Welcome to Cincinnati, where drivers literally move in front of you while you are on a clear path. They have no reason to move other than they like the appearance of the lane you are in. I have honked at people before to have them move out of the way. After they realize that they are in the way, they let me pass and then they move back to the passing lane! This means they are content in that lane regardless of other people. They actually feel that it is the proper lane to cruise in. They have no idea.
Cincinnati driving is truly unique. Where I’m from (not cincy), people have a general understanding that you should be courteous to others, yielding to them when they are trying to move fast, and moving out of their way when they are merging. For most Cincy drivers, these thoughts have never crossed their minds. That’s not to say that they aren’t nice in general, but while driving, they have no idea how to be courteous to other drivers.
Tip 1: The “Fast” Lane
Key words: Traffic Flow.
Traditionally, the left lane is where you go to pass someone. When you are in the left lane you should be passing someone who is to your right or merging back into the right-hand lane. When you notice someone coming up behind you that is travelling faster than you are, you need to move over. Speeding up for a brief second to get out of someone’s way is fine. It’s ok to briefly go above the speed limit if it contributes to safer more courteous driving and contributes to a better flow of traffic.
Remember, slower traffic is not necessarily safer traffic. In fact, slow drivers are an unwelcomed obstacle to others who are trying to get somewhere. Slow drivers cause people to make more lane changes and brake more often. Common sense tells you that more accidents would occur during lane-changes and speed-changes than while travelling in a straight path at one speed.
Tip 2: Merging Traffic
Key words: Be helpful.
After nearly being driven off the road by several drivers, Cincinnati drivers should be informed of one thing. “Move for merging traffic”.
You don’t have eternal rights to your lane. We need to work together so that we all can get where we are going. The attitude that says, “I was here first” won’t win any friends or help fellow travellers merge onto the road.
Notice if they don’t merge, they run off the road. Only you can help them in their time of need.
Your number one goal while driving should be to help the flow of traffic. It benefits everyone. And if it makes you feel better, realize that efficient traffic is better for the Earth, saving acceleration, braking, tire wear, gas, emissions, and carbon dioxide output (although carbon dioxide is a driving force of life, but I digress).
Here is a little chart that everyone in Cincinnati can print out and place in their cars, until they learn how to drive. Let’s call it a “Traffic Flow Chart”.
Tip 3: On-Ramps Are For Accelerating
Key words: Traffic Flow.
Admittedly, this is not unique to Cincinnati. Many places have this problem, it’s just worse in Cincinnati. On-ramps are made for you to accelerate on. This means that lingering at 45 mph when you need to be going 65 mpg is not good.
The recommended action is to press on the accelerator so that you can successfully merge with the flow of traffic. Remember the key words? “Traffic Flow”. Be a part of it.
Tip 4: For the highway designers. Give us room to merge!
Key words: Don’t kill us.
Notice the image. The traffic going onto the highway (on-ramp) shares a lane with traffic getting off of the highway (off-ramp). When the on-ramp is also the off-ramp, people die.
So, here we have some cars needing to get their speeds up to about 65 mph, sharing a lane with people who have to drop their speeds to 35 mph. Not only is that difficult and dangerous, they give you about 200-300 feet to do it in.