As I travel down the road, I observe many different driving styles. Some people are in a hurry to get to where they are going and dart and weave in and out of traffic. Other drivers are slow and steady and time isn’t an issue as to when they arrive at their destination.

From my view, sitting above the flow of traffic, I witness many interesting things such as people following too closely which cause them to brake constantly. Right after they brake from following too close, it causes a ripple of brake lights as each motorist behind them also needs to then hit the brakes. This causes the last car in the line to slow much more than the front car. Next, this causes the back of the line to accelerate to catch up as traffic begins to move again. For example, much like the back of a train begins to move at a different time than the front of the train due to the slack in each of the couplers.

Next, we will discuss the reactionary driver on the road. This person looks for an advantage to dip and dart in any spot which appears to advance their position. Having been a stock car racer at one time, I am familiar with advancing your position in traffic. The problem for most reactionary drivers is they are not looking far enough ahead which makes the majority of their moves unproductive. These are also typically the drivers who wait until the last second to leave the left lane in order to exit the highway. This leads me to the drivers who use exit ramps to advance their position. They will see the exit ramp as another lane and at the last minute dart out in front of you in order to advance their position. My fear is that one day I will get to see the last minute left lane driver dart across to make the exit and meet on the same real estate in front of my truck.

The driver that I notice least is the anticipatory driver. The reason for me not noticing these people is that they drive correctly which causes them to not stand out. This driver is not just looking at the car ahead of them but further out and therefore seldom needs to hit their brakes or make many lane changes. They remain steady and consistent while driving. They most likely use the least fuel, have lower maintenance costs and less crashes.

Let’s all strive to be the anticipatory driver as this driving is safer, more economical and less aggravating.

 

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Henry Albert

Henry Albert is the owner of Albert Transport, Inc., based in Statesville, NC. Before participating in the "Slice of Life" program, Albert drove a 2001 Freightliner Century Class S/Tâ„¢, and will use his Cascadia for general freight and a dry van trailer. Albert, who has been a trucker since 1983, was recognized by Overdrive as its 2007 Trucker of the Year.

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