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Planning ahead

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Cars & Driving

I think it's pretty well known that DC area drivers are among the worst.  Sure, everyone probably says that about where they live, but I've driven in a lot of places, and honestly, we have some pretty bad habits that seem to be characteristic of the DC area.  In fact, the town where I live has its own subset of crappy driving habits that are for some reason common to almost everyone in town.  The two most prominent ones are:

  1. Using your turn signal as infrequently as possible, and...
  2. Never, ever, EVER stop for a stop sign unless you are 100% sure that you will not only be in an accident, but that you will most likely be KILLED in that accident.  If you think you'll only be slightly injured in the accident, stopping is still optional.

As annoying as those two practices are, they're actually not what's got me irked this time 'round.  Nope, what's annoying me right now is people's failure to plan ahead while driving.

Consider that you've arrived at an intersection, where there are two left turn lanes.  You know that once you make your left turn, you will IMMEDIATELY have to turn right at the very next intersection that's less than 50 yards down the road.  In fact, you'll arrive at this intersection pretty much immediately upon completing your turn.  This gives you two choices:

  1. Get in the rightmost left turn lane, and easily make your right turn when it comes up, or...
  2. Get in the leftmost left turn lane, then immediately try to wedge your car in front of the people next to you, causing everyone behind you in both lanes to slam on their brakes, almost causing accidents, in order to make your turn.

Not only is choice #2 the most idiotic thing you can do, it's 100% voluntary.  It's voluntary because you CHOSE to get in the wrong lane, knowing you were going to have to make an immediate right.  Sure, maybe some people make the turn and only then realize they need to make a right, but the proper solution then becomes to proceed to the next intersection to make a U-turn (where legal) and return to make a left where you originally planned to make that right.  There are many un-stupid options to the lazy stupidity of the bumper car solution that these people choose.

Normally I am a proponent of letting people (who signal) slip in front of me, but in the above case, I have no sympathy.  Learn to plan ahead and avoid these problems.  Everyone else on the road will appreciate it.

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If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.

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