A Libertarian Guide to Driving Etiquette

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Driving – like walking – is an inherently individualistic activity. We each have our own pace, destination and timeframe. Some of us are faster walkers than others. Some prefer to take their time. The same applies to driving – or should.tailgater

But doesn’t.

Because government controls driving – and imposes an inherently artificial and one-size-fits-all regime on everyone – punishing any deviation from its rules, not because someone was harmed but only because someone deviated from the rules.

And the worst part is that many people think this is ok. Get mad when someone questions it. Cheer when someone is punished for not toeing the line. Some make it their business to impose the code on others, by refusing to yield as a notorious for-instance. Or speeding up (temporarily) to thwart a pass. Then resuming their slow-motion pace.

It’s as silly as as insisting that everyone walk in lockstep and at the same pace – or face punishment.left lane hog

But it’s accepted when it comes to driving because of conditioning. Much in the same way that people are conditioned to accept the idea that when government takes your money and calls it “taxes” it’s not theft. Or that you have given your “consent” to an action of the government’s you weren’t even consulted about – but which nonetheless imposes an obligation on you to obey.

Let’s uncondition ourselves.

Is it a moral failing to drive faster- or slower – than others? Of course not. You may be punished for the statutory offense of “speeding” if you drive faster than whatever the arbitrary number on the sign happens to be, but you haven’t committed a moral affront because you haven’t harmed anyone.

Same goes for driving well below the speed limit, if you’re not comfortable driving any faster. We each have our own pace that is comfortable for us.right turn

The moral failing is refusing to accommodate others who prefer to drive faster or slower than our pace.

To avoid this requires paying attention – and taking appropriate action.

It requires, most of all, consideration for others.

If, for example, you notice that another car is coming up behind you, about to overtake you, the appropriate thing to do is yield by moving over to the right (or even briefly off onto the shoulder, if necessary) to enable the overtaking car to continue on its way. Ideally, without its driver having to brake/slow to get around you.

Similarly, if you are the faster driver, don’t tailgate or crowd the slower-moving car up ahead. If he is paying attention and isn’t conditioned (“I’m doing the speed limit!”) he will yield and both of you will continue on your respective ways at your respective paces – each of you happy and not causing hassle (or harm) to the other.

Because one size does not fit all.old coot

Government presumes the opposite. Which is why (among other things) legal passing zones are becoming very few and far between – and the few that remain effectively useless, because it is technically illegal to “speed” even when attempting to pass. Which of course makes passing legally very dangerous. If the car ahead is running 39 and the speed limit is 45 and you are not allowed to exceed 45 to pass the car doing 39, it will take a long time to pass. So long that passing is almost impossible, unless the passing zone is a half a mile long and there is no traffic coming in the other lane.

This puts the driver who wishes to pass in the position of having to risk a ticket for “speeding” to perform a safe pass – or not risk a ticket and attempt an unsafe pass or accept having to creep along at the slowpoke pace of the car ahead.road rage

And they wonder why there is rage on the roads.

The situation is analogous to being required by law to walk no faster than the old man shuffling down the sidewalk in front of you – the old man having been conditioned not only to be willfully indifferent to others around him but encouraged to physically block other pedestrians with his body and get angry with people trying to get around him or walk faster than he is walking.

The arbitrary, one-size-fits all doctrines of government are responsible for this. It has created a nation of Clovers behind the wheel (and otherwise).

Libertarians have a different idea that takes account of individuals – and of individual differences. And the idea that flows from it of live – and let live.

It entails much more than yielding to faster-moving traffic (and not bullying slower-moving traffic). It entails consideration and anticipation.

For instance:

You are driving on a road with two travel lanes. There are other drivers waiting to merge from side streets. You can see them up ahead. If you do see them, try to help them by moving over to the left lane (if you can) so that the right/merge lane is free.turn signals

You are waiting at a red light, with a left turn lane adjacent. Pull your car forward to close the gap between you and the car ahead, so that cars behind you can pull into the turn lane.

Don’t back into a parking spot if you can’t do it quickly and your back and forthing is making other people wait on you.

Use your turn signals well ahead of when you intend to make your turn.

