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Old 07-01-2014, 04:35 AM   #1
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Insanity on the highway

Just returned from a driving trip (just the car - not our camper) to Ft Worth, Texas to visit relatives. The visit was great, and the Texas weather was perfect - 70s and low humidity. The trip to and from Ft Worth, especially on the interstate through Tennessee and Arkansas, however, was a different story.

Here in VA, we are used to a speed limit of 70 on the interstate, and troopers generally allow 5mph over before they will pull you over. Many drivers get away with 10 or more over, but we know the troopers will eventually get at least some of them.

During our trip, we discovered that if you don't drive at least 85 (10 over), you will get run over. And it is very scary to have two trucks doing OVER 85, side by side, and one is flashing his lights in your mirror to go faster, when you are in the right lane already doing 85. And then there are the motorists who pass you doing somewhere around 90+, and on their cell phones to boot.

While this is going on in the middle of Tennessee, we encountered two separate pairs of state troopers parked in the median, and totally ignoring the fact that almost everyone was doing 10-20mph over the posted limit.

Lastly, we also saw a 5th wheel, approximately 35 footer, being towed in the passing lane at over 85mph. What would happen if he blew a tire at that speed ??? They would probably be picking up the pieces for a week, not to mention other motorists who would be involved in the wreck.

IMHO, this is insanity on the highway, but obviously the state troopers don't seem to care, and all the motorists know it.
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:26 AM   #2
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Had a similar experience in south Florida. Was very happy to get out of there and back to the insanity of Boston
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:42 AM   #3
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How dare you to talk about us in Arkansas and not even mention our pot-holes interstate highway system....that's mostly what we are known for!!!!
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Old 07-01-2014, 05:59 AM   #4
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I'm most uncomfortable driving around San Francisco.
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Old 07-01-2014, 08:57 AM   #5
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Yikes!
Now I know why the GoodSam trip planner has a button to click for "avoid interstates".
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tunce the traveler View Post
I'm most uncomfortable driving around San Francisco.
You and me both. We narrowly missed a really bad accident 15 minutes after getting on the freeway with a rental car. San Francisco = public transportation.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:12 AM   #7
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Hehe glad to see its everywhere in the great US of A. Next week I'm towing down New Jersey's Garden State Parkway. By the time you get to the campground you need to have a few cold ones after white knuckling it for 3 hours.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:39 AM   #8
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South Carolina had public service announcements on how to merge onto an interstate - complete with animation.

San Diego had the best interstate manners. Unless there was rush hour congestion, you could merge at 65 and folks would make a hole for you. Not so in Washington state. Left lane drivers who PREVENT you from passing.

As for 2-lane state / county roads, I still find myself driving in the middle of the road (like I did growing up in MT) and only move over when a car is approaching.

Interesting to hear driving habit quirks from around the country.
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Old 07-01-2014, 10:23 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SecretCoveDave View Post
Yikes!
Now I know why the GoodSam trip planner has a button to click for "avoid interstates".
You may have just sold me on a Good Sam trip planner; the ability to route a trip specifying interstate avoidance is probably worth the price of admission for me.

Down here in Texas, most of our interstates are limited at 75, some are 80 or 85. That's the posted limit, 10 over is quite common and mostly accepted around the state.

I tow at no more than 65 (and that's if I'm gaining speed to go up a hill) most times I'm at 60, sometimes even as low as 55 depending on the road and conditions. I have spent significant time towing on the interstate exactly once. Big rigs were passing me like I was sitting still, and it was one of the very few times towing that I felt sway because of them. Since then, I avoid interstates if at all possible while towing.

When I'm not towing, I'm going no more than 5 over the limit, on the roads that are limited at 80 or 85, I'm going no more than 75. It drives my wife crazy because she wants to drive with the speed of traffic; I'm happy to let them all get way ahead of me and just relax in the natural gaps that develop between clumps of vehicles on the highways. On most of our trips, the additional risk of traveling that fast is DEFINITELY not worth the few minutes (if any) of time saved...
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:35 AM   #10
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