Monday, June 27, 2016

Changing lanes in an intersection

There's a saying that we all pick and choose which laws to abide and which laws to break. For example I rarely travel at the speed limit and if the other three roads are patently free of traffic, I'll coast through a 4-way stop. This means that (a)I'm honest and (b)I'm like 90% of other drivers even if they claim they never break any laws. When I choose not to abide by traffic laws, I try to ensure it only affects me. Speed isn't killing me or slaughtering the women, children and babies of every driver near me (like everyone nowadays seems to think it will). Rolling through 4-way stops that are completely empty isn't inconveniencing anyone and it helps with fuel economy.
Changing lanes in intersections, however is one thing I won't do because it's a huge inconvenience to everyone else and it's a fantastic conflict point that can cause all manner of problems.
For the most part, people seem to understand that you don't change lanes when going straight through (for the most part) but it seems barely anyone understands that the same is true for when turning corners. For example when you turn out of a side street on to a main road, you should turn into the inside lane. Not swing across into the outside lane, because that's where people will tend to be driving who will be assuming (mostly wrongly) that you're going to use the inside lane.
The same is true for turning across large intersections. This diagram shows where the cars should go (in green) and where they seem to go all the time (in red):
Please, people - don't change lanes in intersections. By all means find some other motoring law to break that doesn't affect anyone. Might I suggest crossing double yellow lines on long, straight mountain roads when the person in front is doing 30 below the speed limit? If there's nothing coming towards you, it's perfectly safe to do this. The bigger problem in this situation is who the hell decided double yellow lines were needed in the first place.