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Red lights

  1. Oct 31, 2009 #1
    If I'm coming up on a light that just turned red, I take my foot off the gas and just coast up to it. For no apparent reason, this drives people behind me crazy. Just today I had some guy speed up around me a thousand MPH and cut in front of my really fast as if to say "take that for going slow", just so he can come to a quick stop 20 yards later. And then he just stared at me through his side mirror, I guess waiting for me to give him a look or something so he can get out with his gun and shoot me or whatever it is crazy people do nowadays.
    Anyway, this is just something that I won't relent on. I refuse to waste my gas, speeding up to a red light or a train crossing when a train is coming just to appease the lunatics behind me.
    I love it when someone speeds up in the other lane, stops at a light 50 yards ahead and then I coast up and pass him just as it turns green. I didn't waste my gas or my break pads and I'm now ahead of him again.
    But of course I'm smart enough to realize that not everyone can drive like that, since we'd have roads backed up with people coasting up to red lights. So I guess we need the stupid people to keep the roads clear. The people who speed up to a train stop just so they can slam on the breaks as if they thought the mile long train would just vanish by the time they reached the crossing.
    It's not their fault they're stupid and can't put 2 and 2 together, but they don't have to be crazy about it.
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  3. Oct 31, 2009 #2

    Chi Meson

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    I applaud your efforts in not wasting unnecessarily, but if this is happening a lot, then maybe you are coasting a bit too slow. How slow, anyway? 15, 10, 5 mph? Do you have automatic transmission? Sometimes just coasting with automatic makes the car go faster.

    I'd personally get a little irked if it was so slow that I'd need to brake while "idling" forward.

    Remember, there is more than one way to drive, and everyone thinks that "they" are driving correctly. Meet them partially. You already have the attitude that will save you in the long run. Occasionally allowing a little bit more speed won't be noticeable.

    You will NEVER please everyone, so don't try. But also, don't try to tick off people just because they are stupid or unaware.
  4. Oct 31, 2009 #3


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    First off, I drive exactly as you do. Secondly, binary drivers don't seem to bother me as much as they used to. There seem to be fewer of them since gas prices have gone up.

    Binary? Ok, I just made that up. They consider the brake and gas pedals to have only two possible positions: not pressed, and to the floor. And of course they have to have their foot on one of the pedals at all times, otherwise they might forget where they are.

    I like to talk to them in a nice quiet voice with my windows rolled up without pointing fingers or honking and say to them; "You get bad gas mileage, because you are an idiot." But usually I will shorten this to; "..... because you are an idiot." because it covers all of the things other people do. Saying it out loud seems to have a more calming effect on me than just thinking it. This may be how chanting mantras got started back in the olden times when rude camel drivers would cut you off.

    Aummmm.......... Aommmm...... Ommmm... says you are an idiot, Ommmm says you are an idiot...

    Try it. It works.

  5. Oct 31, 2009 #4
    If the speed limit is 45, which it is most of my way home from work, I'll get down to maybe between 30-35. Not really that slow at all, but about 30-35 MPH slower than these "people" behind me want to go.

    I always give people my fuel saving tip, but they don't seem to want to listen. They either don't understand, or don't believe me, but it's "use your brakes as least as possible". It's really simple. My car stays in motion and I save all that kenetic energy I built up. Everyone else is slamming on their breaks at every red light and having to get all that weight moving again. Plus it saves on changing brake pads.
    That's a good term for them. Seems like some people hop in their car, say "time to go" and just floor it until they're at their destination.
    Honestly, I just usually call them a bunch of obscenities or I'll make fun of them. For instance, I'll make fun of their little collage football flag waving or if they have a smashed tail light, I'll explain to them (to myself) how driving like that is the reason they got smashed. I usually end up making myself laugh, so it turns out good. They're the ones who will probably end up having the jaws of life cut them out of their car sometime in the future.
  6. Oct 31, 2009 #5


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    What do you mean by that? Do you mean you always drive 10-15mph below the speed limit or just when coasting to a stop light? If you are driving that slow a lot of the time, then you are driving way too slow.

    I also take my foot off the gas as soon as I see a stop light in front of me (that I won't make it through) turn yellow, even if I'm still a quarter mile from it, but I've never had someone go around me to beat me to the light.

    My last boss was so impatient, he'd go around people if he thought they should have gone through a yellow light - running long red lights! He's had his license suspended a bunch of times...
  7. Oct 31, 2009 #6


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    You may be a candidate to drive an electric/hybrid vehicle.

    Watch 2:45 thru 5:30 on the following video.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/tCArK17Hu1M&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/tCArK17Hu1M&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    Being one with your vehicle is even more satisfying when it is one of the most efficient vehicles on the planet.

