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Old 06-16-2017, 12:38 PM   #21
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2005 22' Interstate
N. Hollywood , California
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The aggression on the freeways here in S. California has increased dramatically in the last few years. It is often a white knuckle ride .
I don't drive slow in my sprinter but I try to drive safely and I dont want any tickets or accidents.
I get flipped of for no apparent reason and recently someone sped up in a full size pickup truck when I was entering the freeway . I was running out of on ramp so I had to move over . This dude purposely came so close to me at high speed I had to swerve to avoid a collision .
I've learned to let it go and not to react, I don't want any road rage violence because of some buffoon.
I do have a dash cam mounted however so I record everything in front of me.
I can't wait to get out of here next year and move to a place more civilized.
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Old 06-16-2017, 12:40 PM   #22
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Lets fire up the "Way Back Machine" and revisit driving basics with the Smith System from ~ 50 years ago:

https://quizlet.com/19493061/drivers...m-flash-cards/

https://www.drivedifferent.com/
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Old 06-16-2017, 01:31 PM   #23
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Spotsylvania , Virginia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
I went back several years and there's no thread devoted to general driving safety issues. Crosswind assist - yes. Blind spot tech - yes. TPMS - yes. Staged collisions - yes. But what about general safety ideas and strategies?

I've mentioned on previous threads about what a challenge it is to drive an Interstate solo (without another pair of eyes to help monitor blind spots) on Houston's interstates, including the twenty-six-lane Katy Freeway which looks like this:



I've been driving in Houston for thirty years, and for two thirds to three quarters of that time, the conditions weren't that bad. But the state has fallen so far behind on mobility that the driving has become far more adversarial than the laid-back Texas "howdy" attitude that used to prevail years ago. That plus the fact that this city has inherited a million intranational (intra, with an 'a') immigrants who don't always come from places where a polite "howdy" attitude is common on the roadways.

I'm an industrial worker, and we are programmed to never, ever let a near-miss go without developing a countermeasure. But how to develop countermeasures when hyper-aggressive reckless drivers are constantly threatening your life and property? It's not easy.

But looking at it and trying to simplify the issue, I have noticed that, by far, the number one threat to Interstate driving is intentional cut-offs on the passenger side. They'll see that I'm preparing to make a lane change to the right and they'll shoot the gap, assuming that I'll see them in time to avoid a collision. But very often they're traveling at maximum acceleration from several lanes over, so it's almost impossible to spot them in the mirrors.

I have noticed that some of the big rig drivers around here use these stickers on the backs of their trucks in an attempt to remind people how dangerous it is to aggressively overtake a much-larger vehicle in the inside lane where they can't be seen. I bought a pair for five bucks on Amazon. I'm not planning to attach them permanently to the rear of our Interstate, but I think I'll mount them to sheet magnets and try using them just on those days when I know that I'm going to have to face maximum aggressive traffic.

Any other tips and ideas for general safe driving?

Damn it has gotten a lot worse since I left in 1981. At that time they were thinking / starting the 2nd loop. I lived in Sugarland took me about 55 minutes to get down town back then. I stay in the right or center lane and attempt not to hit major cities during rush hour. Being an hour south of Washington DC that means if I head north it is between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m., just me and the truckers at that time of night.
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:09 PM   #24
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ice

Quote:
Originally Posted by sallye View Post
Apparently people in Houston think that you handle driving on ice by driving as fast as possible.
Of course...you need to speed and try to sneak by the hazardous conditions
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:24 PM   #25
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East central , Illinois
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Just drove 6 hours from eastern Kentucky to central Illinois. Here's what we see:
1. Merging drivers that have no concept of how to accelerate to merge into traffic.
2. Truckers that pass us in the left only to merge in front of us and then slow down.
3. Drifting drivers, both car and truck.
4. People in rental truck who have no concept on how wide their vehicle really is or how to maneuver it in traffic. It is NOT like driving your car!
5. God awful roads that look newly repaired but cause the truck and trailer to bounce out of sync.
6. Google maps that takes you on twisty windy roads that are not the best route for a truck and trailer!
I'm sure there are more, but my break from unloading now that we're home is over. That's for the picture of the Houston highway.
Gina
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Old 06-16-2017, 06:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Ron_CA View Post
Yep, been through Houston a few times and didn't like it much Made it though.

