Posts tagged ‘driving’

Maximizing Traffic Flow

As much as I hate driving in Michigan (road conditions, number of drivers on the road, etc), I have to hand it to the engineer who decided to make the left turn arrow at the end of the light. In other locations, drivers get a left turn arrow at the beginning of the light, allowing cars to turn unobstructed. But then you get a few cars hanging out in the middle of the intersection waiting to turn who end up going on the yellow or red light to clear the intersection. This not only increases the risk of an accident (misjudging oncoming cars stopping at the yellow light) but can delay traffic from starting to cross once they get the green light. By having the left turn light at the end of the light signal, the entire left lane is moving. This allows the last few cars that in the other sequence would be sitting in the middle of the intersection to safely clear, because they don’t have to wait for oncoming traffic to stop and to get their car moving.

February 9, 2009 at 11:03 am Leave a comment

Open Road Phenomenon

Have you ever noticed on the highway that when the road curves, traffic seems to open up? I first thought that perhaps the turn itself had some impact on the positioning of cars within the lanes, but the more I thought about it, I came to another conclusion.

When driving on the highway, most of the time you can see a good distance in front of you. Because of this, you usually see a fair amount of traffic in front of you. Although these cars are pretty far away, the traffic seems heavy. However, when the road curves, especially those long winding curves, the road seems to empty. Only the cars immediately in front and visible to you make up your perception of how heavy the traffic is.

Oh the thoughts you can have during a 4 hour Sunday drive

October 20, 2008 at 1:21 pm Leave a comment

SIRIUS Satellite Radio Review

I had a chance over the last week to sample SIRIUS satellite radio. I was not that impressed and have one major complaint (imagine that). Whenever the car drove under an overpass or through an area with a fair amount of tree coverage, the satellite reception was lost and the radio went quiet.

You would think SIRIUS would utilize some type of progressive load of the song so that short interruptions in connection wouldn’t cause an outage. By playing a song maybe 5 or 10 seconds behind the actual stream, there would be a buffer of already loaded song to continue playing while the satellite connection is reestablished.

August 25, 2008 at 12:59 pm 1 comment

California’s Hands Free Law

As of July 1st, it’s illegal in California to talk on a phone while driving a car, unless you use a hands free device like a bluetooth headset. I understand the point of the law, but I think overall it’s lacking.

You can legally dial a number while driving. The law does not forbid texting. And not to mention, in the last 3 days I’ve had a meal and 2 snacks in the car, which require just as much ‘hands on’ as holding a cell phone.

If the idea is that the only having one hand available for steering is a safety issue, texting should definitely be part of the law. That can even require 2 hands on some devices. Realistically, if the idea is to get more hands on the wheel, then the law should be you have to drive with two hands.

I think the bluetooth headset manufacturers gave the CA government a nice little campaign contribution in return for this new law!

July 9, 2008 at 2:21 pm 1 comment

Poor Convertible User Design

As a manufacturer of a convertible, why would you think it’s a bright idea to put a bunch of reflective pieces of molding throughout the car? When I drive with the top down, the sun reflects off almost all of the interior trim and nearly blinds me. This can’t be a safe way to drive, but the other option is to not put the top down, and who wants to do that?

Update – finally posted the video

July 7, 2008 at 7:42 pm 6 comments

Michigan Roads, if you can call them that

You would think that the home of the automobile would have nice roads to drive on.  It’s called the motor city for crying out loud.  Hundreds of new cars pour out of the assembly plants every day to find the worst possible roads to drive on.

Michigan roads are terrible.  Pot holes galore, construction non-stop, and they are extra loud.  Why?  Who knows.  Although one reason may be that there is no maximum load that semi trucks can carry.  This means that the roads can take a huge beating from trucks carrying loads that might not be legal in other states (like Ohio who have limits and smooth, quiet roads)  Which brings me to another question.  If there is no maximum, why does Michigan have truck weigh stations?

June 9, 2008 at 1:48 pm 1 comment

Cereal Commute

While driving to work, I saw a fellow commuter eating a bowl of cereal while driving. I can see the cereal or fruit bar in the car, or maybe a banana, or even some dry cereal out of a box. But how in the world can you steer and eat a bowl of cereal with a spoon? And what do you do with the leftover milk when you’re done?

He was probably texting too.

April 18, 2008 at 9:05 am 3 comments

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