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#1 Aug 03 2014 at 5:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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I was driving home from work this morning and some guy was riding my **** and trying to get around the car beside me, which eventually turned, allowing him to blaze past me. All of this trouble so he could get one spot ahead at the next red light. I felt embarrassed for him, but then this is an all the time thing in Florida.

I often think about the different ways people drive and why-- especially as a passenger. Personally, I am a very defensive driver. I tend to take it very seriously, and tend to get extremely anxious and cannot stand being distracted. I don't always speed, but when I do, it is no more than 5-10mph over the limit, which seems to really irritate a lot of other people on the road. I never use cruise control.

In recent years I've learned I can make turns without slowing down if I accelerate at just the right moment. This seems to create some sort of centrifugal force that allows for sharper/faster turns without upsetting the car's center of gravity too much.

By the way, radio stations should be fined for every time they broadcast the sound of a car horn or emergency vehicle siren. Smiley: mad

Edited, Aug 27th 2014 7:54pm by Kuwoobie
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#2 Aug 03 2014 at 6:02 AM Rating: Good
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I've been told that I drive like an old lady. Almost always the speed limit or below(rarely 5 above, but sometimes). I get tailgated almost daily.
Kuwoobie wrote:
By the way, radio stations should be fined for every time they broadcast the sound of a car horn or emergency vehicle siren. Smiley: mad

I hear that.
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#3 Aug 03 2014 at 10:28 AM Rating: Good
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
I've been told that I drive like an old lady. Almost always the speed limit or below(rarely 5 above, but sometimes). I get tailgated almost daily.
Kuwoobie wrote:
By the way, radio stations should be fined for every time they broadcast the sound of a car horn or emergency vehicle siren. Smiley: mad

I hear that.


Yes to the horn and sirens.

I do speed limit, maybe 5+. 10 if I don't pay attention. I actually do not like to drive, but in my part of IL, I have to.

Kuwoobit we have the same kind of drivers here, the ones that angrily pass you, to only slow down or had a stop sigh/red light a few hundred yards away (aka, what was the point?)

Cruise control can be your friend if you want to always do the speed limit and do not have to adjust often.


Oh and the high way...holy crap. The raised the speed limit from 65 to 75 on some of the high ways around here. I'm so not use to it, last time I drove on one I was white knuckling the steering wheel.
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#4 Aug 03 2014 at 10:31 AM Rating: Good
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Stay in the right lane. You do speed limit in the passing lane and you'll cause an accident.

Also agree on the confusing sirens.
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#5 Aug 03 2014 at 11:17 AM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:
All of this trouble so he could get one spot ahead at the next red light.


You're looking at it in the short term, the next stop light. But in the long term he's no longer stuck behind you, and had he not been stuck behind you he probably would have not been caught by the light.

I hate it when I'm stuck behind someone driving slowly, and I see a light up ahead turn green, and I'm still stuck behind this person, and as I reach the light it turns red. Very few things **** me off more while driving than knowing that I am stuck behind a red light because some *** didn't drive the speed limit

I always try to do 5 over the speed limit (a little less in 25mph places, more like +10%). The way I see it, if the person behind me cannot drive the speed limit without catching up to me, then I'm driving too slowly. The same if I'm driving behind someone. If it's a 55mph zone, and I'm driving 55, I should never be catching up with another driver in front of me. If I am, they are driving too slow, and it's their fault if I'm catching up to them. I also hate it when people cannot drive a consistent speed. If you are going from 45-55 off and on for no reason other than you cannot drive at a steady pace, then you need to use your cruise control to steady that sh*t up. I also find it annoying when people cannot adjust their speed properly when driving up or down a hill. When you go from 55 to 35 and have half a dozen cars behind you, of course they are going to bunch up on your tail.

People that don't know how to get into the left hand turning lane before starting to slow down are also another peeve of mine.

I have a 7 mile stretch of two lane highway every day to and from work. Half of it is 55mph, half of it is 45mph. Realistically it should be 55mph all the way through, the only reason it is 45 is because the road used to jog over and go across a small bridge many years ago, but they scrapped that bridge and put a much larger bridge in a straight path. The DoT has come through and said it was a safe area for 55mph, but the two times they pushed for an increase in the speed limit it never went through. It never fails that there is someone who does 50mph all the way through, it's slow enough to **** me off, but not slow enough for me to pass. So I just tailgate the @#%^ for it.

I'm an aggressive driver. But relatively safe about it. I've never been in an accident (a couple deer not counting) and have never been pulled over for anything. Never even had a parking ticket. I always pay attention to what I'm doing, even if I'm doing it aggressively. I don't weave in/out of traffic and I don't whip around people. But I will let people know that I'm ****** at them.

Sandinmygum wrote:
Oh and the high way...holy crap. The raised the speed limit from 65 to 75 on some of the high ways around here. I'm so not use to it, last time I drove on one I was white knuckling the steering wheel.


