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Old 04-17-2016, 05:56 PM   #29
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Something we noticed this year driving in Southeastern states is that a very large portion of the other drivers we encountered - at least on interstates - change lanes with gay abandon never bothering to signal their intentions. Dangerous? maybe not that much, but at least not very considerate!

Am I right about this phenomenon? it sure seemed that way to us, someone signalling a lane change almost seemed the exception. The further north we traveled on our homeward journey (and also when back back home) the propensity to signal ones's intentions seemed to be the norm again! Always some exceptions of course.

We even saw a pickup truck in a campground in Florida with a great home-made sign on the tailgate that read "Blinky thing means turning!!!" Great!

Incidentally I agree with Steve's (UKTOAD) comment that motor cycle riding makes you a much more defensive - and hopefully better - driver, whether on a bike or in a car, the habit is transferable.

To protect your life, You learn to be constantly watching the other guy assuming that he or she may do something stupid, and deciding what you must do if/when does!

A good thing to do I think!


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Old 04-17-2016, 06:17 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by AWCHIEF View Post
The number of documented accidents happening with test self drive vehicles does not look good for its future.
Data? The article I just read the other day stated that of the 18 accidents involving one of the Google self-driving cars, in only one were they even partially at fault. In that case it was going 2 mph and failed to yield to a bus.
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Old 04-17-2016, 06:19 PM   #31
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Something we noticed this year driving in Southeastern states is that a very large portion of the other drivers we encountered - at least on interstates - change lanes with gay abandon never bothering to signal their intentions. Dangerous? maybe not that much, but at least not very considerate!

Am I right about this phenomenon? it sure seemed that way to us, someone signalling a lane change almost seemed the exception.
In the New Orleans metro area, using your turn signals to signal lane changes usually tells the driver behind you, "Hurry up and change lanes before I do and cut me off, because this lane is about to slow down, and otherwise you'll have to slow down too!" They always assume that the only reason that you're changing lanes is that you're in as much of a hurry as they are. Naturally few people use their turn signals for lane changes as a result.

Same way that leaving a safe following distance between you and the car in front of you is seen as an open invitation to the guy in the next lane to cut you off because you left plenty of room, just for him. After all, if you were in a hurry, you'd be riding the bumper of the car in front, same as they do— so you obviously won't mind if they make you slow down even more.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:02 PM   #32
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Driving defensively against offensive drivers

Giving ROW to idiots usually means problems for those behind or next to one. Be damned sure one problem doesn't morph into a giant one. It happens to me regularly that an idiot cuts in front of me due to "defensive driving".

The art of merging onto highways has disappeared. Easy as pie in a car when one is a little over the upper limit. And today's cars have boatloads of power.

No, it's run up to the bumper of the car ahead also entering the freeway and Lane Two will have to give way (on the rural Interstate) for an entering group. Wow. Sometimes we don't. Changing into another lane means giving up ROW. Bad scenario for liability. Terrible F'n habit to establish.

It's no joke, however, that the increasingly large group of below average IQ now present in this country cannot process the information from their mirrors. Too much of an abstraction. Most don't even try. Have to deal with it daily. Blaming phones and other distractions is a cover. It's stupidity.

For only stupidity explains cutting in front of a big truck at 67-mph to let faster traffic get by. There's no ROW in the left lane. None.

I get on the Interstate daily several times and usually between 35-45/mph. Rarely a problem. And I always leave room to come a stop if need dictates. Haven't had to yet. Come damned close a few times.

I get a kick out of those who speed up as I signal a lane change a few miles from my exit, especially as I'm not asking their permission.

There's usually a way to decipher the flow of traffic. The usual breakout of time and location is first, weather and road condition next.

Fifty to one hundred miles from a major metro is a boundary. Those are the dummies who moved farther out to get more house, but run 40k miles year for no savings worth mentioning. Almost the worst large group. Look for the university sticker and little fish symbol.

Using a GPS with an enormous screen [7"] is a great information manager. I can make decisions on lane choice far in advance. And widen the view to thirty miles to see most of a big metro area. It's not the end all to planning, but great when underway.

I don't tow the Silver Streak as fast as I drive a big truck. I'm not at work. So, attention to what is coming up behind me and seeing what is ahead is the easiest way to settle problems well in advance.

I'm below the flow of the 63-65/mph governed trucks when on vacation. A group of them ahead of me and the usual pack of legally defined morons coming up behind me means I override the cruise and get around the big trucks. This keeps momentum or flow, easy.

