Monday, January 29, 2007

Driving with fish

A major realization hit me about a year ago. People drive on the freeway in a fashion that is similar to schooling fish in the ocean. People tend to try to drive in packs. I think these packs naturally form as a result of our schooling/herding instinct that still lies deep in ourselves. Even in driver's ed, I learned that people will tend to try to drive in packs. I've heard these packs referred to by a variety of names, but ultimately, I think the herding instinct is a holdover when we where fish living in schools, hundreds of millions of years ago. This instinct was almost completely dorminate until billions of us got behind the wheel of a car during the 20th Century.
For example, when you pull up on someone's side in the next lane at about 5 mph faster, there is a pretty high chance of that person slightly speeding up to match your speed. And the same is true in the opposite. If you are ahead of someone that is slowing pulling up on you in the next lane, there is a high chance of that person slowing down to match your speed, usually in your blind spot. Of course, this usually occurs when you need to get into the land into that space they occupy.
I've learned to work around this and use my knowledge to my advantage. I know that powering ahead instead of just cruising ahead will actually cause most others to ignore me instead of trying to join me.

1 comment:

bobo said...

guilty as charged.I do sneak up too a driver to set my speed cause my dash is out let them get the speeding ticket before me.Otherwise I am just fine in being by myself .