Monday, September 20, 2010


No, I’m not talking about the barbecue in the football stadium parking lot, I’m talking about driving too close to the (idiot who is also tail-gating) in front of you. You should always have at least 2 to 3 seconds of empty lane in front of you. I say 2 to 3 seconds for two reasons: the exact distance depends on your driving speed (at 10 MPH that would be 30 to 45 feet, whereas at 70 MPH it would be between 205 and 310 feet), and most people find it difficult to jump out of their car and run up to the car in front of them dragging a tape measure at 70 MPH (it’s so much easier just to watch the car in front of you pass something then make sure you don’t pass it until you count “one thousand ONE, one thousand TWO, one thousand THREE!”) My James Bond wish? I need the Oil Slick button to send you spinning off the freeway.

If everyone maintained the proper distance, the vast majority of our traffic would disappear. Why? Everyone going at 70 MPH with plenty of space between them and the car in front of them allows people to change lanes and merge onto or off the freeway without having to fight for space. If you don’t leave enough room between cars, lane changing will always cause people to have to slam on their brakes, and that is how our freeways end up being parking lots.

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