Survey: How do you drive?

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davedrowsy
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Survey: How do you drive?

Postby davedrowsy » Fri Aug 16, 2013 9:49 pm UTC

Hello, fellow xkcd-ers!

I'm sure a lot of you must be like me in that you like to "optimize" your driving habits according to your principles and what goals are most important to you with respect to driving. It always interests me to learn how my friends drive, so I'm curious how all of you drive. If I get a lot of responses, I might even collect them and do a statistical analysis for fun.

I'll go first -- I'm going to use this survey template, and you're welcome to copy it if you'd like, or you can just describe your driving habits all willy-nilly if you'd prefer. Either way, I'm curious to know how you drive. Feel free to pontificate and give as much information as you want.

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
I'm basically a 27 year old man who drives like an old lady. I'm the guy you hate to drive behind because I always drive exactly the speed limit and I don't speed at all, no matter how much you ride my ass or blink your brights at me. I'm a stickler for following the rules, is part because I think that if everyone followed the rules, there would be a lot less accidents and traffic jams. Of course, I realize that since so many people break the rules, it's a little idealistic of me to think that I can change anything by following the rules myself, but it's the principle of the matter. I also find it easier to drive slower than everyone else for numerous reasons. I used to be an "always try to drive 8 miles over the speed limit" guy. I got into the habit of driving as fast as I could get away with (if you're going 8 miles over the limit, most cops won't bother to pull you over) and making quick decisions out of necessity, which led to a really bad car accident a couple years ago, and that forced me to re-evaluate my driving habits. Since then I've driven exactly the speed limit, and I haven't looked back. I find it to be an easier and much less stressful way to drive.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I usually go exactly the speed limit, +/- about 1 mph. When I get on the highway, I accelerate until I hit 65 mph (or whatever the speed limit is), and then turn on the cruise control. If I'm running late for something important, I might speed 5 mph or so, but only if it's a rare occasion where I seriously can't be late. For example, if I'm running late for work in the morning, I'll call my boss before I leave and tell her I'm running a little late, and then show up a little late, rather than try to speed to get to work on time. I have the kind of job where I can make up time if I'm late, so I don't think speeding is worth the 5-10 minutes I would save. On the other hand, if I'm going to a symphony concert or something, I may speed a little bit if I'm running late. Never over 8 mph over the limit, though, because I don't want to risk getting a speeding ticket.

Despite my own preference for driving exactly the speed limit, I think speeding 5-10 mph is acceptable, basically because everybody does it, and it's not all that dangerous if you're a responsible driver. People who go 15+ mph over the speed limit piss me off, though. One of the benefits of driving exactly the speed limit is that I can usually drive in the far right lane, thus avoiding those assholes.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I love cruise control, and pretty much use it 95% of the time when I'm driving. You might think this is weird, but I even use it on non-highway roads, when I'm going like 35 or 45 mph. I can turn it on and off without looking at it, so using cruise control has become second nature to me when I'm driving, kind of like driving stick. Because I drive exactly the speed limit, there usually aren't a lot of cars directly in front of me, especially on the highway, so I just turn the cruise control on and I never have to worry about adjusting the speed. If I see someone in my lane up ahead going slower than me (i.e. slower than the speed limit), I change lanes if possible ahead of time so that I don't have to slow down at all. If I can't get over, I'll slow down just for a little bit until I can change lanes, and then get back up to the speed limit and turn the cruise back on. Incidentally, the street I live on has a 25 mph speed limit and cops like to pull people over for speeding, so I'll even use my cruise control to go 25-30 mph on my street just so I don't accidentally speed.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I try to stay as far to the right as possible, which isn't hard when everyone is speeding but you. I've internally memorized which lanes turn into "exit only" lanes, so I always stay one lane to the left of the lane that will turn into an exit lane. I'll also typically move over a lane if I see a bunch of cars ahead about to merge onto the freeway, because I know if I stay in the rightmost lane, I'll probably end up behind a car that hasn't sped up yet, forcing me to slow down. I'm always looking up ahead and preparing to switch lanes if I have to in order to keep going the speed limit. Usually I can stay in one lane for miles though, since most people speed and I make them do all the work to go around me :) At least I'm nice and try to stay to the right.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
I have a pretty bad sense of direction and tend to get lost if I don't know all my turns ahead of time. Before GPS-es were a common thing, I used to have to write down directions every time I wanted to go somewhere new, and then keep them in the car for anytime in the future I might want to go there. Nowadays I'm fairly dependent on my GPS. For any given destination, I usually have to use the GPS on numerous trips before I finally memorize how to get there. Over time, it's gotten to the point that I can get to most of the places I know in the Triangle (Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill) without using the GPS, but anytime I need to go somewhere new, even if it's in an area I'm familiar with, I basically still need my GPS in order to get there.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
There is absolutely no excuse for texting while driving. The TV ads are right - it's seriously dangerous, and it can wait. Texting while driving is worse than drunk driving because if you drive drunk, you're still at least looking at the road. If I get a text while I'm driving, I'll admit I might (carefully) take a peek at it, but I'll wait until I park to reply. I try to avoid talking on the phone, too, but if someone happens to call while I'm driving, I'll usually answer it. I just mention to the caller that I'm driving, and usually that keeps the call short.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
My biggest pet peeve is people who don't use their turn signals. That one is self-explanatory. I especially hate when people merge out of a lane that is ending without signaling first - as if they expect me to see that their lane is ending and adjust my speed to let them in. I'm always happy to let people in if they signal.

Another thing that bugs me is the occasional douchebag who makes a point of expressing frustration about the fact that I'm not speeding. He'll ride as close as possible to the back of my car without hitting me, flash his lights, and throw up his hands in frustration as I watch him in the rearview window and smile. Sometimes I wave just so he knows I realize he's there and I don't care how fast he wants to go.

Another thing I hate is when traffic is backed up at an exit coming off the highway, and some people feel like they're better than everyone else, so they use the next lane over to "cut in line," which only makes the problem worse for everyone behind them. I usually try not to let those people in, in the interest of keeping traffic moving.

Also, people who go slower than the speed limit, usually because they're talking on their cell phones. Not cool, guys. I'm willing to bet most of those phone conversations could have waited.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I don't hesitate to use mine, but only in situations where I really think the person ahead of me is driving like an idiot. Like if I'm on a 45 mph minor highway and the guy in front of me is cruising along at 25 without a turn signal on, or drifting in and out of his lane, or something. Or if someone cuts me off without a turn signal. I'm also quick to give a little "courtesy beep" if I'm sitting behind someone at a red light and the light turns green and the guy in front of me doesn't move within about 2 seconds. I think I use my horn about as much as any normal person would. Most days I don't use it at all. Just kinda depends on how the people around me are driving on that particular day.

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Deva
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Deva » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:17 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Caution.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Yes. Prefers (Speed Limit – 5) to Speed Limit. Tolerates others traveling (Speed Limit + 5).

