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Driving habits

Huw commented about how people speed up while you're passing
them...I have contemplated this, too.  Reached a different 

I don't think their speeding up is always conscious or voluntary.  I 
think many people pay so little attention to their driving that 
they're just moving with traffic.  When someone passes them, thewse 
dim bulbs unconsiously "pace" the overtaking vehicle until they 
realize they're a lot faster than they want to be - at which point 
they drop back.  We've all noticed this - car driving 50, speeds up 
to 65 while being passed, drops back to 50 after the pass is compete.

Of course, it's the ones who drive 50, then tailgate you after you 
pass them which are candidates for the James Bond oil-and-fog 

Igor (?) commented that drivers don't pull over for overtaking 
vehicles in the US.  The one exception I have found is Texas.  it is 
a custom throughout the state (and we have very wide road shoulders 
here) to pull over onto the shoulder while maintaining your speed, 
and to let others pass.  This is a very helpful custom which is 
observeed more often than not.  For some reason, though, people do 
two silly things related to this custom:

1)  They sometimes pull over when approaching a blind hilltop or 
corner, at which time I will NOT pass, in case they find an obstacle 
on the shoulder;
2)  They sometimes won't pull over while there is oncoming traffic, 
but pull over only when the oncoming traffic has passed - by which 
time I'm already in the left lane and going hard.

Perhaps the two most anti-social driving habits Texans have are;
first, most are not convinced the legislature has passed a law 
making it legal to use turn signals; second, there is no such 
thing as a "passing" lane.  Texans seem to feel that they can drive 
forever in the left lane.  This reasults in a need to weave back and 
forth between lanes when overtaking a knot of slower cars.  However, 
in general, Texans drive fairly quickly, pull over when overtaken, 
and are generally a pretty decent group to drive around.

Al Powell, Ph.D.                 Voice:  409/845-2807
107 Reed McDonald Bldg.          Fax:    409/862-1202
College Station, TX 77843