Like it or not, if you live on the East Coast of South Florida, you're undoubtedly going to find yourself navigating on the north/south deathtrap known as Interstate 95. It's always been a hectic stretch of road, but within the past five or six years it's become significantly worse. Common sense and decency don't seem to exist on I-95 (let alone in South Florida), and because of that, we all end up paying the price by spending twice as time commuting and less time doing the things that we actually enjoy. The bottom line is that most drivers are complete idiots, that for the most part, shouldn't even be behind the wheel of a vehicle in the first place. I urge all commuters to take a few minutes to read and reflect upon the six points below, and even if you don't take I-95, I'm pretty sure that these can be applied to driving on just about any highway or interstate within the continental United States...
The Left Lane
The left lane/the HOV lane is not for cruising, but rather for passing and/or traveling at least 15 to 20 miles over the posted speed limit. If you're in the left lane doing the speed limit; you suck and you're fucking it up for the rest of the drivers. I'm not condoning speeding necessarily, but a good driver is a responsible driver and part of being a responsible driver is knowing how and when to drive faster than normal. RIP Paul Walker and the other guy.
Since you now know (and hopefully understand) that the left/HOV lane is for passing and speeding, this doesn't mean that you can cruise at 40mph in the other three or four lanes. In most areas, the speed limit is 65mph and if you don't feel comfortable driving this speed; you should probably stop driving altogether because you're holding up progress (keep in mind that 80 is the new 65). Also, and I say this with the utmost respect to my fellow drivers; if your car isn't in the best shape and can't keep with the flow of traffic, please do not drive on I-95. There are plenty of fish in the sea of northbound/southbound roads, so perhaps Dixie Highway or Powerline Road are more suited towards your relaxed style of driving. In other words; if you don't feel inclined to speed a little bit, perhaps I-95 isn't for you.
Curiosity is normal in humans, so it's understandable why we rubberneck, but there should be a point when you say to yourself "I have places to go and I don't care about this roadside distraction enough to slow down and gawk". Unsurprisingly, I don't think that most people ever get to that point, so they needlessly slow down, thus creating a reverse chain reaction of braking vehicles which can stretch for miles. Look folks, it's a fucking accident, it's not the Mona Lisa or a very attractive blonde hitchhiker, so there's absolutely NO reason the slow down, or even worse; stop for a few seconds so that you can take a pictures with your iPhone. Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you! Keep driving, stay focused, and get to where you need to go.
Why do most drivers assume that every cop they see driving on I-95 is on duty? Why must drivers slow down to just under, but not above the speed limit, thus creating the dreaded sea of brake lights behind them? Assuming that you're not ridin' dirty (as the kids say...or said at one point), and your license, registration, and insurance are up to par, and provided that you haven't any outstanding warrants; you have nothing to worry about. Slowing down in the presence of a cop if you're already driving at an acceptable speed is pointless and it does nothing but piss off the people behind you. Also, there's no need to hit your brakes when you pass a traffic stop in progress. It's not like the cop is going to stop what he's doing, get in his car, chase you down, and pull you over for speeding. Lastly, and most importantly, most I-95 pullovers will be facilitated by the Florida Highway Patrol and not the local cops or sheriff. BSO does have the jurisdiction to pull you over wherever they please, but statistically speaking, FHP corners the market on I-95 traffic stops.
Hazards in the Rain
If it's raining, there is absolutely NO reason that you need to drive around with your hazard lights on. This serves no purpose to anybody, other than yourself because you think that it makes your car more visible and less likely to be rear ended. It's an annoying distraction and if you do this; fucking stop! If I'm not mistaken, it's a ticketable offense, but it's one of those things that's rarely, if ever, enforced. Regardless of it's legal status; don't be an asshole and drive with your hazards on in the rain.
Unnecessary braking is fucking unnecessary. I think the issue here is that people are just not comfortable with driving, let alone comfortable with the car they're in. Going deeper, they're probably not even comfortable with themselves, which means, as far as I'm concerned, they shouldn't be driving. If you find yourself constantly hitting your brakes, it probably means that you're following too closely to the car in front of you. If this is the case, you have two options; pass them or slow down and follow their pace. Chances are that they're maintaining a solid pace, but you keep speeding up thinking they will magically move out of your way, you then have to brake, and then speed up, brake, speed up, brake, speed up, brake, etc. Meanwhile, the cars behind you hate you and wish death upon you and your entire family. You have to understand that when you unnecessarily brake, everybody else behind you has to do the same thing, and again, the effect can be felt for miles sometimes.
The way I see it, if we all took a few minutes to read this and apply it to our daily commute, I-95 would be a much safer place, and the day to day congestion will slowly start dissipating, and in the end, we'll all end up leading much happier lives.
Thank you for your time! Drive safely!