I had the distinct pleasure (!) of driving roughly 1500+ miles between Thursday evening and very early Monday morning (today). I thought I would share a few observations.

I categorize other drivers. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

  • There are the weavers, who get a quick pass if I can't bear to stay behind to watch the inevitable.
  • There are those who take f o r e v e r to pass someone at 1/4 MPH speed differential.
  • There are the reckless, such as the crotch rocket weaving through traffic at roughly 130 MPH... followed by a Scion TC trying to keep up.
  • There are those going just a little faster than I am. There always should be a reasonable number of these, as my goal is not to be the fastest on the road at any time. I should be getting passed roughly every 5 minutes, but every 15 at most. If not... I think I'm the likely target of any enforcement effort.
  • On holiday weekends, traffic is either moving very well (20% of vehicles doing 15-20 MPH over the limit) or dead stopped for an accident.

But the biggest reason for this post is to ask whether others here also look for good examples to follow. That is, identify drivers who are doing roughly the same speed you are, are not weaving, and generally seem to be aware of the task at hand. Those are the ones who provide a good forecast of what's ahead. If they brake, you can expect it's either a moment of confused merging, or reaction to a cop or other hazard. If the speed limit changes, dropping perhaps 10 MPH, they won't brake, but will ease down over a half mile or so.

I finished my drive at 2:30 this morning, having logged 11 hours of drive time (on the return leg) at an average of 69 MPH, 746 miles at 27.5 MPG. Not bad for an '09 Mercedes E350, stuffed with four people and a absolutely jammed trunk.

By the end of the trip, I was exceedingly tired. I probably should have stopped for the night somewhere around midnight. Instead, I kept mainlining some zero-calorie Monster variant, kept the A/C cool, listened to an audiobook, and wherever possible, identified and followed a good example driver.

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OK - 'nuff said. Back to work.