Get off the road Smiley: mad

Edited, Aug 3rd 2014 1:21pm by TirithRR
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#6 Aug 03 2014 at 11:22 AM Rating: Good
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Sandinmygum wrote:
I actually do not like to drive, but in my part of IL, I have to.
Move to the Netherlands, you can cycle almost everywhere because tiny country is tiny. And if cycling doesn't work you can bring your bike on the trains.
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#7 Aug 03 2014 at 3:21 PM Rating: Decent
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I tend to drive faster than I should. I don't enjoy driving, so I like to get it over with.
#8 Aug 03 2014 at 4:58 PM Rating: Good
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I like long trips. Tomorrow I'm driving to Kentucky. Unfortunately I'm using a rental (can't take my vehicle). I picked it up this afternoon, a 2010 Sebring. The only thing I don't like about driving rentals is they are usually newer, and not being used to the feel of the speed since it sounds so different, so it's not as easy to make sure I'm driving the limit without looking at the speedometer. I caught myself doing 70 in a 55 on my way back from the rental pickup.
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#9 Aug 03 2014 at 6:08 PM Rating: Good
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I generally drive 5-10 MPH over the speed limit on the highway, always in the right-hand lane. When traffic in front of me is slower than that, I pass on the left and get back over as soon as I can. I prefer a drive that has rare slowdowns, even if it's a longer distance/time than other options with more frequent stops. When I was driving to school every day, I'd drive probably 15 minutes longer and 10 miles farther than I had just because it bypassed a long line of stop-and-go traffic. In the city, I try to stay within 5 MPH over the speed limit. I always let faster traffic pass me, though I do admit a sense of satisfaction when the guy weaving in and out cutting everyone off ends up only a car in front of me at the next red light.
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#10 Aug 04 2014 at 7:15 AM Rating: Good
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Kuwoobie wrote:


In recent years I've learned I can make turns without slowing down if I accelerate at just the right moment. This seems to create some sort of centrifugal force that allows for sharper/faster turns without upsetting the car's center of gravity too much.


It's a traction thing. You didn't learn this in Drivers Ed or HS Automotives, or even Physics class?

When I had family responsibilities it seemed like I always had to be somewhere in a short amount of time. Can't be 5 minutes late at the daycare or you pay extra, gotta get home before the first kids bus arrives, need to get granny to her hair appt by Noon sharp or you'd never hear the end of it - stuff like that. I'd drive fast and aggressively and get ***** when people slowed me down.

I've much mellowed, but still get a bit aggravated with slower-than-the-speed-limit drivers. We really don't have much in the way of highways out here on the margins. Mostly we have just two lane rows, so one lolly-gagging driver can really muck things up. If you're lucky there will be a passing lane soon.

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#11 Aug 04 2014 at 8:08 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:


In recent years I've learned I can make turns without slowing down if I accelerate at just the right moment. This seems to create some sort of centrifugal force that allows for sharper/faster turns without upsetting the car's center of gravity too much.


It's a traction thing. You didn't learn this in Drivers Ed or HS Automotives, or even Physics class?




I never had any of those classes Smiley: frown
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#12 Aug 04 2014 at 9:41 AM Rating: Good
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Optimized for speed : brake then accelerate 1/2way through curve
Optimized for mileage: take approach slower and ramp through.
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#13 Aug 04 2014 at 12:29 PM Rating: Excellent
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I've slowed considerably with age. Not that I was ever a recklessly fast driver or anything, but I've found myself increasingly content to go the speed limit-ish in the right had lane. Kids in the backseat tend to add the potential for distraction, so best to be going a little slower when the inevitable "that's my dinosaur!" fights start. Also the new car has one of those real-time fuel efficiency displays, and being the frugal person I like to keep that as high as possible. Unfortunately those MPG seem to drop off pretty heavily when going from 60-70 mph. Seeing how much money you lose by going faster helps with any residual lead foot problems.

Sandinmygum wrote:
The One and Only Poldaran wrote:
I've been told that I drive like an old lady. Almost always the speed limit or below(rarely 5 above, but sometimes). I get tailgated almost daily.
Kuwoobie wrote:
By the way, radio stations should be fined for every time they broadcast the sound of a car horn or emergency vehicle siren. Smiley: mad

I hear that.


Yes to the horn and sirens.
We need to form a posse, apply some vigilante justice and such.

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#14 Aug 04 2014 at 12:44 PM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
Kids in the backseat tend to add the potential for distraction, so best to be going a little slower when the inevitable "that's my dinosaur!" fights start.
Dinosaurs are ******* awesome.
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#15 Aug 04 2014 at 12:54 PM Rating: Good
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I wouldn't get a driver's license if it weren't part of my job requirements. Paying to sit and do nothing for any length of time is torture. When I drive, most of the time I also am in a vehicle with government tags which are apparently just as good as diplomatic immunity because I run reds and speed all over the **** place.
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#16 Aug 04 2014 at 5:58 PM Rating: Good
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Reached the end of my trip and there was a younger guy talking on his cell phone. He was doing about 70, so I passed him. Then a few minutes later here he comes, doing probably around 90 (I was doing 80) goes by me, still talking on his phone. A few minutes later, I'm catching up to him again, he's back down to 70, I pass him, and again, a few minutes later he comes zooming by me going 90 or so again. Someone needs to learn to drive at a steady speed or at least use cruise control.

