The examples we set

I was driving back from Chicago today, and had just crossed the border over into Indiana. Now, most of I-94 in that area is under construction, with a speed limit of 45. Without divulging my real speed, let it suffice to say that (1) no one was going 45; and (2) I was doing the same speed as the majority of people on the road.

While I am passing a semi (slowly, but passing), a gentleman (using the term very loosely) pulls up behind me. Close behind me. Very close behind me. Close enough that I can no longer see his hood ornament.

Now, remember that we are all going 45 mph. (Honest.) He is less than 3 feet from my rear bumper, and is starting to gesture angrily because the 2-3 mph that I am going faster than a semi just isn't fast enough. I have a sleeping son in the car, and a wife who is trying to nap. Normally, when someone wants to get around me, I'm fine with speeding up or changing lanes in order to accomodate him.

Not today. And it's not because I'm being a jerk - it's because, quite honestly, him getting around me isn't going to make a lick of difference - there's really not that much room in front of me, and there's not a lot of room for me to squeeze into the other lane. Glancing under the truck, I can see that the far right lane is pretty open - he can drop speed a tad, slide behind the big rig, and easily get ahead of me.

Instead he's persisting. And he keeps running up and dropping back - he often is getting close enough that I am thinking that I should be yelling "Brace for impact". I am fairly certain that he flashed his lights, but I couldn't see them most of the time either. So, I quite trying to pass the truck - I'm going to slow down and pull in behind the semi. Then he can go around me. I can't brake (because he will hit me if I do so - he can't react in time), I pop my hazard lights and start to decelerate naturally.

Interestingly enough, the semi has basically matched my speed by this point. I think the trucker had been paying attention to this little drama, and decided that the guy behind me is a tool, and doesn't need the encouragement.

Unfortunately, he pulls in behind the semi, forcing me to abort my plan - but he also can't race ahead in the right lane, since it's been filling up. I shut off the hazards, and move up to the next open spot in front of the semi. He can't take advantage of this, since several cars behind him rush to fill the gap he left, and when he finally can pass me, he races past, immediately cuts in front of me and slams over two lanes - to exit. Imagine. If he had stayed where he was, or gone to the right, he'd have been there sooner.

As he goes past, he shoots me a dirty look, and I'm sure that he was complaining to the teenage boy (his son?) in the passenger seat, about how unreasonable some people can be when you get right on their rear bumper, flash your lights at them, and act agressively.

I do wish I had known when he needed to exit. I'm sure that he got so worked up in trying to get me to move that he wasn't paying attention - he could have followed me all the way into Michigan.


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