I've had quite an experience in my lifetime of traveling on interstate roadways. Who hasn't. Right here in the Southern Tier of New York, we Have I-81, I-86 and I-88 all passing through our area.

I haven't experienced much issue with traffic over the many years I travel those three routes in and around the Southern Tier and Central areas of New York. It's usually once I get out of state that the fun begins. Or should I say not so fun?

Construction is one thing that comes to mind. I have made three trips to Altoona, Pennsylvania in the last month or so, and each time had been a challenge to say the least, as I navigate Interstates 81, 80 and 99.

Once you get to Clarks Summit, Pa. on Interstate 81, the construction zone kicks in. Really, has it ever been construction Free? And once you get to the Scranton city line, there's more construction that seems to go on through to Wilkes-Berre.

And then there's the traffic. Not much of an issue on I-81 from Binghamton to the exit for I-80, but once I am on that leg of my trip, it's everyone for themselves. I have encountered some real gems on this roadway before I veer off onto I-99 to head towards State College and eventually to Altoona.

On my first trip to Altoona, there was a driver who thought it was a good idea to stay in the passing lane. He would slow down almost to the point that I would be passing him in the driving lane, but then speed up to the point I couldn't see him anymore. An then he would slow down below the speed limit again. I watched a lot of vehicles passing him on the right, and finally, I did too, although I don't like to do that. I ended up passing a couple of vehicles on the right on trip this past weekend. Do these drivers not have a brain that tells them the passing lane is for passing only?

On my most recent trip back home from Altoona, on I-80, as I was passing a truck, there was a hot shot on my tail. As I always do, once I'm safely ahead of a vehicle I pass, especially a tractor trailer, I move back into the driving lane. Apparently I didn't do that quick enough for the jerk with Connecticut plates behind me. As I put on my turning signal to get back into the lane, he decided to pull in front of the truck, and speed up to pass me on the right.

Had I not had quick reflexes, and saw what was happening, I would have side swiped his pretty little car into a line of trees. I'm driving a large van with lots of weight, so that wouldn't have worked out well for him. Once I saw what the jerk was doing, I served back into the passing lane and blasted my horn at him. I think he waved me one finger. Probably to indicate to me his IQ number and that he was sorry for being an idiot.

At that point, I thought with all the crazy people on I-80 and the fact it was Labor Day traffic, I decided to take a detour up through Williamsport on Route 15 and onto Route 17/I-86 once I got back into New York. I made the right decision. The rest of the ride was traffic stress free.

For those of you who travel the interstate often, especially long haul truck drivers, I applaud you for being able to keep sane dealing with those crazy drivers every day.

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