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.
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.