Road Etiquette - Fiberglass RV


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Old 06-25-2007, 09:50 PM   #1
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I guess I am an Anachronism.

I just completed a trip half-way across the country and back, and kept the cruise-control set at 55 mph 90% of the time. Most of my "formative" young adult years were spent under Richard Nixon's "Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act". Instead of grousing like most of my peers, I complied cheerfully. (Yes, I was one of those annoying Teacher's Pet kids back in school.)
My recent gas receipts have proven that at 55 mph, my towing fuel economy maximizes around 16.5 mpg. It drops to 11 mpg when I speed up to 70 or higher.

I try to mitigate the act of being a rolling speed bump. I drive in the far-right lane almost exclusively, with my lights on 24/7.

I have a big yellow CAUTION sign on the back of my trailer:

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I signal my lane-change intentions well in advance of actually changing lanes.

When I was young, I noticed that the truckers would turn their lights on-and-off (or off-and-on) when they passed each other. I started copying this practice back then. What I do when an 18 wheeler passes meEVERYBODY passes me)
As soon as his left tail-light is visible in my windshield (not side window), I turn my headlight switch back one click to the running light position. If the trucker hasn't already done so, as soon as he signals his intention to enter my lane in front of me, I turn my Headlights back on, signaling to him that I have seen his signal and his back bumper has cleared my front safely. He then begins his lane change in front of me.

I look for this finale:
Once he has completed the lane change, he activates his 4-way flashers for 2 flashes and then cancels all signal lights... as a way of saying "Thank You."

When I first started joining this "morse-code" light show 30 years ago, EVERY trucker flashed the "Thank You" signal when they passed me. About 20% did this last trip. I still think it is worth the effort...

Are there any other actions people can take to promote good driving?
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Old 06-25-2007, 10:00 PM   #2
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For a very long time, when I used the turn outs and someone passing honked at me, I thought it was very rude.

What could the problem be with these folks? I used the turn out.. you would think they would appreciate it.

Then, I started noticing it was always the last car that honked.

Then.. I realized.. they honked to tell me they WERE the last car, "thanks, you can pull out now".
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Old 06-26-2007, 01:09 AM   #3
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]

When I was young, I noticed that the truckers would turn their lights on-and-off (or off-and-on) when they passed each other. I started copying this practice back then.

As soon as his left tail-light is visible in my windshield (not side window), I turn my headlight switch back one click to the running light position. If the trucker hasn't already done so, as soon as he signals his intention to enter my lane in front of me, I turn my Headlights back on, signaling to him that I have seen his signal and his back bumper has cleared my front safely. He then begins his lane change in front of me.

I look for this finale:
Once he has completed the lane change, he activates his 4-way flashers for [b]2 flashes and then cancels all signal lights... as a way of saying "Thank You."

When I first started joining this "morse-code" light show 30 years ago, EVERY trucker flashed the "Thank You" signal when they passed me. About 20% did this last trip. I still think it is worth the effort...

Are there any other actions people can take to promote good driving?
----
Thanks for the info! It would be great if this was still "common knowledge".

I was at the airport today, waiting to turn, when a taxi came along. When he saw I didn't BELIEVE his turn signal, he stuck his arm out of the window to let me know he really meant it, so I could join traffic safely.
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Old 06-26-2007, 07:00 AM   #4
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As soon as his left tail-light is visible in my windshield (not side window), I turn my headlight switch back one click to the running light position. If the trucker hasn't already done so, as soon as he signals his intention to enter my lane in front of me, I turn my Headlights back on, signaling to him that I have seen his signal and his back bumper has cleared my front safely. He then begins his lane change in front of me.

I look for this finale:
Once he has completed the lane change, he activates his 4-way flashers for [b]2 flashes and then cancels all signal lights... as a way of saying "Thank You."
Here in the land of daytime running lights, I simply use my 'light horn' which is to flash my brights a couple of times to indicate it's safe to come in... They either flash their hazzards a couple of times or flash their reversing lights (usually big white lights they use to back up to a dark loading dock).. I'd say they're far more consistant than 20% up here. I'd almost venture 80%-90%...

I used to tow our old 1300 with a 6000lb 86 horsepower 4 cyl normally aspirated diesel... Sometimes I couldn't get far enough to the right... Sure gives one a whole respect for what those truck drivers are up against... You're always driving looking for that next big hill that you need to speed up to 120kph before the bottom so that you might be lucky enough to still be in 3rd gear by the time you get to the top...
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:09 AM   #5
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My recent gas receipts have proven that at 55 mph, my towing fuel economy maximizes around 16.5 mpg. It drops to 11 mpg when I speed up to 70 or higher.
Just got back from the Black Hills, 'cruised' 1400 miles at 55mph, got 17.2mpg. In addition to maximum fuel economy, 'cruising' the slow lane at 55mph:

- takes the adrenaline out of freeway driving
- eliminates the need to watch safe following distance
- allows me to enjoy the passing scenery
- lets me smile when I spot a patrol car
- gets me to my destination unstressed

As a former racing driver, lead-foot adrenaline junkie and Type A driver, I have found true bliss as a 55mph egg hauler.
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Old 06-26-2007, 03:47 PM   #6
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It's amazing how enlightened I was when I released the burden of road rushing. It came to me one day that no one at any particular destination was all that anxious to see me and I couldn't possibly be late if what I was going to didn't start until I got there.