I don't really care about gas mileage. I'm not paying for it when I'm traveling for work.
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#17 Aug 05 2014 at 4:04 PM Rating: Good
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Sandinmygum wrote:
Oh and the high way...holy crap. The raised the speed limit from 65 to 75 on some of the high ways around here. I'm so not use to it, last time I drove on one I was white knuckling the steering wheel.


Hah. That's quaint as ****. You'd be eaten alive around here.

Oh. Someone mentioned staying in the right lane and not the passing lane. Pro-tip for when you drive on a highway that has more than two lanes: Do not just drive slow in the right hand lane. Get into the second lane (third is even better) and pace the car in front of you while making sure there's enough space between you and that car so that others can change lanes between you (key is to avoid creating blocks in lanes vertically or horizontally). The problem with the far right lane is that every single car on the highway has to go through it to get on the highway and then again to get off the highway. So if you're already a nervous driver unaccustomed to heavy traffic, it's the last place you want to be. Cars will constantly be zipping in front of you, behind you, around you, realizing at the last second they need to veer three lanes over and narrowly miss you, etc.

It's a common mistake people make, not realizing that they're making their driving lives so much more difficult. The brief stress of changing a lane or two farther into the highway will save you massive amounts of stress along your entire drive.

TirithRR wrote:
Kuwoobie wrote:
All of this trouble so he could get one spot ahead at the next red light.


You're looking at it in the short term, the next stop light. But in the long term he's no longer stuck behind you, and had he not been stuck behind you he probably would have not been caught by the light.

I hate it when I'm stuck behind someone driving slowly, and I see a light up ahead turn green, and I'm still stuck behind this person, and as I reach the light it turns red. Very few things **** me off more while driving than knowing that I am stuck behind a red light because some *** didn't drive the speed limit.


/agree

I don't have a problem particularly with people who drive slow. I do have a problem with people who seem blissfully unaware of how traffic light sensors work though. If the light ahead of you has just turned green, it's going to start to turn red as soon as there's a gap in the cars entering the intersection (assuming it's on a sensor and not just a timed light). You should be speeding up to enter any gap between you and the cars ahead of you. If you just drive at a steady pace, you'll likely not make the light. And yeah, as the guy behind you, I'm going to be ****** about that because I know this and closed the gap between me and you, but you left a gap between you and the car in front of you, so we both got stuck.

Even worse is that sometimes the moron who leaves a gap is just able to make the light on the yellow, but the poor sap behind him gets the red. That really ****** me off when someone drives just fast enough so that he makes the light, but just slow enough to trigger the light change so that I don't make it. And btw, that's why people might appear to be tailgating or trying to pass you. Because even if I don't make the light, as you say, I'm in front of you now and will be able to make the next one in the sequence.

Learning how traffic lights work can significantly affect the amount of time you end out stuck sitting at them. It's funny because I have a friend of mine who insists that he's just unlucky with traffic lights. He'll drive way out of his way to avoid driving down streets with lots of lights. Meanwhile, I drive the same streets and have no issues at all. It's not about luck though. He doesn't look down the road and notice the patterns of the lights and adjust his speed accordingly. So he hits a lot of red lights. There is actually a trick to timing the lights. Learn when to slow down and when to speed up and it's pretty easy. But most of all, you have to freaking pay attention (which most people don't do).

Quote:
People that don't know how to get into the left hand turning lane before starting to slow down are also another peeve of mine.


Yup. Also people who begin breaking for the freeway offramp before actually entering the ramp. Unaware that they're making everyone behind them (who maybe aren't exiting the freeway) have to slow down.
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#18 Aug 05 2014 at 4:28 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
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People that don't know how to get into the left hand turning lane before starting to slow down are also another peeve of mine.


Yup. Also people who begin breaking for the freeway offramp before actually entering the ramp. Unaware that they're making everyone behind them (who maybe aren't exiting the freeway) have to slow down.


There are exceptions of course, I can forgive people that slow down sooner rather than later when taking an exit that has a 25mph sharp curve (like a tight junction). There are a couple tight ones like that around the Grand Rapids area if I remember right. They also have a tight curve on ramp and off ramp with an exit/entrance only lane between the two that I swear are about 200 feet apart. That makes getting off on that exit, and merging on, very hard, because merging on traffic and exiting traffic are both trying to use that same 200 feet of road. I make sure to avoid that exit as much as possible. Luckily I don't have to use it often, but I drive by it and see people dancing with each other all the time.

Also, if traffic is light, there is absolutely no reason to stay on the right hand lane at an on ramp. Get your *** over to the left lane and let that merging vehicle have the space. I hate it when I'm trying to merge and some lone car decides that he gets to pass everyone that politely moved over, and in the process impedes me from merging smoothly.

