So the other day I was driving behind a very skittish student driver, and I noticed that he/she seemed to not quite understand the laws of gravity. To move up an inclined plane, one much exert more force on the object. Thus, to go up a hill in a vehicle, you’re going to have to press a little harder on the gas pedal. It’s kind of like when you’re walking up a hill and your arms have to swing a little farther back and forth to help propel you forward.
Now, I was gentle on the student driver. They were going 30 in a 35 most of the time, dropping down to about 20 when they got to a hill. Unfortunately, I’ve noticed this same problem when driving behind people without “STUDENT DRIVER” signs on their car. Surely, not all of those folks were new drivers… nor were they big trucks… and they definitely were not all 80 hp cars that physically cannot drag themselves up a hill.
Obviously, you should give some leeway to those big trucks and the tiny, 30-year-old European compact cars. It’s not the driver’s fault they’re slow going up hills—it’s a physical limitation.
Now, if you find yourself in a functioning vehicle that is capable of carrying itself up an incline, just keep one thing in mind: When you drive up a hill, you’re going to have to apply more pressure to the gas pedal. It’s really not that hard. Are people that clueless that they are unable to sense when their car is slowing down? Are they not paying attention to the speedometer either? Are folks just not used to driving and are afraid to press the pedal farther than normal?
First off, I think you shouldn’t be driving if you are afraid to drive correctly. Second, you should definitely be paying attention to your speedometer. It’s kind of important. Granted, the speedometer may not be super accurate, which creates it own set of problems (I’ve generally ranted about slow drivers plenty of times before). All I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be afraid to be apply more gas, raise the RPMs a little, and get yourself successfully over a hill at a reasonable speed.
I suppose that’s a sentiment you can’t take into your non-driving life as well.
1. Photo from: http://midwestenergynews.com/2011/03/08/does-efficiency-matter/geo-metro/
2. Photo from: https://www.nathansgibson.org/nlrb-targets-independent-contractor-classification-truck-drivers/18-wheeler-tractor-trailer/