A little the same for those same big trucks passing. Drop off the cruise substantially, even tap the brakes, so that as they pass I'm WELL below their speed, but have re-established enough throttle to keep the rig straight. Keep their passing time as short as possible.

Always a bad idea to spend any more time than necessary next to a big truck.

And I don't ever move to the right of the lane unless that big truck is flying.
The dummies tend to ALWAYS pass with the same amount of separation distance. You move right and so will they. Push em over to the left of their lane, if anything. It works. (SWIFT = Sure Wished I Finished Training. It's practically a canard that when the CB lights up with an accident involving a big truck, there's a Swift truck involved. Or, Schneider or JB Hunt. Firms that grind down new guys to nothing).

Anyone hitting the brakes extra hard a few times on a long trip needs a new strategy. Experience will get most of it done. I'm averaging 10-12k miles/month. And months go by before I have to get on the brakes hard. FWIW, the idiots in NJ and the East Coast differ only slightly from those out West. (The logic of the road system is something else back East).

Worth every penny to have the best hitch, brakes and to have painstakingly set it up. Every hour is easier. Every problem is lessened. I'd call that the heart of driving well: Attend to the mechanical.
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Old 04-17-2016, 07:31 PM   #33
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There's no ROW in the left lane.
The way I learned it, someone who is already in a given lane has the right of way over someone entering or crossing that lane, unless traffic signage says otherwise.
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I get a kick out of those who speed up as I signal a lane change, especially as I'm not asking their permission.
If he'll have to slow down to give you room to change lanes, then you signaling your intent IS asking permission. If he won't have to slow down to make room, you're right. But I agree, speeding up solely to make sure you can't change lanes is danged rude on his part.
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So, attention to what is coming up behind me and seeing what is ahead is the easiest way to settle problems well in advance.
No argument there.
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Old 04-17-2016, 08:05 PM   #34
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I agree with what Protag said. Always know where your escape route is. Also never underestimate the power of stupidity. I try and stay either in the right or middle lane. Like I did when I was biking, I ride my own ride. Always. I frankly don't care what the other guy is doing while he's trying to kill himself I care that he doesn't take me with him. If I see stupid behavior I either slow down so they go away or move over so they go away. I see a near future where technology will not allow texting in vehicles. It isn't that hard to do, and I predict that sooner rather than later someone will sue the phone companies for negligence because of the technology. Then you'll see phones without the ability to text In moving vehicle.


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Old 04-17-2016, 08:37 PM   #35
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Then you'll see phones without the ability to text In moving vehicle.
Yes! Built-in motion sensors that would not only prevent texting while driving, but texting while walking, too. Too many pedestrians step off the curb without ever looking up from their phones to see if traffic is about to squash them like a bug.

But getting back to the folks who speed up to cut you off, it's the mindset that "if you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes." Which is absolutely wrong when driving. Being in front is important on a racetrack but on the highway the place to be is in the back of the pack. You can react to what's ahead of you much easier than you can react to what's behind.
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Old 04-17-2016, 09:35 PM   #36
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It's no joke, however, that the increasingly large group of below average IQ now present in this country cannot process the information from their mirrors. Too much of an abstraction. Most don't even try. Have to deal with it daily. Blaming phones and other distractions is a cover. It's stupidity.
Could not have said it better myself.

I try to never get in a rush. I try to anticipate and just assume that a lot of drivers these days drive with no regard for anyone besides themselves on the road.

Gone are the days that you could assume that basic physics is being taught in junior high school so that folks in their Prius' will understand that they'll fair very badly if they tangle with a semi (or anything much bigger than them). "Squashed like a bug" comes to mind.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:31 PM   #37
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I'm in New Orleans now. Been driving around these last few days. For what it's worth I don't think drivers here are materially different from drivers in the SF Bay area or LA. Just urban drivers. Ignorant to momentum and stopping distance.
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Old 04-17-2016, 10:54 PM   #38
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Rant on.. I refuse to "accept the fact" we must "tolerate" personal choice of distracted/impaired driving... I have performed the funerals of far too many victims..and the perp usually survives...to do it again. Rant off...at least out loud...

Ride for the fall... Keep as safe a distance as possible... Yes, wherever there is a vacuum, nature will fill it.. Usually with the expendable...don't take the bait...

Avoid people.... There is no bounty on the less capable auto steering mechanisms. (Big justification for official "driverless cars"... Which is typical of government, replacing some thing broken with a government edict such as "effective immediately, rain falls up!")

