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Rules of the Road

Forget Nina Totenberg, the Tappets give us the best public service program on NPR. Unfortunately, once they get some drivers back on the road, arteries clog, sleepy streets convert to thoroughfares, and parking lots become shortcuts. SO – it’s time for a few Public Service Announcements aimed at drivers who have either forgotten basic rules of the road, never learned them, or just choose to ignore them. Or perhaps driver education could become a whole new category for your weekly Puzzlers.

Let’s start with my pet peeve, the one I am presented with each time I venture out into my small suburban community. QUESTION: When two drivers converge at a 4-way stop perpendicular to each other and at the same time, which driver has the right of way? ANSWER: The driver on your RIGHT has the right of way. That means he or she can cross the intersection before you do. This is a basic rule of the road! Please, please, stop waving at me (in the car to your left) to cross the intersection before you do. You may think that is a sweet gesture, but it causes confusion. This rule can also be ignored in the opposite way. If YOU are in the car to MY left, meaning I have the right of way, you may NOT charge into the intersection ahead of me. Get off your cell phone, folks, and pay attention. Because if a third or fourth car is added to this picture, well, let’s don’t even try to go there yet. Maybe next week.

Thank you for providing the forum for me vent this frustration. I simply cannot venture toward that great parking lot in the sky without doing so.

well the fact of the matter is- some people are scared to proceed,because many times I’ve tried to go through a stop like that and the other person decides a tenth of a second later to proceed,common sense overides rules,make eye contact if they want you to go,go-Kevin

+1 for @kmccune but I’m the type of person who will make up the mind of someone when they are hesitant in traffic. Constant eye contact is very important though. There are morons on the highway…controlling big heavy vehicles.

I have learned that many intelligent capable adults still have to think hard about which is their right and left. I suspect dyslexia is the cause, since two people I know personally have this exact problem. one of them is a virtuoso in certain areas, but he has to think hard to determine right and left

I agree @wesw but you have to admit…there are a lot of morons on the road. Those driver’s have no excuse.

oh yes, the weavers and multiple car passers on two lane curvy roads have threatened my life more than once with their incomprehensible manuevers

No Alphonse and Gaston for me. If the person to my right doesn’t take the initiative, I will. I rarely wave people on at the stop sign. And I do not think I am discourteous, just efficient. I do not treat it as a race, although some folks do.

That ‘‘wave on’’ crap just irks the …crap…outta me too.
If they’d just TAKE that turn that was already theirs…we’d all be down the road in less time.
You ‘‘wave’’ and you only create confusion !
you’re not doing anyone any favors.
It now costs all of us more time…not less.

All THREE of us who just came to this 4way stop knew exactly who’s turn was next.
now what ?
Who’s really next ?..and after that ?..just when, exactly , ARE you going to go ?

If they are supposed to go, I don’t wave, I lay on the horn.

The ones that really piss me off though are when two vehicles are approaching the intersection at the same time, one of them speeds up to get to the line first but then they can’t stop, so they just go right on through.

It’s kinda justice when two drivers with the same personality come to the intersection at the same time and both try it, except when I’m behind one and now I’m stuck there.

I never honk and I never wave someone on, and I detest someone waving me on. My insurance agent preaches not to wave since it shifts liability. I only give the reluctant driver a couple seconds though and then I go instead. You have to be decisive in this world. Go or lose your chance.

Problem is though, the folks on this forum are not really the ones you should be targeting.

The gripe mentioned by the OP is annoying, but–in the long run–it is far less dangerous than my major peeve, namely people who blindly veer into the opposing lane when passing a vehicle parked on the shoulder or when passing a slow-moving farm tractor.

I am referring to people who only seem to be interested in avoiding the vehicle on their side of the road, and somehow manage to NOT notice the car in the opposing lane even if it is very close as they approach it. More and more over the past few years, I have had people (usually elderly women) comes VERY close to hitting me head-on by veering into my lane.

As a result, when I see a vehicle parked on the opposite shoulder, or if I see a slow-moving farm tractor on the other side of the road, I now slow down and prepare to take evasive action. This shouldn’t be necessary for me to do, but–sadly–it is necessary if I want to avoid a collision.

A driver who moves inappropriately at a 4-way stop can cause a fender-bender.
Somebody who veers over the center line into the opposing lane can cause a fatal accident.

I guess some people just aren’t happy when someone tries to be nice to them.
As long as the two cars are the only ones there, as long as the act doesn’t create a hazard, I’ll take “nice” any time. If we were all nicer to one another , and less judgmental, the world would be a happier and safer place.

Smile. The world is not always as nasty as we sometimes make it out to be.

Well I’d just as soon not have people go out of their way to “be nice” by ceding ROW in an unpredictable fashion.

Particularly when I’m a pedestrian, I can manage just fine IF people just drive predictably per the rules of the road. When somebody slows down and waves me on, I cannot plan for that. Sometimes, I need the first car to pass BEFORE opposing traffic becomes a factor…meaning your “niceness” just got me in an unsafe situation!

Just drive as predictably as possible…I’m not Blanche Dubois; I don’t rely on the kindness of strangers.

And try to communicate with others on the road, whether cars, bicycles, motorcycles, or pedestrians.

Exactly meanjoe, that’s why my agent says not to do it. You wave someone on and they get hit because of it, you become liable. Just follow the rules and take your turn.

Its even worse in Minnesota since they passed the law giving pedestrians ROW. Now its supposed to be at crosswalks, and they are supposed to wait until traffic clears, then they have the ROW. But more than once I have seen confused or concerned drivers stop in the middle of the block for someone jaywalking to wave them on. Of course there are cars coming from the other direction that puts the pedestrian in more peril than if they would just drive on. By stopping mid stream, they pressure the pedestrian to hasten their crossing when they otherwise would be more cautious.

Also, insurance scammers will ‘wave on’ a driver, then hit them. With no witnesses it’s then the driver’s fault, and the scammer gets $$. So I don’t accept the ROW from a ‘waver’.