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Is driver chivalry dead?

35 posts in this topic

Is driver chivalry dead?
-VarianceJ30

November 16, 2005


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I often find myself vexed at human nature. Most people on their own are courteous enough (or at least they don’t act like asses) to other people. Sometimes people will hold a door open for you, they’ll tell you the time if you ask, and they may even give you a little change if you need it. However, put them behind the wheel of a car and 9 times out of 10, everyone becomes an adversary.

Nowadays, it seems more and more people are acting like they and they alone own the road. I seriously question how some of these people keep their licenses (or even obtain them in the first place). Here are some of the demonstrations of poor driving skill that I find to be more than an occasional occurrence:

*People who wait until the last possible moment to move into a crowded exit lane on the highway or the reverse...

*People who drive in an “exit only” lane and for whatever reason try to get over at the last minute to avoid exiting the highway.

*Drivers who feel a traffic-filled highway is a great place to re-enact a Hollywood car chase.

*Speeders who, instead of simply slowing the hell down when fast approaching a car ahead of them, swerve into another lane to avoid hitting them (often cutting off another car in the process).

*Drivers who apparently aren’t comfortable if they aren’t two inches away from your rear bumper.

In addition to people who simply can’t grasp the concept of sensible driving, there are those who just lack good old-fashioned common sense. For instance:

*There are people who seem to think headlights are there just for looks since they don’t turn them on at night.

*Some people seem to want to take it upon themselves to make your day more exciting by making you slam on your brakes and nearly rear-end them because they don’t have functioning brake lights.

*Some drivers want to make sure that you can see them by leaving their high beams on (blinding you in the process).

Now I don’t proclaim myself to be a perfect driver but I like to think I’m one of the more considerate ones out there. I always signal my turns and lane changes, I allow people to merge on the highway when I can, I move aside for faster drivers, etc. There are other drivers out there that are pretty much the same way. However, for every reasonably good driver, there are about five more jerks it seems.

What’s the cause of all of this driving indifference? I feel American drivers in general simply want to get from point A to B as quickly as possible and to hell with anything that gets in their way. We as a whole have become impatient when it comes to driving. Impatience leads to anger or frustration which in turn can lead to carelessness. Very few Americans enjoy driving anymore; it’s become a chore. It’s my feeling sometimes we all just need to get away and go for drive just for the sake of driving occasionally. We need something to make driving less of a miserable experience. Maybe then we, as a whole, can be more mindful of those we share the road with.
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People who wait until the last possible moment to move into a crowded exit lane on the highway or the reverse...

Well... if you're not familiar with the area, it can happen by accident.

*There are people who seem to think headlights are there just for looks since they don’t turn them on at night.

I done that by accident once since I was in a well lit area with lots of traffic. I drove a few miles like that until I found out why the person behind me was honking his horn at me... It was after I got out of the town I was in as it was suddenly dark. Oops. :P

*Some drivers want to make sure that you can see them by leaving their high beams on (blinding you in the process).

I hate this, but it can happen by accident. Especially with my GA. Sometimes it'll turn them off, sometimes it won't, and sometimes it'll take a few tries. Same with turning them on. Very annoying as I know how it feels to be blinded (almost wrecked once because of it while coming around a blind turn...).
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I like the people who try to run and gun down the shoulder so they can cut ahead of everyone. If I get a good enough visual heads-up on this, I like to pull a little onto the shoulder...you know...for safety reasons. :P
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I like the people who try to run and gun down the shoulder so they can cut ahead of everyone. If I get a good enough visual heads-up on this, I like to pull a little onto the shoulder...you know...for safety reasons. :P

[post="44055"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That kind of irks me, too. Motorcycles especially love to do this. I've seen maybe two people actually get pulled over for it.
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Well, the funniest instance of shoulder scooting I've seen was back when my father and I were driving out of D.C. on the Beltway. This little shitbox Echo thought he was soooo hot by whipping around our Bonneville and dashing down the shoulder. I guess he got nabbed by a motorcycle cop a mile or so ahead and - this is the best - he was escorted back up behind us! I guess the cop saw him from a distance.
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Well, the funniest instance of shoulder scooting I've seen was back when my father and I were driving out of D.C. on the Beltway. This little shitbox Echo thought he was soooo hot by whipping around our Bonneville and dashing down the shoulder. I guess he got nabbed by a motorcycle cop a mile or so ahead and - this is the best - he was escorted back up behind us! I guess the cop saw him from a distance.

[post="44069"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Sweet justice. B)
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Is driver chivalry dead?
-VarianceJ30
...
Very few Americans enjoy driving anymore; it’s become a chore. It’s my feeling sometimes we all just need to get away and go for drive just for the sake of driving occasionally. We need something to make driving less of a miserable experience. Maybe then we, as a whole, can be more mindful of those we share the road with.