Et cetera.

It’s not necessarily “the law” (and often, it is against the law) but it is the right thing to do.

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  1. My personal favorite is that while driving along on a basically empty 2 lane road Clover pulls out in front at a distance that causes me to brake. Then he/she go 100 yards to make a left turn without signaling, usually requiring both of us to stop for the oncoming traffic.

    • You haven’t lived till you’re doing 75 with a 40 ton rig and a waterhauler pulls out right in front of you. Once down to 15 mph you can slowly accelerate to 60 mph at which point he’ll stop to turn left for oncoming traffic. Far be it for those guys to simply wait the few seconds it would take for you to be past them. About the time you’ve calmed down a bit and quit cussing out loud…..another one does it.

    • Multiple times I cornered our resident troll for whom the class of person is named on this. It didn’t want to wait. While it rails about other people’s impatience it’s explanation for this behavior is that it doesn’t want to wait. These people are always in hurry to be in front and once they are in front they are in no hurry.

  2. Everything you write is true…ONLY IF everyone is a good driver to similar ability, AND can be accurate in their ability to know how good/bad they are at the time for the task (passing, lane changing, heavy traffic, speeding, etc…)

    But that’s not the case, and you know it. Clover

    True we could have a special Libertatian sticker on your car that announces to the cops that you have proven yourself at the DMV to be an excellent driver and thus have proven yourself a safe driver in all conditions, but until we do, the simple fact is if you’re wrong on your ability, it’s not just you who gets hurt or killed.

    See, all your logic assumes that it’s a personal responsibility and only you suffer if you mess up. “If you mess up and crash your car, it’s just YOUR life and YOUR car after all so the cops should’ care, right?” If that was true, I’d agree with you. But it’s simply not…you’re likely to take out ANOTHER car and maybe kill ANOTHER person. THAT’S what the law is protecting, not you. The cops don’t care if you speed or crash, they care that you’re likely to take out someone else. That’s why cars have these special rules…because drivers have proven in general that they cannot be trusted to judge themselves. Clover

    Again, my sticker idea would get around that problem easily, but until then, you have to suffer because OTHERS made it that way. But look on the bright side…as soon as society gets flawless drivers across the board and accidents go the way of the dinosaur, I have every confidence that everything you wrote will be implemented. But ONLY then…not a day sooner. Until then, you always have racetracks and private roads.

    • Sigh.

      Where to even begin?

      Perhaps the Cloverific statement/notion that “cops care that you’re likely to take out someone else.”

      No, Clover. They care about enforcing the law… which just happens to generate revenue.

      The suggestion that those costumed goons “care” about us is beyond risible.

      Is it really expecting too much to expect that drivers (as a for instance) use their rearview mirrors and yield when another car is coming up behind them at an obviously faster rate of speed? To show consideration and courtesy? To not use their cars to block/impede others?

      Every turgid word you wrote comes down to the same old sauce: The presumption of harm caused justifying punishment for what might have happened (according to the subjective opinion of a law enforcer and the arbitrary decree of a law).

      Well, Clover, the idea here in America – once upon a time – was that people were only punished for harms they actually caused.

      They were not presumed to be criminals or reckless fools because other people happened to be.

      This entailed some risk, yes. But it also meant we were free. And while it was possible someone might cause you harm, it was preferable to the certainty of being harmed at every turn by government goons, as you prefer.

      You are an interesting variety of Clover, by the way. You masquerade as a person who is inclined toward Libertarian notions but under the skin, you’re a Clover through and through. This post of yours is not the sole example demonstrating this. You’ve written previously in support of your Canadian Clover “sensible” (according to Clovers like you) “gun control” laws.

      Go away, please.

    • Slowest ship in the fleet.
      I noticed in grade school that everyone was limited/punished based on the worst kids in the class or grade or school. Because of the problems this could cause they ‘tracked’ kids. Then everyone was limited by the worst of their track. Well academically. As far as school rules went those were still based on the worst kids in the school and enforced. Anyway this conditions us to think in that manner.