There's more to driving safely than just driving defensively. Doing your part to ensure that traffic flows smoothly helps a lot too, sometimes that may mean being a little harder on that pedal.
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#19 Aug 05 2014 at 5:38 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Quote:
People that don't know how to get into the left hand turning lane before starting to slow down are also another peeve of mine.


Yup. Also people who begin breaking for the freeway offramp before actually entering the ramp. Unaware that they're making everyone behind them (who maybe aren't exiting the freeway) have to slow down.


There are exceptions of course, I can forgive people that slow down sooner rather than later when taking an exit that has a 25mph sharp curve (like a tight junction).


Of course. But lots of times, I see people do this "just because". There's a particular set of ramps that I drive once or twice a week when visiting friends that live in a particular part of town. Basically, there's an offramp to the freeway I need to exchange onto that's immediately after an onramp full of traffic from yet another freeway. Those two are really close. Also, the lane for traffic coming from the other freeway narrows from two lanes into one, and becomes the exit only lane to the freeway I need to get to, so anyone coming onto the freeway on that ramp who isn't immediately getting off that freeway and exchanging onto the other one has to move a lane over to the left. So you really want to get into that right hand lane ahead of time so that you can just space yourself with the cars in the lane to the right so you merge right and they merge left. If you wait a lane over, you're trying to merge to the right into the same lane they're merging into from the right, which is pretty fraught with peril (easy to see someone in the lane immediately next to you that wants to merge into your lane, much harder to notice someone two lanes over who's going to move into the same spot you're planning on moving into).

This would all be great except that immediately before this pair of ramps is another offramp onto a surface street. It's an option offramp with no dedicated lane. It's also a really long (like a half a mile long) straight ramp to the surface street. There's zero reason to slow down until you get fully off the freeway, but it's amazing how many people do anyway. The problem with this is that because of those morons slowing down too early, it slows down that right hand lane, which tempts people into staying a lane over and then trying to merge in after that offramp, which puts them into the perilous situation I mentioned above.

I've seen a lot of close calls in that area.

Quote:
Also, if traffic is light, there is absolutely no reason to stay on the right hand lane at an on ramp. Get your *** over to the left lane and let that merging vehicle have the space. I hate it when I'm trying to merge and some lone car decides that he gets to pass everyone that politely moved over, and in the process impedes me from merging smoothly.


Yeah, that kinda gets me too. Doubly so when the next lane over is completely clear and there's no reason other than randomly picking a lane for them to be where they are. But it does seem that a common theme is that most people just don't really think about how to change their position and driving to make things easier for themselves and other drivers. They just pick a random lane and drive in it. But if you actually look down the road in front of you and pay attention to what's happening and actually think "what is that car ahead of me likely to do?', and react *before* things happen, you can make your life a whole lot easier.

I distinctly remember riding in a car with an old roommate of mine. Ironically, she'd just been in *two* accidents in like a weeks time (got in one that totaled her car, then crashed the loaner car for good measure). Neither was actually her fault, but after seeing her drive it became obvious why she kept getting into accidents. Not paying attention. In this case, we were driving down a length of freeway that had three lanes. The leftmost two curved to the left and became a long long offramp to a surface street, while the right lane became an exit only lane to a cloverleaf and onto another freeway. We were in the right lane heading to the cloverleaf. We were driving just slightly faster than a car in the far left lane (slowly overtaking it). That car changed one lane to the right. As it did this, I immediately realized that while it might have just randomly changed lanes (like 2 miles ahead of any intersection that might require one), odds are the driver of that car wants to get into the right lane to get onto the cloverleaf rather than stay on the portion that heads the other direction. I also noticed that if he did want to change into our lane, he would have to do it "soon" (cause the offramp was fast approaching) and that our relative speeds were such that we were just about to line up next to him right where he'd need to make that lane change. I'm thinking in my head "let off the gas so that he can get in if he needs to", but she blissfully continued driving at the same speed. Sure enough, right as we're in his blind spot just off his right rear bumper he starts moving into our lane. My friend screeched in surprise, slammed on the breaks and swerved all over the place to avoid him. Then proceeded to get all upset about how he shouldn't have done that, and why did he not see her, etc, etc, etc. My thinking the whole time was that she could see him better than he could see her, and she should have predicted his action and prepared for it.

That's defensive driving. A tiny adjustment to her speed 30 seconds earlier would have avoided the whole thing. But because she wasn't thinking about what the other driver might do, she didn't make the adjustment, and as a result nearly got into yet another accident.



I have another friend (the same one with the problem with signal lights) who is absolutely terrible about getting stuck behind slow moving trucks. And when it happens he'll ***** and moan about how he's stuck behind this slow moving truck. And every single time I'm thinking "If you'd paid attention to the slow moving truck ahead of you and started looking for an opportunity to lane change before you were so close that you had to slow down to avoid rear ending it, you wouldn't be stuck". I'd say something ahead of time, but every time I do that he says he knows (and gets a bit irritated), so I just shut up and let him lament that he constantly gets stuck behind slow moving trucks, red lights, stopped traffic, etc.

