In Oklahoma, We Have To Become Better Drivers
As I sat if heavy Sunday traffic last week, I couldn't help but channel my road rage into self-reflection. Planning my way, hating on that one anonymous random driver that can't seemingly do anything but hop in my lane. Quietly give them the bird under the dashboard... the usual. I realized something as I looked at license plates. I used to think Texas had the worst drivers when I lived there.
Houston has a tendency to flow traffic in excess of 85mph regardless of rain. Corpus Christie lives life in the fast lane slower than most being a chill coastal town, and every farmer between here and there thinks they own the entire two-lane highway. There is nothing worse than trying to cross six lanes to hit the left-exit to H-Town in Dallas in the very short window you're afforded while fighting the traffic just trying to go any of the other five directions... Texas is a challenging place to travel.
When I lived in Northern Oklahoma, the bad drivers typically had Kansas plates. They were the type to always do the speed limit in the fast lane. Oklahoma has adopted laws now that are supposed to keep people from loitering in the "passing lane," but as budgets dwindle, there aren't enough people to uphold that particular law. Not that it matters. Heavy traffic outside the two Oklahoma metro locations really isn't a thing. And if you're doing close to the speed limit, it's probably not a big deal to you either.
Two Sundays in a row, I found myself stuck behind congested masses of Oklahoma plates. Not just in the metro areas... On I-35, Hwy 74, US-60, and two different turnpikes. It's like people have forgotten how to drive. Not to say I'm the best driver, I would never say something as confidently narcissistic as that even though I am a pretty good driver... I finally experienced what out-of-state drivers are complaining about. One big mass of hesitant drivers all waiting on one person to make a move. It was like watching a herd of cattle slowly accept their doom as the predators moved in around them. Just a blob of traffic.
So what can be done about it?
You can start by being the one person that makes a move. Be the confident driver that decides going with the flow isn't what you're destined for. The guy driver that slips into high gear and passes someone. Ride that slow-pokes bumper until they get out of the way. If they force you to pass on the right, do it... but be sure to cut them back off pretty close just to let them know being a dickish driver is no longer accepted on the road. But most importantly, stay out of the left lane unless you're passing someone else. And if you pull out there a little early so you don't have to wait to pass, speed up. Nobody cares that you're going faster than the person in the right lane if you're slowing up everyone in the left lane. Be better. Make Texas the bad drivers again.