      People become adults and guess what sort of solutions they come up with for problems? Limiting everyone by the worst in the class or else. If someone can’t handle it, it’s not allowed. Our entire lives shackled because of low performers and people of poor character. And people wonder why things are going the way the are.

  3. Eric,

    Good article. Lane courtesy would make everyone’s life less stressful and safer for all drivers. I think many of the driving issues stem from people not following keep right pass left.

    If Discourteous Richard disappeared from the roads, driving would be so much better.

    • Lane courtesy is one part of it but I live with a situation many times every day I don’t understand….at all. What’s up with coming up on a big rig to pass and then slow down and pace him right before you get to the trailer? It’s beyond me, makes no sense, esp. when there’s another big rig right on your tail and maybe several vehicles and everybody has to slow, a real killer for big rigs when all they wanted to do was use their 1 or 2mph advantage over the slower rig to make a quick, clean pass.

      I have to wonder how many people who comment here do that same thing because it’s replete out there. I often give a 4 wheeler the passing lane when I could pull into it myself and they’d have to follow me since I might barely be going faster than the rig I’m passing. Not good enough for countless people in smaller vehicles though. They need to slow to pace that big rig and I get to slow and then not be able to complete my pass, have to pull back into the right lane to let slower traffic go by and then watch that fool in front very slowly pass the slower traffic, slowing down everyone behind them. Once he’s out of the way, then everyone can speed up and go around him too…..or not…..cause he can’t stand to be passed so he’ll pace the faster traffic till somebody speeds up to 5 or more above the PSL and he will stay with them. Hey, if that guy is going to drive 80 then I will too is the only thing I can think this fool is thinking. But he loses his nerve and finally lets those other vehicles go that sometime blast around him on the right in frustration. Meanwhile, I’m stuck once again behind that slower vehicle and have to wait to build speed depending on the terrain ahead plus bucking a wind.

      I’d like to educate 50 people a year, take one each week and show them the bs that’s done by people who could simply push that far right pedal and be gone but instead, choose to hang on the tail of a slower vehicle and wait. I don’t know what they’re waiting for and how they think passing a big rig really slowly is safer than getting on around. It’s worse now than it’s ever been and makes no sense. Most vehicles on the road these days are rocket ships compared to big rigs. And then there’s the ones who can’t find that pedal to get up to speed on entrance ramps and cause all sorts of problems including multi=vehicle wrecks. Sheesh, it’s a madhouse out there and it ain’t gettin better.

      I want to send a special “shout out” to those idiots that buy big rigs and get the low HP engines with the least amount of speeds for a transmission. Nothing says I’m a non-driving idiot like 400 hp and a ten speed transmission. You’re not saving money on fuel or any other thing except that bottom line when you first buy the truck, maybe save a couple grand out the door brand new on a $150-200K big rig. I had a friend prove to management he would use less fuel with 150 more hp and they were all “who knew?”. Every damned owner/operator knew, just not those guys getting paid to keep the bottom line as low as possible.

      • Eightsouthman,

        Hanging by a big rig annoys me to no end as well. The fool effectively paces the rig making it very difficult to impossible to safely pass.

        My dad taught me years ago: Pass quickly or fall back. Never hang around a big rig. I do not want to be around if something goes wrong. (A quick lesson in physics drove home his point, when I was in high school)

      • In my experience big rigs are the cause of at least 50% of the problems on Atlanta highways…..hanging in the far right or second to far right lanes or clogging the highway trying to pass another rig to go 1 mph faster(which isa utterly rediculous).. waiting to the last possible minute to force their way into a turn lane.i give rigs a wide berth as I never k ow what the hell they ar going to try and do here.

        • Hi Shemp,

          I am not certain about this, but I am pretty sure that a major contributor to this problem is that trucks generally have speed limiters and also that truckers are monitored to an extent that’s truly Orwellian (video, audio) and that they fear doing anything at all that might be considered “illegal” – whether it’s the safe/sensible thing to do being beside the point.

