Traffic sins


  • Impossible Mission - B

    Things people should not do with their cars, that they do all the time:

    1. Thou shalt not tailgate! Seriously, it's just plain unacceptable. Do not do it at any time, for any reason. It's an extremely aggressive and threatening act, and it makes you come across as a thug. If the car ahead of you shows any signs that the driver is uncomfortable with how close you're following (flashing hazard lights, tapping their brakes, etc,) back off, and then stay back. Safe following distance is generally considered to be ~2-3 seconds. If you literally can't stand to be slowed down by 2-3 seconds, you do not have the proper temperament to be behind the wheel!
    2. Seriously, don't tailgate. Not even when stopped. When at a red light, stay far enough back that you can see the road behind the tires of the car in front of you. This is a good rule of thumb to ensure that just in case someone rear-ends you, you won't slide far enough to hit the guy in front of you and make the accident even worse. (This is not a theoretical concern; I've been hit like this by "cue ball" cars twice before. Both times, it wouldn't have happened if the idiot behind me had just stayed back a bit further!)
    3. Turn off your high beams if they're pointed at someone. Tailgating is threatening to harm someone; shining a light bright enough to blind them into their eyes (or their rear-view mirrors) is actually harmful, and you don't need high beams if there's another car in front of you; between your low-beams and his taillights you have all the information you need to know about where to drive.
    4. Use your turn signal. Changing lanes without signaling is not only illegal, it's extremely dangerous. If someone doesn't know you're planning on occupying that space, they might try to do so as well!
    5. Only use your turn signal when you mean it. It's so annoying to take action based on someone planning on changing lanes... and then they don't change; they just left it on, blinking and blinking and blinking for a mile and a half because they didn't turn it off after using it.
    6. Respect turn signals. If someone's signaling to pull into another lane, treat them as if they're already in that lane as far as you safely can. If they're slightly ahead of you, slow down a little to give them room to pull in. If they're in front of you, don't try to beat them to it and pass them. (No, not even if there's an upcoming break in a line of faster-moving cars in the next lane that will reach you before it reaches the car ahead of you. Respect the turn signal!) And whatever you do, don't speed up and pull into their blind spot when you see the turn signal come on. I mean, what kind of retard would ever think that that's a good idea?!? And yet, people do it all the time.
    7. Park facing out, not in. Parking involves moving from an area where there are other things moving to an area where there's nothing moving. Leaving a parking stall involves going from an area where there's nothing moving around you into a traffic zone where things are moving. (That's a bit of an oversimplification, but not much of one.) Backing up is harder than moving forward, for reasons that should be intuitively obvious to anyone with any real-world experience driving. Therefore, it is beyond stupid to think that performing the more dangerous maneuver in the more difficult style (ie. backing out of a parking stall) is a good idea! And yet, if you go to almost any parking lot, you'll see that about 70% of the cars are parked facing in, rather than out! And it's ridiculous! A couple days ago, I went to the grocery store, and some idiot tried to back out right into my car, because I was at an angle where he couldn't clearly see me. I had to blare my horn at him for almost 3 seconds before he realized that that sound probably means there's another car behind him and stopped moving. (I couldn't back up easily to get out of his way because there were pedestrians with shopping carts behind me.) If he had parked right in the first place, he'd have been able to see me with no trouble.

    Why do I have to deal with people breaking these simple rules on a daily basis?!?



  • For your health, I recommend that you never visit Poland.


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    A couple days ago, I went to the grocery store, and some idiot tried to back out right into my car, because I was at an angle where he couldn't clearly see me. I had to blare my horn at him for almost 3 seconds before he realized that that sound probably means there's another car behind him and stopped moving.

    I'm willing to bet that's not so much because it was hard for him to see you, more that he didn't bother looking at all.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    Park facing out, not in.

    I don't do that. But I'm also not a complete idiot and therefore have never endangered someone while leaving my parking spot.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @asdf said in Traffic sins:

    I don't do that.

    Why not?



  • Corollary to "Don't Tailgate":

    • You know the size of the gap between your front bumper and the other car's rear bumper? Yeah, that safe following distance gap? Do not change lanes unless the distance between your back bumper and the other car's front bumper is at least as wide as that same gap.

  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    Why not?

    Because I don't like to duck under a tree while loading my trunk.



  • @masonwheeler Presumably because backing into a parking spot is harder than backing out of one; if nobody else does it, people are going to take your parking spots when you drive by them (principle of least surprise, etc); and de-parking isn't even hard.



