Friday, May 1, 2015

Regional Genetic Defect

I've lived in several parts of North America over the years, and I've noticed that each locale has it's own driving peculiarities. Here, it's an inability to merge onto the interstate or make a proper lefthand turn.

People trying to get on the interstate here seem to be afraid of actually getting up to speed within the first, say, 5 miles. They get on the entrance ramp and accelerate up to about 35 mph. Then, they don't bother to look for a space in traffic to get into - they wait for those in the right lane to move over for them. If no one does (i.e., assholes like me) before they reach the end of the ramp, they just stop and wait for an opening. Or, they continue straight ahead, using the emergency lane until they can eventually move over.

Left turns also are problematic. When I took driver ed many years ago, I was taught to drive out into the middle of the intersection, then make a somewhat sharp left turn into the nearest lane. The turn is sort of upside down and backwards L-shaped. Here, drivers universally just take the shortest possible path. They start turning well before they're in the intersection, and cut across to whichever lane they feel is a good fit for them. I can't tell you the number of accidents I've worked where one of these idiots, making his shallow-as-possible left turn, has crashed into some poor sap minding his own business. It drives me nuts.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

When it is snowing, people here will start tapping their brakes ever so slightly when starting the ascent up a hill. Wtf people?!?!?

On the other hand, when taking one of the major arteries (the Dan Ryan) into the (large, urban) city with 4 lanes people seem to think it is the autobahn. There is an express set of 3 separate lanes for people who want to go as fast as humanly possible and then this set of 4 lanes for local traffic. If you plan on going the speed limit or *gasp* only a paltry 5-10 miles over in the farthest RIGHT HAND LANE, prepare for furious road raging in the form of honking, flashing the brights, wild gestures and hand signals coming from the driver behind you.

Carolyn said...

People here think they are being "nice" by ceding the right of way when it is completely unnecessary.

We are at a 4 way stop - take your turn, don't wave other people through - you are not nice, you are creating chaos! You are going to cause an accident you moron! What is nice about that? We take turns! We start with whoever got there first and then proceed around to the right until everyone gets a turn!!!! NOT. HARD.

We are at an intersection with a traffic light - you are going straight and I am making a left ... when you refuse to move into the intersection and I have to strain my eyes across a 6 lane highway to see that you are feebly and nearly imperceptibly waving me on you have wasted the same amount of time it would have taken for you to just drive straight through the intersection and for me to make my left after you!!!! Just goooooooo!

When you stop to let me make the left I am signalling even though there are no cars behind you in sight you are not being "nice" - you're being confusing - just freaking GO!!!

I think it would be "nice" if people just took the right of way when it is theirs - we have rules, be "nice" and freaking follow them!!!!

These are just examples from this week's commute ...

I swear, I am just going to start flipping people off who do this - maybe if that is their reward for being "nice" they will stop!

Anonymous said...

I live in a large metro area with heavy traffic a rush hour. The freeways tend to move at about 10-20 mph on a good day. We have the opposite problem. People come off the ramps speeding at 70mph and think somehow they are mysteriously keep going that speed when they get on! Our on ramps also share the same land with our off ramps to the next exit, so when you finally snake up to the off/on ramp at 10mpg, you have to compete with others traveling 70mph trying to get in your lane. It's pure insanity. Whoever engineered these roads never had to drive them in rush-hour.

Laurie Chapman said...

Not sure where you live, Officer Cynical, but you described Raleigh, NC perfectly.

Heidi said...

I agree with Carolyn. If everyone followed the rules, we'd all know what to expect from others and be able to act accordingly.

Denise Perry said...

I know from my mother and stepfather that the problem around here seems to be a lack of turn signals.

I never got around to getting my license, so I have a different problem as a pedestrian. There's a lot of people who like turn right on red without first coming to a complete stop. Thankfully, I haven't been hit, but I've had many close calls by people who couldn't see me coming because their view was blocked by the cars on the left. I'm assuming this is one of the reasons they're supposed to stop.

Alternatively, I'll start from the side of the street closer to them, and they'll have stopped, and they just wait, despite a lack of traffic, as if they're waiting for me to cross, which I don't do because the "Don't Cross" symbol is active. Finally, they give up and start turning...only to have to stop because I started crossing when the "Walk" light came on.

There's also issues with people stopping in the middle of the crosswalk, but as long as no one's crossing during the "Don't Cross" signal, that's more annoying than dangerous.

Anonymous said...

For some reason, people where I live are under the impression that the street don't provide enough room for a left turn. Before turning left at an intersection, many people will move 2 feet into the lane to their right to give themselves more space. I've even seen someone with a freaking SMART do this.

Anonymous said...

You're saying there are places in North America where people are capable of turning left properly? Not sure I've driven in any of those...

rapnzl rn said...

The Idiot Index in my neck of the woods is a perfect combination of all of the above (and that's why I call it that). I've lived all over this country and never witnessed such a vortex of driver idiocy. And, all the silly folks who think veering right before they turn left will keep them from causing damage to something. Or someone. Or earn them admission to some Deficient Driver Heaven....

Don't get me started on Road Construction Season. Argh.