Cost Analysis

Learn to merge, or get off the road

June 3, 2014 

By now, many of you have probably seen the video of the woman filming the aggressive driver tailgating her and his subsequent crash into the median as he tried to pass her and swerve into her path.

News stations have run this footage over and over again, usually making some snarky comment about karma catching up to the man. Clearly the guy was driving like an idiot and probably got what he had coming according to the laws of physics. But one thing stands out to me from the video – it is filmed by a lone woman in a car, puttering around in the left lane, swiveling her head and twisting her hand holding the cellphone that captured the soon-to-be YouTube sensation.

Also not exactly the epitome of safe driving.

In my opinion, what she did wasn’t much better than the maniac who landed in a ditch. Way too many people think hanging out in the left lane is a God-given right.

Try that in Germany and you will end up with a Mercedes logo imprinted onto your trunk. Having the wonderful pleasure of driving on I-77 each morning, I can’t tell you how many times traffic comes to a screeching halt because somebody thinks it is fine to go 50 mph in the left lane. I particularly love the people who cross three lanes of traffic to rush to the left side only to inexplicably slow to a crawl.

Whenever aggression meets slow-motion, problems are bound to happen.

Just looks what happens in the Fort Mill area when traffic goes from two lanes to one. You have one lane of dutiful drivers lining up knowing the lane is ending and then a second lane of people jockeying for position and trying to wait until the last possible moment to sneak in front of a gracious driver or a timid one.

What happens? Gridlock.

Some traffic jams are inevitable, but you see so many occur due to inefficient merging skills. How many times have you had somebody speed in front of you, cutting off several cars, and then you catch right up to them at the next light or exit?

If you ask me, driving, and society in general, would operate more smoothly if people just followed the simple rules. But that would mean being less selfish. That isn’t going to happen. We will continue to have erratic speedsters running up to distracted slowpokes more interested in talking, texting, making status updates or shooting photos and video.

This is one time I want to be neither a star nor a videographer. I just want to get where I’m going safely and on time. Is that too much to ask?

You can reach Scott at costanalysiscolumn@gmail.com to merge inefficiently.

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