          • Eric,

            I get that. I do feel for the truckers, I really do. I have a couple friends that are truckers that took me for rides. They do have a lot to deal with…However, having lived in Germany for a few years and seeing how things are there I get frustrated by the truckers here. I can’t count the number of times I have gotten stuck behind a big rig trying to pass another going 1-1.5 MPH slower. It really drives me nuts and I can’t figure out why they do it. 64 MPH vs 65 MPH……and a long line of traffic is created which cascades into more problems.

              • They VERY much do….most of them are limited to between 80 and 100 kph if memory serves….and I rarely saw them trying to pass each other UNLESS it was an older rig or one that had been modified to go up to 110 or 120 kph and pass the other with ease…

            • Shemp, I can answer that question. Often your speed isn’t dictated by anything but power and load so you might be doing 2mph over your 70 speed limiter going down a steep hill and 50 going up the other steep hill. It’s virtually impossible to let off 1 or 2 mph and not lose 5 or 10 mph. Sometimes you can do it with the cruise and that brings up another point.

              People who don’t drive a truck wouldn’t even consider(and don’t have to)their vehicle pulling harder with the cruise on than with the pedal. It’s something that’s come up since back in the 90’s when big rigs use electronic speed control. That pedal is like the one on your car, tied to a unit that speaks to a unit on the fuel injection system, drive by wire or bluetooth. I can be pulling a hill and have started out from a stop so I’m still having to use that pedal till I’m in top gear. When I turn the cruise on and give it a couple blips to increase speed, you can hear the turbo spool up more and it pulls harder. I can’t tell you why, it just does.

              And it’s not always trucks that do that bs, often pickups pulling trailers who could easily let you by but don’t because the driver is a dolt…..a clueless one.

              If you notice though, there are times when one truck can’t make a pass on another that it slows and falls back behind. I know it and see it all the time and do it all the time. I hate to have traffic pile up behind me. If drivers had their way they’d have the power to run any speed they want and could pull a hill at that speed. I used to occasionally drive a rig limited to 65 and there’d be times when I could have broken into tears.

              And trucks are not the same in any way. Some speed limited trucks actually have 550 or 600 hp engines so they never lose a bit of speed and then there are trucks like I drive with 150 hp less that run faster….except going up hills and heading into stiff quarter winds(the worst) so I may be tooling along at 70 and begin to pass another truck when we hit a long, steep grade and by the time we’re at the top, we’re neck and neck or I may be almost a truck length back. Then going down the other side I pick up speed and just about the time I can pass, it’s another one of those grades again. I know in a mile or two I’ll have this other truck behind me for good…..or maybe not several miles on down the road……again. I hate this more than you can imagine as does every trucker. Most of the blame can be set right at the feet of insurance since they’ll give a significant break for limited speeds below the PSL.

              Coming in from a couple hundred miles away in the evening on two lane roads back when the patch was solid traffic, we’d all be down to 60 mph or maybe less and you couldn’t even see the front of the line that might be a mile long. Stupid pickup drivers who could pass often wouldn’t and big rigs couldn’t so it would be a conga line for 20 or 30 miles. When I’d finally get a glimpse of what the problem was, it was often Koch trucks or SAIA and not much they could have done since there was really no place to pull over and no passing lanes.

              You might not be able to afford health insurance as actually most Americans can’t. Thank govt. and insurance(banks). You can’t get down the road unimpeded, thank insurance companies(banks). So much of what frustrates us and costs us time and money comes back to insurance and it’s all MANDATORY!

              I recently spoke to a veterinarian friend of mine who often has to travel I-20. He asked me if it was just him or was the traffic insane. Nope, it’s not him, it’s too much traffic for the lanes available because it was designed in the 50’s and built in the 60’s. I can recall in the 60’s you’d barely see other vehicles on it and now it’s a rolling parking lot and that causes a lot of wrecks.

              A DOT trooper told me last year big rig wrecks were up….why was that? If he hadn’t been a rookie he’d know. The traffic is unreal on most roads now, esp. major highways. Texas has been widening FM and RR’s for years and no end in sight. The Metroplex, San Antonio and Houston are always in new construction and it’s never enough. A great many farm to market roads have so much traffic now they have to be widened because of the amount of truck traffic.

