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July 28th, 2012

Everything I Learned About Driving I Learned from John Hodgman

Well, not everything. But one thing.

On a recent episode of the excellent Judge John Hodgman podcast, the Honorable Judge Hodgman was “clearing the docket” of “cases” to “rule” on. None involved excessive quotation mark usage, but one did address a common traffic dilemma: when a driver sees a sign about a lane merging into the lane next to it, when should one merge? Should it be at the point of the signage or at the point of the merge?

I always thought the answer was, “Once I see the sign, I should merge.” And that’s how I’ve driven for 18 years. But His Highness consulted with a neat-sounding book about traffic and the answer was such: merging at the merge point, instead of at the point of signage, lets the road do its duty and allows as many cars as possible to use as much of the road as possible. So, merge at the merge point.

This makes sense to me, and now I’m That Guy who merges waaaaay up at the merge point. Happened to me in traffic yesterday morning in fact. I looked behind me and saw about 9 car lengths behind me, empty and waiting to be used.

Posted in Cars

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