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
No.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Rightmost. Switches to pass.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
No.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Wait until stopped.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Tailgating.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Rarely.
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Cleverbeans
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Cleverbeans » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:49 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
I drive sporadically, and prefer to take the bus. I believe that and active, defensive driving style is optimal.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I never speed, it's the number one cause of fatalities. I prefer ~5km/h under the limit.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes, only for highway driving. Basically if I expect to keep the same speed for more than 10 minutes I use cruise.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I prefer the right lane for two lane setups, although I will generally pick a center lane if the option is given to me.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never, I have a great sense of direction and use google maps to look up a route before I leave.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Both are completely unacceptable to me, I won't even drive with the radio on.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Following too close, it's the number one cause of accidents and does nothing to make your trip faster.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I have used my horn less than a dozen times in my 20+ years driving. I only use it to prevent accidents.
"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration." - Abraham Lincoln

lgw
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby lgw » Sat Aug 17, 2013 12:34 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Aggressive. Now that I'm old and slow, and very aware that I don't have the reaction time or focus of my youth I've toned it waaay down. To aggressive. (I drove professionally for years - everyone overrates their own diving skill, but I can at least say I drove many, many hours with no accidents.) My philosophy is: know your limits, pay attention, and keep trying to do it better.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
There are speed limits? I drive based on the conditions of the road, traffic, my car, and myself. Speed limits are a tax system.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes, now that I have a car with a reliable "keep a safe distance" cruise control, I'll use it where conditions mean I should drive slower than I like to, as it's a great way to not accidentally go too fast.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I constantly optimize for the lane most likely to be moving the fastest in the given time of day and weather. California was hilarious, because the right lane was usually the fastest in any sort of traffic, as all the self-important would crowd the left lanes blind to the fact they were always slower.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Yes, on an unfamiliar route. I love to take different routes to see if maybe some new path is faster or just more interesting, or just to see what's there. It's much faster to get un-lost with a GPS.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Anything that requires my input would be a death sentence the way I drive (and worse, I might actually hurt someone). Listening to a conference call where I'm not participating is OK.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Driving more aggressively than me, when that's clearly unsafe (i.e., it's raining hard, or they're in a big truck, or somesuch). If someone wants to tailgate an inch off my bumper in a sports car on a clear day, that's fine, I'm sure they'll zoom past me in a minute, but to do the same in the rain, or in an SUV?

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Only when someone's trying to kill me because I'm in their blind spot and they were too lazy to check. Of course, I'll first get out of their way, then with the shouting etc.
"In no set of physics laws do you get two cats." - doogly

Tyndmyr
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Tyndmyr » Sat Aug 17, 2013 2:30 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Used to street race...have moderated my driving quite a lot since those days, but still occasionally realize that I am comfortable driving faster/closer than most people. However, I'm damned consistent with seat belt, turn signals, lane position, etc. I also drive maybe 20k miles a year or more, and tend to trade out my car after a few years and keep it well maintained.

Sadly, this is not true of anyone else here in MD, where turn signals are mostly ignored, and people drive like lunatics. Not fast, mind you, but just...crazy.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I reliably speed. How much depends on the area. Some areas just are too crowded, low visibility, etc to really go much over, but other places, 20+ over.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Love it. Won't buy or rent a car without it. Happily use it while speeding.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
If I'm being overtaken, I get in the right well in advance. Cruising in the left lane is fine so long as nobody is around to be blocked, but puttering there is no good.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Yup. It's pretty handy, and I basically rely on it when going anywhere new...but I know my local area and the major interstates pretty well, so I usually don't NEED to use GPS in most cases, but it's still nice to have it just in case.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I'll text at stop lights, or if stuck in immobile traffic. I've found that texting while driving messes with me more than almost anyone else. I don't care if others do it, so long as they can maintain awareness and not be a danger to me, but I'm literally safer reading a novel while driving than texting.

I will talk briefly on the phone while driving, but generally dislike it. Not a huge phone person to begin with, though. Still, I feel it's less distracting than texting.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?


Those people who drive far past the end of merge lanes, gleefully cutting in ahead of those who were patient. That doesn't make you smart, it makes you an asshole.

Conversely, those people who utterly refuse to zipper, and won't let you in, pretending very pointedly that they don't notice the cars merging in as they desperately hug the bumper of the car ahead of them. Seriously, letting one person in won't slow you down that much.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Almost never. If someone's blocking the road and being obnoxious or something, then I'll eventually use it, but most of the time, actually dangerous situations, either the people involved fully know what they're doing, or things are simply happening to fast for the horn to be an effective warning. It's really more of an "I'm annoyed" signal than it is a useful warning.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Rpgamer12 » Sun Aug 18, 2013 2:43 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Anxious-aggressive. I don't trust anyone else on the road, I invariably imagine the worst possible thing they could do at any given moment and I prepare myself for them to do it. I've become quite adept at predicting human behavior on the roads. I've noticed that being in a car changes someone's personality completely, they act akin to people on anonymous message boards feeling there are no consequences for their actions. I drive aggressively to avoid being in danger zones of other drivers, especially their blind spots. I'll mash the accelerator to get out from beside someone. I have 8 years on the road with 0 accidents and very, very few close calls (I can't even think of one off hand) and they say the first 8-9 years you are most likely to get in a serious collision.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Not at all. I'll drive what I feel comfortable at. on the freeway it can be 20-30 over depending on traffic conditions. In a residential area maybe 5 over at the most. I have a strong sense of morality about not putting other people in needless danger even though I like to go fast.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Rarely

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Left, switch if someone comes up behind me.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
I use the gps on my phone for initial route planning, but after that I don't look at it.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Red lights, put the phone down when perpendicular lights turn yellow.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Change lanes in front of me (to my lane) to be the first in line at a light. They always seem to go slower than the lane they got out of.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I have never used it. I'm Canadian and I feel honking is impolite. I would use it if I feel my life is in danger due to another driver, but my driving style is such that I don't get into those situations.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Becani » Sun Aug 18, 2013 3:10 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
I learned to drive in a car with shoddy brakes. Accelerate and decelerate gradually, and as smoothly as possible. No quick accelerations. Also, coast as much as possible, to save gas.


2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
If the speed limit is relevant (I.e. I risk getting pulled over) I will drive at speed limit + 5 (miles per hour) tops. Otherwise, I drive at speeds that feel safe to me.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Never.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Right lane, stay in it. Only pass cars that are moving significantly slower. Get back into the right lane. Get out of the way and let people pass.


5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
No.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Hazardous. Don't do it. Also illegal in many US States. If you have to use the phone while on the road, get some sort of hands-free device. Bluetooth ones are usually pretty inexpensive.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
At night, cars behind me using their high beams. Elevated light levels are very distracting at night.


8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Rarely. If ever, to let someone know that I am there.

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roband
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby roband » Mon Aug 19, 2013 2:56 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Ok, so if everyone drove like me - things would be better. I'm polite and courteous. I will wait when I don't have right of way and get VERY angry when people don't do the same.
When I'm alone in the car and on roads I know, I drive aggressively. When in the car with parents or other family, I slow right down. With friends, it's somewhere in the middle.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
No, not often. Always around 5 or 10mph over, again unless I'm with family members. Or I suspect there's police around with speed cameras.