Amen!

I think driving has become a chore to most because of the amount of traffic ... and the frustrations associated with "fighting" traffic. I know I avoid cities/major thoroughfares like the plague because I hate "fighting" traffic. Instead, whenever I get my older 4 MCs out, I head for the "backroads" and get some FUN driving in ... sure, the cars aren't seen by a lot of people this way, but at least I'm having some fun driving...and not sitting in traffic waiting for the traffic light to change or "cursing" at the driver that just about cut me off ... or worse yet, getting hit by one of those drivers....heh.


Cort, "Mr MC" / "Mr Road Trip", 32swm/pig valve/pacemaker
MC:family.IL.guide.future = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/
Models.HO = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort/trainroom.html
"I wanna drive" ... Trace Adkins ... '(Her Favorite Color Is) Chrome'
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Now I don’t proclaim myself to be a perfect driver but I like to think I’m one of the more considerate ones out there. I always signal my turns and lane changes, I allow people to merge on the highway when I can, I move aside for faster drivers, etc...

[post="43791"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


That's me in a nutshell. I'm also a beliver in Karma (good & bad) So for every time I'm in a Hurry doing 105mph on the highway to make up time, I slow down around town and yield even when I don' have to. You make frinds that way too.

The other day I saw some random person walking a dog in Acton and waiting to cross the road on a backroad where people speed badly. I slowed down and let them cross the road wiht their little Yorkshire Terrier. Too bad I'm not single anymore because that someone turned out to be a Super Hot MILF and she definately gave me "the look" after her initial smile and wave. She crossed the road, looked over her shoulder at the Coupe DeVille and made searing eye contact with me.

Insert cold shower joke here. ----->
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The various times I have had jobs driving you really get a chance to see some crap, becasue when driving heavy object you must be very aware of the others in general area. Higher up is better vantage point for observation as well. Ive seen some crap let me tell you. Its like so many drivers are absolutely clueless how to properly use the highway. Let me add that proper use of highway is advantagous to the drivers that are clueless, this is their problem and the source of their frustration.

Let me add that in 32 years I have never made contact with another vehical, deer seem to be a bit tricky however and there was one instance back in 77 with a 58 Chevy Wagon, stuck on high idle, on hardpack, a corner and a culvert pole marker........yes Dad was a little agro.

*People who wait until the last possible moment to move into a crowded exit lane on the highway or the reverse...*People who drive in an “exit only” lane and for whatever reason try to get over at the last minute to avoid exiting the highway.


On interstates or divided 6+ lane highways you do not drive in the right lane unless you are comming to your exit. When in the right lane you make it very hard for entrants to merge, ever notice good truck drivers always move over to allow mergers ? This is because they are professionals and understand the theory of FLOW ! You do not drive in the left lane unless you are sailing, once again its all about FLOW

*Drivers who feel a traffic-filled highway is a great place to re-enact a Hollywood car chase. *Speeders who, instead of simply slowing the hell down when fast approaching a car ahead of them, swerve into another lane to avoid hitting them (often cutting off another car in the process).


Thats because you are the only car they see and as soon as they are passed you they think its clear sailing :unsure: Yea, this bugs the hell out of me because they usually fly past and move into your safety zone thereby putting you in the tailgateing mode at which point you must slow down to reopen safety zone. Then all us who have been driving for more than 5 minutes know this is the beginning of a bottle neck because you have slowed, five cars back must slow another 10 -15 mph by the time the effect has gotten back to them, go back 15 cars and they are slaming on their brakes :rolleyes: Of course as soon as you drop back to regain your safety zone, the next AH comes along and packs their car into it. :angry: Once again its all about FLOW! If the roads crowded and one lanes doing 75, the other 70 and the third 65 take your place in line in the lane at the speed that best fits your pace and you stay there. If you pushed your way up through the line at the market or waiting for the ski lift you would go home bloodied :P Yet on the highway AH's get away with it and the accidents happen behind them.

*Drivers who apparently aren’t comfortable if they aren’t two inches away from your rear bumper.


I call these, people that think I was looking for someone to hang out with. Slow down, speed up, they wont pass, if they do then they slow down, its because they like you. I HATE these people the most :angry: Im a loner, get the F away from me you friggin fly you ! Once again Ill compare it to the grocery market. Everywhere you go this guy behind you stops and checks out what you are looking for, his face, two foot away from yours, yea, he'd be going home bloodied. :lol: Just kiddin you know, Im not a violent person, but I do say something to these types. I have stopped in the store more than once because someone was pushing a cart right at my heals. I said "you know you can stuff that cart up my ass as much as you want but Im not going to go any faster" :o The looks I get :lol: Sometimes I think maybe these people cant see well and its easier for them to follow an object than try to see the lanes on the road :unsure: or perhaps the are simply mor......ah never mind.

