Q I'm finally fed up with the Lexington Speedway, or the stretch of north Highway 17 near the reservoir. I usually ignore speeders. I do my 5 mph-plus courtesy "speeding" mainly in the right lane, so I don't want to be a hypocrite. Normally I'm "C'est la vie, speed away."
A But ...
Q Lately that stretch is getting too crazy early in the morning. I mean around 4:30 a.m.
One morning I was plodding along by myself, not another car in sight when two cars quickly approached from behind, one in each lane, side by side, probably at 70 mph.
Anyway, the guy behind me almost rear-ended me (really!) and at the last minute veered right and passed me using the final stretches of the Alma Bridge Road exit lane. And of course cutting me off getting back into the right lane. This was not an isolated instance. Similar craziness seems to happen about once a week these days.
Can you use your immense power to get that area patrolled at that hour? An officer would have a field day.
If you are successful, I apologize ahead of time to the poor officers that have to work at that hour. But I would be thankful.
A The CHP has seen your plea. So too, hopefully, have the predawn speeders you encountered.
Q Instead of all the ways to prevent people from getting into accidents on Highway 17, how about if people learned to drive properly? I see more tailgaters, racing Beemers, cellphone users and head-in-the-clouds drivers than on almost any other highway in this area. People, this is not a freeway.
A Which is why the speed limit is 50 mph.
Q Please settle this controversy. I recently purchased two new tires that the store said must be mounted on the rear for better control, even on a front-wheel-drive auto. They had videos, pictures and pamphlets to prove their point.
What I cannot reconcile is my years of experience driving high-performance front-wheel-drive cars. In all cases, the rear of the car is being pulled and steered through a turn by the front wheels. The rear always follows the front, which is managing the traction. When traction is lost in a turn, it is lost in the front first and steering becomes compromised. The result is a straight forward slide off the road. Not a tail end around.
I am not talking out my you-know-what, so please, if you can, give me something a little more professional than the jargon I have been hearing.
A Paging Jeff-the-Roadshow-Tire-Man, who is a pro's pro:
"The short (and yes, counterintuitive) answer is that new tires should go on the rear because it helps avoid spinouts and rollovers. Here's a quickie explanation:
"On wet roads, having new tires on the rear helps maintain control by resisting hydroplaning. Tires slipping on the front will cause understeer, but that is easily controlled by simply slowing down. Tires slipping on the rear will cause oversteer, and the car will tend to spin out. This is much harder to control and is actually made worse by the natural reaction of slowing down."