I will do up to 90mph on motorways (20mph over the limit) because a) lots of people do it and b) I like driving fast.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Only ever used it once in a company car. It made driving 70mph for a long journey (I don't speed in company cars, obviously) very much easier. I have a bad habit of resting my left foot on the clutch pedal though - this resulted in the cruise control disengaging a lot.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
As in part 1) I'm pretty polite on the road. I will move over to a slower lane if there is room to move it. Also, if I'm doing 80mph and overtaking people, I will still dip in quickly if someone comes along behind me doing 90mph.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
No, not ever. I either memorise a journey and use a map if I happen to get lost, or go on google maps pre-journey and write down key parts of the directions needed.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I'm a hypocrite. I accept that. I hate seeing people on the motorway on their phones. I will talk on the phone if I deem myself to be safe in doing so. This is generally in low-speed situations.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Not letting me through when I have right of way. Not indicating. Lights off at night.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Yo, potential person on the other side of this single lane humpback bridge I'M COMING THROUGH.
Also if someone's a dick.
Probably if I saw a friend at the side of the road, as a "hello" and definitely as a "goodbye" when I leave a venue at the same time as friends and we head off in different directions at a junction/roundabout.
Oh, and sometimes just along to the beat of the music I'm listening to (but only for 4 or 5 beats) if I'm in a good mood and there's not many other cars around. For this, I press my beeper really gently and it just *poot*s.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Izawwlgood » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:17 pm UTC

1 ) Quickly but cautiously. I make frequent lane changes and will go around people who are slow, but I maintain a sizable gap between the cars in front of me.
2 ) I drive with traffic, irrespective of the speed limit. If I'm the only one on the road, I tend to 5-10 over. I don't mind speeders so long as they give my car plenty of room.
3 ) Infrequently, but yes. Typically only if I'm going further than 30m and no one is on the road.
4 ) Middle or left. If by 'strategy' you mean 'habits'; I always signal, and give plenty of room to the other cars.
5 ) *ALL* the time. I cannot navigate anywhere outside of my town without it. Boston is the least friendly city I've ever been to with respect to ease of navigation, and I lived in the LA area. For all trips outside of Boston, I only use the GPS for finding someone's house, and rely on my road map for getting anywhere else. I like maps.
6 ) Talking on the phone is less bad than texting. Texting is very bad. If you're going to talk on the phone, use a headset.
7 ) Have zero road awareness.
8 ) As a heads up; if someone is merging into me, if someone is texting and doesn't notice the light has changed, etc. There are two types of horn use as I see it; quick burst(s) to say 'Hey! Pay attention!' which is just a friendly warning/reminder. And >1s but always, ALWAYS <4s, which is the acoustic equivalent of a 'FUCK YOU'. Anything over 4s is the acoustic equivalent of 'I AM AN ASSHOLE', so I avoid that.

EDIT: FWIW, my girlfriend is a terrible passenger, and gets panicked if the driver goes over the speed limit, changes lanes, or uses the horn, so, I drive like a machine when she's in the car. It is one of the things we bicker about.
... with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.

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Adam H
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Adam H » Mon Aug 19, 2013 3:57 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
EVERYONE IS AN IDIOT EXCEPT FOR MEEEEEE. :P

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I aim for 10 mph over. I've never gotten a speeding ticket so it's working out for me.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I love cruise control on the highway. I hate when there's traffic and I can't use it.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Right lane unless passing.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
I always use it unless I know where I'm going, then sometimes use it to see what my ETA is.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Talking on the phone can sometimes be not-very-dangerous, so I don't really approve of making that illegal. Texting is stupid though. Although on my old phone with the T9 texting, I had practiced doing that without looking at the screen so I could do it OK in the car. That was only about as dangerous as talking on the phone. :)

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
I hate when people hang out in the left lane. Oh and I hate hate hate when people slow down a ridiculous amount to gawk at something on the side of the road, especially if it's an accident and we've been stuck in traffic waiting to pass it.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I usually forget to use my horn, and just scream while pounding the steering wheel instead. See #1. :)
-Adam

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Nylonathatep
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Nylonathatep » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:48 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Car Crash involves two careless people. Don't be one and you'll be safe. (That also involves avoiding Careless People) Situational Awareness is key. I also Like to Hyper-mile to practice fuel economy: maintain same speed, less gass/less brakes, no AC, use streamline.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I go with the flow of the traffic (and if the cops have to catch someone, it'll catch the leading guy usually) Also in my country you don't deduct merit points if you are going less then 20 km/hour, you can also talk your way out of a ticket because less then 20+ speed is such a minor offense (unless in school zones).

Hates people that drives under the speed limit for no reason, especially when they hog the fast lane.

Speeding is retarded. No need to risk your life (and someone elses) for going faster then you can actually handle. Unfortunately almost everyone over-estimate their driving ability.

What I don't like is speed traps. Roads where suddenly the speed limit drops without obvious change in condition, downhill where your car will definately accerlate. Cops loves these areas and will setup ambush just to make their quotas.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I think my step-father broke my cruise control when I let him borrow my car. :( I use it on long trips where there's no stop and go traffic. However my cruise control isn't user friendly. The computer sucks at maintaining speed and I could do a better job on fuel economy manually controlling the gas pedal.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
It all depends on what speed you are willing to go at and what's the speed on the lane. If I just wanna go 109 km/h and the car behind me is tailing me and wanna go faster, I'll conceed the lane and let him go first (and the cops can catch him.) What I hate is dumb people going 95 on the fast lane.

Always check your blind spot when you do lane switch. Alternatively, stay at someone's blind spot to piss them off. Better be safe then sorry.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
No GPS.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Currently Outlawed in my province, and rightfully so. I can't handle using the phone and driving and knows how distracting it can be.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Dumb people who does irrational things, hogging the fast lane but go slow, people who turns into your lane and expect you to conceed to them, and people who Road Rage. However I try not to get driven to being crazy; you need to maintain your cool to drive. Otherwise they'll just drag you down to their level like discussions in N&A and D&D on this forum :)

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Rarely. When the car in frount of me is not moving when It should be.
Last edited by Nylonathatep on Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:08 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby elminster » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:55 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
I drive safely and try stick to imposed limits/directions almost all most of the time.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I generally drive at the speed limit almost all the time. Occasionally over on the motorway or very big roads.
Generally it's obvious why some areas are a set limit, but other areas are only set for less confusion or safety for your average driver. Large roads could definitely have a higher limit, but not all vehicles or people can correctly deal with it. They can't really have custom speed limits per person/vehicle, but in an ideal world they would.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
On large roads and long distances sometimes.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Keep in the normal lane unless I'm going to be overtaking within the next 10-15 seconds. I pull into a slower lane if someone behind me is obviously going a lot faster.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
I can read maps well, but I use GPS to save time and fuel in case I get lost. There's a lot of areas around London with one way streets and weird junctions that require you to know direction of traffic and lanes. Outside London it's relatively easy without a GPS.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I'd only answer a phonecall if the phones easily accessible, I'm going to be stopped for more than 15secs and I can finish the phonecall at least 5 seconds before I need to consider moving. Basically only 1 or 2 line conversations. I might make a phonecall if I was just going to say "Hey, can you open the door in 5mins. Thanks" while stopped at a traffic light that just about turned red. The vast majority of calls I just don't take or make.
No texting, ever. Texting is far more dangerous than phoning in my opinion.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Not using turn signals in cases where it's definitely needed. People driving super close behind you when you're already above the speed limit and there's no where to move out the way.

Parking is crazy dangerous positions that force you to drive way more risky. E.g. on the inside of a blind corner, turning it into a 1 lane blind corner.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
If someone is about to hit me or obviously not seen me, I'll use it. If someone is obviously distracted at traffic lights (e.g. I see them talking to kids in back seat just after it's gone green). Although I almost never use it.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby broken_escalator » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:09 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Fast but patient. I'll go as quick as traffic is willing to go, but I don't swerve through traffic and I leave a decent gap in front of me.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
The speed limit, or up to +7 is where I'm usually driving. Sometimes traffic is easily going 80mph in a 65mph so I will gladly keep up with them. My commutes are typically 45mph in a 40mph. I don't speed in neighborhoods, because I'd be very sad if I killed a pet or some kid.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes, it's great if you're driving on an open road. I don't get very many chances to use it except for hour+ drives.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I drive left lane usually, as I'm willing to go as fast as everyone else. IF that isn't the case I'll be in the middle. I think it's legal to pass on the rightside in my state, but I dislike it.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Only for long trips, or traveling somewhere I've never been.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I never talk on the phone or text while driving. The only exception is when the car is literally stopped (like if there is an accident and I'm calling work to say i'll be late).

