- Regulations & Driving Rules
Do other drivers drive you crazy?
Most people don't know how to drive or the rules of the road
I don't know about you, but I do a fair amount of driving and what I see from other drivers not only aggravates me, it also makes me laugh. I grew up in Chicago, and have lived in Minneapolis, and Atlanta. Even though the rules of the road may differ from state to state, most drivers just don't know what they are. And talking about how the rules differ from state to state, most people that move around don't realize this fact. A perfect example of this is the right turn on red rule. In Illinois and Minnesota, you have to come to a complete stop, check traffic, and then turn right. In Georgia, red turn on red is far and few between. Most of the stop lights have a Yield sign which means you don't have to stop, you just have to check traffic and go. Another strange law in Georgia is that that Yield sign means to yield the right of way to all oncoming traffic. Including all vehicles that are turning left. So if you are turning right and another vehicle is turning left into your lane of traffic, they have the right of way and you have to stop and let them complete their turn before you make yours. This differs from both Illinois and Minnesota, where as there the right turner has the right of way and the vehicle turning left has to wait for the vehicle turning right to make his turn before the left turner can make his. Confused yet? Well, so are many of the drivers in Georgia that have moved there from another state. Which is a lot of people, especially in Atlanta.
More then once, I have almost been in an accident due to the fact the I was turning left and the right turner didn't yield to me. I was actually in an argument one time with a young man in his twenties. He pulled out in front of me turning right as I was turning left. I slammed on my brakes and he just kept going. At the next stop light I pulled up next to him and I politely mentioned that left turners have the right of way in Georgia. He immediately started yelling at me and screaming that I was a stupid old man and didn't know what the hell I was talking about. I told him that he was wrong, and he continued to yell that I was stupid and that if I would have hit him, he would have sued me for everything I owned. I told him he was nuts and he flipped me the bird and sped off. I just shook my head.
Another thing that drives me crazy, and this is not state particular. Do people know what a 4-way stop is and how to proceed? No they don't. What you are supposed to do is come to the stop sign, come to a complete stop and then take turns going in your direction. For example, vehicles going north and south would go at the same time and then vehicles going east and west would go at the same time. Oh and this is one at a time, meaning that only one vehicle per lane would go, and then the other direction would go. easy enough huh? No way! Everybody's in hurry and wants to go before the other guy. There is absolutely no organization at all. What's the problem people? Why can't we all do this right?
Another thing that really bugs me is in the same vain as the 4 way stop, sort of. You come up to an intersection where your lights are flashing yellow and the cross traffics lights are flashing red. OK, quick, what do you? I'll tell you what you shouldn't do. You shouldn't treat it like a 4 way stop. A flashing yellow light does not mean "stop!" It means "proceed with caution!" But yet everyone treats it like a 4 way stop that they really don't know to do anyway so you have even more of a mess.
Another thing that drives me crazy is merging onto an expressway. Do you know what merge means? Well I can tell you that it doesn't mean to stop the vehicle and turn your head around to check the oncoming traffic and then 10 minutes later when absolutely every single car, truck, SUV, or other vehicle has passed you by before you try to get on the expressway. I have gotten to the point where when I am on an expressway ramp with cars in front of me, I stay far enough back so that if they stop I have room to go around them on the shoulder and properly merge onto the expressway. Merge means to use the on-ramp to accelerate to expressway speed and carefully blend in with on coming traffic. Not STOP!
Oh and on expressways where there are two or more lanes in each direction, slower traffic should stay in the right lane. The left lane is for faster moving traffic. I don't know how many times I have come up on someone driving below the speed limit in the left lane. You're cruising along with the cruise control on and all of a sudden you have to hit the brake because of someone in the left lane putzing along. It drives me crazy! I will admit, that they are probably doing the speed limit, but when the flow of traffic is doing 75 mph in a 65mph zone, if you are doing 65 mph, you are a hazard and could cause an accident. So keep up with the flow of traffic.
Last but not least, if you're going to talk on your cell phone while you drive, get a hands free device so that you can have both hands free, thus the name "hands free", to drive the vehicle. Believe me it makes a huge difference and you will not make as many stupid mistakes trying to answer the phone or chat away while you are driving. And don't do text messages while driving either. Use your hands free and CALL THEM!