Exhaust Notes: Highway driving etiquette at its worst

I’m driving on a mostly deserted stretch of four-lane divided highway. There are no cars in front of me, but there’s one behind me. That car is about 500m back and has been catching up to me slowly. I’m about 1 km from the next exit. If you’ve spent any time on the highway, then you probably know what’s about to happen. It’s one of the most irritating and pointless things people do, and I see it nearly every time I take a highway.

The car behind me accelerates. I’m doing about the limit, and the other driver was going about 5 km/h faster. Now they’re moving at about 20 km/ faster than me. They pull out to pass, and we’re nearly at the exit. Just before the road widens for the off-ramp, they accelerate hard enough that I see the extra exhaust.

Then it happens. If you’re paying attention you won’t be surprised, but if you aren’t, then you are in for a shock. They cut the wheel sharply and dive across both lanes to the exit. I have to slam on the brakes or their trunk would have been firmly lodged in my front bumper. The last second pass then exit. I see it all the time and it makes absolutely no sense. I know this car, they live in the area. It’s not like they’re from out of town and are blindly following a GPS unit.

What makes people pass at the last possible second when they’re getting off the highway? I’ll never know, but I do know that it’s hard to resist the urge to block them, trapping them until the next exit.

Don’t be a last second passer. Highways have these really neat things called signs. They let you know about the exit before you get to it. Usually more than once. If you’re getting off the highway, get in the right lane and wait the two extra seconds it might take you. When you put it in the guardrail the wait will be a lot longer.

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