    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  8. Oct 31, 2009 #7


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    Timber is the big industry in these parts, so we have to share the road with pulp trucks, log trucks, chip trucks, etc. With the cost of fuel, parts, and maintenance, they tend to coast gently to red lights, too. Most towns have noise ordinances forbidding the use of engine brakes within town limits, and truckers don't want to wear out their brake shoes any sooner than necessary.

    It's a fact of life, so we all live with it. The infuriating drivers are the passive-aggressive ones that drive 5-10 mph under the posted limit when traffic is heavy or they're in a no-passing zone, then speed right up if it looks you might have an opportunity to get around them.
  9. Oct 31, 2009 #8


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    Same here, if I'm not going to get through a light, if it's yellow, I take my foot off the gas preparing to stop for it and have not had people race around me or anything like that, even when I still lived in NJ where everyone drives in a big hurry with no gaps between cars (when I left NJ, I had to learn that people in other states consider that tailgating...ha ha).

    But, if you're not getting to the light before it turns green again, that's going to drive people pretty bonkers. And, if you've already been driving like a snail the whole way, taking most of the distance between lights just to get up to the speed limit again, it might just be that people use the opportunity of you slowing down even more to pass you and get ahead of you once the light turns.

    There's generally a happy medium somewhere between flooring the gas and slamming on the brake for every light and just toddling along so that you end up stopped at every light (you're not going to save much gas if you spend a lot of time idling at long lights you could have gotten through if you drove a little faster between them).

    If a lot of people are passing you, you might want to speed up some. If you feel like you're passing everyone, you might want to slow down some (it's probably a speed trap or cop ahead...ha ha). If you really are just stubborn about the speed you're driving, then if you want to go slow, keep over as far right as possible so others who want to go faster can get around, and if you want to drive fast, stick to the left lane so people can pull to the right out of the way (and if the right lane has no spaces between cars, don't ride the bumper of the person in front of you in the left lane if they are still gaining on them and looking for a place to get over). And for some (many?) people, the time saved getting to their destination is worth more than a few cents worth of gas.

    See, easy. Driving well generally just requires paying attention to everything around you and adjusting accordingly.
  10. Oct 31, 2009 #9


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    Oh, yes, I encounter drivers like that often, but I'm not sure they're "passive agressive" so much as the ones gabbing on their cell phones who slow down and drift along as they stop paying attention to the road instead of their call, then speed up again when they finally notice you trying to pass them or when they end their call. There are plenty of days I'd like to replace my car horn with a recorded message that shouts, "get off the phone and drive!"
  11. Oct 31, 2009 #10
    Around here if you drive slow like that you will be pulled over and you will probably end up with a ticket. It's really dangerous driving slow causes a lot of accidents.
  12. Oct 31, 2009 #11
    I don't understand it, around here people give so much effort to get a car length ahead; weaving through traffic at 50 mph only to slam on their breaks moments later at a light, stop sign, etc. I usually drive 5-10 mph over the speed limit and virtually everyone behind me seems so impatient, it's unbelievable some times! Although, only on rare occasion do I observe other drivers going this "slow."
  13. Oct 31, 2009 #12
    I'm a school bus driver.
    If I could set up cameras around my bus, I could make a documentary about BAD drivers.

    I learned to drive in a standard transmission car by my mother. She would put a glass (three quarters full) of water on the dash. I learned to drive such that it would not spill.
  14. Oct 31, 2009 #13


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    I learned to drive when I was 10-11 years old. My father bought an old Willys Jeep, and until he got the extra bucks to fix it up, the throw-out bearing and clutch didn't work. The clutch was engaged all the time. I learned to speed shift without using the clutch. I'd put the transmission and transfer case in low-low so the resistance was low enough to start the engine on the starter motor, then shift up by sound and feel, bouncing through the fields.

    Believe me, I would have spilled all the water and broken the glass, too. :tongue:
  15. Oct 31, 2009 #14
    I hate red lights. I wish the person who made the red lights should have died before coming up with that idea. :devil: I also hate people in the front of the lines who decide to stop too early. Include those also who would take few seconds to accelerate when it turns green. I pass through about 20 light on my way to the work and back, and my happiness correlates with the number of the green lights I see.
  16. Oct 31, 2009 #15
    I sometimes get annoyed by people who coast slowly to the stop light but only the really slow ones. For some of these people I have to come to nearly a complete stop and let them get ahead of me because they are going slower than my car does even when I am not using the accelerator at all.

