Letter: Tips for driving safely on I-380
Because closing the Highway 965 bridge over the Iowa River has shifted more traffic onto Interstate 380, all drivers need to take some simple precautions which are also good driving practices.
Put down the cellphone. The worst example I’ve seen in the last few months happened when I was merging onto southbound I-380 from Wilson Avenue. I was behind a minivan whose driver held a steady 40 mph from the on-ramp all the way onto the expressway, never looking to his left, never accelerating beyond 40, forcing faster traffic on I-380 had to change lanes to let him merge. When I passed him, his eyes were still straight ahead, phone to his left ear, doing 40.
Get out of the left lane unless you are actively passing another vehicle. You are impeding traffic if you let five, 10, 15 other vehicles stack up behind you because you refuse to yield the left lane. Don’t do this in a commercial vehicle. The left lane is for passing, not cruising.
Stay off other drivers’ tails. Allow at least two seconds distance between you and the car in front. Three is better: separation is life. If you tailgate me, don’t be surprised if I mist you with my windshield washers.
Local law enforcement agencies need to aggressively ticket drivers who are distracted, fail to merge properly onto the interstate, hog the left lane or tailgate. Those drivers are far more dangerous than those of us who cruise at 75-80 mph and pay attention to the road.