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
People who drive on the line. Sometimes it's because they're about to merge on you (with no signal of course!), and sometimes it's someone who isn't paying attention.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Whenever I think someone doesn't know my car exists and they should! Or if a car is doing an asshole-maneuver that blocks or goes against traffic... ex: all the people that take turn lanes and go straight then merge in on people. Or someone trying to turn from a non-turn lane and blocking everyone from going... There are a lot of examples.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Xeio » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:33 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
None in particular. Generally hesitation?

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Yes in residential/lower speed areas. No on Highways (except generally in Dallas, where the limit is actually 70 which is reasonable, whereas PA is 55 or 65) I drive probably 5 over on average, but this is highly dependent on the roadway. For example, if a highway suddenly drops from 65 to 55, I do not slow down from 70. I used to, but then I noticed NOBODY slows down when the speed limit suddenly drops for no reason.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes. All the time while highway driving.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Uh, the non-passing lane? And then I move over to pass*? The correct way. <_<

*Moving back is a bit less fixed, and I will delay it if I am soon to pass more cars and there is no one soon to overtake me.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Yes. All the time when I'm traveling, not at all once I know the road (depends on the length and complexity of the trip, but usually 1-2 times for a simple trip).

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Uh, I don't want to die. Talking is so-so on speaker, but it doesn't come up much so I generally ignore phone calls.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Not going through a green light within a reasonable time. Particularly if they're in the left turn lane, because lights are short.

People who drive in the passing lane. People who don't use turn signals.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Accidentally. On a more serious note, I think I've only used it maybe once intentionally when someone was attempting to merge into me.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Red Hal » Mon Aug 19, 2013 8:01 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Assertive yet courteous. I always assume that other drivers are unaware of my presence and drive accordingly. I have never had points in my licence or been cited for a traffic offence, and I've had my licence for nearly 30 years.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Yes, with a caveat; most speedometers under-report actual speed. I have calibrated mine with gps and an app called Torque that takes a feed from the gps and from the car's ecu via OBD. In my car 30/40/50/60/70 actual speed is reported as 35/44/56/66/78 on the dial. I treat those as hard limits and do not exceed the actual speed limit.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes, daily. On longer trips it takes the guesswork out of speeding. I will typically set it for 75 on the motorway to allow a 3mph buffer.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
The correct one; left lane except to overtake.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Yes. Daily for traffic info via Waze.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Bluetooth hands-free only.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Tailgating, lane hogging, rear fog lamps on a rainy day.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
When appropriate, which is almost never.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Adacore » Tue Aug 20, 2013 1:16 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Generally solid defensive driving, although for the last ~10 years I've driven very infrequently (only had a car for a week or two per year), so I'm normally pretty rusty. This probably makes me a bit more of a nervous and timid driver than I would be if I drove regularly.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I was told by my driving instructor to maintain a speed between the speed limit and speed limit +10%, and I do that at all times where it's safe to drive that fast. As Red Hal says, speedometers generally under-report speed. I can't stand people who drive much faster than that on roads that aren't dual carriageways (divided highways). I think on dual carriageways, however, the speed limit is lower than it needs to be a lot of the time, and would favour increasing it to 90 or so, since that's the speed a lot of people drive anyway. I still won't go faster than 77mph (indicated speed) on a 70mph road.

I never intentionally go faster than speed limit +10%, but sometimes it happens accidentally because...

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I'm not sure I've ever driven a car with cruise control and if I have (I'm guessing I must've done, from everyone here saying they use it), I've certainly never used it.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I try to keep good lane discipline, going in whichever is the slow lane depending on what country I'm driving in, except to overtake, but sometimes I don't pay enough attention to it. I noticed a few years ago, when I rented a car in the Netherlands, that my lane discipline was better than the average UK driver but worse than the average Dutch driver.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never when I'm actually driving. I check routes on Google Maps beforehand, and sometimes get a passenger to check something on their phone mid-journey.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Hands-free only, and keep the conversation brief. Hands should never hold a phone while driving.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Tailgating is the main one. Also, people who drive down the hard shoulder or closed lanes when there's congestion, then try to cut in once they reach an obstruction.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I don't think I ever have. Maybe once. I would only use it if I thought there was clear danger, or I was instructed to do so.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Puppyclaws » Tue Aug 20, 2013 3:18 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Aggressive. Go damn it, you're in a car, just go, there are four of us at this intersection just somebody GO. I follow the rules of the road in terms of right-of-way, but I see people be extra courteous and give up their turn and I just want to scream, "you're screwing up the whole traffic pattern!"

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I drive pretty fast. It depends on my mood and if I have passengers, but for certain stretches that I have a good idea on the distribution of police officers I'll go 90+ where the limit is 55. My opinion about speeding is that speed laws are pretty ridiculous, I guess? The only ticket I ever received was in a city center in an obvious speed trap (right across the border between two cities with differing speed limits). So I guess I'm doing OK.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I used to use it a lot. Nowadays I never do, but I think that has a lot to do with nobody being in the car with me anymore.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Left, unless it's a two-lane with minimal traffic. I will pass on the right, but only if you're doing the sort of driving described by the OP while in the fast lane.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never. Not a fan. It's OK if I have a navigator with me and that's the tool they're using, though.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?

I used to answer my phone while driving, now it is a never ever; I will pull off the road if I think it's important. Texting (or Twitter-looking) I won't do while driving, but pull this all the time stopped at a traffic light.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?

Being overly courteous in terms of letting others (even me!) go when they have the obvious right-of-way. People who think stop signs are two (or three!) cars at a time. Not getting over on the highway when I try to let you in. People who get upset when I stop for red lights or similar.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?

Only if I need to alert the person to drive or otherwise get their attention; I never use the horn in anger, though I'm occasionally tempted when sitting in non-moving traffic (but it won't do anything so I just shout loudly in my vehicle where only I can hear).

Adam H wrote:1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
EVERYONE IS AN IDIOT EXCEPT FOR MEEEEEE. :P

....

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I usually forget to use my horn, and just scream while pounding the steering wheel instead. See #1. :)


On point 1,this is everybody's actual driving philosophy. On point 8, yes, I do this all the time. Gosh I get angry when I drive.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Xeio » Tue Aug 20, 2013 5:48 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never. Not a fan. It's OK if I have a navigator with me and that's the tool they're using, though.
Might I inquire how you get around to new places if you don't have a navigator?

