Up North

Having just come back from “up north” as we like to say in Minnesota I have a few instructions for all those people that aren’t quite sure how to drive on interstate highways (primarily for 4-lane divided highways) throughout this great land. Here we go with step-by-step driving instructions for the driving etiquette-challenged:

  1. Make your way to a freeway/highway entrance ramp and proceed down it, steadily increasing your speed, until you can merge with traffic at their pace.
  2. Proceed to your destination while maintaining a constant speed. (hint: Cruise control works well here)
  3. If your speed of travel brings you upon a slower moving vehicle switch lanes into the passing lane (left lane) and pass the vehicle in question.
  4. Return to the right lane (all the while maintaining constant speed

If everyone follows these simple rules, everyone will have a stress free trip – it is a well functioning system. If everyone drove this way there would be no breakdown in the system (by definition) and much more efficiency would result. (even fuel efficiency as constant speeds would always be maintained)

Some people claim, however, that other systems would work equally well – particularly the “I just drive in the “fast” lane until someone wants to pass then I get over” method. There are two reasons this technique doesn’t work: 1) the majority of people are trying to follow the rules listed above and 2) this system requires people be more active – always watching for people coming up behind you. It should be the responsibility of the faster car coming up from behind to pass.