Drivers who cut less than 1 car length in front of you ?

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Main Forum' started by New_Yorker, May 3, 2010.

  1. macman408

    macman408 Electron Guidance Counselor

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    +1. My brother drives a semi and sees this VERY frequently. Tip for those of you driving around semis; give them lots of room, and allow them to maintain their speed. They hate slowing down and speeding up, because it takes them such a long time.

    The only accident he's been in (his trainee was actually driving at the time) that I'm aware of was when an elderly driver decided to pass on the right and make an early lane change into the middle lane... directly into his front wheel. Ended up slamming into the K-rail until the end of the bridge he was on, then, due to limited steering ability, crossed the median and three lanes of oncoming traffic - narrowly missing an SUV, and a few seconds away from hitting about 9 other vehicles, including a fuel truck.

    Moral of the story: give 'em lots of room, folks.

    Another tip; when a semi is passing you and driving with their turn signal on to pull back into your lane, feel free to flash your lights to indicate when it is safe to do so. It can be hard for them to determine how far behind their trailer you are.

    A few months ago, I had the pleasure of encountering such a driver on a suburban 4-lane road. I took great enjoyment in anticipating traffic conditions ahead of me well enough to ensure that this lady was unable to continue weaving through traffic, and had to drive at the speed limit with the rest of us. Can't say I feel bad for making sure she had to drive safely.
     
  2. vday

    vday Member

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    Funny
    Here I have the opposite problem
    People who "forget" to go back to the right lane ;)
     
  3. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    LOL - I have never heard it put quite that way :p
     
  4. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    On the subject of using the turn signals posted earlier, I was reading in the local paper several months ago where the younger generation seems to not use the turn signals more so than the older generation. When polled in a survey, many of them commented that it adds a level of excitement to driving :eek:
     
  5. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    I've seen roadside signs showing a little graphic of a car's path
    while passing a truck with a nice loooooong arrow along the
    passing lane before coming back in ahead of the truck, captioned
    "don't get a ticket -- leave more SPACE". A nice reminder, but
    I don't think too many people are actually getting cited for
    reckless cutoffs when they're clearly ignoring such signage.
    Pennsylvania is notable for these and other experimental traffic-
    calming ideas ... like simple statements of "don't tailgate" and
    two-second space dots on the road with signs saying "leave two
    dots between vehicles" thus advocating a *four* second following
    distance [which, to me, is just peachy]. But I fear that such
    noble efforts will be turned into pork simply by drivers' snotty
    attitudes on how they're somehow immune to the cooperation that
    would actually bring smooth, safe traffic flow.
    .
    One thing that definitely helps with the "cutoff problem" *is*
    to leave more space, though, because the longer the gap ahead the
    more likely it is that other drivers who need to use it will
    be going sufficiently faster/farther that they *won't* try to
    cut in close. They do what they need to and get out, leaving
    your travel rate completely unaffected. As I've said before, I do
    this in urban and rural traffic all the time and have no trouble
    getting where I'm going while still helping a bunch of other people
    do likewise. I've heard all the dumb "counterarguments" to this,
    mostly from people who simply don't observe long-term effects.
    .
    _H*
     
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  6. New_Yorker

    New_Yorker New Member

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    Many drivers have been killed when they do this to a heavy truck who can never stop in time without adequate safe following distance. The Laws of Physics enforce themselves, unlike the vehicle and traffic laws. When your 1.5 ton vehicle stops quickly, the 40 tons bearing down on it will squash you like a bug if you're stopped within the trucks safe braking space. Winning the lawsuit won't do you much good when they remove you from the roadway, the tires and the undercarriage of the truck with a Blotter and a Scraper.
     
  7. draheim

    draheim Member

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    I'm not talking about at intersections, controlled or otherwise. I'm talking about people just crossing the street wherever they feel like (no crosswalk, no intersection, nada) on streets with up to 35 MPH speed limits. I'm as aggressive a pedestrian as the next guy but I also observe automobiles' right-of-way and I expect them to do likewise.

    So when on foot I try to cross the street at intersections or crosswalks (of if not make sure the coast is clear) but do so assertively. When driving I generally don't brake for pedestrians unless they are crossing at an intersection or crosswalk, except when not braking would result in a collision. I say they can either go to a crosswalk or intersection; if they don't want to do that they can wait until it's safe to cross.
     
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  8. johalareewi

    johalareewi Member

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    Same here (although for us it is the left lane).
     
  9. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    We have some funny laws relating to crosswalks. Our county lacks traffic lights - at last count I think we have one - and the major roads are all two lane state highways that don't have stop signs. This means that most crosswalks are on open streets. On these crosswalks it is illegal to walk in front of traffic, and you can be ticketed for obstructing traffic if you do. You can also be ticketed as a driver if you stop and let someone cross if it involves impeding traffic.

    Some of the crosswalks are clearly labeled with warning signs for the walkers to keep pedestrian tourists from being killed, much like the "Look Right" signs in England.

    On the other hand, I'm sure that hitting pedestrians is not allowed either. It makes for an awkward situation where you aren't supposed to slow down or stop for pedestrians, but if you hit one you are in trouble. The whole situation is not well thought out, much like our numerous Yield signs which yield to Stop signs. That really confuses the tourists.

    Tom
     
  10. rlr66

    rlr66 Junior Member

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    It's not just done to the Prius. On my way to work this morning I saw it done to many other cars.
     
  11. nahtanoj

    nahtanoj New Member

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    my personal theory on this problem, and the one that just seems to draw cars into my front end, is the elctric motor creates a magnetic field that simply pulls the vehicle into me. to fault of the other driver, they would never see something like that coming. i have never had as many close calls as i do in my prius, i don't know what is going on, but it's gotta be the magnet thing.
     