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:13 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Defensive but not slow, with a distinct chaotic neutral/good bent. I watch what other drivers are doing and where they might end up, and keep a close eye on ditches for potential hazards from that direction as well, but I'll bend the letter of the law at times, and I do have a weakness for taking corners faster than necessary.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Generally, I follow the flow of traffic more than the actual speed limit, which can be anything from 5% below to 20% above around here in good conditions. In my mind (and David Solomon's, speeding a bit is preferable to driving slower than everyone else on the road. Left to my own devices (ie, an empty road), I tend to stick to the speed limit, give or take a small margin. I used to have a substantially heavier foot, but owning a less economical vehicle has cured me of that.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Absolutely. I rarely if ever use it in city driving, but there's not really such a thing as a short intercity trip here, and I make those not infrequently. Cruise control seems to slow my rate of both mental and physical fatigue when driving.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I stay to the right, and switch to pass. On single lane highways, I make an effort to stay to the right of my lane if I know someone is trying to pass me, so they can see oncoming traffic easier. On dark, flat, desserted highways, I have been known to drift across the center line to give myself more options in case of deer/moose.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Currently, no, a good map and a look at google maps before I set off is generaly enough. If I'm driving in a strange city, I find GPS invaluable, though.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I won't talk on the phone when driving, period, due to a combination of not having a handsfree device of any kind and not liking talking on the phone in the first place. If I'm stopped in traffic, I'll occasionally check text messages if I'm expecting one relevant to where I am going, but never while moving and I'm not sure how I'd even send one.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Not dimming high beams when approaching on undivided highways, and people who have difficulty with merging. Stopping when you have an added lane is even worse.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Extremely rarely, which seems to be a regional thing. I almost never hear anyone else use theirs, either.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby davedrowsy » Tue Aug 20, 2013 2:07 pm UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Generally, I follow the flow of traffic more than the actual speed limit, which can be anything from 5% below to 20% above around here in good conditions. In my mind (and David Solomon's, speeding a bit is preferable to driving slower than everyone else on the road. Left to my own devices (ie, an empty road), I tend to stick to the speed limit, give or take a small margin. I used to have a substantially heavier foot, but owning a less economical vehicle has cured me of that.


Ah! That's interesting about the Solomon curve. I wonder what exactly the "average speed" was back in the 1950s-60s when that study was done, and what it is now, as compared to the actual speed limit. I wonder if they re-did that study now, if the results would be any different. From driving on the freeway to and from work every day, I would guess that most people tend to drive about 5-10 miles over the speed limit, which would make the average speed (at least on I-40 in the Triangle area of NC) about 70-75 mph. So according to Solomon's research, I could be putting myself at risk driving 65 mph (exactly the speed limit) instead of following the flow of traffic and going a little over. It's weird because I actually feel a lot safer driving 65 than 70-75. All of the traffic tends to stay ahead of me, which makes it a lot easier for me to keep an eye on what's coming up and to switch lanes if I need to. By comparison, back when I used to routinely speed 5-10 mph, I found driving more stressful, I got stuck behind slower cars a great deal more often, and switching lanes was harder because there were always more cars around me. In my experience, I would expect the opposite of the Solomon curve to be true - that the cars who speed are more likely to end up in an accident, simply because there are more of them in concentrated areas, while the slowpokes like me hang out behind them.

On another note, the thing you just mentioned about owning a less economical vehicle causing you not to speed as much is another reason that I no longer speed. My car's dashboard calculates my MPG, and I've actually noticed a difference of about 1 MPG better gas mileage with going the speed limit vs. going 5-10 MPG faster. From my understanding, you start getting better MPG the faster you go, but only up to a certain speed, at which point your MPG starts to decline because you're pushing your engine harder. I think that "cap" speed is somewhere around 70 mph, but perhaps it varies depending on what kind of car you drive.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Puppyclaws » Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:38 pm UTC

Xeio wrote:
Puppyclaws wrote:5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never. Not a fan. It's OK if I have a navigator with me and that's the tool they're using, though.
Might I inquire how you get around to new places if you don't have a navigator?


I look at a map/google beforehand and memorize the route, plus I usually have printed out directions sitting next to me on the passenger's seat if I forget. If you have a poor sense of direction or a bad memory this may not work for you as well as it does for me. If it's in the local area I will frequently just wing it. I think I would feel less comfortable with this if I didn't have a smartphone with me just in case but it's typically not a problem.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:22 pm UTC

Word. Nevermind that directions only really matter in the last 10 miles or so (I'm traveling to Savannah, GA? Okay.. what highways do I need? Got it. Now the important bit - what is my last exit number and what streets do I need to know?) a yammering GPS is more annoying than anything because I've yet to see a GPS think "Okay.. they're getting off at an exit... they likely need gas or food or something, so I'm just going to keep my big mouth shut until they specifically request that I say something"

But yeah - before I had maps on my phone, I had maps in my car and maps that I'd look/print beforehand if I thought I actually needed it (I didn't). Now I have maps on my phone.

GPS is great for poor visibility conditions in unfamiliar areas, though. I can give it that.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby philsov » Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:44 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Drive multiple times daily. Quickly but cautiously.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Speed limit is the lower bound on what one's speed should be, assuming good weather and daylight. I'm anywhere between <5 and <15 above the speed limit, speed limit pending.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I'd say maybe 80% of the time? Anytime I know I'll be holding steady for a while. Disabled in rainy conditions.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Far left, unless it is an exit-only lane. Constantly check rearview so I can scoot over to let someone who wants to go even faster do so. But it usually works out that either I can't change lanes due to traffic, or I'm that guy in the first place. Still, I look after others like myself :)

No strategy, really. Check mirrors constantly regardless, but turn on blinker, check mirrors again, look at blind spot, and change.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Anywhere non-familiar, yeah. Which is about once a week. It's pretty much what Talon said; I can follow the big stuff to get there no problem, but a zoomed in map on the final exit/turn off/etc is wonderful (and helpful if I miss it, I can find alternates easily)

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Talking is no big deal, with several caveats in place. Texting is significantly worse because it ties up both the eyes and hand(s). If I'm heading somewhere and want to send someone a "I'm 10 minutes away" text, I'll often pre-type that message so when I'm at the point I just hit the send button. Talk to text is a bit iffy, too.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
- Slow jackbutts in the left hand land.
- People who think they're clever by going into the empty lane with the STALLED vehicle in it only to swerve back into the traffic-packed lane after significantly advancing in the empty lane
- People who are unaware they're forming a Parcheesi blockade with the car next to them. Either (temporarily) speed up or slow down, so the rest of us can swerve around y'all.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
2-4 times a year? Mostly to tell the jackbutt in front of me that the light is green so please start moving.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Izawwlgood » Tue Aug 20, 2013 11:57 pm UTC

SecondTalon wrote:GPS is great for poor visibility conditions in unfamiliar areas, though. I can give it that.
I really only value GPS for navigating places with lots of one way streets. Like Boston. And like you said, finding the last 10 minutes of your trip.

Chicago is way easier, for example, since the whole city is a grid. Don't know where you're going? They're on 800 N. Ashland, and Ashland is 1600W, so, that's easy enough.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Xenomortis » Wed Aug 21, 2013 8:35 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
As fast as I feel safe; usually means I drive above the limit and avoid using the break. That said, when I need stop or slow down for a junction, I don't wait until the last minute to break.
I do start breaking later than normal, but nowhere near as late as my parents.
I am not a fuel efficient driver. Unless I'm following people, I'll stay in lower gears for longer than most, and I readily shift down.


2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Quick overview on UK speeds:
Speed limit on Motorway/Dual Carriageways is 70mph. Everywhere else it's 60mph unless defined through signs. In particular, this means that country roads (which is where I do most of my driving) tend to have erratic limits; a lot don't have limits because nobody has bothered to think of a good one. It is impossible to maintain a speed of 60 on some of these roads, and on some it would be suicide due to blind turns on a single lane.
In general, I try to avoid going more than 10mph above the limit. In some cases (long straights where I know the road), I'll happily go above 80.
Motorway/Dual Carriageway = 90-95mph, if reasonable
If I know there are cameras then I try to stick to the limit, unless I know where the cameras are (then it's the old rules with my slowing down for each camera).