He's also one of those people who is so sure that if he uses his turn signal ahead of time, all the mean drivers around him will move to block him out of some kind of spite I guess. So he will drive down a lane with his hand poised on the turn signal (but not activating it) until he finds a clear spot, then he clicks on the signal and changes lanes in one movement. Of course, quite often he spends a minute or so driving like this and verbally complains that no one is letting him in. There's a certain amusing quality to the whole thing really.
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#20 Aug 06 2014 at 7:36 AM Rating: Good
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Somehow reading gbaji's treatise on incorrect driving habits of others reminded me of the illusory superiority discussion.

It's a 1981 study but....93% of (US) drivers claim they're more skilled than the average US driver.

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#21 Aug 06 2014 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
Somehow reading gbaji's treatise on incorrect driving habits of others reminded me of the illusory superiority discussion.
He's seen a car, which makes him an authority on the subject.
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#22 Aug 06 2014 at 9:51 AM Rating: Good
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lolgaxe wrote:
Elinda wrote:
Somehow reading gbaji's treatise on incorrect driving habits of others reminded me of the illusory superiority discussion.
He's seen a car, which makes him an authority on the subject.

Perhaps he was even conceived in one. Again, this is assuming he's an organic life-form.
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#23 Aug 06 2014 at 2:19 PM Rating: Decent
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Not my fault I'm an expert on so many things! Smiley: schooled

And when did **** and ****** trigger the filters?
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#24 Aug 06 2014 at 2:20 PM Rating: Good
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About three hours ago.
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#25 Aug 07 2014 at 7:01 AM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
Not my fault I'm an expert on so many things I'm a narcissist! Smiley: schooled

And when did **** and **** trigger the filters?
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#26 Aug 16 2014 at 3:26 PM Rating: Good
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Gbaji, you should NEVER be trying to close the gap to the car in front of you. The idea is to keep a safety cushion in front of you at all times in case s/he suddenly stops.

Even when you're sitting still you want to maintain a gap ( technically, you're supposed to be able to see their rear tires on the pavement in front of you), this way, if they break down or an emergency vehicle needs to get through, you can maneuver out of the way instead of being stuck there like a dumb ***.


Edited, Aug 16th 2014 5:28pm by CoalHeart

Edited, Aug 16th 2014 5:29pm by CoalHeart
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#27 Aug 16 2014 at 3:52 PM Rating: Good
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CoalHeart wrote:
Gbaji, you should NEVER be trying to close the gap to the car in front of you. The idea is to keep a safety cushion in front of you at all times in case s/he suddenly stops.


You don't seem to understand "the gap" when it comes to stop lights and assume the worst just to drag up a 9 day old argument?

"The gap" that traffic lights read is the normal flow of traffic gap.
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#28 Aug 16 2014 at 7:50 PM Rating: Good
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TirithRR wrote:
CoalHeart wrote:
Gbaji, you should NEVER be trying to close the gap to the car in front of you. The idea is to keep a safety cushion in front of you at all times in case s/he suddenly stops.


You don't seem to understand "the gap" when it comes to stop lights and assume the worst just to drag up a 9 day old argument?

"The gap" that traffic lights read is the normal flow of traffic gap.


Gbaji wrote, and I quote "You should be speeding up to enter any gap between you and the cars ahead of you."



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#29 Aug 17 2014 at 4:20 AM Rating: Good
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CoalHeart wrote:

Gbaji wrote, and I quote "You should be speeding up to enter any gap between you and the cars ahead of you."


Yes, but given the context and how stop lights with traffic sensors work, he means to close any large gaps to a normal traffic flow gap. Not a "get up on that guy's a$$" gap.

Edited, Aug 17th 2014 6:21am by TirithRR
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#30 Aug 17 2014 at 12:45 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
CoalHeart wrote:

Gbaji wrote, and I quote "You should be speeding up to enter any gap between you and the cars ahead of you."


Yes, but given the context and how stop lights with traffic sensors work, he means to close any large gaps to a normal traffic flow gap. Not a "get up on that guy's a$$" gap.

Edited, Aug 17th 2014 6:21am by TirithRR



You shouldn't be trying to close ANY gaps. Gaps are good. Sitting at a redlight isn't going to kill you. Smacking into another car or getting T-boned at an intersection very well could.
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#31 Aug 17 2014 at 1:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Induction loops that control traffic lights are basically giant metal detectors. If you don't have an engine block parked over them, they don't think your car is there. That's also the main reason why that one intersection you drive through that always seems to be broken doesn't work. Chances are the induction loop is too close to an iron water main lid. At any rate, if you aren't parked over the induction loop, the light only changes at it's maximum "change the light anyways even if there is no car there just in case your induction loop is broken" timer rate.

The new ones they have now are neat. Instead of a big loop, it's just a tiny hocky puck shaped thing you embed into the pavement. Much stronger and doesn't wear out as much as the wires do.
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#32 Aug 17 2014 at 5:01 PM Rating: Good
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Our intersections use cameras. Probably cause they didn't want to dig up the roads. But you can see them on top of the light poles.

Some of them are adjusted just a tad off though, a couple of the side streets getting on the main highway if you are too far up on the corner waiting to turn, the camera won't register you and the light will never change.

