Road Wisdom

Drivers Re-Education

Here’s where I vent my frustration from all the stupidity and lack of consideration I observe while driving. I should write a book. Or maybe teach a course. I’ll call it Drivers Re-Education.

Right-of-way is an obligation, not an option. Right-of-way is the pressure that compels orderly traffic. Failing to respect the right-of-way results in disorder.

It is legal to enter the intersection while waiting to turn left at an unprotected green light as long as you YIELD the right-of-way to oncoming traffic as directed by the sign mounted on the traffic light. You have not violated any laws if you have already been waiting in the intersection when the light turns red.

image[h/t DFW Scanner]

At a four-way stop sign, right-of-way is generally to be yielded to vehicles traveling straight. Don’t confuse this issue when arriving at an intersection simultaneously with another vehicle. If I’m adjacent to or across from you and signaling with my left-turn indicator, I will yield, assuming your intent to proceed straight unless otherwise indicated. Take your right-of-way and proceed before I’m forced to awkwardly steer around your dumb ass.

Every right-turn lane is a right-turn only lane. Everyone waiting behind that car stuck at the front of the line thinks that driver is a selfish uncourteous bastard. Except me. I go around that guy on his left side.

You are not required to stop or even yield if you have a protected green right-turn arrow.

Please do not pull past the white line when stopping at an intersection or traffic light if you are in a left lane or middle lane, especially if your vehicle is a large truck or SUV. Doing so blocks the view of anyone in the right lane driving a smaller vehicle, preventing them from making a legal unprotected right turn.

Not that anybody seems to care, but all freeway lanes are the same speed limit. However, each lane does serve a different purpose:
1. Far-right lane: a.k.a the “slow lane”, this lane is actually reserved for vehicles entering and exiting the freeway. No exceptions.
2. Middle lanes: These lanes are reserved for vehicles planning to exit the freeway within this city or within the next few exits.
3. Far-left lane: a.k.a the “fast lane”, this lane is actually reserved for vehicles not intending to exit the freeway anytime soon.

Freeway traffic generally has more freedom than does the onramp traffic, which doesn’t have a choice but to merge with the freeway traffic. If you are cruising in the “slow lane” near an onramp, you are in the onramp traffic’s way. You deserve whatever road rage you receive. If you are in a dedicated onramp/offramp lane, the dotted white lines on your left indicate that you should make an immediate decision to get on or get off, rather than wait until a quarter-mile later to switch lanes at the last possible moment.

Onramps are an extension of the freeway, not the access road. Deciding at the end of the onramp to accelerate to the freeway speed is too late. There’s typically no speed limit posted on the onramp, so get up to the freeway speed before we both get run over!!!

Road Wisdom

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