Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Insight of the day - Murphy and the law of changing lanes

Imaging you are driving in a lane too slow for your taste. You wait a while, try to tailgate for a while, with no luck. Finally, you decide to change lanes. And the lane you were in suddenly zooms on ahead!!

Here's my explanation.

Consider the case where you are driving in "autopilot mode" and don't realize you are slowing down. Then, suddenly, the driver behind you changes lanes and you notice this movement in the rear-view mirror. You wonder, and take a peek at the speedometer and realize you are going at 65 mph on a 65 mph road ... Holy Snails!

You decide to correct for your snail's pace and accelerate. The guy behind you now tries to overtake you from an adjoining lane, but can't - you are now moving close to his speed.

From the perspective of the other guy, he just changed from a lane that was too slow, to a lane that was not, and the first lane just moved faster!

If this is indeed true, then turning on your indicator for a lane switch for half a minute should also potentially jog the driver in front to check is speed.

Update: Unfortunately, after having tried this, I was forced to conclude, that most drivers just want to drive slowly in order to annoy folks behind them! 

No comments :

Post a Comment