  • @masonwheeler you forgot the single most important sin:

    Drive in the lane as close to the roadside as practical given your current speed relative to other traffic. (This is actually THE LAW in a lot of places; unfortunately it's just usually not enforced.) Under no circumstances should you drive in a middle lane slower than the traffic behind you wants to drive for extended lengths of time or without a good reason (such as, "I'm exiting/turning from that lane in 500 meters" -- note this needs to be impending, not 10 km further down). And if you're in a middle lane and at any time you feel like the person behind you is following too closely and you have the opportunity to move over in a relatively quick manner, be the nicer person and let them pass. Even if they're speeding.

    They want to go faster, they literally have no way of communicating their desire other than creeping up on your ass, and literally the only thing preventing you from letting them past is the fact that you feel like you should be allowed to decide how fast they should be able to go because you're in front of them. If it would be no significant inconvenience to you to just let them do what they want to do, and you refuse just because you're an asshole, don't be surprised if you find that people tend to act like an asshole in return. By tailgating you.

    If it helps, just let them pass, and as they're speeding past you imagine them getting pulled over. There, they got caught. Now you can be happy for their suffering for being such an asshole and wanting to drive fast and the horrible inconvenience of you having to change lanes just to let them speed. You're obviously a much better person than they are. You don't get speeding tickets. And you can also pat yourself on the back for obeying the law, if it says not to camp out in the middle lanes.

    Just fucking let them pass you, though.

    tl;dr: If someone clearly wants to pass you and you're reasonably capable of letting them pass, JUST LET THEM PASS.



  • @anotherusername said in Traffic sins:

    your current speed relative to other traffic

    Instant fail on your part.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @anotherusername No.

    I spent my entire childhood getting shoved around by thugs and bullies who thought that force and threats of force were a good way to get what they want. Now that high school is over, that part of my life is behind me, and I will not be pushed around again! So I push back.

    The harder someone tries to force me to break the law in order to accommodate their own infantile desires to do the same, the worse I make it for them. I don't do it "just because you're an asshole," I do it for the exact same reason that the USA does not negotiate with terrorists: if you let someone push you around, you legitimize their behavior and invite more of the same. And I'm through with that.



  • @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    The harder someone tries to force me to break the law in order to accommodate their own infantile desires

    Fucking learn to read, because I did not say that you should break the law. I said you should MOVE OVER and LET THEM PASS, if it's REASONABLY POSSIBLE for you to do so.

    Not only is that not illegal, it's the polite thing for you to do. It's also the law in some places -- if you DON'T move over for faster traffic, you are breaking the law.

    Consider: the person behind you doesn't have a polite way of asking you to move over. There literally isn't one. The only thing they can do is come up behind and hope you get the message. Your kneejerk reaction to them as "bullying" is stupid and childish. Just fucking move over and everyone will be happy.

    Now, if they come right up on your bumper immediately? Fine, that makes them an asshole. But if they're riding back a ways for a while and they gradually start inching closer, that's your cue. They're asking as politely as they possibly can.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @anotherusername said in Traffic sins:

    Consider: the person behind you doesn't have a polite way of asking you to move over. There literally isn't one.

    Sure there is: back off to a safe following distance and briefly flash your high beams a few times. (Note: this is very different from continuously shining your high beams at someone, which can dazzle them. It's also different from flashing your high beams at someone while tailgating and refusing to back off, which is exactly as polite as a thug "asking" you to "please" hand over your wallet while mugging you.)



  • @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    Sure there is: back off to a safe following distance and briefly flash your high beams a few times.

    If that actually worked, more people would probably do it.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @anotherusername It works more than half the time when I do it...


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler said in Traffic sins:

    Sure there is: back off to a safe following distance and briefly flash your high beams a few times.

    Try that in the UK, and you're gonna be flipped the bird if you're lucky. And if you're unlucky, the other driver will punch you in the face.


  • Impossible Mission - B

    @RaceProUK How's he gonna do that when we're both still inside our cars moving at highway speeds?



  • @RaceProUK Ha, that reminds me of a time I was driving here in Oregon, during heavy rains earlier this year. A guy in front of me was in a white sedan, with no lights on. With the mist and fog and spray, he was invisible. So I flashed lights at him when I came up behind him. He followed me off the interstate and DEMANDED to know why I flashed him.


  • SockDev

    @masonwheeler I'm sure you can think of a sequence of events that will suitably answer that question.



  • @masonwheeler assuming they were actually paying attention to you and willing to let you pass, they were probably going to move over for you anyway once you got close enough.

    Flashing your brights at someone can mean just about anything -- it depends on them already knowing what the issue was. Overtaking someone and settling just a bit closer than a regular following distance is fairly obvious though.


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