Thursday, April 07, 2005

Another Traffic Rant

I had an annoying experience on the way to the college today. As the light where I was stopped turned green, the big black pickup truck that was two vehicles in front of me took a really long time to get going, and when he did, he was going very much below the speed limit (30 in a 40 zone, if I recall). The car directly in front of me managed to pass him on the right (which, thankfully, is legal in Texas), but nobody else could get around him, because another smaller pickup with Oklahoma plates was now blocking the right lane as well. These two lumbering trucks drove virtually side-by-side for the next two miles, blocking traffic behind them in both lanes for the whole way. Thankfully, one of them turned right at the next intersection, and the gridlock was finally broken.

So if we can discount collusion in this case (as in, the two drivers were members of that group who drive side-by-side to keep other people from speeding), what was the story here? Was each driver ignorant of what was going on in the next lane, or was it just plain selfishness on their part? Or is it a combination of both--is not paying attention to what's going on around you also a form of selfishness?

And if you want to talk stereotypes, it made total sense to me that the Okie truck was going really slow (I see that all the time, and joke that, when they're doing this while headed north, they must not want to get back home), but the big black truck should have been going about 80 if it was living up to its usual reputation of big trucks barreling down the highway and eating smaller vehicles in its path.

At any rate, I'm glad nobody got rammed or anything.


Eric Grubbs said...

I hope you didn't have to drive through the High Five yesterday. 75 northbound was shut down at the 635 exit from 12:30pm until 4:30pm due an acid spill. The deal was, since the High Five is always backed up, the back-up looked normal.

Kev said...

Actually, since the George Bush opened, I never have to drive on LBJ at all except when I'm headed to church on Sunday mornings...and that's usually a problem-free time for the High Five (save for one day last summer when a semi backed into a firetruck).