Thursday, January 31, 2008

No. 0039 - "Rush Hour Traffic" the Game

There are no better waste of time than sitting in rush hour traffic in your car. On average, I spend 45 minutes to a hour in my car everyday after work going home. Here is a game that I've devised that might motivate you during those dull moments.

There are basically two main goals you are trying to achieve:
(1) Pass as many people as possible.
(2) Don't let other people pass you.

Here are some simple rules and guidelines.
- The definition of pass is when your front bumper passes another car's front bumper; you don't need to pass the other car entirely.
- Every time you pass someone, you get 1 point.
- When other car passes you, you loose 2 points.
- The cars you pass must be traveling the same direction you are. On coming traffic don't count.
- You can only score off of cars on the lanes next to you. (e.g - if you are in a 4 lane road, you can only count the lanes on your left and right. And if you are in two lane road, then you will only have one score-able lane and so on.)
- The cars you pass must have a driver. No scoring off of parallel parked cars.
- Turning lanes or suicide lanes are unscoreable. Likewise, you can't lose points if you are in one.
- Parking lots don't count.

- Stop lights are great scoring opportunities. The trick is picking the right lane to wait in. For example, you could approach the right lane with lesser stopped cars and bank the points on the people on your left. But people tends to turn right on the right lane, so then you might just end up loosing more points than you gain by the time the light turns green.
- Stay away from buses or semi's. Their sluggishness may cause you big points.
- Don't just pass for the one or two pointers and get stuck behind a slowpoke. Wait for a "sure kill" path to appear then execute.
- This game is all about positioning. Blind spots may be a good place to hang out while waiting for that golden opportunity. (Don't stay so blind that the other driver can't see you, stay behind 1-2 feet behind the other bumper would be fine)
- You may end up loosing more point than you gain by going at the same speed with a car next to you if your bumpers are too close. Remember, you only gain 1 if you pass, but you loose 2 when you get pass. Once you pass, you better give yourself some cushion.

I did a trial run after Costco today and I scored only 2 points by the time I got home (that is only after hanging onto -2 points for the longest time. . . got caught on the right lane trap). I was on a busy main road (Ina) when I realized I'm going to get spanked from the heavy traffic at the time, so I took an alternate route that has a lot more one lane road (non scoring Shannon and Magee). I was only able to get back to the black from a little section of passing lane on Magee (that was the first time I've ever traveled on that passing lane). That reminds me of another strategy, chose your route wisely.

This game definitely promotes and practices skillful driving (maybe less than defensive driving). And I know most of my friends who reads my blog regularly are sensible enough to not drive stupid. But since this blog is search-able on the world wide web, I must give this disclaimer: IF YOU CRASH OR GET HURT OR GET A TICKET FROM PLAYING THE GAME, IT IS SOLELY YOUR FAULT FOR DRIVING STUPID.


Amanda said...

I only scored a 4 on my way home from school yesterday. I had to make a left hand turn and it screwed me over.

Patrick said...

Good job Amanda, you got me beat so far. Remember, if you are in a turning lane, the passing cars don't count against you.