Tuesday, September 23, 2003


as an engineer, i have been taught to work with the different patterns in nature in order to find the most efficient (get the most for the least) method to live by. now i spend about 1.5 hrs a day on the freeway. noticing the patterns of individual drivers, as well as the freeway as a whole.

my perception is that it acts just as a pipe with water flowing through it. it couldn't be air, since air is compressible, and cars are not compressible just as water is not compressible.

here are my findings:

1. when you drive next to someone, they automatically speed up. even if the car in front of them is closer to them than the car in front of you. nobody likes to be driving next to someone. but they don't think about it.

2. when cruising, and all of a sudden coming to a stop, people feel the need to switch lanes in order to gain 1-3 car lengths, from the position that they'd be in if they had not switched lanes. but then 1 min later, the car that was behind them, is now 5-6 cars in front of them because in stop and go traffic, all cars move at the same speed, just at different times.

3. when you want to cut in front of someone, the only way to do it is with speed. keep your car behind them, don't pull up next to them, because instinctually they will speed up and close the gap between their car and the one in front of their car (your desired position). when you see your opportunity, speed up and pass them with a significantly higher speed then the one they are cruising at, so they have no chance to speed up and usually don't since they will just create an unsafe situaiton instead of just blocking you from their lane. and take the spot.

4. what i just wrote, is the reason traffic doesn't go as smooth as it could. if traffic on the freeway was like water, we'd all be courteous, we'd take turns merging, and we'd be kind instead of ruthless, recless, and thoughtless. intelligence is definately not reflected through driving. or maybe it is? maybe that's when the true personality comes out? nobody is there telling them what to do or influencing them, and somehow it's not so easy to inconspicuously look at someone without them noticing that you looking at them are while driving, so many people don't.


if we all took our time, and didn't try to cut everyone off and flowed a bit more like water instead of a pack of dogs jumping all over each other we'd get home that 2mins and 17secs earlier... regardless it just doesn't matter, and it really pisses everyone off to just sit on the freeway going 25mph in a 65mph zone.

i should start driving a motorcycle. cause then i'll be able to go in the carpool lane and inbetween cars, and it's legal! but i also think you die earlier if you ride a motorcycle... hmph.


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