Headlights, are easy to forget, for me anyhow in lighted areas, its a good way to get a ticket and I never have but have gotten down road until between the first two street lights before I realized.

Highbeams - I could really go off on this. Screw the highbeam issue, whats with these new headlights and with that, why did we bother having lowbeams in the first place when these new lights are blinding. I mean I thought that was the purpose of lowbeams, so oncomming traffic could SEE! The new trucks forget about it ! the lights are so high, right at eye level and so bright you must literly look away and hope for the best. This is BS and with all the safety regulations out there I can not believe DOT is letting manufacturers get away with this. If they want to improve highbeams thats one thing but low beams should be just that. Then sometimes I think people may actually raise the height of their beams but can not confirm this. I know I've flashed a few only to find out they were on low. Then you get the lighting heros that just installed their extre lights under the bumper and drive everywhere with them on, DUH ! Anymore I find its best to just put my highbeams on and level the playing field, at least that way I can see past these blinding headlights.

Best I can figure, a set up like this is the only answer for idiots who fail to understand the purpose of dipping the headlights :lol:
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Razor: :lol: You seem to lack that filter between the brain and mouth. I have the same problem sometimes. It's fun to jus tell people exactly how it is sometimes. On rare occasson when I do it feels so damn good.
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In the shop I am currently working on a miltiwave vaporizer that will enable me alone to rid the world of ignorant & inconsiderate behavior. :lol:
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Whoa ther big guy, don't let the Government get wind of that. You'll end up wiht no patent and in the slammer. :P
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Yup, I hear you Shayes. If someone cuts me off wiht a blinker and a wave of the hand as if to say thanks (like I had a choice in the matter) I'm not usually pissed. It's when someone cuts me off and can't even use the effin blinker that I get pisssed. Damnit I hate idiots too lazy to use thier blinker. If I was a cop I'd give out tickets for that all day long. To hell with speeding and other dumb crap, blinker usage, hogging the left (passing) lane and driving like a moron while yacking on the cell phone would be major offenses in my book.
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The main reason, I believe, for such inconsiderate and unskilled driving, is due to America's lack of respect for the driver's license. It is simply too easy to obtain one in America, and drivers on the road know this, therefor they take driving for granted. Driver's Ed classes are a joke (specially the ones taken through HS), the test at the DMV is a joke, and the 10 minute drive with Mr. Clipboard is a joke. How much does it cost? $20? $30? $300 for the class (which you can probably get deducted)? Of course if you wait until you're 18 you don't even have to take a class (so if you wait 2 years you magically learn how to drive?). And then once you have the license, you're free for 4-5 years before they check up on you. They do an eye test and ask you if your height, weight, etc has changed. Then you're free for another 4-5 years. People that can't even read at a Middle School level are out on the roads. The Solution is not to provide carpool incentives, or make more fuel efficient cars, or even to make smaller, safer cars at that. The solution is to make driving courses manditory to obtaining a driving license, and make them hard, very hard (and expensive). New drivers should have to know every single detail, and should have to spend a lot of time behind the wheel with a highly trained instructor in all conditions, rain, night, freeway, etc. If you're going to be participating in an event every day of your life for an hour or more each day, you should probably know every rule and regulation, and better prepare yourself for that event, right? With less people being able to drive, and having to ride with their co-workers/class-mates, the roads will become less crowded, gas will be in less demand, and the people who are able to drive will consider it a privilege and not take it for granted (and they'll be more skilled and prepared).
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The Solution is not to provide carpool incentives, or make more fuel efficient cars, or even to make smaller, safer cars at that. The solution is to make driving courses manditory to obtaining a driving license, and make them hard, very hard (and expensive). New drivers should have to know every single detail, and should have to spend a lot of time behind the wheel with a highly trained instructor in all conditions, rain, night, freeway, etc. If you're going to be participating in an event every day of your life for an hour or more each day, you should probably know every rule and regulation, and better prepare yourself for that event, right?

[post="48440"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


God bless you, every one.