3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Never driven a vehicle with it.


4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I understand some terminology is reversed between the US and the UK:
We drive on the left in the UK. Inside = Curbside (left lane). Overtaking is done on the outside lane (right lane).
As per the code, I'll generally sit in the inside-most lane I can. But since I'll be spending a lot of time overtaking (not many go faster than me), this generally means a lot of time spent in the outside lane.
I don't bother rapidly shifting lanes between overtakes unless somebody has caught up behind me, in which case I give them the chance to overtake.


5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
For motorway trips, or I'm very unfamiliar with the area. This usually means, on average, that it gets set up about once per month. Even when I don't need the directions on the motorway, it's useful as a speedo and camera alert (if not 100% reliable on the latter). If I'm Leeds, I'll turn it off. (I have no idea how to get around in Leeds, but neither does my the sat-nav; at least I can read the One-Way signs).


6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I don't text whilst driving. I tell people I'm driving if they ring me and hang up. I generally don't trust others to be able to focus whilst texting; the amount of people I follow who can't maintain a consistent driving line, nor have an apparent clue on the dimensions of their car, is too high for that.


7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Breaking for no reason.
People who change into the gear they needed three seconds ago. (combined with the above, this can make keeping distance with someone very frustrating).
Approaching roundabouts without looking, waiting until they've reached the line before looking to see that, yes, this roundabout indeed has nobody on it.
People who have no idea how lane merges (particularly merge in turns coming off roundabouts) are supposed to work (which is almost everyone I see on them), and try to merge as soon as possible, defeating the entire point.
People who don't quite merge in the above instances, but still refuse to use all the road and actively stop you from moving ahead (in one extreme case a couple of weeks back, there was at least half a mile of unused road and a clogged up roundabout behind us - a lane was closed on a dual carriage way about half a mile after a roundabout, people were merging as soon as they came off the roundabout).
That said, I don't generally experience people refusing the let me merge when I do get to use all of the lane.


8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I think, in 5 years of driving (I'm 22), I've used it, in a driving context, once. It was to stop someone from reversing into me (I'd stopped about 10 yards behind them and noticed they shifted into reverse) - I don't think they noticed.
A couple of other times to catch the attention of friends walking about.
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Adacore
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Adacore » Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:24 am UTC

Xenomortis wrote:Approaching roundabouts without looking, waiting until they've reached the line before looking to see that, yes, this roundabout indeed has nobody on it.

The opposite is worse, though. I've been a passenger in a car driven by a friend that approached a roundabout without looking, waiting until they've almost reached the line before looking to see that, yes, this roundabout does have a Jaguar XK8 coming around it, and you're about to crash into each other at speed if you don't both immediately pull an emergency stop. We stopped with about 6 inches to spare; the driver of the Jag was less than impressed, and I was, sequentially, terrified then furious with my friend.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby JBJ » Wed Aug 21, 2013 1:44 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Driving habits? Mostly courteous. Neither defensive nor aggressive, really. Although it may look defensive from most outward appearances. I tend to give dickwad drivers a wide berth, just because it's not worth my time to get worked up over them. If some dickwad does something particularly egregious to me or even someone else nearby, I will switch on the aggression in an instant. Not road rage, mind, but more of a troll mentality. My philosophy is along the lines of the Golden Rule. Do unto others, yadda yadda yadda... I have to worry about what other drivers might do that will affect me. The further away they are and the less obnoxious they are driving, the less I have to worry and that pleases me. I like to give other people space, and I appreciate it when they give space to me. Be a dick to me, and I'll be a dick to you.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Most of the time. I like to think I follow the spirit of the speed limit anyway. On the freeway I might go as high as 15mph over (up to 85 in a 70mph), but only if other traffic is moving that fast. Usually I do about 75-80mph on the freeway. On regular streets, I'm usually within 5mph of the speed limit. I feel that the speed limit shouldn't be the absolute upper limit. It should be a guideline that the posted speed is safe for good conditions and moderate traffic +/-10%, and drivers should adjust their speed for the conditions. Fog? Heavy rain? Slow down. Clear day, straight road, no traffic? Go as fast as is safe.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Not on my daily commute. Too many speed adjustments. On a road trip quite often.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Whichever lane I happen to be in. Usually the right or middle. Drivers should use lane discipline, be aware of other traffic and change lanes accordingly. If I'm in the left lane, I will get over if someone is closing in on me from behind. As for strategy; switching lanes to pass or switching lanes to get over? If passing, as long as I'm not going to impede anyone coming up in that lane I'll pull out. For getting over after passing, if you can see both headlights of the car you're passing in your rear/side-view mirror then you have enough room to safely get over.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Nope. I have excellent spatial memory, so even if I get lost I can always find my way back. If I'm going somewhere new I'll memorize the route before hand. I'll also memorize the layout of the streets, especially the major ones, around my destination. If I miss my turn and hit the next major road, I know I've gone too far. Another trick I use is to remember the closest street before the one I have to turn on. That way I'm less likely to miss my turn. I will occasionally use the maps in my phone, but only for a map reference. Not for turn by turn directions.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Talking, I'm okay with. As long as your hands are free enough to operate the car. I mean, drivers talk to passengers all the time. Talking on the phone should be just like talking to someone else in the car. Texting, however, takes the eyes off the road too much. I'll pull over if I have to text. I may read a received text if it's short enough that I can just glance at it. And I'll be holding up the phone at dashboard level, so I still have the road in my peripheral vision.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
I mostly get frustrated on the freeway (or long rural highways). On city streets you're rarely with the same group of cars for very long, as people are always turning off, or you make the light and they don't, etc... If someone is being stupid you generally don't have to deal with them for long. On the freeway, however, you're often stuck with the same group of drivers for miles and miles at a time. There are two drivers that bug me on the freeway. Those without lane discipline and people who run right up behind someone and hit their brakes at the last second. Or those who use their brakes for no goddamn reason.

Regarding lane discipline, I mean passing other cars and maintaining a good flow of traffic. You should pass cars going at least 5mph faster than they are. That's 7 feet per second and the average car is around 15 feet long. Add 3 car lengths to the back and 2 to the front as a safety buffer and you should be able to pass a car in 15 seconds or less. Passing 18 wheelers should be done in 30 seconds or less. If you're passing another vehicle, and as you are passing it doesn't look like you're going faster than a slow jog, you're going too slow! (This is assuming light to moderate freeway traffic and room in front of you to obtain that passing speed. Heavy city freeway traffic is another beast altogether)

People that run right up on others or use their brakes for no reason cause this.
When you tap your brake, the traffic may come to a full stand-still several miles behind you. It really matters how hard you brake - a slight braking from a driver who has identified a problem early will allow the traffic flow to remain smooth. Heavier braking, usually caused by a driver reacting late to a problem, can affect traffic flow for many miles.
... assholes.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Not often. If someone is about to hit me, where I have to take fast corrective action to avoid them, I'll lay on the horn hard and long. If they're just drifting over into my lane slowly, it's just a light tap or two as a "Hey, I'm here!"
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Sungura » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:38 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Assertive but cautious. I assume others are not aware of me. This has gotten me out of accidents more than once (most recently, I avoided a head-on when someone decided to come totally into my lane, I ran off onto the grass and drove there, not missing a beat, but they did get my rear quarterpannel. Still better than a 45mph headon! They didn't even pause or stop.)