              • There are a couple things I like about my Ford Fusion, and a couple I really hate! In the latter list is that the darned thing will shift down on a downslope to keep me from overrunning the speed set on the cruise control. I kind of like gaining 5 or 6 going down to keep the beast from throttling up quite as soon on the upslope. I love free stuff. No sensible way to make it behave, either. I have tried several things, and only shifting to neutral works. A pain and probably not particularly good for the gearbox so I don’t normally do that. At least it seems to shift down with no significant injection going on, a slight advantage over carbs which always passed some fuel, but that is small consolation.

                (Of course scariest thing on the car is the little label under the touchscreen which reads “Powered by Microsoft”.)

          • In Oregon, the truck speed limit is 55 mph. Porkers wait at the bottom of hills to nab the guys who let the rig get away from them at 57mph.

            • As an example, two porkers from Colorado City, Tx. sit at the bottom of the Colorado valley where the bridge on I-20 goes across the river. All day long, every day and sometimes if one of them takes a break a DPS will get in there too. Of course the DPS run that part constantly but there’s very little roads that aren’t run by the DPS these days. I’ll be letting Step Child roll down it and never get over 73, 3 mph above its limited speed yet some a-hole in a 4 wheeler will get down there and all of a sudden see these guys and slam on their brakes right in front of you. They won’t be speeding and couldn’t have seen them from over a mile away but they drive looking right beyond the hood ornament I guess. You can count on my weight ticket being 40 tons but they haven’t a clue nor even a clue I’m right behind them even though they have most likely just passed me. Grrrrrrrr

              • Driving (CDL required) is infuriating business, I rarely do it anymore and don’t miss it. It seems there are less and less courteous drivers out there (incl. the truckers) and most drivers (of whatever) seem to have their heads firmly planted up their backsides. I could rant about it for days – maybe another time….

    • “keep right pass left” – that’s not even the law here in the People’s Republic of Maryland (official nickname “The Free State” – LOL) Here the statute and the signage say “Slower Traffic Keep Right.” But too many clovers (overabundant here) think, “That couldn’t possibly be referring to moi! I’m not slow.” Failure to understand the difference between the absolute and the comparative. Probably gunvermin ‘educated.’
      But do the revenue enhancers enforce this? No, they’re too busy enforcing HOV violations, etc. Must not be a big enough fine to be worth their while.

      • PtB, that was the type of sign Texas had for years but clovers being clovers can’t understand comparative language so now we have signs that say “Left Lane for Passing Only”. It’s more difficult to not understand that.

      • @PTB,

        A new TN law went into effect July 1. Any person traveling in the far left hand lane below the posted speed limit with traffic passing them to the right, can be ticketed as a primary offense vs a secondary offense (primary being, you can be stopped and ticketed for it vs a secondary offense being added to a primary offense ticket). Although the maximum fine for the left lane transgression is 50 dollars and no points. Hardly enough to keep moron aka clover aka glover from that lane. I look at it as a revenue measure. If it were more then the incentive to hire a lawyer would be there. Most people will pay 50 bucks to avoid the hassel. Just like red light cameras here in TN, max fine is 50 bucks per offense and no points, same shit different hassel.

        Unfortunately, TN a few years back changed the seat belt crap from a secondary offense to a primary offense. Oh well, you win some you lose some.

        On another note…effective July 1 in TN, all carry permits have been reduced to 100 dollars for the initial permit and they all now are valid for 8 years. Lifetime permits are 300 dollars. In 2014, a law went into effect that allows anyone that is legal to own a firearm (handgun included) can carry a one in their vehicle either open or concealed, loaded or unloaded, with or without a permit. The rationale for the law? The automobile is considered an extension of the home and you don’t need a permit in TN to own or carry a loaded weapon in your home. TN does not register any firearms and that is a good thing. The bad thing? TN is not an open carry state. All carry other than the home or automobile requires a permit. You should read the statute, it is a wonderkind of babble. They class any part of the firearm being covered as being concealed. Yeppers, if it is in a holster in plain view of the creator and everyone it is still considered concealed carry. How is that for landmark stupidity?!?!?!

