! Though I gotta say it’s less sad then when I’m driving my 1991 Saturn S and STILL screaming past everyone.

  17. This reminds me of “The Follower”. He’s the one who just sits comfortably behind you on multi-lane highways no matter what. You do the speed limit there he is; same thing with 10 over or 10 under. He doesn’t give a hoot he’s just along for the ride. There’s nothing terribly wrong with it, but the complete lack of independent behavior is astounding.

    Some of us still drive. I took the winding backroads home yesterday. Hitting the heel-toe downshift perfectly through a tight corner and then stepping on it on your way out is such a wonderful feeling. 99% of Americans wouldn’t get it and wouldn’t care to.

    • Oh hey, Anarguest –
      I’ve been a follower, of sorts. Had a ’68 Datsun 510 w/ broken speedometer cable, never did get it fixed, money was tight. First used it for back & forth between the Bay Area and my job up in Yosemite Valley. Set some elapsed time records on early morning runs, it really taught you seat-of-the-pants driving on mountain roads. Later it was used for getting around Orange County, and the trip back to the Bay Area occasionally – on freeways, especially Hwy 5, I learned to always be the 2nd fastest car in sensor range, and that within reason. But I didn’t latch on to a car and turn off my brain. Found out right away that exceeding the 55mph limit was perfectly doable for long stretches if you maintained situational awareness. Thousands of miles logged, and as far as speed violations, really the only cars I saw pulled over were the ones who blew past you 10 miles back doing 90 and not watching for trouble.

    • reminds me of somebody today who got in the left lane and got immediately attached to my bumper. I sped up to pass the car I was almost passed anyways, and got over to let him through. Instead, he finishes passing that car and gets right back behind me. Then I notice that the car behind him does the same, and suddenly I’m leading a train of 6 cars that seem to be following my every move.

  18. Not to mention that far too many so-called drivers never discover that handy little stalk beside the steering wheel that activates the turn signal! Oblivious to its existence they blissfully travel all over the place frustrating others who are trying to figure out what they are up to next!

    Then of course there are also the dopes who don’t have the extra hand to cancel it when activated because they are too busy holding the cell phone to the RIGHT ear (it not so obvious there) or texting with both hands while steering the vehicle with their knees!

    • Nail on the head there Werner. Although I never bother with indicators unless someone’s around that NEEDS to know my intentions, I’ve been the victim of those that use them but only at the last possible microsecond.

      And yeah, those idiots that persist in leaving them on while crawling down the freeway, foot on brake pedal etc.

      Car companies should react by instead of an airbag in the steering wheel, a hand (or better, a fist) comes out and smacks ’em silly.

    • How ’bout the asshole who, on the highway approaching his exit, slams on the breaks about 200 feet before the exit, then signals his exit as he enters the exit lane; or the idiot who change lanes, then signals his lane change as he is crossing to the other lane; or the moron who, after you have made a routine lane change to the left in order to pass him, SPEEDS UP and stays on your flank so you can’t get back to the right lane unless you speed up (thus risking a “speeding” ticket) or drop back behind him (at which point he resumes the same Clover speed he was doing when you decided to pass him); or … oh never mind – I’ve got a million of ’em.

    • When changing lanes, I always wait until I see a sufficient opening, then hold the turn signal up or down enough to make it blink while simultaneously moving over into the desired lane. This action politely informs others of my intentions and prevents the clovers from closing the gap. It’s also the safest way to execute a lane change.

      Note how I said that I’m “informing others of my intentions” when i do this. I don’t beg, I don’t ask… I just do it.


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