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Old 04-18-2016, 04:40 AM   #43
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I have driven well in excess of 2 million miles, in all types of vehicles including over 600,000 certified Harley Davidson motorcycle miles. Drivers have gotten significantly worse, significantly - enough so about three years ago I gave up the bikes as I knew my reflexes were not what they should be and with drivers getting more inconsiderate I did not want to go down that way.

That said the best course I have taken, ever, and taken a number of times is the motorcycle safety course. It teaches and after taking it reinforces defensive driving - as several who ride have pointed out, on a motorcycle it's not just about avoiding an accident it's literally about staying alive. In our state, PA, it's free, cost is covered by the fee for the endorsement and takes only one evening for the written part and two days practical.

I've have taken multiple safety courses, School bus, Hazardous material, tandem and triple CDL A, tanker etc. All company required of my drivers and I took the courses to see what they were going thru and doing and to show our drivers that yes the boss can do this s..., and not just sit behind a desk - but again, above all, if one wants to improve their defensive driving skills I highly recommend a state sponsored Motorcycle Driving School.
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:52 AM   #44
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Driving defensively against offensive drivers

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Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
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.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.No argument there.

Speaking of the Interstate, not metro roads. Left lane is not for travel. Not for overtaking. Only for passing. Period.

Interstates were built with two lanes so one could slow well in advance of the exit ramp (it is a huge driving mistake to do otherwise) and other traffic could continue unimpeded by moving to left lane. My signal coming on .4 of a mile out is the signal to others to change lanes as necessary.

Someone overtaking me at an extra legal speed in the left lane takes his life in his hands as I (or anyone else) moves left to go around someone slowing for an exit. ROW is centered on right lane traffic. All else flows from that.

In the same way, a yield or merge onto the Interstate is wrongly done if it intrudes into the braking distance of traffic present. The IQ-challenged assume that entry below traffic flow speed AND the upper limit is permissible. It isn't if it intrudes and causes slowing, much more, braking. (Never enters their pea brains why the expense of building these long ramps).

Big trucks moving over for other big trucks is purely a courtesy. Not necessary. I blame other drivers for moving over for car traffic and helping foster the illusion among the illiterate majority that the action is correct. It isn't.

Same for changing lanes when someone is on the shoulder. Not necessary. Square of the distance problem, and only then if people are moving around. A few feet make all the difference. (Nothing like having another big truck without warning squeeze into the space between you and another big truck to accomplish this. But the same who'll ignore construction zone limits where the risk is genuine).

Exiting is little different. Ramp speed is always below frontage road speed. This is to have the vehicle back under mild acceleration in entering that road to get slack out of combined rigs and have others tracking straight as well

. ROW is ONLY if one is leading other traffic on that road, legally. If the other car is a half length ahead, the yield by them was proper if technically a tight call.

ROW is an abstract concept. Too much for too many nowadays as they are incapable of abstract reasoning. Deductions and inferences. Why the entrance yield sign has been replaced nationwide with merge. But even that has been in vain.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:23 PM   #45
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We drive 63-65 on the Interstate, very few problems except merging vehicles in heavy traffic. Most can't seem to figure out how to do it, so when I see them struggling I slow down as needed and let them in (if I can't move over a lane).

Some are simply rude, do whatever they can to tick others off. Or show off. We ignore them and their miserable little world, let them have their moment of joy.
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Old 04-18-2016, 01:54 PM   #46
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Driving defensively against offensive drivers

I was driving around Dallas on the way home last trip, minding my own business flowing with traffic in the second lane from the right while keeping a nice safe distance from the vehicle in front of me and suddenly a small car from two lanes to my left decides that it needed to exit.

It cut quickly across in front of me and came to an immediate STOP while trying to get into the line of cars that had stopped while trying to exit.

Of course my immediate reaction was to stop, and to move partially into the lane to the left in case I could not stop. I was able to stop by the grace of a few feet, but I had moved into the unoccupied lane to the left by about a foot or maybe two.

Next thing I know a truck has pulled up next to me obviously pissed off at me while the stopped car is still sitting in front of me.

I pointed to the car ahead of me using ample body language that the flow of adrenalin had provided me, and I mouthed a few choice words at the truck driver finishing off with the one finger salute.....