CoalHeart wrote:
You shouldn't be trying to close ANY gaps. Gaps are good. Sitting at a redlight isn't going to kill you. Smacking into another car or getting T-boned at an intersection very well could.


Paranoid overly cautious bullsh*t that doesn't apply well to the majority of driving. Bigger gaps aren't better, and bigger gaps can cause traffic issues.

SAFE gaps based on speeds and traffic are fine.

Edited, Aug 17th 2014 7:09pm by TirithRR
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#33 Aug 17 2014 at 6:10 PM Rating: Excellent
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Your intersections probably have cameras, but it would be extremely unusual if they were the primary sensor used for traffic light control. Look in the ground in older pavement, you can sometimes see the outline where they have been installed. Nowadays they usually just pave over them which makes telling where they are to ensure you are parked on them problematic. The reason they don't use cameras to sense when a car is there? pavement colored cars and weather related light and color changes. Usually those cameras go to a traffic management center somewhere or speed camera ticket machines. The operators in the TMC can generally override the lights and controll traffic flow in that manner, so sometimes the cameras are used in that manner. but usually it's induction loops. There are a few pressure plate actuated ones out there still, but most of those have been replaced just because they are expensive to maintain.
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#34 Aug 17 2014 at 6:27 PM Rating: Good
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I was pretty sure the cameras were being used on this intersection. I never saw them install anything under the concrete or tear up anything. The road is pretty smooth other than one corner where they widened it for semis to turn. Even right after they installed the new lights I never saw anything in the concrete below.
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#35 Aug 17 2014 at 8:02 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:
Our intersections use cameras. Probably cause they didn't want to dig up the roads. But you can see them on top of the light poles.

Some of them are adjusted just a tad off though, a couple of the side streets getting on the main highway if you are too far up on the corner waiting to turn, the camera won't register you and the light will never change.

CoalHeart wrote:
You shouldn't be trying to close ANY gaps. Gaps are good. Sitting at a redlight isn't going to kill you. Smacking into another car or getting T-boned at an intersection very well could.


Paranoid overly cautious bullsh*t that doesn't apply well to the majority of driving. Bigger gaps aren't better, and bigger gaps can cause traffic issues.

SAFE gaps based on speeds and traffic are fine.

Edited, Aug 17th 2014 7:09pm by TirithRR



Wrong. So wrong in fact that I don't even know where to start, so I won't.

Your opinions are nothing more than trying to defend your poor driving habits. I was going to mention that I drive OTR for a living. That I have a Class A CDL, that I've also had extensive training, both educational theory ( including state-of-the-art simulators) and real world training on closed courses ( with skid plates even) learning everything from hydroplaning passenger cars to jackknife recovery in big rigs. ( 18 wheelers).

But, why bother? There's no way to defeat ignorance fueled by arrogance. Not a personal insult, just a fact, you don't know diddly about safe driving.

EDIT: I will leave you with this though. What is the primary cause of most so called accidents? It's actually quite simple. It's two objects trying to occupy the same space at the same time. A gap, by definition, means this isn't happening. There's no logical, physical or common sense way that a gap could cause an accident.

Edited, Aug 18th 2014 1:32am by CoalHeart
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#36 Aug 18 2014 at 1:27 AM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
I was pretty sure the cameras were being used on this intersection. I never saw them install anything under the concrete or tear up anything. The road is pretty smooth other than one corner where they widened it for semis to turn. Even right after they installed the new lights I never saw anything in the concrete below.


They may be under the pavement entirely. Based off your probably location they do use Induction loops in that particular general area. Could always call the DOT and ask, tell em its for a science project or something.

that or just drop a big iron plate in the middle of the road near the stop bar and see if the light changes.
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#37 Aug 18 2014 at 6:34 AM Rating: Good
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The correct driving gap according to every driving manual I've ever seen. One car length for every 10mph speed.

Driving considerably slower than traffic can be a problem, but I don't see where too much gap can be a problem.
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#38 Aug 18 2014 at 3:57 PM Rating: Decent
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TirithRR wrote:

Paranoid overly cautious bullsh*t that doesn't apply well to the majority of driving. Bigger gaps aren't better, and bigger gaps can cause traffic issues.

SAFE gaps based on speeds and traffic are fine.


Yup. The timers on the loops are configured based on a normal safe rate at which cars will drive over said loops (magnets!). So for any given intersection, based on the safe speed of said intersection, you should be driving in a nice line at the correct (still completely safe) distance from the car in front of you. If you leave a larger gap than the intersection is configured for, the sensor will not trip in the given time period, and the light will begin to cycle to red.

People who are not aware of this will sometimes drive a bit too slow approaching the light and leave a gap that will trigger the cycle change. Those people usually still make it through the light, but the person behind them does not.
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#39 Aug 18 2014 at 3:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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TirithRR wrote:
I was pretty sure the cameras were being used on this intersection. I never saw them install anything under the concrete or tear up anything. The road is pretty smooth other than one corner where they widened it for semis to turn. Even right after they installed the new lights I never saw anything in the concrete below.

