Cruise control & middle lane minds

Since travelling longer distances on motorways more frequently and having cruise control on the car, I have noticed an aspect of people’s driving that is Quite Interesting.

When on a not too busy 3 lane motorway, where there is just enough traffic in the inside lane going slightly slower than you, in cruise control at, say, 75mph, you may notice a car behind you in the middle lane that seems utterly content to just cruise behind you at your speed. For ages.

There is nothing in the outside lane and no traffic behind for miles. You notice an end to the column of cars and trucks in the inside lane so pull into it. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, the car that was behind you will now overtake you. Something it could have done at any time in the last 5 minutes via the empty outside lane.

The psychology of this is not as middle-lane-moronic as you might think. The result of seeing you cease to be their “guide car” and become a vehicle in the inside lane is enough to tempt even those drivers with cruise control engaged, “I’ll just get past this thing on the left”, being the thinking. 

stagger startOf course I’m the kind of driver who on any empty road will take the shortest safe line, which sometimes means driving in the outside lane on a right hand bend while others sit bemused behind me in the inside lane, travelling further for no good reason.

If you think of how far a long distance runner would have to go sticking to the outside lane of a circular running track you can see why I wonder what it is that drives people to drive the long way home on a broad, empty, curved, one way track.  Presumably they see the lanes as something that they should stick to, which is a sad statement of brain dead conformity to a false idea. The other option is that they don’t want to have to use their mirrors or think about driving – in which case they should get the fuck out of the driving seat and get someone in who can manage the job.

Finally I have noticed that of the very many cars driving much too fast and/or stupidly, an extremely high proportion are doing so in BMWs and Audis – It’s like they want to fulfil the cliche that everyone talks about… and now, my brother has bought an Audi and my daughter a BMW

– I am at a loss.

BMW crash

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