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Old 04-18-2016, 01:57 PM   #47
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With 25 years as a police officer and with many miles of large trucks and driving with a trailer I have found the " much overused" term Right-of-Way sort of meaningless. It is my opinion ( and worth 2X what you have just paid for it) that you do not have the ROW until someone gives it to you. Drive as if there's no such thing as ROW and you'll be fine. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

See ya'll on the road sometime. I'm gonna be on the road for probably in the neighborhood of 15k miles this summer. Lots of opportunities to meet up.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:20 PM   #48
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I cant agree with that more, it seems like a lot of people think "right of way" gives license to drive directly into an accident.


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Old 04-18-2016, 02:33 PM   #49
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Same for changing lanes when someone is on the shoulder. Not necessary.
Very necessary— as in legally required— if the vehicle on the shoulder is an emergency vehicle with lights flashing, according to State law in Louisiana and some other states. And a courtesy if there is a person out of their vehicle. The slipstream from a large vehicle whizzing by just a couple feet away at 70mph has to be felt to be believed.

But a lot of people ignore that, the same way that the ignore the "wipers on, lights on" law in Louisiana and some other states. They don't realize— or don't care— that they're harder to see with their lights off in reduced visibility.
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Old 04-18-2016, 02:47 PM   #50
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I'll add another point not yet raised. Do NOT travel with cute/adorable pets who like to watch what is happening outside close windows and can be seen by others. You risk being the target of stupid choices. I can't count high enough to state the number of drivers (auto and truck) who also use their phone while driving on interstates to take pictures of my dogs!!!!!
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:03 PM   #51
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You can't fix stupid. Over the past several years, traffic has become so much more difficult. So many times, on every road, there are many who are just plain stupid. I have always been a very defensive driver, never expecting that person to yield, stop or stay in their lane. Over many years of driving, it has saved me many times. That is magnified when driving/pulling an RV. Does it piss me off, big time but not enough to have a standoff just to see who is right. It all goes away when you reach the campground.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:10 PM   #52
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Does it piss me off, big time but not enough to have a standoff just to see who is right.
I'm sure the other guy gets pissed off even worse. Human nature, no one gets angrier or more upset than the guy who tries— and fails— to get away with something he knows is wrong.
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Old 04-18-2016, 04:33 PM   #53
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"Same for changing lanes when someone is on the shoulder. Not necessary." Absolutely required in all states for emergency vehicles, including maintenance vehicles. One of our current crop of presidential candidates got a ticket for not doing so.

Pulling into the next lane for a regular car on the shoulder is a good idea IF the next lane is clear. Bumper to bumper traffic? No.

Earlier this year we were climbing up a hill on an Interstate highway near an on ramp. A semi, minus any trailer, was on the ramp. I had traffic to my left, so moving over for him wasn't an option. I held my foot to the floor, as it had been for a couple of minutes, and continued the climb. The semi started moving over toward me. I hit the air horn and the brakes. He moved back into his own lane and his brakes. As a result of his error it took both of us a lot longer to get to the top of the hill.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:34 PM   #54
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As if we all need another devise, I have a dash cam, mine is Garmin, but lots of people make them. Shows time of day, speed, location. At least if the stupids are successful, you have proof of who was the dumb ass.
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Old 04-18-2016, 05:57 PM   #55
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Wild speculation on the root cause of this problem.

Everyone gets a ribbon.

At the risk of having another "and get off my lawn!" moment, somewhere along the line, individual "self esteem" (aka - inflated ego) superseded the value of others and community.

Everybody wins. If something goes wrong, it's not your fault. You are the most important element of the universe. Your happiness matters more than anything or anyone else.

Want to text while driving? Sure! Why not? Who are these a-holes daring to restrict your freedoms! You do whatever makes you happy and to hell with the rest of society.

It's never your fault....


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I'll get off my soapbox for now...
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Old 04-18-2016, 06:12 PM   #56
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that and a good dash cam.. most 18 wheelers have dash cams just for such stupidness where the car jumps in front and jams on brakes.. of course the 18 wheelers slams into the car but due to dash cam the stupid drive is taken to jail for attempted insurance fraud.

I put a dash cam in my work van more to show my wife the stupidness we contend with daily from other DA drivers.


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McDave - that jamming on the brakes is sometimes a staged accident. Not saying it is or isn't in the case you're describing, but another reason to keep your distance is to defend yourself from scammers. Here are a few examples:


http://www.dmv.org/insurance/how-to-...-accidents.php
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