Those cameras are most likely being used for left turn arrow indication. Around here it's what they're used for. If there is nobody in the left turn lane, open green for both sides.
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#40 Aug 18 2014 at 4:14 PM Rating: Decent
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CoalHeart wrote:
Wrong. So wrong in fact that I don't even know where to start, so I won't.

Your opinions are nothing more than trying to defend your poor driving habits. I was going to mention that I drive OTR for a living. That I have a Class A CDL, that I've also had extensive training, both educational theory ( including state-of-the-art simulators) and real world training on closed courses ( with skid plates even) learning everything from hydroplaning passenger cars to jackknife recovery in big rigs. ( 18 wheelers).


You've taken all this training and have never learned how traffic light sensor loops work? Hmm...

Quote:
EDIT: I will leave you with this though. What is the primary cause of most so called accidents? It's actually quite simple. It's two objects trying to occupy the same space at the same time. A gap, by definition, means this isn't happening. There's no logical, physical or common sense way that a gap could cause an accident.


Yes, but it was pretty clear I wasn't talking about eliminating any gap at all (cause that would require literally tapping your bumper into the car in front of you, which is silly). I was talking about leaving a gap larger than that which the sensor will allow before tripping. And, as I stated above, that gap is calculated based on the normal speed of the traffic lanes and the correct safe distance cars should be maintaining while driving at that speed.

I was talking about leaving a gap between where you are and where you should be to maintain that distance and ensure that the loop senses a car traveling over it every X seconds so as to prevent it from changing the light. Trust me, this is not an unsafe distance.

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Elinda wrote:
The correct driving gap according to every driving manual I've ever seen. One car length for every 10mph speed.


Whatever the correct distance is for the speed in question is what's calculated in the timer on the sensor (plus a bit of leeway actually). So if it's a 40 MPH road, they'll calculate the time it takes to travel say 5 car lengths, and the sensor will trigger a light change if it doesn't pick up a car crossing the loop within that period of time. It's how sensor triggered lights work. Knowing this can help traffic flow better (and not **** off the person behind you who is unnecessarily stuck at a light).

[quote]Driving considerably slower than traffic can be a problem, but I don't see where too much gap can be a problem.



Except, again, that the traffic lights use the timing of cars crossing the loop to determine if there are still cars driving in a line through the intersection. So if you fail to stay close enough to the car in front of you to keep the sensor activating, the light will change.

Imagine there are 10 cars driving in a line towards a light that is configured for a 2 second delay between cars. The light turns green. Each car is maintaining say 1.5 seconds of distance between them and the car in front of them. All 10 cars will make it through the light. Heck. If there are 20 cars, they'll all make it through the light. But if the driver of car number 5 decides to drive such that there's 2.5 seconds distance between him and the car in front of him, the light will switch to yellow .5 seconds before he enters the intersection (technically before he hits the loop which is right in front of the intersection). He'll make it through (cause the yellow is on a 3 second timer), but the guy behind him probably wont, and the 3 other people who otherwise would have made it through the light will end out having to stop.


I'm not saying drive like a maniac, but if you look down the road in front of you and pay attention to what's going on, you can plan ahead. You can notice that a light has turned green and the traffic has started to move. You can realize that if you maintain your current speed, you will not catch up to the end of that line before too large a gap is created and you'll cause the light to cycle. You can then speed up a small amount *now* to close that future gap, then reduce speed to match the line of cars and cleanly pass through the intersection without tripping the light.

It's not hard to do, but does require both understanding how the light sensors work *and* having the forethought to adjust your speed ahead of time so as to time your entry into the intersection properly. The same concept applies to triggered left hand turns btw. If you are approaching an intersection and want to turn left at a protected turn lane, and you realize that the light is going to change "soon", and no one is currently sitting in that lane, it's a good idea to speed up to get on the sensor before the light changes. Otherwise, you'll have to sit through a full cycle until that light's "turn" comes around again. People who don't realize this will maintain speed and pull in too late to have their light triggered when the cross traffic light cycles out. And they end out spending more time at traffic lights.


Knowledge is power. Yadda, yadda.
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#41 Aug 18 2014 at 4:23 PM Rating: Excellent
end up.

Generally car detection is on the stopped end to determine if there is a need to change the light, not on the moving cars. What are you basing this off of, speculation?
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#42 Aug 18 2014 at 4:27 PM Rating: Good
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Kastigir wrote:
TirithRR wrote:
I was pretty sure the cameras were being used on this intersection. I never saw them install anything under the concrete or tear up anything. The road is pretty smooth other than one corner where they widened it for semis to turn. Even right after they installed the new lights I never saw anything in the concrete below.

Those cameras are most likely being used for left turn arrow indication. Around here it's what they're used for. If there is nobody in the left turn lane, open green for both sides.


Yes, I think that is actually the only automation added to this particular intersection. I take it every day going home. Today while stopped I looked around for any indication of inductive loops in the concrete or under the asphalt and didn't see any. Was trying my damnedest to spot any imperfections in the concrete.

