Every city, state, and country is populated with poor drivers. Many years ago I took a 3 week truck driver training course as part of my driver licensing job with the State of Michigan. We watched a film that was intended to train truck drivers to sort of analyze car drivers by factors they could notice as the cars were nearby. It was amazing to see how you could anticipate the next action by the car driver. Texting, cell phones, eating food, etc. have just made things worse. To be fair, some truck drivers have bad habits too.
While pulling my 5th wheel I continue to notice how other drivers do stupid things. Some people think you can stop or manuver your rig as easily as a 4-wheel vehicle. Once, while in NY state, coming down an extremely steep grade I saw a car waiting to pull out onto the 2-lane road I was on. I said to myself, "Don't pull out in front of me". Of course she did. I had very little shoulder to pull over and there was traffic coming in the other lane. I laid on the horn and hit the brakes. We were lucky there wasn't an accident.
PS: We visited New Mexico for about a week last July and I don't think the NM drivers were any different than anywhere else in the country.
After spending the day driving through New Mexico on I40, I've got to vent. The drivers in NM have got to be some of the worst I've ever encountered. Automobile dealers must be required to break off the turn signal stalk before selling cars. Besides no signals they have got to be some of the most aggressive drivers I've seen. Besides the above they are just plain rude. More than once today I had drivers refuse to move over to the left when I was entering the Interstate when that lane was clear. That even included a marked State of New Mexico vehicle. No wonder this state has one of the higher accident rates in the nation. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr
Hate to tell you (I'll probably have road rage thrown at me) but the vehicle entering an interstate must yield to traffic already on the interstate.
My number one pet peeve
I will let them run into the ditch or over an imbankment. They can get their head of from where the sun dont shine and either get on the gas peddle and get in front of me or get on the brake and fall in behind me
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My friend I'm not talking about the law. I'm talking about common courtesy. Do you get over if there is not another car in either lane and someone is trying to merge? It just seems that people drive with their heads up their behinds. Nobody has anny manners any more.
You're right about that - it is the courteous thing to do. I've always known the law - that the vehicle coming onto the highway is required to merge - but I will gladly get out of the way if there's a clear lane to my left, especially when I see a large vehicle trying to get up to speed.
But it happens everywhere. And here in Southern California, many of the freeway-shoulders have been eliminated in order to add another lane of traffic. And that leads to some very short on-ramps, sometimes with less than a 1/4 mile to get up to speed. And with no shoulder to the right, your choices are limited - either stop before merging (not a real option), or hoping the cars in the slow-lane are willing to merge. It can be really interesting.
Don't let it get to you.
If you look closely at the traffic laws you will see that they are generally a balance of safety, effecient movement of traffic and courtsey. Notice I put courtsey last as the goal of traffic control is the safe and effecient movement of vehicles. Your idea of courtsey may not coincide with the reality of traffic flow and actually cause more issues than your idea of a courtious act will help. The most courtious action you can take is to FOLLOW THE RULES. A foreign concept to some drivers.
An example is a four way intersection with stop signs at all streets. The law in California is first at the intersection has the right of way. Then the flow is to the right. If the first person exercises his right of way, the the others follow in turn, the intersection clears in seconds. However, if anyone else in the intersection wants to be "courtious" and lets someone else go first, there is confusion as to who is next and generally most just sit there waiting for someone else to go through.
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edited 01/16/12 10:46am by JohnG3 *
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... Your idea of courtsey may not coincide with the reality of traffic flow and actually cause more issues than your idea of a courtious act will help...
An example is a four way intersection with stop signs at all streets...
Your point is interesting, but makes an assumption that isn't necessarily true. Allow me clarify:
The situation I'm describing is one in which I'm moving along in the right lane and see a large vehicle merging onto the freeway and the lane to my left is clear - not just immediately to my left, but further back as well. I'll move over to be courteous to the driver coming onto the freeway, but only if it doesn't impede the flow of traffic. If there are faster moving cars coming up behind me in that next lane, I'll either speed up so as not to block them, or stay in the right lane.
I'd agree that moving over could be problematic if I were slowing up the next lane for other drivers, but that's not what I do. It frustrates me to no end when others do that, so I'm very aware of it and make sure that I don't do so.
You're spot on about the stop sign issue though. I don't know which messes up the flow of a 4-way stop worse - the driver who won't take their turn, or the driver who won't wait their turn.
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The situation I'm describing is one in which I'm moving along in the right lane and see a large vehicle merging onto the freeway and the lane to my left is clear - not just immediately to my left, but further back as well. ....
But in that case, there will be large enough gaps ahead or behind you for the entering party. They should be aiming for one of those gaps, not expecting you to move over to accommodate them. Here, as in most traffic situations, predictability is one of the most important qualities.
I prefer to move left in such a situation, not because I am being polite, but because it makes the situation more predictable. I don't have to guess as to whether they are aiming for the gap in front of me instead of the one behind. It's more of defensive move than a courtesy move.
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edited 01/16/12 08:33pm by paulj *