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Yes and no....Generally I stick with flow of traffic. Often I do about 5mph over on a highway - which the way my spedometer is, is the speedlimit posted. I speed if everyone else is - it is safer to be with traffic flow than to cause a jam.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Yes, on long trips when the road is pretty open and not much traffic.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Depends on the traffic. If people are moving well, I stay in the slow lane (here, the right lane) and pass if i get to someone going too slow. Other times I'm in the fast lane (left) due to anything from too much traffic in other lanes, too slow traffic in other lanes, or lots of merging and I dont' have an exit for a while.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Only for long trips. I still tend to use maps though.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
Hands free or when stopped.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
How few people can drive with a consistant speed. Peeps going 40 in a 50...and so I scoot to pass, and when I do they bump to 55... DAFUCK. this sort of thing happens a lot. Also, once I moved down south it seems no one can stay in their fucking lane. It doesn't matter if it's oncoming traffic on a surface street and they veer into my oncoming lane, or on the highway and drive half in one lane half in the other. PICK ONE, DAMNIT! Both these issues seem commonplace here in northern Alabama, and something I rarely if ever dealt with in Michigan.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
When someone isn't paying attention and is about to crush me! Which lately, is a lot. I really seriously have bad luck driving here in Alabama. People not staying in their lanes is the largest problem. And it's not even like they are drunk (although sometimes that is the case, I've seen more drunk driving on the road in the last 18 months than I did my 8 years of Michigan driving!) it's just that I guess they feel they have the god-given right to use ALL THE LANES. Whether that be oncoming traffic lanes or just using double lanes down a highway. Especially curves. It's like no one knows how to take a curve here so they swerve to the outside of their lane and into the neighboring, or they over-correct and cut you off on the inside of the curve, or both!
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roband
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby roband » Thu Aug 29, 2013 9:44 am UTC

I just got a new car, so all my answers have changed. I drive like I'm on a driving lesson now.

Also,
Nylonathatep wrote:1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Car Crash involves two careless people. Don't be one and you'll be safe. (That also involves avoiding Careless People) Situational Awareness is key.

This is not true. I once crashed into someone who was doing absolutely nothing wrong.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby OBrien » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:16 am UTC

Before I bother to answer are you only interested in cars or all road users? I have a push-bike so...
Spelling and grammar can go screw themselves.

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Adacore
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Adacore » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:07 am UTC

roband wrote:I just got a new car, so all my answers have changed. I drive like I'm on a driving lesson now.

Also,
Nylonathatep wrote:1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Car Crash involves two careless people. Don't be one and you'll be safe. (That also involves avoiding Careless People) Situational Awareness is key.

This is not true. I once crashed into someone who was doing absolutely nothing wrong.

The only things I've ever crashed into were an unoccupied parked car and the corner of a friend's garage - pretty sure they weren't being especially careless, but I certainly was.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Diemo » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:10 am UTC

Damn those immovable objects! The only things I have crashed into have been garden posts (well, like, the side of a gate really). I think that it would have been avoided if that post had had the common courtesy to get out of my way
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roband
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby roband » Thu Aug 29, 2013 11:32 am UTC

Adacore wrote:
roband wrote:Also,
Nylonathatep wrote:1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Car Crash involves two careless people. Don't be one and you'll be safe. (That also involves avoiding Careless People) Situational Awareness is key.

This is not true. I once crashed into someone who was doing absolutely nothing wrong.

The only things I've ever crashed into were an unoccupied parked car and the corner of a friend's garage - pretty sure they weren't being especially careless, but I certainly was.

Yeah, exactly. I lost the back end of my Rover 100 going around a corner (I was young, the road was greasy and the car tyres on that thing were like those on a bike) and pinged some poor fucker coming towards me in the other lane. He had no idea.

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OBrien
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby OBrien » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:02 pm UTC

Nylonathatep wrote:1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
A car collision involves two careless people. Don't be one and you'll be safe. (That also involves avoiding Careless People) Situational Awareness is key.

Fixed?
Spelling and grammar can go screw themselves.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:17 pm UTC

Nope.
I don't think it's unreasonable to say that a collision almost certainly involves at least one careless party (outside of some extremes).
You really can be involved in a, what may be horrific, collision through no fault of your own. More likely the incident will be relatively minor. I've had two vehicles hit mine whilst I was stationary; one had a good ten yard run up in reverse (surprisingly my car wasn't damaged).
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby davedrowsy » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

OBrien wrote:Before I bother to answer are you only interested in cars or all road users? I have a push-bike so...

