Monday, April 27, 2009

Trucks in the Left Lane

I am highly critical of other people's driving. Not while I'm riding in someone's car, mind you, that's just rude. Rather, I tend to express my thoughts aloud to no one in particular when I witness other people driving stupidly on the road.

Since I work out in Ladner, I drive myself to work every morning. I am going against the main flow and typically, without traffic, the commute is a mere 20 minutes. However, because the main flow is going towards Vancouver, the highway lanes are manipulated in such a way so that there are three or four lanes going to Vancouver and one or two going South.

This is a pain because there is a huge bottleneck just before the Massey Tunnel where essentially all Southward traffic is funneled into a single lane. After a week or so, I acquired a good sense of timing and steering to essentially merge into the single lane as late a possible with little effort. This made the difference of about 10-20 minutes. Without it, my commute would literally double in time.

However, starting about two weeks ago, trucks began using the left lane, aka the passing lane, which is ludicrous. Trucks are slow and have absolutely no ability to merge seamlessly with the main traffic flow. As well, trucks, especially large load bearing trucks, are not supposed to be in the left lane at all. The fact that my trip is lengthened every day of this last couple of weeks due to a selfish or unskilled truck driver really drives me up the wall.

I realize that I am being a bit hypocritical here since I am budging myself. However, I do welcome any other car in the left lane along with me and I do allow people to cut in front of me all the time. I have no problem with that as long as the drivers can do it smoothly. However, there are some people that really shouldn't be trying it, especially large trucks.

Once, a truck cut right in front of me and tried to hold two lanes to prevent any more people from passing. Sometimes cars do this and I find it really funny because it is hard to hold two lanes. Cars tend to jut out more into the passing lane because they want to prevent cars from passing. I tend to merge behind the offending car and then see if I can squeeze them out of the main lane and effectively turn them into what they hate the most. Anyways, this truck was trying to hold two lanes and it had to move a bit back into the right lane because the truck behind it thought it was actually changing lanes. I ended up squeezing through on the left side and merging to the main lane a block later easily.

If a driver is unconfident or too passive, they should just go to the slow lane and wait it out. If a driver tends to merge too early or too late, they will disrupt the flow in both lanes. The easiest places to merge is in front of a slow truck or in front of another car that just merged, since they have less stake on the lane and don't really mind letting people in front of them. I let in merging cars after I merge as well as common courtesy. However, I encourage everyone to bully out trucks that are trying to merge in order to discourage the behavior in the future.

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