Drivers on the road, I gave a question for you

Hello drivers out there! I hope everyone is having a fine day :beer:

I wanted to ask this question for a long time but kept holding back because of fear offending people. I’m
really having a problem, and I feel it shouldn’t hurt to ask and discuss the matter at hand. After all, we all share the road, right :sunglasses:

So let’s talk about this particular issue like an adult. If you have experienced this issue on the road like I do, go ahead and share your thoughts.

I’m from New York and this has been happening so often that I’m almost near in believing this could be a psychological issue.

I’m driving in the right lane. A car is traveling behind me in the left lane and is about a half car length behind, and traveling at a steady pace, I turn my indicator on to indicate my intention and cautiously prepare to move over to the left lane. Instead the car that is using the left lane, and is moving at a steady pace, allow me to move over safely, it speeds up to get in front of me.

This has happened on the road about 97% of the time that I now joke with passengers in my car by telling them that the car behind will suddenly speed up to get in front of of me if I turn my indicator on.

As for myself, If someone turns their indicator on wanting to move over into the lane I’m in, I always slow down by taking my foot off the accelerator so they may safely move over. I find this to be safer and polite.

If you are one of those drivers who rather speed up to get in front instead of slowing down, may I know your reasons? I’d love to hear and learn from you.

Or if this happens to you as often, what do you think cause people do this?

As a person that normally drives fast, I use the left lane because it is intended for driving faster, they have signs saying slower cars use right lane… So if I see a slower car about to get in front of me and I am close enough that I have to slow down it pisses me off, if you are in the right lane and want to pull into the left lane then you need to be going faster than the vehicle behind you, you should never move over in front of someone and make them slow down… Exception is a turn off that requires you to move over to the left lane…

But to be honest, traffic permitting, I will be about to pass you anyway when you decide to use your turn signal… And yes I watch peoples driving close enough to tell a lot of times if they are going to move over anyway… The faster I am driving the more intensely focused and aware I am of the vehicles around me… I also know the limits of the vehicle I am driving as well as my own and the surrounding area…

The old saying goes, Lead follow or get out of m way!.. lol

You asked…


I appreciate your explanation and reasoning.

A lot of times when I’m moving over into the left lane is to make an exit, and since drivers in the left lane hardly ever want to let me move over, it becomes challenging to get to that exit.

Going faster to blend in with traffic in the left lane is good advice. However, a lot of times going faster isn’t an option when there are vehicles in front of you.

Here in New York, with bright and visible indicator on, nobody wants to give way, and I find myself asking the question “ Why is this ?”

Thanks. your response helps clear up some confusion on my end.

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Just to be clear, I am not a complete Ahole, when I see the lane ending due to a wreck/road construction etc, I start trying to move over soon (and slow down lol), but I can promise you I am always watching my mirrors and If I see you waiting to the very last second trying to get in front of as many vehicles as possible before the lane ends then I will block you from gong around me… :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:

And I will let people merge in front of me also, but don’t try to merge in front of me doing 30 mph when the speed limit is 65/70 mph, as long as you have a standard/long on ramp there is no reason not to be doing the speed limit (or very close to it) before merging… I sometimes have to hit my brakes when merging cause I am already going faster then the traffic is… Again it is all about knowing the road and your surroundings…


That is too close, you are not properly positioned for a lane change.

It can be difficult to notice a turn signal on a vehicle that is driving that close in the next lane. A driver making a lane change at 45 mph with only 1/2 a car length of space is either a rude or incompetent driver.

I’ll yield when I see a driver trying to change lanes but if they don’t accelerate and merge in a timely manner, I’ll accelerate and give them the space behind me.


I should think a half car length behind should allow for clear view of the car lights that is in front. Even when my front bumper is aligned with the car in front rear bumper i can clearly see its lights ( unless I’m driving a truck).

When a car is half car length behind, you should be able to see the whole car in your side mirrors ( being the driver in the front ).

Turning the indicator on is to alert traffic in the next lane that you want to merge. Notice the word “ want “ rather than to cut in front of traffic rudely. The indicator, in other words, is saying “ please excuse me.”

The issue here, also, is that the car in the left lane is not passing but rather going at a steady pace and behind you half car length. Then the moment you turn your indicator on, the car in the left lane speeds up to pass you.

From this diagram, I show where half car length is.

The bright RED car is me. The faded RED car behind in the left lane. I marked the center middle of the faded RED car to show its half length.

Now, measure my car and the half car lengthened car and you’ll see there is enough space for the faded RED car to see my indicator without issues.

