It’s a staple of Seattle driving. As normal as breathing.

You’re on a two or three lane highway. In front of you is one lane with about 10 or 12 cars all going exactly the speed limit or a little under. Next to it (on either side, because people in Seattle don’t know about the whole “slow traffic keep right” thing), is a lane that is wide open. The only car you can see is past the lead car of the line of cars.

If you’re an experienced Pacific Northwest driver, you hit the gas and try to get into that clear lane before… before…

Nope. Too late. You knew it was going to happen, and it did. The last car in the line of cars going the speed limit randomly, purposelessly, changes lane into the open lane…

…and drives the same speed as the line of cars in front of him.

So now you have a line of nine cars going the speed limit, and one car in the lane next to them driving just behind the last car of the line – far enough behind to give you hope you could break through and get in front of him, but close enough that you never get the chance.

And there you sit. Forbidden fruit… so close you can taste it. You envision yourself passing all of these rule-following lemmings from the Pacific Northwest.

But no. You’re blocked. And there’s nothing you can do.

Another driving lesson for everyone. If you’re going to change lanes, do it with intent. Do it with purpose.

If you’re changing lanes, it should either be to exit the highway or pass someone. Otherwise, you’re just in the way.

And everyone’s main goal on the highway, or anywhere else in life, should be to not be in anyone’s way.