What I find extremely helpful in strange city, large freeway circumstances is to have a copilot with their phone displaying your route on google maps. My Wife is usually that person and she tells me well in advance which lane I need to be in, stay where your at for 2 miles etc. really helps
I do the same in heavy city traffic. I have the route on the Kenwood and my iPhone6+ with my wife is on her iPhone with Google maps or Waze. Its a team effort when in a new city.
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Old 06-16-2017, 07:44 PM   #27
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We also use multiple apps....onboard Nav, Google, Waze.......love it when one app says go left when another says go right. Could use the "polling" philosophy like Shuttle computers
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Old 06-16-2017, 08:10 PM   #28
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A side note: before I got the ECU upgrade for more horsepower, I was a lot more scared of driving the AI. It was so slow compared to my regular car that it would create so much anxiety in merging into traffic, safe passing, etc.

With the upgrade, it now feels almost like a normal car and makes it a lot more comfortable to drive.

It is a bit like a sharp knife. One would think that is less safe but it is a dull knife that is less safe!
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:19 PM   #29
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[QUOTE=amirm;1964294]A side note: before I got the ECU upgrade for more horsepower, I was a lot more scared of driving the AI. It was so slow compared to my regular car that it would create so much anxiety in merging into traffic, safe passing, etc.

What is the ECU upgrade?
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Old 06-17-2017, 12:17 AM   #30
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What is the ECU upgrade?
This one: https://www.renntechmercedes.com/ind...p-422tq-detail

Stock Performance:
185 HP / 325 LB-FT

Modified Performance:
265 HP / 422 LB-FT

Gains:
+80 HP / +97 LB-FT

The engine is capable of putting out a lot more power but it is detuned for reliability given that this is a work van. The upgrade above changes the engine control mapping back to if the engine was in a passenger car.

It is a bit of a pain to do the upgrade. You have to remove the ECU to ship to them in florida. The stupid thing is sitting under the aux battery under the hood. To remove that battery you need to remove bolts that are hidden and darn impossible to get to. After a lot of cursing and using every tool in my toolbox, I managed to do it.

If you fedex it to them, you can get it back in 2-3 days if you do the paperwork in advance. Strangely they want a copy of your driver's license to do it.

Alternatively you can take it to one of their dealers and have them do it. A lot of them are actually Mercedes dealerships. The closest one to us was still pretty far so I decided to do it myself.
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Old 06-17-2017, 05:39 AM   #31
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Good advice. Thanks.
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Old 06-17-2017, 06:37 AM   #32
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I agree that when towing the best safest strategy is to be cautious and defensive except when it's not. Sometimes you have to be willing and able to actively get out of the way of other idiots. And having a vehicle capable of doing that helps tremendously.

I have pulled with less capable TV's never less than a full size v8 SUV. And that was scary at times.

My last 2 tv's have been 3/4 ton diesel trucks. With towing capacities more than double the max gross weight of either of my airstreams.

Many think it's overkill and I can respect others opinions and it's obviously possible to yow with less, but for me it feels safer, I don't have wobble, sway, bouncing, etc ever, even on the worst roads and even when towing I can accelerate and decelerate as quickly as most cars on the road.

If I see a potentially Hazardous situation I get out of the way. Either by slowing down or speeding up.

Also about lane changes if I am on a multi lane highway in a city I don't change lanes unless I have to, the lane I'm in is where I stay as long as it's not the far left lane.

Lane changes when necessary in traffic here's what I do when I have to, turn on blinker, wait a bit, start moving over very slowly, keep eye in mirror for changes, keep moving over slowly, take up two lanes for a bit while you slowly continue over.

Pretend like there's a car beside of you and you're slowly pushing it out of the way giving them time to move while actually doing the best you can to ensure there's not.

Painfully slow but unmercifully moving over. Even extremely aggressive drivers won't crash intentionally and if you give them enough time to either pass you or move, and move slow enough that they can't not see you, it works every time.

If you have to get over multiple lanes in a short time, to catch an exit, just miss the exit.

TV performance helps you drive safely, it's way easier to speed up or slow down to get out of the way than to merge if you can do it.