You don't need to know how to do a complete teardown on your engine or win the Laguna Seca, but American drivers need to posess the ability to recognize when an automobile isn't functioning properly, how it would affect that vehicle's performance, and how to cope with it. People in general also need to know how to judge the dimensions and performance capabilites of their vehicles in all conditions.
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I just loooooove it when this happens: Ever been coming down a divided 4 lane road, say in a small city. You know the type 2 lanes on one side going one way, 2 lanes the other way. In the middle is a nice grassy median with various cross points on them to reach surface roads and etc. My favorite is watching the jackasses who wait until the last minute at these cross over points to merge into traffic. Your a quarter of a mile away and you see them pull up and wait, then right when you get there, they gun it up, jump in the lane you are in. (It never fails, even if you move over to let them in, they get in YOUR LANE) Then they proceed to slow down and box you and everyone else up. Around here, this usually happens in pairs. Its generally 2 cars and they each take a lane and thus all traffic comes to a stand still. Another favorite, are these jackasses that do way below the speed limit in traffic when coming to the green lights. Yet when the light just hits red, they floor it and blow thru the light, thus possibly causing a potential bad situation. People who dont use their signals and then slam on the brakes, come to a complete stop and then make a left or right turn aggravate me. There is no reason to come to a complete stop on a major hwy or road to make a simple sweeping right hander. All one must do is put on the signal, and gradually slow down before the turn and make it. Dont wait until the last minute then turn. Thats stupid and dangerous.
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Some of my pet peeves have been touched on, but they largely have to do with car maintenance and repair. The burnt out brake lights are a great example. Also, mis-aligned headlights, so that the regular lights are extra bright. If people constantly flash their brights at you, and you don't have your brights on - check your headlight alignment! (most of your probably aren't guilty of this, but hey, I'm venting). :)
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I do agree that we should have a very expensive and extensive driver's ed course in the US. Hell, if I had to have it when I became a liscensed Private Pilot, I should have gotten the same thing when I became a liscensed Private Driver, although I already knew how to drive and how to tear down the engine of my car, but that's beside the point. There should always be a place for some chivalry between people. I normally try to let people merge into traffic and I definitely try to maintain spacing between cars namely because on top of my main job as a parts guy with CarQuest Auto Parts, I'm also a back-up delivery driver, so I know the importance of maintaining a professional image on the road, although I will admit that I don't always show it when I'm driving my personal ride. No one can be a perfect driver, but there could damn sure be a lot more better drivers out there than there are.
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It was not that long ago, about 25 years, that our society got fed up with the problem of drinking and driving and toughened the laws up on that. I think as the baby boomers group ages and likely slows down in relation to the younger drivers we could possibly see a push to tighten up the laws governing traffic offenses and driver licenses. Politicians latch onto popular issues that they know will please a large voting bloc like the boomers. I hope so at least. It is a fact that the same person who just held the door for you at the store will run your ass off the road a minute later. Most of my gripes have already been aired so I won't retread them. I would like to talk about what I do to try and deal with the stress all those aholes on my road create. I have around a 115 mile roundtrip commute to the GM Tech Center everyday so I am in my car a minimum of 2 hrs and 20 minutes every working day. The biggest stress reliver for me has been the XM radio my wife bought me for Christmas in 05. Amazing the difference it has made in my commute. I am a big baseball fan and the 24/7 MLB (ch 175) channel gets the majority of my time, but when I tire of that the variety of music, talk, and news channels is overwhelming. I don't keep track, but I know that more than once this past year I went a whole week or more without giving someone the one finger sal
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Remember that Disney Cartoon Mr. Wheeler? It was about a Dr. Jeckyl & Mr. Hyde kind of duality that most people have between pedestrian/citizen (Jekyl) and driver (Hyde). It was made in the 50s and the cartoon cars are wild. He drives a ealry 50s style car (have not seen it in like 13 years) looks almost like a Buick Roadmaster and it has a gunsight hood ornament. He actaulyl uses it to aim at pedestrians. And they say todays video game violence is bad. :lol: Edited by Sixty8panther
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I believe the problem lies in licensing. Any yahoo who goes into the DMV in the US can get a license. There's no real testing required. My problems are people who can't (or don't bother to) read. There are signs to tell you which lane to be in, usually posted multiple times. There are signs telling you which lane is merging into which lane. There are signs for so many things that often get ignored causing the uneducated driver to cut-off someone or make some other stupid move. And then there are the people who don't understand how that little stalk on the left side of the steering wheel works. When you're turning or (and this is important) changing lanes, turn on the turn signal. I'm a good enough driver that I can anticipate many bad drivers around me, but it still infuriates me that there are people on the road who don't understand these SIMPLE rules. And my new pet peave is people who lollygag in the left lane when there's no left turn for miles. The law (in a few states anyway) is "drive on the right, pass on the left." Sitting in the left lane doing less than the speed limit (or less than the flow of traffic) should be a capital offense. I think there are many driving infractions that should be punishable by death. Think of how good all drivers would be if, say, not signaling a merge could get you the electric chair! As John Lennon said (and I think he was thinking about bad drivers at the time), "Imagine!"
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