Do not drive near "populated areas"...such as Interstates, areas with "good cell coverage"... Of course "accidents" happened before the horse and buggy days... I have heard...but they usually only involved the whip operator...and a poor beast of burden.... Some things remain the same....

When required to drive in combat areas, recognize the fact... Adapt constantly, expect the unexpected...

When a rider, I would ease up next to a car and give a nodding glance at the operator...then drop in behind them... They would be hyper aware and drive a little more careful... Use them as a potential blocking tool in traffic, positioning myself where I have options by using them as an unfortunate expendable... For self preservation... I find myself doing that today... Even towing... That way I can maneuver to block vision so folks don't pass when they can't see what I can...saves them getting us both in a jam...
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:13 PM   #39
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There is no bounty on the less capable auto steering mechanisms. (Big justification for official "driverless cars"
Plenty of cars right now are effectively driverless, because the mentality is "cruise control on, brain off."

I for one will not trust the driverless car until Cessna comes out with a pilotless airplane. After all, aircraft automation is a much more mature technology, but they still insist that a real trained human mind be kept in the loop.

Before cars go driverless, they ought to take a lesson from the aircraft industry and go for collision avoidance systems that track the vehicles around you, talk to each other, and tell the driver, "Swerve right. Swerve right NOW," the same way an aircraft system will tell the pilot, "Bank Right," or whatever, at the same time the system in the other plane is telling its pilot to bank in the opposite direction so they both move out of the way of each other.
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Old 04-17-2016, 11:30 PM   #40
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Driving defensively against offensive drivers

The thing is,,,, most of the bad drivers on the road really don't care about others that they share the road with.

If they did, the oblivious and indifferent drivers wouldn't be oblivious and indifferent, the reckless and rude wouldn't be reckless and rude, etc, etc...

Since they don't care, they will never make an effort to be better or more courteous.

The way people drive is kind of a reflection of society at large.

This just is.


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Old 04-18-2016, 12:46 AM   #41
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Municipal Revenue Enhancement

Who Does NOT live in an area where the local government says it needs more money for schools, roads, water lines, etc.

My only vehicle is my truck, and i literally cannot drive 10 miles in the city without seeing 10 or more people talking on or texting on their cell phones. If the police can run a speed trap, why can't they run a "cell trap" with a few cameras and a chase car or two.

And on top of that, they should splatter all over the media that they will be running texting traps - looking for distracted drivers.

People don't change their driving habits overnight, but they will change given enough time and enough consequences. How often do YOU leave your driveway without clicking your seatbelt on? Yes, it happens. And I've gotten a tiny bit worse about it because I take mine off when parking my RV and when driving 5 mph ON a campground. But using a seatbelt is a HABIT. It became a habit for me early on when I saw two friends about one minute after they'd rolled their car. For most people it became a habit when the fine went from $25 to $150.

Talk to your local government.

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Old 04-18-2016, 12:50 AM   #42
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One thing to think about if the worst happens and an accident occurs, is being ready in terms of medical issues and your auto/RV insurance.

We went for years with nary a scratch, then in 2014 our AS was totalled, and just on this past snowbird trip, our truck was rear-ended while we were stopped at a traffic light. Thankfully nobody was hurt on either occasion, but of course the accidents could have been a lot worse.

Medically, people should know just some basic first aid. I don't mean playing hero paramedic, but finding an elderly person a safe place to sit down and keeping her under observation. If someone appears injured and they can be kept out of the traffic, keep them stabilized and warm. Stuff like that.

On our first accident, we were in a very rural area of BC with intermittent cell phone service, and it took the paramedics and some highway personnel about 40 minutes to arrive, and the RCMP about an hour. Fortunately other drivers stepped in and started directing traffic, &c. It helps to have some basic sense of what to do in such cases.

Also, just keeping in your wallet some kind of basic medical information, like your prescriptions, any drug allergies, &c in case you need to go to the hospital and are not feeling too with-it at that point.

In a two-vehicle accident, get as much info as you can in a non-confrontational way from the other driver, such as their name, address, license plate number, and insurance company. Although this type of info is on the police report, your insurance agent will probably ask if you have it, as the police report may not be processed for 10 days or so. If possible, take photos of damages to both vehicles. The other party will want this information from you, as well.

The above pretty sketchy, but since most of us are in so few traffic accidents, it's helpful to consider ahead of time what to do if.....
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