I drove down to Joplin yesterday on Interstate 44 and as with the other two trips I've done this year I experienced the same aggravating event... Bad drivers.
Now don't get me wrong; I'm not driving down the road thinking everyone is a bad driver. When I say bad I mean a driver that is creating a dangerous situations. These drivers aren't driving in excess speed (I have to be honest, I was pulled over several weeks ago for speeding and a learned a small lesson. When the officer comes to the window and says, "Sir, hello, how are you today?" it is best not to give the honest answer I did, "Well, I was better three minutes ago.") but rather they are doing 5-10mph less the speed limit in the fast lane.
Each time I approach one of these slow drivers I panic because I know, regardless of how long I stay behind them, they are going to stay steadfast in the fast lane. And, even though I know that, I can't simply duck to the right and make the pass. I always hope that sanity will prevail and that they will do the right, and safe thing, and get out of the way. In this process a line of cars form behind me and then the highway is stacked with a bunch of cars two wide. When I raced, and even now on iRacing, I love side-by-side driving, but on the interstate it is NOT A SAFE THING! A gust of wind, a piece of debris, or someone answering a text could happen and one slight move by one car and then a pile up happens.
The other thing about these drivers that drives me bonkers is when they do eventually muster the speed to pass another vehicle they never do so in a timely manner. The situations that scare me the most is when they are trying to pass an eighteen wheeler. When I pass one of those trucks I want to do it as swiftly as possible because, well, they're a whole lot bigger than me and I want to get away from them just in case something were to happen. These slow drivers in the fast lane however sometimes take a mile or two to get around one truck and if there are two or three trucks lined up in can be many miles before single file driving can happen again and by that time there are too many vehicles in a tight space and getting thinned out can take some time.
Of all things on the open road this is the event that makes me the maddest and concerned because it doesn't need to happen. There is no reason why an event like this should take place. A slow driver in the fast lane is the onset of one of the more dangerous situations on the road. Every time I do eventually pass on the right (it always feels as if I running a red light or intentionally running a stop sign) I look at the driver and usually the driver is lost in a conversation with a passenger and is 100% oblivious as to the danger they are putting other drivers in.
Okay, I feel better that this is now out of my system. I had to write this because I was furious yesterday as I came across way too many of these dangerous drivers. As for me I now head to my presentation at a school and hopefully on the drive to Springfield I don't come across any of those drivers. If I do I will simply wish that they could read this post, or maybe someday have a driving test and an instructor can witness them doing what they're doing wrong right then and there... Well, I say I was on my way but looking out the hotel window I think the weather has different plans for today. The one day is actually snows...