Sooner or later I'll be there.
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Old 06-26-2007, 04:11 PM   #7
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Ever notice how some people Stop with their front tires on the cross walk line? I donít think I do that but I did crowd the cross walks, so I am now forcing myself to stop far enough back so I can still see the cross walk line.

Also, in California the law says you must turn on your turn signal for 100í before a turn. In reality, that is not long enough time at freeway speeds or at many other times. That said, in an effort to get better, I am now turning on my turn signal before I need to put my foot on the brake to slow down. This really works out great timing wise and gives plenty of time for others to understand what I am doing.

(sorta fits in etiquette)
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Old 06-26-2007, 08:06 PM   #8
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I find that the daytime running lights, with the associated inability to actually turn off all headlights while driving (even in the day), do make the signaling process much less clear.

The "thanks" flash of signals is certainly the common practice here for truck and bus drivers. I realized this when I found truck drivers doing this when I made space for them to pull into the passing lane on highways, and bus drivers doing it when I slow down to let them back into traffic from a stop. It's not obvious the first time, but you catch on, and it's nice to know that they appreciate your efforts. I've given the same flash to them when they let me in, but would not do this for other cars, since their drivers are unlikely to understand the signal, and may even completely misinterpret it.

My towing setup fuel economy, in mixed mountain and flatland highway driving, varies from 16 to 20 L/100km (15 to 12 mpg(US)), depending on speed. If that sounds not good, remember that I'm pulling a 3000 lb 17' long widebody, not a little egg, and at my version of of "slow" on highways I would still be passing Frederick. I knew speed is important; I was somewhat surprised to find that it makes more difference than mountains.
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Old 06-26-2007, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Here in the land of daytime running lights, I simply use my 'light horn' which is [b]to flash my brights a couple of times to indicate it's safe to come in...
Quote:
I find that the [b]daytime running lights, with the associated inability to actually turn off all headlights while driving (even in the day), do make the signaling process much less clear.

The [b]"thanks" flash of signals is certainly the common practice here for truck and bus drivers... but would not do this for other cars, since their drivers are unlikely to understand the signal, and may even [b]completely misinterpret it.
Herb's signal might be misinterpreted here on the Road Rage Expressway.
Multiple flashes of High Beam lights usually communicates impatience and aggression; it is usually accompanied by tailgating if the lights alone do not get the offending lead car to move aside and allow the aggressor to pass.

My Honda Odyssey does not have daytime running lights.
My friend's Toyota Avalon, (which she allows me to drive), allows the daytime running lights to be manually overridden.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:38 PM   #10
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To change subject a bit.I really appreciate having to use daytime running lights .Its one of the best safety items i have seen for daily driving.
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:14 PM   #11
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To change subject a bit.I really appreciate having to use daytime running lights .Its one of the best safety items i have seen for daily driving.

And no more dead batteries from forgetting to turn them off if it's sunny after a rain or lighter than when you turned them on.

By the way, who is this guy?
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Old 06-26-2007, 11:20 PM   #12
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Hes my Buddy
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Old 06-27-2007, 08:24 AM   #13
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Are there any other actions people can take to promote good driving?
Yes. Keep both hands on the wheel. Stay focused. [b]STOP for coffee and/or snacks. [b]STOP for cell phone use. Too many people have been killed by multi-tasking drivers. Driving a couple of tons of hardware at highway speeds is too dangerous to be a part-time activity.
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Old 06-27-2007, 10:11 AM   #14
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Herb's signal might be misinterpreted here on the Road Rage Expressway.
Multiple flashes of High Beam lights usually communicates impatience and aggression; it is usually accompanied by tailgating if the lights alone do not get the offending lead car to move aside and allow the aggressor to pass.
I knew I let my passport expire for good reason. :-)

Around here blinking highbeams are used for all kinds of things:

(1) hey buddy, you forgot to turn your highbeams off when you came around the curve and saw me.

(2) hey buddy, you're about to pass by a "kojak with a kodak"

(3) Mr. Truck Driver, I cordially invite you into the lane in front of me, at your convenience. Have a nice day.

The way we get slowpokes out of the fast lane is to pull up behind them, at a respectable distance, and put our left blinkers on... Works about 75% of the time (the other 25% are those who assert that 'speed limit' means 'upper bounds' and as tax payers, they have an equal right to any and every lane at any speed up to and including the 'speed limit').
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