        Oh, how I wish we’d get some Missasloppy legislative transplants here. Mississippi has no permit for open carry at all (this is recent by the way. You will note there is no wild west crap going on there. No wanton slaughter happening at all!!). The only permit required in MS is for concealed carry and they don’t play the f’n word games the morons in Nashvegas do about what is concealed..

        • left lane laws don’t get enforced. If the Left lane blocker is someone a cop wants to hassle for something else maybe then. Effectively the law does change a thing. People still cruise in the left lane at whatever speed they want.

        • Hi David,

          Thanks for the update on the new TN law. It’s interesting to note that it only applies if the Clover is driving below the PSL. It doesn’t require yielding to faster-moving traffic. Sadly.

  4. Eric,

    You are hereby crowned as the Miss Manners of Motoring. And I have an etiquette question for you.

    You are driving on an uncrowded 5 lane freeway. You are in the #2 lane, just to the right of the lane for passing, or the fastest drivers. Lanes on both sides of you are wide open. Your speed is 15mph over the posted limit.

    If another motorist comes up rapidly behind you in your #2 lane, do you have an obligation to move over to the right, even though the left lane is wide open?

    If you can help resolve these fine points of in road etiquette, I’m sure we can enhance vehicular harmony.

    • MikePizzo,

      In my opinion, if the far left lane is empty, then the car (quickly approaching you) can safely pass you. No issue.

      Although you probably should be further to the right. I personally, on an empty 5 lane highway, would be in either of the two right most lanes. (2nd from right if there are many on/off ramps in the area)

    • Middle lane cruising is annoying. People do it because of the merge impaired. A classic case of one poor driving behavior generating another.

      • Now we have so many self-righteous, know-it-all yankeefied city councils in Tx. in big cities the center lane is almost the only lane truckers have. The left lane is verboten to trucks regardless of circumstance and small town cops are out there to collect revenue from truckers who might use it to safely pass. The outside lane is so clogged with ingress and egress it’s a hazard in its own right and can, without enough warning to react to, find yourself in a turning lane only ,so you’re unable to stay on the roadway you wish to take. People are always doing some crazy shit over there.

        You never had fun till you’ve hauled a wide load in one of those rush hour things and can’t see to the side unless you whip it a little and there’s not room to do that even if you dared. I’ve seen people actually drive partially under my trailer. That creates a situation that often isn’t resolved until dozens of vehicles have finally come to a stop with multiple crashes. So what were they thinking? They were of course, thinking about that text they just got in and are trying to respond to. I watched a guy with his head down looking in his lap and never looked up until I blasted on the horn and he barely missed running into me….and me loaded with a load of oxygen cylinders. That could have been lots of fun for a lot of people all because he didn’t have the time to look at the road.

        I’m not big on creating more laws but one that dictates you use a headset on your mobile device which is law for truck drivers would be a good law for everyone. I have a text come in, touch the button on my headset and my phones says you have a new text. I tell it to read it to me. It really ain’t that hard. If it involves maps or pics I wait till I can’ stop to view the entire thing. There are so many phone wrecks, numbering well more than impaired drug drivers(drunk) that we’re headed there now and should already be there. Texas roads are lined with new signs Wait to Text or Use Your Phone. There should be more to the sign that says The Life You Save May Be Your Own. since that’s the only thing that seems to get a drivers attention.

        For whatever reason, nearly everyone uses their phone on their left side so they can’t see in their side mirror or when someone is passing them.

        • Here’s a thought I’ve had, and probably you, 8, and your fellow truckers can say better than anyone whether it has merit.
          You know how sometimes as you travel on a 2-lane expressway they will add a 3rd lane on an upgrade. I imagine the intention is to make a place for the truckers that slow down to get out of the way. But often the trucks do not use it if they can help it, and I think I know why. When the top of the hill is reached, the lane disappears, and often the trucks that have been ‘off to the right’ have difficulty merging due to inconsiderate 4-wheelers. (I’m a 4-wheeler, but I try not to be inconsiderate.)
          So here’s my proposal. Instead of adding the lane on the right for slower traffic, why not add it to the left for faster traffic? It would not require any construction, just a change in the striping. I guess depending on the configuration you would probably lose a few yards of lane, but not a significant amount.
          What say you?