    What really annoys me though is when I am trying to pull out onto a street and someone is snail pacing it to the light giving me the option of either wildly dashing out in front of them (which I do not do but rarely) or waiting for them and all of the traffic approaching behind them to pass before I can get on the road.
  17. Oct 31, 2009 #16


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    For some reason I have a whole other association with red lights, I think it is time for me to get my drivers license and move to a different apartment :rolleyes:
  18. Oct 31, 2009 #17


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    There is a downside to what you're doing, even to drivers who aren't simply being pinheads.

    By driving slowly when coming up to a light, it means that you (and they) must have your attention at 100% all the time. Personally, I find that fatiguing to do. Coming up to a stop and waiting there has the advantage of allowing you to rest momentarily, let your attention go, refocus your eyes, etc. before resuming.

    If you are ahead of me, forcing me to drive continually, you are forcning me to drive in an unnatural and fatiguing manner.
  19. Oct 31, 2009 #18
    He asked me how slow I'm coasting at. If it's 5 - 15 MPH, so I responded by saying I get down to about 30-35 at the slowest. That's about the point I'm reaching the light.
    Really? I wanna move to your town. It happens to me all the time. I've even had a guy behind me right on my butt when I was coasting up to a train crossing. The train was obviously there and a big line of cars was there, but I was coasting up to it and I looked in my rear view mirror and this guy is flipping out in his car because I'm going so slow. So when he finds an oppening, he speeds up around me about 50 MPH all the way up to the line of cars, then stops. About 30 seconds later, I coast up right beside him.
    What did he accomplish? Well I guess he got me back for making him have to go slow. He sped around me really fast and that gets back at me somehow.
    I want a hybrid, but it's expensive to replace the battery. I'm waiting for an atomic fusion fueled car.
    True, but sometimes it's like a guessing game. If you go fast, will you make it, or will you end up having to slam on your brakes? If you go slow, will you end up hitting the light or will the light turn red and then green again by the time you get to it?
    I try to drive between the speed limit and 5 MPH over, but not over that. People still pass me. But it's not really the driving part that this issue is about, it's about the people who speed up ahead of you just to stop at the red light ahead.
    I think that's a misplaced cause. That's like blaming video games for kids shooting up the schools.
    Someone is speeding and they hit a guy who's going slow, and it's the slow guy who caused the wreck?
    Seems like no matter how fast you go, there's always someone behind you, riding your butt, wanting you to go faster.
    It's almost like everyone is observing my speed and whatever speed I'm going, they all adjust their speed so they're all going faster than me.
    That's exactly the way I feel.

    And while we're on the subject of people stopping at lights, I hate the people who stop either too far ahead of the line or too far behind it when they're in a turn lane. Do these people not know that there's metal detectors on the ground to detect that their car is there? How do they think the light detects that they're there? Magic?
    And I hate the timing on some of these lights. On my way to work there's about 3 lights that have the turn lane automatically turn green while I'm waiting to go straight and there's NEVER anybody there to turn. It's automatic and not triggered. That's ridiculous. And it's been that way for years. And to top it off, there's a website I can go to to complain about traffic timing, which I've done several times, yet they still haven't bothered to do anything about it.
    There's also this road on my way home from work that has a side road on it. There's a light there and the side road gets a green light for about 5 times longer than the main road. So I always see a line of cars and trucks there, waiting for nobody, at this long red light. Then theirs turns green and then red again pretty soon, so people are forced to run it, otherwise traffic would build up too much. It's been like this for about a year now. It hadn't always been like that, someone changed it.
    Now if I see somebody waiting at the side road, I'll speed up a little. I'm a pretty courteous driver, but I refuse to waste my gas on my 15 mile trip home from work just so I can appease some nutcase behind me. He can speed around me all he wants, but I spend enough gas already going to and from work to waste it.

    Sorry for the long post.
    It's no different than if the light was green and we didn't have to stop. Or do you only get fatigued when you have to go slower than the speed limit?
  20. Oct 31, 2009 #19
    I have a Honda Civic Hybrid. When I slow down enough, the engine shuts off while the car continues to roll. I move for free. It's not enough to retire on, but I like the idea so much that once in a while I stop on the highway just to see it work.
  21. Oct 31, 2009 #20


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    How fatiguing can it be to place ones car into neutral when one is approaching a red light? If everyone did this, wouldn't they all coast down at pretty much the same rate?

    You're not an ex-bicyclist are you? I can't imagine a bicyclist pedaling up to a red light at a constant speed and brake at the last moment. It simply doesn't make sense.

    Perhaps we need an extra tail light on vehicles. I thought it might help out if we had a green light when we've our foot on the accelerator. It would remove some of the psychic requirements in trying to determine what the hell the guy in front of us is doing.
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