Sure, why not! We all share the road anyway.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Aug 30, 2013 7:37 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
I just want to get from point A to point B as uneventfully as possible, so I focus on identifying things that might be obstacles to a smooth drive as far ahead of time as possible and avoiding them. At the same time I try not to be or cause an obstacle for other drivers, such as by moving at a consistent speed, signaling far ahead, merging intelligently, etc; generally being predictable and out-of-the-way. My twin nemeses as far as other drivers go are idiots and assholes: the ones who just don't have good spatial awareness and reaction time etc, and the ones who apparently do but choose to use it to fuck over other drivers. I like to drive scenic winding highways, and hate traffic congestion, traffic-control devices which break the flow of traffic, and traffic cops who are just out looking to make a buck while ignoring actual dangerous drivers. I want the road itself to be interesting and engaging, not a long straight broad boring interstate, but I don't want anything getting between me and the road -- and I don't want to do that to anyone else, either.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
The only reasons I pay any attention to speed limits are if I'm on an unfamiliar route and can't tell how fast is safe for this road, in which case they make handy suggestions, and otherwise I make sure I'm going close enough to it that if I spot a speed trap in the distance I can coast down to the speed limit before I reach it. Note that this doesn't mean I drive as fast as possible everywhere: it just means I'm paying more attention to the road and my car and traffic and weather and other relevant condition, and not so much to some arbitrary number written on a sign somewhere and whether one gauge on my dash matches it or not. Sometimes I pass a speed limit sign and notice that I'm going below it, because that feels like the safe speed for these conditions. A lot of my speed decisions are also related to my "go with the flow" driving philosophy: on a road with long straight stretches and tight curves, I'm not going to want to accelerate a bunch for the straights and then break a bunch on the curves, so I'll accelerate gradually out of one curve, cruise the straight stretch and coast down to a slower speed approaching the next curve, take it safely, accelerate gradually out of it, etc.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
On long straight drives where there's no slow curves or variable traffic, I love it. If I'm going to have to be turning it on and off every time there's a bit of congestion or the road gets winding, I won't bother with it.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
Whichever is flowing the fastest in general. Given an option, I will drive on the left of people going slower than me to try to set up the correct left-lane-is-faster scheme, and if it doesn't require me to sit in slower traffic I will try to leave the left lane open (which is not mandatory here), so I don't have to deal with tailgaters. Notably, however, if I'm already meeting or exceeding the speed limit and exceeding the flow of traffic in all other lanes, I will take the left lane to cruise in and fuck anybody who's pissed off that that can't speed faster. They want to present me with the choice of "drive faster than I feel is safe" (often "faster than I feel is safe from the speed traps I know are up ahead on this road") and "drive slower than I need to", which choice am not obligated to make. I will not sit in the slowpoke lane just so you can drive like a maniac; I'm already speeding, fucking deal with it, I'm probably saving you from a ticket anyway.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Don't own one, don't really miss it. Could be useful when driving in unfamiliar places.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I hate texting in the first place and texting and driving seems like a giant pain in the ass not to mention a stupendously bad idea. I think the hubbub about talking on the phone while driving is hugely overblown, considering other things we accept people doing with their hands while driving, or that we accept hands-free talk while driving which is just as mentally distracting, and that pulling a phone out, hooking up an earpiece (which I don't usually leave plugged in to the phone), putting it in my ear, then answering, is WAY, WAY more hazardous than just picking up the phone and answering. That said, I prefer to drive alone in peace and quiet with both hands on the wheel, especially in non-ideal circumstances. But THAT said, I'm opposed to any laws banning something because it might make you drive recklessly: I think those laws just create innocent victims above and beyond the truly guilty parties we'd catch if we just enforced reckless driving laws properly.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Oh, this is too long to list, and I don't feel like getting in a bad mood thinking about it.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Whenever someone needs their attention drawn to something. Light is green and you're still too busy texting to notice? Light tap. You're about to merge into me on a crowded freeway? Lay it on. You're causing a 10-car backup by driving under the speed limit on a single-lane winding mountain road? Beep beep motherfucker, you need to pull over and let people pass, it's the law and it's just courteous driving.
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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:10 am UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
First, assume that the people driving around me are morons.
Second, assume that I am a moron and take corrective action.
I do not have a lead foot; my car is on its way out, and has been for about a year now, the lever to open the gas tank has been nearly broken since before I got it, I'm poor, and gas is expensive. I'll accelerate slowly to my preferred speed, but I usually reach it, and only rarely does my engine push 5k RPMs to get there.
I don't road rage, but I'll trash talk other drivers; my language tends to get dark and incredibly condescending when I see people drive dangerously wrong. There are some examples of this below.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I usually go about ten over, depending on the flow of traffic. If it is a residential neighborhood, I'll stick with speed limit, or even ten under, and if people on a street tend to go slower than the speed limit, I'll go slower even when nobody else is around.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
Never used cruise control.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I prefer the right-most lane unless they are driving slow, it is a merge lane, or it is ending at some point in the next two miles. In 6+ lane roads (three both directions I mean), I prefer the middle lane, unless somebody is driving too slow.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
If I need directions, I'll print them out and study them before leaving, and leave them in an accessible place so I can know when to take my next turn or whatever almost immediately after taking the previous turn.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I have talked while driving maybe twice since I started driving, and I might read texts at intersections when I'm stopped. Won't write them, though.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Driving slow in the left lane. Tailgating--I might slow down when this happens, because fuck you, you deserve it.
Texting while driving. Talking on the phone while driving. When people do these things, they are prepared to do something stupid, and don't even know it.
People thinking a 1.5 car length gap is an invitation to merge when traveling at inappropriately high speeds.
Drunk drivers. And there are so many of them. Crash into a tree alone and harvest the fruits of your labor. Please don't share, like so many of you do.
When I am going ten over (basically the limit around here for not getting pulled over, though if you have certain stickers you can get away with 15 over), and somebody flies past me 20+ mph faster than I'm driving. I hope you get pulled over.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
Just once. It was an intersection where our light lasts twenty seconds, and the other side gets two minutes, and the person in front hadn't realized it turned green. I only tapped it though, just as an alert.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Enuja » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:14 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
Driving is fun, but internal combustion engines as one person transit machines are terribly wasteful, so I neither own a car nor drive regularly. I do sometimes rent cars.

A fair amount of my driving is city driving, so I keep a very careful eye out for pedestrians, and try to be patient. With one way streets and people meandering in streets, patience is much, much more important for city driving than city walking.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
I follow speed limits, especially where I'm unfamiliar with the area, which is most places I drive, since I drive rarely. It try to be a good social driver, and not create a stone-in-the-stream effect, so I stay to the right, and will go over the speed limit if I think it is safer with the prevailing fast traffic.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
I love cruise control. When the vehicle I rent has it, especially if I'm going on a long road trip, that makes me really, really happy.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
I stay to the right. I pay attention to people ahead of me and the general traffic conditions around me. Sometimes I slow down to stay behind a below-speed-limit driver while I wait for a phalanx of faster traffic to pass. But, most of the time, I can pass the slow person without slowing down.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
Never used one. I think it might be nice, but it has looked annoying when I'm in the car while other people use them.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
I have no idea why anyone thinks it could possibly be reasonable to text while driving. Texting needs your eyes. So does the road. End of story. I have answered calls while driving, very, very rarely, but I think it can be a monster of a distraction and therefore dangerous. Assuming you're hands free, though, tell the other person to take a break when something dicey comes up, and put driving as your first priority, at least it's in the universe of talking while driving instead of reading while driving.

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
Zipping in and out of lanes, trying to go faster than the prevailing traffic. Dangerous idiots. But, of course, I try to make sure there is as much space as possible for these dangerous idiots, because I don't want anyone to get hurt.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
I'm not sure if I've ever used a car horn except to test it. When I'm in a unfamiliar car (which is always nowadays), I don't necessarily know exactly where the horn is, and I am rarely in situations where adding a noise distraction could make things better. If someone is trying to merge into me, though, I think it's a very very good idea to use my horn. But slowing down and not being where they are trying to go is an even better idea. If I could both at the same time, awesome, but the priority for me is to not get hit, not to make someone else not hit me.

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Re: Survey: How do you drive?

Postby Tomlidich the second » Fri Sep 06, 2013 6:58 pm UTC

1) Summarize your driving habits/philosophy:
defensively. stay away from the other drivers, as they are complete idiots most of the time. be ready for something to happen in front of me, always have an escape lane or two ready in case there is no time to brake.

2) Do you follow the speed limit? How far under/over the speed limit do you generally drive? How do you feel about speeding?
Yes. usually exact posted speed llimit, unless weather conditions force slower driving. speeding excessively usually ends with someone in a wooden box.

3) Do you use cruise control? If so, how often do you use it?
No, los angeles traffic is douchey enough to not make it worthwhile.

4) What lane do you drive in on the freeway? Do you have a strategy for lane-switching?
depends on distance to my next hop off/on the freeway. leftmost is better for long straights. avoid the rightmost lane like the plague, because of idiots that don't know how to merge onto the freeway.

5) Do you use a GPS? If so, how often?
yes, when i going a place i am unfamiliar with, or is quite a drive. i like having the traffic functions.

6) What's your stance on talking on the phone or texting while driving?
don't call me when i driving. i either wont pick up, or i will throw it on speaker and say "call me back later".

7) What things do other drivers do that drive (pun unintentional) you crazy?
people who don't understand the concept of accelerating into lane changes. you are expelling energy going sideways, the speed on your dash is not your total forward speed. please push that pedal on your floor.

also, people that lolligag about accelerating up to normal traffic speed after exiting their driveway. i should not have to stomp on my brakes because you jumped out in front of me at 5 mph on a 45. again, please push the damn pedal.

8) How often / in what situations do you use your car horn?
it varies. usually giving a final "hey f*ck you too buddy" to people that commit serious traffic offenses. waking up people who don't go when the light is green. honking at people that can't be arsed to push their automobile out of the roadway when it has broken down. even when they are 6 foot 5, body builder types. yeah those people.
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