They added the left hand turn lanes a while back because people kept dying trying to turn left as oncoming traffic would still run through the light when it turned red, and left turning traffic would ignore oncoming traffic and turn as soon as it turned yellow.


Elinda wrote:
The correct driving gap according to every driving manual I've ever seen. One car length for every 10mph speed.


Yes. But I've always felt this rule of thumb was a bit far for the low speeds and a bit close for the higher speeds.

But then again, the entire rule of thumb falls apart once you start traveling on crowded freeway. I doubt you could ever really keep a 7-8 car length gap driving around any crowded freeway during rush hour.


CoalHeart wrote:
I will leave you with this though. What is the primary cause of most so called accidents? It's actually quite simple. It's two objects trying to occupy the same space at the same time. A gap, by definition, means this isn't happening. There's no logical, physical or common sense way that a gap could cause an accident.


I'd say that the "two objects trying to occupy the same space at the same time." is the result of the accident, or the result of what caused the accident (In other words, it's the accident itself). Instead the cause of the most accidents being people not being aware of, or paying attention to, their surroundings while driving, distracted driving, for any number of reasons.

Ignoring those caused by driving while impaired, which I don't know about where ever you live, but here is a HUGE problem, and the justice system does little to help it. It's very common for people around here to be driving around still (illegally of course, but still freely driving) while on their 4th DUI, some even higher. Yet they are still roaming the streets free.





Edited, Aug 18th 2014 6:27pm by TirithRR
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#43 Aug 18 2014 at 4:49 PM Rating: Excellent
gbaji wrote:
CoalHeart wrote:
Wrong. So wrong in fact that I don't even know where to start, so I won't.Your opinions are nothing more than trying to defend your poor driving habits. I was going to mention that I drive OTR for a living. That I have a Class A CDL, that I've also had extensive training, both educational theory ( including state-of-the-art simulators) and real world training on closed courses ( with skid plates even) learning everything from hydroplaning passenger cars to jackknife recovery in big rigs. ( 18 wheelers).
You've taken all this training and have never learned how traffic light sensor loops work? Hmm...
Maybe is free-spending California. As others have noted there are a variety of sensor types.

Most of the intersections here (particularily in turn lanes) use pressure plates.


Yes, I said pressure plates. Presumably because they are comparitavely inexpensive to replace.

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#44 Aug 18 2014 at 6:44 PM Rating: Excellent
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You've taken all this training and have never learned how traffic light sensor loops work? Hmm...


Yeah, really odd that driver training tends to focus on safety and not on trying to game red lights.

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#45 Aug 18 2014 at 7:48 PM Rating: Excellent
The gaming of red lights isn't really the case anyway.

There are some intersections that behave somewhat as gbaji describes, although it's not quite correct.

1) The extend the green light idea applies to minor streets crossing larger streets. The idea is that the smaller street will generally have a shorter light, but in the event there is an unusually large number of people it will extend the light by a small amount. Certainly not infinite, and the context is backed up traffic, not fast moving traffic on a main street.

2) Most intersections wouldn't have this, and will just use sensors to trigger the aforementioned minor street, or to trigger a turning light.

3) there are fully automated intersections that monitor continuously, and certainly there could be a case where both streets are monitored and could be extended either way, but it would be rare and not worth closing a gap to do.

I should mention that in SF at least, (so maybe SD as well?) the traffic systems monitor the buses and will extend a green light to let a bus through. This is for high traffic areas of course and uses a completely different system involving communication devices on the buses as opposed to sensors.

TLDR: Don't speed up to fill a gap before a light, it's both dangerous and will most likely accomplish nothing.


Edited, Aug 18th 2014 9:30pm by Xsarus
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#46 Aug 18 2014 at 8:31 PM Rating: Excellent
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Yes, I said pressure plates. Presumably because they are comparitavely inexpensive to replace.
Why do you think they are using pressure plates?
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#47 Aug 18 2014 at 8:57 PM Rating: Good
Sir Xsarus wrote:
Quote:
Yes, I said pressure plates. Presumably because they are comparitavely inexpensive to replace.
Why do you think they are using pressure plates?
Because I asked.


ALSO: The giant off-coloUr rectangles in the road are kind of a giveaway.


Protip: Rapid City and the immediate environs host a whole 120K people at most, so we don't need that fancy stuff.
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#48 Aug 18 2014 at 9:00 PM Rating: Excellent
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#49 Aug 18 2014 at 9:10 PM Rating: Good
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Friar Bijou wrote:

Protip: Rapid City and the immediate environs host a whole 120K people at most, so we don't need that fancy stuff.


I live in a town of 7,000...
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#50 Aug 18 2014 at 11:38 PM Rating: Excellent
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For what it's worth even after the cost of the pavement cutting and materials, induction loops are wayyy less expensive to install than the cost of maintaining and or replacing a pressure plate.
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#51 Aug 19 2014 at 12:49 PM Rating: Good
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Rotaries and/or traffic circles. Everyone goes. No one stops. No light. No sound.

Nothing under the ground to maintain.
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