Everything you do on the road influences the traffic around you. When I’m on the Interstate, or on a two-lane highway and a big truck passes me I will flash my headlights at the driver. This tells the driver they have successfully cleared my space and its safe for the truck to come back over, this is sharing the road.
On the big road where everyone is traveling at high speeds it is necessary to constantly plan your moves ahead as you would in a chess game. Watch traffic far ahead and if you see cars moving over to the fast lane to go around a slower vehicle it’s time for you to start planning your move to the fast lane also. If you wait until the last minute you might find the left lane a little harder to merge into. If you see a stopped vehicle on the interstate shoulder move to the left as early as you can. If you are in the left lane already give the traffic traveling next to you in the right lane the opportunity to move over by increasing your following distance and opening up a space for them in your lane. You say it’s their job to find a hole to merge into? Yeah, you’re right, but why force others around you to take chances, share the road.
Sharing the road and controlling traffic around you from the saddle is part of the chess game. If someone is tailgating you on a two lane highway you can usually get them to go around you by gradually slowing down a few mph when there is an opening in the oncoming traffic. It’s like helping them to make the decision to go around. Speeding up is what a tailgater wants and this will only bring them with you, but now at a faster speed. When you have a slow vehicle in front of you and you are unable to pass due to oncoming traffic you can back off and increase your following distance. This will tell the driver ahead not to slow down so you can pass, and 9 out of 10 times they will pick up the pace. It’s kind of like using reverse traffic phycology and its all part of the Road Chess we play every time we drive.
John ‘Hammer’ Hanzlik
ALR Chapter 1 Road, Omaha, Neb.