          • PtB, I deal with this every day. I sometimes haul out of a pit and have to enter the interstate at the end of a rest stop so I have to go through the rest stop with those lanes having the ROW and then enter the entrance ramp and it’s a really hard grade all the way to the top of the hill which sucks big time but the ramp ends up on top so everybody coming behind you can see the problem a long way off but so many times in wall to wall traffic big rigs still have a difficult time getting into the other lane and this is a half mile ramp too. When I see this is going to happen I turn off my left turn signal, put on my hazards and stay in the shoulder. The DPS can kiss my ass and I’ll be glad to tell them so should they stop me for driving on a non-driving part of the road(illegal inTx. to drive on the shoulder no matter how many lives you might save).

            Your suggestion of another lane for faster traffic is becoming fairly common here. The way it’s done is to make another lane on the opposite side of the road so there are two lanes instead of one just like the other side with the added slow lane. That lets people who need to turn when there’s a road in that zone slow and stop while fast traffic passes to their right. We don’t really have roads without paved shoulders except for farm to market and ranch roads and even many of those have a paved shoulder so I have no problem with getting on the shoulder which is wide enough for a truck and letting faster traffic around even though my slow lane ended. The LAW says that is not intended for driving, the occifer who stopped someone for doing so in those circumstances would probably be schooled by his superiors since a trucker can’t afford to take a hit like that.

            BTW, I’d like to address paved shoulders and stopping on them…..Don’t do it. It’s too close to be out of your vehicle and when you pop out the driver’s door to attend to some kiddy in the back. That truck with the 18′ wide load may be boxed in and have nowhere to go. The people I see do this never look at the traffic coming at them and it’s almost always a woman, mostly young women.

            I don’t know why anyone, even with a flat or blowout wouldn’t cross the barditch and get on the access road. Hell, I do it when the DOT pulls me over and have never had one say anything about it even though crossing there is illegal. Nobody with half a brain would stop on the shoulder if getting off was remotely possible. Stopping with the driver’s side right there by the white line and getting out is stupid and I see people doing it and hauling children around from one side to the other.

        • I’ve just stopped using my phone at all while I’m moving. I started finding myself reading emails and texts – stupid.

          Although I’m not a trucker, I prefer the middle lane or outside lane for the reasons you list, as well as one other: wrong way drivers. There is a divided highway near my office that for some reason baffles people. I have seen several drivers jump on going the wrong way. Scary as hell.

          • Yeti, I use my phone fairly often when driving but my phone stays in the divided cooler top of my cooler with the charging wire in it with the zipper snugged up to the wire and my phone stays cool Using it for anything requiring you to look at it though is not safe.

            i’ve heard people say they won’t even use a phone with a headset. I guess if you can’t listen and drive you shouldn’t. I’m not there yet.

            I agree with you to not use a phone at all if you’re not comfortable with it.

            • I just found myself looking at the damn thing too often. In the Passat, I’ll occasionally take calls via BT, but frankly, nothing is so important that it can’t wait a few minutes. Were I on the road as much as you, though, I would use it more.

              I’m also trying to set a better example for my 16 year old. He already thinks that winter + rwd vehicle means leaving the neighborhood sideways…

  5. Not so hard, really. It all boils down to thinking. But that’s why we have so damned many screwy laws because most people won’t think, and resent anyone who does because they get better results in every area of life.

  6. We’ve been conditioned: Such as “Driving is a privilege, not a right.”

    THAT notion needs reversed. Why did we ever allow it to take root?

    • That notion goes back to the very early years of the auto unfortunately. No one ever questioned the right to travel by horse, wagon or by foot etc. But like today, there were people who didn’t like or were afraid of cars. So they tried to restrict (or outright ban) them. That’s when the privilege part came into the driving of cars. “They” reluctantly allowed driving, but always kept the idea it could be taken.

      • Well, cars were noisy, smelly, expensive (only bought as toys by the elites), and scared horses (creating a public welfare risk.)
        So of course, there had to be rules to manage that.

