An observation I have made while I ply my trade upon the highways of our great country has been many motorists do not seem to see much more than 50 foot beyond the end of the hood of the vehicle they are driving. 

In many of these cases, they seem completely oblivious to what is going on in the nearby real estate adjacent to the vehicle they are traveling in. It becomes obvious when you see a vehicle make a lane change which makes absolutely no sense because that lane is not moving either or it is moving at the same pace as the lane they just left. It seems as though they see an empty hole in the traffic and they feel compelled to maneuverer their way into it.  

In most of these cases I don’t believe the driver is trying to be rude it seems as though more than their attention is not being focused on the big picture regarding traffic flow. Lately, I have been observing this practice of a vehicle seeing the exit lane off of an interstate as an open opportunity for forward movement from their spot in the traffic queue. The practice of using the off-ramp as a passing lane despite it being on the right side of those that they are passing becomes especially dangerous when we have the vehicle from the far-left lane to swing across all lanes of traffic to get off at that same exit. 

Finally, what we see is the oblivious driver who is riding in the left lane at less than the speed limit and slower than the traffic flow of the right lane. This by itself causes some really interesting maneuvers in the flow of traffic. The oblivious driver makes even more of an impact when there are more than two lanes.  On a three-lane highway, they will travel in the center lane for 10, 15, 20 miles and more oblivious to the fact that they are like a rock in a stream causing vehicles to dive to the right and left of them as they go around.  This gets even more of a problem when the left lane is posted no trucks which leaves me no alternative but to pass them on the right. 

In the end, take in the big picture and plan more than fifty feet ahead of yourself. 

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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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