Glenn's Freeway Driving Tips
The Golden Rule
Using Lanes to Your Benefit
Freeways are a great modern invention. Designed to
speed up traffic flow and let you travel long distances in a short time, they
are optimised for high speeds and low stress levels. To make the most of these
modern marvels, I have worked out the best way to approach freeway driving, for
your satisfaction and that of others, too.
There are really only five components of happy
freeway motoring, most importantly the Golden Rule, which we will get to
shortly. The others are the Right Speed, Lane Usage, Merging and, lastly,
Using Your Mirrors.
Before we begin, though, let me personally congratulate you on taking
the time to read this article. The very act of doing so shows your careful
and responsible attitude to motoring, and implies that you are almost certainly
not one of the countless morons or idiots causing all the problems on the road
in the first place.
The Golden Rule
The first thing to remember on the freeway is that your
speed is the Right Speed. Anybody else who wants to go slower than you is a
complete idiot. Anybody who wants to go any faster than you must be a total
moron, it's very dangerous!
Hence the Golden Rule : your speed is The Right Speed.
The Right Speed
Since everybody else will probably not agree with you as
to what is the Right Speed on the freeway, there are a few things you can do to
teach people a lesson. Other drivers usually have perfectly good intentions and
really want to do the right thing, the poor things just aren't educated properly!
Travel at the Right Speed in the right hand lane, and never move
into the left lane to let people past. In this way you can enforce the Golden Rule, and other
drivers will appreciate that you have shown them the correct way to drive on the
If you change lanes to let somebody past (which you
should never need to do - any speed faster than yours is highly risky), you can
speed up enough to make passing you impossible or at least very
difficult. This is a good way to prove that you have the fastest
car on the road, and that you could go faster if you wanted to, it's just that
your chosen speed is the Right Speed, so why would you bother?
Don't sit on the one cruising speed. The Right Speed is
continuously variable and completely random. It's also at least 20 to 30 km/h
below the speed limit if you see a police car, speed camera, an accident,
anything remotely interesting off to the side of the road, or if there is a slight curve
in the road.
Using Lanes to Your Benefit
Please note: This article was written as a guide to Australian drivers, and as such the right lane on the freeway is the "fast lane" and the left lane is where you probably should be if you drive a Volvo or a Niki 650. For those parts of the world where the driver sits on the left hand side of the car, you can replace "left lane" with "right lane" and vice-versa. Thankyou for listening.
Remembering the Golden Rule - that your speed is the Right
Speed; it should be obvious that you can travel at the exact speed you wish, in
any lane you see fit. If all the idiots sped up just a bit and the morons slowed
down and enjoyed the ride a bit more, the freeway would be a much better place
to be. Then it wouldn't matter who was driving in which lane, either, because
everyone else would be doing the Right Speed along with you.
However, because this isn't a perfect world, everybody else will think that
they need to travel at least slightly faster
or slightly slower than you, probably just to be childish. With this in mind,
the best way to use a multi-lane road to your benefit is to stay in the
right-hand lane (the "fast" lane). There are a few good reasons for doing this. The
first is that the road rules state you should "Keep left unless overtaking". Now, since
you're going the Right Speed, you will always be overtaking the idiots who
insist on going slower than you, and they are the ones who should stay in the
left lane. Anybody who wants to go faster is a complete moron and should slow
down, so there is no reason that you should move into the left lane and let them
overtake you. Remember, keeping the roads safe is your duty as a road user!
Remember that changing lanes is risky, evil business and
is slightly worse than gambling and prostitution. Don't do it, if you can help
it. There are really only two situations where you should change lanes on the
freeway - getting onto the freeway and getting off.
The only time you should be in the left lane is for the
first 25 or 50 metres after you merge onto the freeway, as you quickly dart
across into the right lane (see Merging for more details on this), and in the
last 20 metres or so before you take an exit ramp off the freeway.
At all other times there is no reason for you to be in any lane other than the
furthest right-hand lane, where you can best perform your duty to society of
protecting those imbeciles who are too moronic to know when to slow down.
Just a reminder - never indicate when you want to change
lanes. Flashing lights are for Christmas trees and ambulances.
To merge onto the freeway from an on-ramp, accelerate gently up the ramp until you reach the flow of traffic,
where you realise that you can never get into the lane because you are doing
half the speed of everyone else. The best thing to do when this happens is to stop suddenly
and look bewildered. Remain stopped at the merge point until you see a suitably large
gap in the traffic for you to gently resume accelerating onto the main freeway.
The longer you can remain stopped at the entry point to
the freeway the better, because cars will bank up behind you, and will not be
able to merge into the traffic because they are also at a standstill.
The drivers of these vehicles behind you will be most grateful to you for
relieving them of the ordeal of seamlessly merging onto the freeway at a similar
speed as all the other freeway traffic. They, too, can now calmly wait at the entrance
point for a large break in the flow of vehicles.
When there is a small break in the traffic, start
accelerating onto the freeway. Don't accelerate too quickly though, because with
any luck there will be another line of cars coming up behind you, and they won't
want to continue at the same speed they've been going at. You can bet your best
Volvo key pouch that they have been hurtling along frightened to death, praying that
another driver would give them a reason to slow down and look around without being noticed.
Once you have slowed down the traffic flow nicely, you can then merge into
the right hand lane. This should take
place within the first 50 metres after you have merged onto
the freeway. Remember, the left lane is only for those idiots who want to drive
more slowly than you do, and you must take your opportunity to teach those morons in
the fast lane a lesson immediately, so get over into that right lane quickly!
Don't bother using your rear view mirrors, you really
don't need to worry about anything behind you. As long as you are driving at the
Right Speed, which you almost definitely are (see The Golden Rule), there is
absolutely no reason for you to look in your rear-view mirror. Probably the most
useful thing you can do with your rear-view mirrors is adjust them so that you
can look at your hair or check your make up easily in heavy traffic. Vehicle
manufacturers are most generous in providing three mirrors so that you may view
yourself from several angles at once, so take advantage of this thoughtful little extra.
Take care to obey these tips for freeway driving, and I'm
sure you will have trouble free motoring on the freeways. The best time to read
this would probably be while you are actually driving on the freeway, so that it
is fresh in your mind, and you will not make the same mistake as almost everybody else
on the road.