Despite what you may derive from my postings, I truly am a safe and considerate driver.
But the neighborhood I play in is a competitive one, and I must be quick to respond if I'm ever going to get anywhere.
Changing lanes safely requires an assessment of the following:
First - the existence
of a lane I can move into.
Second - an open space in that lane.
Third - said space being large enough for my car.
Fourth - that space staying open long enough for me to insert myself into it.
Fifth - the absence of a driver attempting to close up that space before I get there.
Sixth - there is no sixth.
Seventh - enough buffer around that space for drivers to react and respond in a moderate manner, so as not to send shock waves rippling through the serene 80+ mph traffic flow.
But while I'm assessing all of this, the drivers ahead of me are having their own react-and-respond episodes to the drivers ahead of them, and every fraction of a second I have my attention diverted from the cars ahead of me is one more fraction closer to disaster.
What I wish my car had is RSDLCSISVM.
These would entail a range-finding system, a radar gun, a color-coded display system, sensors to monitor your own vehicle's speed, and a respectable chunk of processing power.
The radar gun continually checks the speed of the car immediately beside and behind you in the adjacent lane.
The processors use that information and the data from your own speed sensors, combined with the range finder data to determine if you have the space and reaction time required to make a safe lane change.
A numerical summary of this data is presented in the color-coded display adjacent to your side mirror.
This output is the available distance to work in, a plus-or-minus number representing the speed differential between your vehicle and the one potentially closing your lane change gap, presented in green, yellow or red font, depending on the computer's assessment of the situation.
When you look over your shoulder to acquire situational awareness, a quick glance at the mirror display let's you know if you're good to go, questionable, or stupid to make a lane change.