  12. mmcdonal

    mmcdonal Active Member

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    My observations after 35 years of driving on the East Coast are that certain states have certain kinds of drivers. It is a strange thing.

    MD: Where I spend the most time, people pass on the highway on either side of you and change lanes right on top of you. The closer the better for them it seems. Sometimes they will then slow down after they pass you so you then have to pass them. I have never figured this out. They will also change lanes in front of you as you approach (again waiting till the last minute as you come up on them) because someone in their lane is going slow, but then they will not accelerate to pass the car they just changed lanes to overtake. Weird.

    VA: Drivers will stay in the left lane doing 55 on the highway, and speed up if you try to pass them in the center or right lane, sometimes to as high as 85 mph, and then tailgate you once you do pass them, even though you are now going 80, as though you are now inconveniencing them. This happened to me no less than 6 times on 495 from MD to the 95 South exit in one trip (about 20 minutes).

    NY: They will drive the speed limit in the center lane, and then if you are overtaking them in the left lane will speed up so that you are door to door regardless of the top speed, until you back off. I had this happen with several NY drivers in a row on 95 in NJ and NY, all with NY tags. Top speeds were sometimes 90+.

    ME: On back roads (double yellow), they will go a few miles under the speed limit until you try to overtake them legally, and then it turns into a drag race. Very odd. I think they only pay this respect to drivers with out of state tags, though.

    95 / 85 corridor from VA to GA. Not sure why this is and don't want to be un-PC, but suffice it to say a certain type of driver will drive below the speed limit in the laft lane, and not move for hell or high water, regardless of the back-up they are causing, even when there is no other traffic on the road, and no need for them to be in the left lane. I kept passing a driver that was doing 55 in the left lane in a 70 zone since I had to stop a few times, and she was just as grim and determined to hold that left lane at 55 with cars whizzing past honking and flashing their lights. The flow of traffic was around 80mph, of course. Bizarre.

    Basic rules, though: Don't make eye contact, don't play slow-down, and keep up with the flow, even if your mpg suffers.
     
  13. jdk2

    jdk2 Active Member

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    I think it's just today's society. I see the exact same behavior in NJ. PA drivers cross the bridge headed to the shore and instantly move over into the left lane. It can be midnight with very little traffic and over they go. When it's time to get off the highway, look out. They're coming off without any regard for another car in their way. And lest you think NJ drivers are any better, think again. Too fast, too aggressive, and too many of them!
     
  14. djasonw

    djasonw Active Member

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    I live in the NYC Metro area and cringe when I see NJ plates. They seem more aggressive than the NY drivers!! Now for something funny that happened about a year and a half ago. I was driving a flatbed truck (rental) with gates around the perimeter. I was helping a friend with his business and transporting some used diesel engines. Anyway, this schmuck tries to pass me on the right as the two lanes were merging into one. I saw the person and I said to myself, EFF this Ahole, I am not going to yield as I had the right of way. Anyway, this person now was pinned against the side of my truck and I just kept going straight. The person never stopped but their entire side of their car was swiped. I guess they had no license/insurance and the truck I had was so sturdy that there was no sign of any collision. Sometimes I wish I could drive a crap box vehicle and not be concerned about other driver's neglect.
     
  15. Preeble

    Preeble New Member

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    As another 35 year driving veteran, I can tell you that it's just the same the world over, with subtle variations. Here in Oz, Victorian drivers are renowned for their aggression, but as you head north to Queensland things get too hot and humid to be bothered with aggro so it's nicer to drive there. Just don't expect an indicator up north...they call them "confirmacators" 'cause you put them on half way around the turn.
    One thing to remember though, and it applies everywhere. "Dickheads are always safer in front of you where you can keep an eye on them, rather than behind you where they have you at their mercy". So remember that next time someone cuts you up and charges into the half car length gap in front, or charges past you...smile, they are doing you a favour!
     
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  16. GrumpyCabbie

    GrumpyCabbie Senior Member

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    lol, so true. :D
     
  17. Downrange

    Downrange Member

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    Amazing how my attitude on driving has changed in the few weeks I've had the Prius. I think it's the constant feedback the display gives - you see the direct effect of everything you do behind the wheel on your fuel consumption. When I drive a normal car now, I find myself driving in more of a "Prius style."
    The thing that really stands out is how inefficient many drivers are. Case in point: I now try to "coast" when doing so makes sense, for example, when coming up on a light that's red. So many times I notice people accelerate around me, as if I'm "holding them up," and then have to brake hard at the light. The display would show how stupid that is on a Prius, but they are seemingly clueless.
    I can't wait until gas goes to 5.00/gallon here in the U.S. - some of these conoglions will have to park it.
     
  18. jdcollins5

    jdcollins5 Senior Member

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    I had a guy this morning that was coming up behind me and started to move over to the left lane to pass. He started to change lanes with the normal distance between cars but took forever to move over to the left lane. By the time that he was up to my rear bumper it looked like he was going to clip me.

    When he got beside me I looked at him like Wth are you doing. He just looked back like what is your problem.

    Then just as soon as his rear end cleared my front bumper he began to s-l-o-w-l-y move back over to the right lane in front of me. By the time that he finally made it back to my lane he had a nice distance between us, but his first move had very little distance at all.

    I have never seen anyone do this before. Oh yea, we were the only two cars in sight !!
     
  19. Eoin

    Eoin Active Member

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    These drivers are actually volunteering to get in front of you and become a radar target. It is very noble of them to save you from the ticket.
     
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  20. New_Yorker

    New_Yorker New Member

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    The NY Name for those drivers, " Imbeciles ", they're quite common up north.;)
     
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