Also if you feel compelled to move over quickly to give someone else room, don't, they'll figure it out. Speed up, slow down, but don't move over like you may do when not towing. It's not worth the risk.

Be more careful and cautious, be less courteous. Never be aggressive. Drive slower.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:09 AM   #33
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In our case it's worse than simply living in Houston - we live on the south side of Houston, stuck between Houston and the Gulf of Mexico. That means that we have to traverse Houston in its entirely almost every time we go somewhere, with Corpus Christi and Louisiana being partial exceptions. I wouldn't continue to live here if I could help it, but my husband works at Johnson Space Center and does shift work besides, so we have little choice. We have to remain close by.

Trip timing does help, when it can be achieved. Our last mini-trip was to Sam Houston National Forest, in early May before it got too hot. We left Friday afternoon 3:00 p.m. on the dot, took toll roads where possible (they are a bit better on congestion but not much and not always), and then returned Sunday before 10:00 a.m. That trip went well with no near-misses. But I routinely have to work during regular business hours and then get the Interstate on the freeways at rush hour. I've been on IH-10 westbound at 5 p.m. when it looks worse than in that initial photo I posted.

Air horns were discussed on another historical thread. The big rig drivers tend not to use them around here. The problem is that, although they may serve to effectively reprimand and intimidate aggressive drivers, they scare the beejeepers out of nearby innocent drivers, and that alone might cause a wreck. We upgraded our OEM Sprinter horn, but I wish there were an intermediate option between still-wimpy horn and full foghorn blast.

I don't agree that driving an Interstate is like driving any other car. Interstates have far, far less emergency maneuverability. There's only one defensive, evasive option open to it: full-on straight-line braking. There's no swerving avoidance capability. There's no rapid acceleration ability. There's no tight-turning ability. Perhaps the dually NCV3s with stability control are a bit better than the T1Ns in a few of these regards.
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Old 06-17-2017, 07:58 AM   #34
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Interstate safe driving strategies

Space is what matters. Pretty well everything else depends from that. Maintain space ahead first (more than 300'). To the sides, second. In short, if on rural Interstate you find you're surrounded by other vehicles, you've screwed up

The low IQ types cluster together. Including around you. They'll pass and slow. Just ahead of you. Others will drive up. Be funny if it wasn't dangerous. They learned to drive from video games. Reading wasn't an option.. But they're not even remotely capable of comprehending this danger. Cancel the cruise and slow 7-8/mph. Fall back a quarter mile. Make it a habit. It won't change your day.

Houston's only bad on IH45. It's basically 100-miles of metro freeway from Galveston north. The rest is much better than many smaller cities. Especially if one uses the toll roads.

In Texas, the worst traffic by far is Austin. The only way past is TX-130 Tollroad.

For any major metro area expect traffic to increase when 75-miles out. Expect to lose an hour during the day.

See the map about US Megaregions for an idea about traffic density.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:44 AM   #35
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Nice map - I Imgur'd it and pasted the embed below. It reminds me of how much I am NOT looking forward to shooting the northeast corridor solo, later this year. Like shooting a Class V rapids, freeway-style. The choices available to me are not good, given that I need to go from Houston to Nova Scotia.

I do find that the Garmin I recently bought (Airforms thread here) does help with predictive lane alignments. Even in Houston where I've known the roads for 30 years, I like to travel with it whether in the Interstate or my daily driver.

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Old 06-17-2017, 09:21 AM   #36
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Carlisle , Pennsylvania
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Hi

There is no magic single answer here.

If you get off the interstate and take the smaller roads, you get into excitement like the horse and buggy around the blind curve. Slowing down to 10 mph on every curve gets a bit tiring ... Driver fatigue matters as well.

Dropping back to keeping 300' spacing is great. If you are in any sort of traffic, it's a terrific way to get everybody on the planet to pass you. They then pull in 20' from your front bumper. At least around here, there's always traffic. Indeed getting out of a "cluster" of vehicles (if you can) is a *really* good idea.

No matter what you do, having some extra braking power or acceleration can come in handy. If you use it all the time, it is no longer "extra".

Watching the big long haul trucking rigs is a very good idea. Most of them know what they are doing. They usually have better knowledge of the route than you do. Every so often you see them apparently playing games with each other ... not a good idea to emulate that part of it.

