Monday, April 14, 2008

Pull out behind me

My driving teacher taught me that driving a car is a matter of getting from one place to another as safely as possible without impeding the general flow of traffic on the way. Thus it amazes me how few drivers understand the simple concept of the flow of traffic.

On an empty road, you're approaching a side street. There's a car waiting to turn out. For the traffic to flow smoothly, they should either enter the road behind you where there are no other vehicles, or in front of you if they have enough time to speed up so they don't get in your way. Typically of course, the goon in the side street will pull out in front of you, then casually idle up to 5mph below the speed limit by which time you've already had to brake and slow down. The flow of traffic is destroyed.

The same is true at most junctions, on ramps, off ramps and roundabouts - people lazily going about their day in blissful ignorance of what they're doing to the general progress of everyone else.

Traffic flow - in physics it's called conservation of momentum.


Joely08 said...

The things that bug me the most is when people pull out in front of me when there are no cars behind me and then they insist on driving 20 MPH in a 25 and then eventually to a 30 MPH zone.
Another one that bugs me is when there is a lane of traffic at a light turning left. There are people across the light trying to turn right. Now, as I have learned, the person turning right SHOULD turn right to improve traffic flow. Most people just sit there because they are affraid of traffic switching lanes while turning. Well, if people drove correctly, traffic flows for stoplights would be greatly improve. I'm turned right while other people were turning left and got flipped off and honked at and all. I just stare at them as if I did nothing wrong.

Anonymous said...

On ramps are the worst. A really slow driver is always first on the ramp, doing 80 km/h, and holding up a whole trail of cars.