Wednesday, December 3, 2008

WTF Wednesday

OK, as some of you may know, because of my work, I'm a commuter. I drive approximately 35 miles one way to work, so I tack on about 70 miles a day in driving on my car. Thankfully I only work 4 days a week, so that extra day really helps keep the gas budget down.

Now, in driving back and forth to work, I've come to one conclusion..

Most semi drivers are assholes.

Don't get me wrong. I'm sure that they're nice folks outside of their cab, and some of the most nice and impressionable folks you'll ever meet.

But while on the freeway? They're asses.

I mean, I live in the Pacific Northwest. It rains here.. Often.

Yet it never seems to fail. I drive to work at an ungodly hour in the morning, and usually the only traffic I'll ever see is trucks.

About 70% of the time, the drivers are decent, and stay in the far right-hand lane, and cut down on congestion if there happens to be another driver around.

However, there have been quite a few times where I've seen all THREE lines blocked by trucks, and they're all going about 10-15 miles BELOW the posted speed limit.

Then there's the grand deal of RAIN.

As I've said before, in this great Pacific Northwest area, it rains quite a bit. Because of this, visibility gets kind of limited from the rain falling, and the spray kicked up by vehicle tires from the road.

Now, in a perfect world, the mudflaps that are added to a trailer are supposed to cut down on this spray. But in reality? All it really does is fan the spray to the sides of the truck. This causes what I've come to describe as "The Halo" effect.

Picture this: You're driving along, and it's gently raining, so the mist is causing you to need your wipers intermittently, and everything's pretty decent. Then, up ahead, you see a foggy shroud. As you get closer, you notice dark shapes in the fog. As you approach, the shapes resolve into lights surrounding trailers. Suddenly, intermittent wiping becomes low. You come alongside these trailers, and low turns to high so that you can see from all the water being thrown into the air off the pavement, plus the added precipitation falling from the sky. As you finally pass this truck and trailer, then reverse. High gears down to low, then eventually back to the intermittent wiping.

The above scenario is only for ONE truck, and that is only if he's in the right-hand lane.

For some strange reason, when it rains around here, truckers seem to feel the need to drive in the center lane. Now, I don't know if this is for visibility reasons, or just because they like to splash cars on BOTH sides, but it's what they do.

Now, if you get more than one truck, there's no hope of maintaining any kind of speed, and visibility is more a game of Russian Roulette than driving. I mean, what if they hit a small patch of standing water that flies towards your windshield? Suddenly the constant spatter is submerged in a gritty and dirty blanket of oil, tar, and asphalt combined with what water is left. Attempting to see through it is nearly impossible, and even the best wipers can only smear the stuff from side to side for a while. Repeat this about 3-4 times, and even the most well dispositioned personality will be thinking about a sniper rifle and hatch marks on the butt end!

Needless to say, I can't stand driving with truckers. While in a car, they're fine. While walking, they're fine. Put them in the cab of a truck, and we've got problems.

Until they can find a way to monitor this better, I'm going to keep buying stock in wiper blades, tires, rain-x, headlights, and rifles and ammunition!

Wish me luck this afternoon, it's raining here, and I've got a drive ahead of me...


bee said...

We've got slush here today so my hubs has to drive on the highway with trucks going faster than they need too and we have the added benefit of muddy slush being kicked up at our windshield. Slow down guys!

catherinette said...

This ride of yours to work sounds really magical. Remind me never to carpool with you.

melissa said...

and THEY..the "mudflap assholes", are one of the main reasons I am so happy I don't drive anymore.