The turn signal should be noticed while driving in bumper-to-bumper traffic at slow speeds as you illustrated in post 7. The traffic here moves more swiftly, at speeds greater than 40 mph drivers are focused on traffic hundreds of feet ahead.

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You’re using your turn signals incorrectly. You should be using them to announce your intention, not to ask permission.
That being said, I check my mirrors to make sure there’s space to change lanes, put on the turn signal and change lanes. The car behind me doesn’t have time to move up and block the lane. I’m warning him that I’m about to change lanes, he has no choice in the matter.


I have to agree with this.

See, I should just turn my indicator on and merge since there is space. The thing is: I’m scared to death of the driver hitting me in the rear as he/she speeds up to pass me , even though he/she would be technically at fault.

I drive defensively all the time, so this is why I hesitate to merge as soon as I turn on my indicator.

That’s why checking to make sure there’s enough clear space is the FIRST thing you do.

This happens frequently on roads that have 35-40mph speed limit. I don’t really drive fast, unless I go on the highway, which is rarely.

Since they would speed up to pass me when I turn the indicator on, then they must have seen the blinkers.

I noticed this long ago. My explanation is that many drivers get hypnotized and so take a position relative to yours. If they are in the left lane, you notice it.

When you turn on your turn signal on, that gets their attention and they are no longer hypnotized and remember they were passing people.

My counter to this is to be aware of the situation and if I am anticipating moving into the left lane, I do so just before this becomes discourteous. And as has been pointed out, I use the turn signal as an intention, not permission. In other words, I don’t wait for a response from them. I do it before they can react.

But if I didn’t notice them coming up and they are sitting off my beam, I will either slow down to break their hypnosis or speed up and take the lane.

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Living in Florida all year gives me a look at drivers from many different states. I can see the plates! I’ve also driven or ridden in 40+ states and 11 foriegn countries.

Not everyone drives like this. New Yorkers, MA and NJ drivers do this…a lot. They are generally more aggressive. By no means are they the only ones. Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio drivers do this to a lessor degree, too. You will find a portion of drivers like this everywhere. Less in some states, less at different times. Commuters will drive more aggressively, shoppers, less.

Personally, if I see your signal and we are going similar speeds, I’ll let you in but I expect you to get the change done. Don’t waffle.

If I am in your described situtation, I generally signal and change simultaneously to avoid the A-hole cut off. I signal early if I am blocked and hope for good behavior from the other lane.

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I disagree. When you pull in front of someone with only a half car length between cars you are driving aggressively. IMO you should plan better to provide adequate space (at least one car length, probably more), wait until the person on your left passes you, or slow down to move behind the other driver.


Lets see , driver has a traffic problem . Instead of trying to find a way to avoid said problem they expect everyone else on the road to change .

If the OP’s isn’t driving aggressively, he is–at the very least–not driving defensively. Pulling in front of another car when there is that little clearance is… not a wise thing to do. I strongly suggest that the OP take a Defensive Driving Course.

AARP now has these courses available online, one does not have to be an AARP member to take the course, and you can take the course at your own pace. The only difference between a member and a non-member is that the non-member pays a slightly higher fee, but the fee is still nominal–especially when one considers the discount that one’s insurer will provide upon proof of successful completion of the course.


The post here clearly is saying indicator is on when a car is half car length behind. Nowhere says one pulls in front of a car half car length behind.

Why not just wait until there is clearly a safe distance between you and the cars in the left lane before you even put your signal on? The driver in the left lane doesn’t know whether you are going to drift in front of him at that point, and this can lead to reactions on the part of the other driver that could easily be prevented by simply not signaling when his/her car is that close.

You are driving to Walmart one sunny afternoon. You are traveling in the right lane. An exist is half mile up the street to the left. The road has two lanes. Cars in the left lanes are going the same speed as you. The closest car to you on the left is about half car length behind. You want to merge into the left lane to prepare your exit ahead. Cars in the left lane rather pass you instead of coming off their accelerator to let you in.

This is what happens here in New York. Every car in the left lane will try to get ahead of you as soon as you signal your intention to merge, forcing you to hold up traffic in the right lane should you decide to slow down or come to a full stop, or you miss your exit entirely.

So what is the indicator on a car is for if people won’t help you merge over safely?

If I’m in a grocery store and pushing one of those grocery carts around and attempt to merge left or right, people would slow down and give me way out of courtesy. But this courtesy disappears on the literal road which is pretty confusing.