The Highway Hellscape needs Help

Karl H Christ
3 min readMay 27, 2024


We need consistent national driving patterns. Traveling across this country, one encounters all kinds of driving styles. Most of them are horrendous. Most people drive much worse than us, because we are good drivers. Very good drivers. Certainly above average. It’s everyone else that’s the problem. Every other driver we encounter is too slow, too fast, too unpredictable, too cowardly, too drunk. So we have to adjust, drive defensively, alter our impeccable driving to accommodate the insane incompetents around us. This mixture of a minority of good drivers, which of course includes us, and all the terrible drivers, which certainly none of us are, results in chaos, a disorganized mess that leads to stress, danger, and accidents and vehicular manslaughter.

Everywhere I go seems to have its own particular flavor of this chaos. Some places are better than others. Some at least have the facade of order. It could be that I had several years to get used to it, but the North Bay area of California seemed to have some sense to it. By no means was it perfect. There were lunatics on the freeway just as there are anywhere. But there were enough people who understood the logical structure of highway driving to make things manageable.

There are only a few basic rules, which, if followed, would make driving more orderly, safer, and less infuriating. There are things such as maintaining safe distances behind other cars, not braking randomly and jerking around like a jackass, and using your damn turn signals correctly. More importantly, is driving in the correct lane at an appropriate speed.

If you are driving slow, you belong in the lanes on the right side; if you’re driving fast, you should be on the left; if you are not going to be exiting any time soon, get the hell out of the exit lane; if you’re a truck driver, drop the ego, acknowledge that you can’t and shouldn’t be driving that fast on a busy freeway and stay right; if you’re driving a motorcycle and are passing between lanes to slip alongside and around larger vehicles, please understand that you’re taking your life in your hands and no one wants to hit you, but Jesus, you’re practically begging for it; if you’re carrying any uncovered load, whether it’s work tools, a stack of rebar, yard waste, or a pile of feces, you must understand that everyone hates you, no one wants to be behind you, and you need to get the fuck out of here and off the road, fast.

To many of us, these are no-brainers. Whatever else may happen, much of society at least knows in theory that this is how it’s supposed to work. No one, apparently, ever explained any of this to the driving population of the Denver area. Having moved here a few weeks ago, I have been appalled at the utter insanity and disregard for order and decency that takes place on the roads and highways, especially the freeway, around Denver. There is no order, no evident rhyme or reason for why anyone is driving where and how they are. Cars are speeding around on the right, making obstructions of themselves on the left, jumping from one lane to another, camping and having picnics in the middle of traffic, and causing accidents left and right. I’ve had my commute impacted by multiple accidents in just the few weeks I’ve been here. Fortunately, I haven’t been in any accidents, but there have been close calls. There have been cars that have shot across three lanes to cut me off and force me to hit my brakes. There have been cars that tried to pull into my lane, where I physically was, as if I wasn’t there. When I pulled over to allow an emergency vehicle to pass, like I’m damn well supposed to, multiple assholes behind me, not observing law or decency, took the opportunity to cut me off and almost hit me.

We need the imposition of a sensible and safe traffic model. We need it everywhere in the country. Especially in the Denver area. Denver should be ashamed of itself.