Posts Tagged ‘merging’

Ever Got Stuck Behind a Metrobus Blocking the Right Lane?

October 20, 2010 1 comment

Bus Bay

As I contemplated switching lanes to get from behind a bus about to stop during my morning commute, this thought came to me: why is it that buses always slow down the progress of traffic in the far right lane? 

It’s almost like that lane is being held hostage temporarily — you can’t drive behind the bus without being paranoid that it will stop literally at any moment.  

Since bus-only lanes aren’t always feasible, isn’t there a solution that would allow traffic in that lane to flow as freely as the other two lanes?  The answer is yes — a bus bay would be an easy fix to this problem. 

I’ve seen bus bays around the Washington, D.C. – Baltimore area, but why aren’t they used at every bus stop, considering this area is heavily congested with automobile traffic on a daily basis? 

Not having them creates delays for those frustrated drivers who get stuck behind buses at bus stops only to watch the other two lanes whiz on by.  A road rage inducer for sure. 

Just wanted to share a quick thought…what do you think?

How Come Drivers Don’t Use Their Turn Signals Anymore?

September 28, 2010 3 comments

Why aren’t more people concerned with safety first?


Why is it that more and more, drivers don’t seem to think it’s important to signal their intent to turn or change lanes?  Here’s my take: drivers don’t use their turn signals anymore because they are on the phone, they have become lazy, and because they are just plain selfish and inconsiderate of other drivers.  That’s right, I said it, yes I did. 

According to national car insurer Response Insurance, 57 percent of drivers admit they don’t use their turn signals.  Of the drivers surveyed, here’s the breakdown:  

  • 42% of those drivers say they don’t have enough time
  • 23% admit they are just plain “lazy”
  • 17% don’t signal because when they do, they forget to turn it off
  • 12% admit they are changing lanes too frequently to bother
  • 11% say it is not important
  • 8% say they don’t signal because other drivers don’t
  • 7% say forgoing the signal “adds excitement to driving”

I am shocked and appalled!  Almost half of the people surveyed who don’t signal say they don’t have the time.  Don’t have the half a second to ensure a safe lane transition and/or turn??  Can you believe this??  My mouth dropped on the floor when I discovered these numbers. 

When did safety become so…unwanted…not important…optional?  I mean, really.  Has the driving public become that careless?  Apparently! 

I have to admit, after I became a more experienced younger driver, I started getting lax about using my turn signals — until I started understanding the potential impact of not doing so.  After I got into a small accident, I discovered that if I hadn’t used my signal, I could have been found at fault instantly.  

The fact that I did signal my intent to change lanes saved me from automatically being declared at fault.  Talk about a light bulb moment!  I decided from then on that, as a safety measure and just plain the right thing to do, I need to use my signals every time I need to change lanes or make a turn.  

Perhaps a public service announcement about the importance of doing this is in order?  Do you think educating people on the importance of doing this would spur a change in thinking, and thus, behavior?  Tell me what you think.

Merging Properly onto Our Highways: Is it a Lost Art?

September 22, 2010 1 comment

Does this driving behavior make you feel like this?

Today, as I was returning back to the office from my lunch break, I encountered a very common problem — a female driver who didn’t know how to properly merge onto the highway.  I got so angry at her apparent lack of driving skills, I didn’t know what to do!  

Here’s what she did — and this is soooo classic — instead of yielding to the driver getting off the highway (me), she decides to speed up, pass me on the right (on a short exit ramp!) and merge onto the highway ahead of me, despite the fact that I was going a little too fast for that, both of us are running out of exit ramp (!), and there was a large slowish moving vehicle in front of me.  What she should have done was to yield and then merge in behind me when it was safe to do so. 

This is really a problem that I’m noticing more and more.  And, quite frankly, it’s got me worried for my safety.  For some reason, many people do not seem to realize that: 

  • exiting vehicles have the right of way by law
  • entering vehicles are supposed to YIELD to exiting vehicles
  • entering vehicles are not to attempt to pass vehicles on the right as exiting vehicles are trying to complete their exit

Roileen Miller of Miller Driving School gave some useful merging pointers on the Road Warrior blog, including that drivers should use their signals and that entering vehicles should check their blindspots for exiting vehicles and merge accordingly.

Here is what I’ve noticed: when I wait an extra second before signaling my intent to exit, most drivers will assume I am continuing on the highway, yield, and just merge into traffic behind me.  However, if I signal before that, there is confusion because other drivers may not yield to me otherwise.  To mitigate this problem, I try to signal at a precise time that safely alerts others I am about to exit, just before I am about to pass the merging vehicle while they are still on the exit ramp.  

Okay, I know what you’re thinking.  She probably passed you like that because you drive like a grandma!  Au contraire!  Those who have ridden with me will tell you I most certainly do not drive like a grandma. 

Unfortunately, many drivers these days tend to do exactly what that lady did to me today — although most of them do not go to such great lengths as to actually attempt to pass me on the right before merging!      

What do you think about this behavior?  Do you drive just like that lady?  Or does this kind of unsafe, illegal driving tick you off, too?  Tell me, and please feel free to share this blog post/site with others!

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