        Nevermind that horses were spooked by more than automobiles.
        Nevermind that a runaway horse cart would happen anyway, and people would get hurt or killed regardless of the cause.
        Nevermind that cars were so uncommon it didn’t matter anyway.

        Top speed of 5 MPH, with a flagman to wave a warning flag in front of the vehicle to ensure horses were under control….

        And a few decades passed, IIRC.
        Then, to war! Birth of the tank and the airplane in warfare.
        Ford came along, made a challenge to automotive patents, and won… Breaking the guild of the time, bringing the costs down.
        And war again!
        And when they come back (especially that second time), there’s a whole generation who went to war (thinned the herds) and learned to drive over there, and had not had anything to spend money on…. So they had a LOT of money, and comparatively lots of free time… And The Bomb, too, plus the returning troops needed jobs.
        The hoarded (collected? Husbanded?) funds were available, the automobiles were cheap and mass-produced, the families were growing rapidly, there was a need to disperse the population, and construction jobs are always an easy go-to to quiet the grumbling (unemployed) masses….

        Voila, the laws were in place to enrich the government yet again! Licensing was just applied to the evil automobile, and everyone went away happy – because it was “just” a small fee. And there HAD to be regulation, and the evil car-porations had to be controlled by Uncle…. (Look back to “The Jungle” by Sinclair, and the meat regulations that followed – “barriers to entry,” a term no one seems to understand any more. Same with cars…)

        Much as you said, just fleshing it out some more, RichB. 🙂

  7. Use your turn signals well ahead of when you intend to make your turn.

    Wait – you’re not supposed to just lock ’em up right before the corner and signal only as you are finishing the turn?

    My kid just finished a great driving course at a local raceway. Your libertarian rules look a lot like items from the course curriculum. The instructors (all racers) were emphatic about anticipating upcoming threats and making decisions that keep you safe and keep traffic flowing. Pay attention and stay cool, no matter what.

    And put down your fucking phone.

    • My best friend had this habit of always doing more than the speed limit in cities(no big deal) but he’d get right to a corner, slam on his brakes and hit his turn signal at the same time. He did it one day and I finally couldn’t hold it. We’d just nearly been rear-ended only he was unaware. I told him he was gonna get run over doing that. What? he asks. I told him and then told him it would be his fault since the law at that time said a signal must be given at least 150′ before the turn.

      I was amazed. He changed that habit right then and is now one of the safest drivers I know.

      Another thing people do is to signal a turn, start making it but stay on the brake and stay hung out there in the lane. I’ve seen people do that when you could tell they were contemplating where in a parking lot they’d go but do it with half the car at nearly a complete stop stuck in the lane of traffic.

    • Take the advice of Graham Nash and teach your children well, their father’s hell will slowly go by and feed them on your dreams, the one they pick’s the one you’ll know by.

  8. “everyone walk in lockstep and at the same pace”
    I believe that is called marching, and is practiced by armies and other slaves.
    “But wait,” you say, “our military is voluntary. They are not slaves.” Well, that is true, up to the point that the enlistment is finalized. Then …? Just try ‘un-enlisting.’

    • And as I understand, while all contracts with a minor are “voidable” (can be terminated by either party for no reason), enlistment – is NOT voidable. You can’t “opt out” after making a deal with Uncle.
      But you can enlist at 16 with parental consent; 17 without.
      Can’t smoke, drink, drive, or vote, but you can die in Iraq just fine….

      More and more I want to forgo the rules of common decency. There’s no reason for these laws and views; those who ascribe to such views are essentially dead already, their body just hasn’t caught up with their brain (such as it is.)
      Nematodes have more spine, and more brains.

    • A gay friend of my brother enlisted in the military before don’t ask don’t tell. He figured if he didn’t like being in, coming out of the closet at that point could be his way out early. Guess that tactic no longer works…..

      • Nope, not any more. Very soon the only people who are going to be getting kicked out of the military are heterosexual white males with actual combat skills. NOT the kind of person today’s social experiment/peacekeeper/comedy show military wants to keep around.

        • But they’ll get hired on as contractors at 3 times the pay. Of course if they are KIA they won’t get to be buried in a military cemetery, nor will they be counted as a casualty.


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