After getting done with work for the day, I made the decision to grab my camera and hit the road to check out some of the fall colors starting to pop across the Northland. On the way home, I found myself dealing with one of the most frustrating things I consistently run into on Minnesota highways.
I'll admit, there isn't a lack of things I see regularly on the roadway to be frustrated with. From people camping out in the left lane on the freeway, to drivers not properly zipper merging, tailgaters, slowpoke, and motorists not using their blinker, the list of frustrations isn't short.
Thankfully I'm a pretty patient driver. While I might be annoyed by some of the things above, I don't find myself getting outwardly angry. This next issue just continues to confuse me, though.
On the return from my fall colors adventure, I was driving along Highway 2 from the Grand Rapids area to Duluth. If you've driven that stretch of roadway before, you know it is mostly a two-lane highway, with some passing zones scattered on the route.
Using my cruise control and locked in at a legal speed, I found myself creeping up on a 90's edition SUV that was going under the speed limit. Knowing there were passing zones ahead, I patiently waited for my opportunity to zip by.
After getting to the first passing zone, the SUV in front of me "put the hammer down", speeding up well past the speed limit. I figured maybe they were just picking up the pace being that I was behind them, so I didn't speed up.
When the SUV arrived at the end of the passing zone, they promptly slowed back down to under the speed limit. Keeping my cruise control on, I quickly caught up with the vehicle, waiting for an opportunity to pass.
Traffic didn't allow me to pass, so I waited for the next passing zone. Just like the last one, as soon as the extra lane appeared, the driver in front of me hit the gas and sped up above the speed limit. At the end of the passing zone, they promptly slowed down again.
Thoughts start creeping into my head. Why are you doing this?!
It's hard not to feel like it is becoming a game or something for the other driver.
Eventually the driver turned off and I was able to finish my journey home. Why is this such a common occurence though? I've shared stories about this same issue happening on Minnesota 61 on the North Shore. I've seen it a variety of other places too.
I guess I don't understand why so many drivers see a passing lane and think it means they should speed up. Especially when there is a line of cars behind you. Sure, you may be taking a hit to your pride by letting people pass you, but so what? Why frustrate drivers behind you by not letting them pass you?
I guess I just don't get it.