Every drivetime, the radio news calls out wreck after wreck on the traffic report. Would you like an illustration of one of the main reasons there are so many crashes around here?
This is 70MPH traffic, full highway speed. A safe following distance for most drivers is somewhere around 350 to 400 feet. Here in the #1 lane we have ELEVEN cars in that same distance. At this kind of spacing, the drivers not only do not have time to stop, nor even time to react, they have no time to register that something is happening in front of them before they have already crashed. The cars about halfway through the stack will see that some crashing is going on, but they will still crash. MAYBE the last car or three will be able to swerve, which will cause auxiliary crashes.
They can’t keep a safe distance, and they can’t be bothered to look before changing lanes, and they text while driving, and occasionally they will eat from a plate with a fork. Spaghetti. Cereal with milk. So.
Plus, many of them also suck at “reading” traffic AND are impatient, bound-and-determined that they will go zooming past everybody, risking multiple deadly-dangerous close-quarters lane changes cutting people off to try to gain one place on the road race. Out of frame to the left is a red BMW Z4 roadster, with the top up. It passed me and joined the deadly procession in the “passing” lane shortly after I took this picture. The maroon Nissan pickup with the twisted bed WAS behind the silver Honda, in front of said BMW. The driver of the truck sucks at getting ahead in traffic. Anyone should have been able to see, on this day, that the #3 lane was slower than #1 and #2, and everyone *should* realize that big trucks slow dramatically on big hills like this. The driver of the pickup truck changed lanes at least a half-dozen times, typically of Austin without using a turn signal – and by the time I got off the highway, the red Z4 was still in line in the #1 lane and well ahead of the pickup. I was also ahead of the pickup, and saw them (in my mirrors) cut across two lanes of traffic to make their exit.