Yes, it's a crazy world.

Bob
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:28 AM   #37
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Be careful towing anything on Detroit freeways. We have wrecks every day from people merging into each other, and changing lanes into each other. I swear to God it can be 1 am and there can be one car on the freeway and one merging and they will hit each other. Everyone likes to blame cell phones but it is just bad driving. There is absolutely no need to change lanes as often as people here do. I will not tow through the city itself.
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Old 06-17-2017, 10:32 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeremiwvu View Post
I agree that when towing the best safest strategy is to be cautious and defensive except when it's not. Sometimes you have to be willing and able to actively get out of the way of other idiots. And having a vehicle capable of doing that helps tremendously.

I have pulled with less capable TV's never less than a full size v8 SUV. And that was scary at times.

My last 2 tv's have been 3/4 ton diesel trucks. With towing capacities more than double the max gross weight of either of my airstreams.

Many think it's overkill and I can respect others opinions and it's obviously possible to yow with less, but for me it feels safer, I don't have wobble, sway, bouncing, etc ever, even on the worst roads and even when towing I can accelerate and decelerate as quickly as most cars on the road.

If I see a potentially Hazardous situation I get out of the way. Either by slowing down or speeding up.

Also about lane changes if I am on a multi lane highway in a city I don't change lanes unless I have to, the lane I'm in is where I stay as long as it's not the far left lane.

Lane changes when necessary in traffic here's what I do when I have to, turn on blinker, wait a bit, start moving over very slowly, keep eye in mirror for changes, keep moving over slowly, take up two lanes for a bit while you slowly continue over.

Pretend like there's a car beside of you and you're slowly pushing it out of the way giving them time to move while actually doing the best you can to ensure there's not.

Painfully slow but unmercifully moving over. Even extremely aggressive drivers won't crash intentionally and if you give them enough time to either pass you or move, and move slow enough that they can't not see you, it works every time.

If you have to get over multiple lanes in a short time, to catch an exit, just miss the exit.

TV performance helps you drive safely, it's way easier to speed up or slow down to get out of the way than to merge if you can do it.

Also if you feel compelled to move over quickly to give someone else room, don't, they'll figure it out. Speed up, slow down, but don't move over like you may do when not towing. It's not worth the risk.

Be more careful and cautious, be less courteous. Never be aggressive. Drive slower.
Last two paragraphs are spot on! But people generally think they have the right of way when merging. They don't!
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Old 06-18-2017, 01:25 AM   #39
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Last two paragraphs are spot on! But people generally think they have the right of way when merging. They don't!


The gigantic number of stupid ones we've imported are literally not capable of using the information from their mirrors. I'm not kidding. It's too much of an abstraction.

They trundle on down the ramp and expect others to make room for them.

Or, also illegal, tailgate in a group down the ramp to force the outside lane from inherent ROW.

Same for the left lane. Damned funny they believe there is any ROW in the left lane.

Conceptually, the Interstate is one lane. The left lane only appears when one needs to pass. That's it in a nutshell.
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Old 06-18-2017, 06:55 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Countryboy59 View Post
Be careful towing anything on Detroit freeways. We have wrecks every day from people merging into each other, and changing lanes into each other. I swear to God it can be 1 am and there can be one car on the freeway and one merging and they will hit each other. Everyone likes to blame cell phones but it is just bad driving. There is absolutely no need to change lanes as often as people here do. I will not tow through the city itself.
I actually learned to drive on American freeways in St. Louis, where I went to grad school. I lived in the inner city and was rarely obligated to get on the freeways as my school (WUSTL) was in the same area as my apartment. But when I did get on the freeways, I couldn't believe what I saw. People taking unnecessary risk after risk after risk. It was jaw-dropping. Learning to drive in that environment was pure trial by fire.

I traveled to Detroit and saw the same behavior. Then I moved to Houston and was pleasantly surprised by the calmer behavior. In the early 1990's, my job required me to travel, and I visited 19 of these United States for work purposes, and drove in every one of them. Mostly I was pleasantly surprised. Even driving in Los Angeles rush hour, in those years I was pleasantly surprised. Traffic was astonishingly heavy, but people were orderly, so it was do-able. It's sad to see the rise in roadway aggression - it's so pointless and self-defeating.
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