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Perspective One:
As I got into my car this morning, I noted that there was a truck parked along the street right across from my driveway. Not really an issue, but it does reduce the roadway to a single lane so I'll have to be careful backing out. I get into my car, and as I am backing up past the trees that line my driveway, the intersection not far from my house comes into view. Three cars turn the corner, and I stop to wait for them to pass. Then the lead car stops and the driver waves me into the street! A million things go through my mind, including their motive. Are they being nice? They're holding back two others for my one car, so I don't think so. If I do pull out and they decide to hit me, I'll automatically be at fault for all kinds of things! I choose to sit and wait, they give up and continue on.

Perspective Two:
I wasn't in too much of a rush, the post office didn't close for another hour and a half yet. On my way to the post office, I was in the right-most lane of a 4 lane street and stopped behind a decent line of cars at a traffic light. The light turned green, and cars started moving forward, but then the truck in front of me just sat there! I tried to look around him to see if there was a problem of some sort, then I realized he was waving to a guy in a parking lot. The guy in the parking lot was trying to look around the truck, to no avail, and the guy in the truck was waving at him more emphatically to go. The guy finally went, crossing our lane and moving to the next lane over to get into a turn lane going left at the intersection. When he made it into the lane to my left, a car went past me and hit him. I spent the next few hours waiting for the police to arrive, ask questions, get a tow truck to remove the vehicles and re-open the roadway, etc.. The driver from the parking lot couldn't see around the truck and was cited as at fault since he failed to yield for oncoming traffic. The cop advised him not to enter a roadway if he can't see through any sort of obstruction. I went home, the post office was closed by the time I could leave. Perhaps tomorrow. Luckily nobody was hurt.

Perspective Three:
I picked up my dry cleaning after a long day at work and just want to go home, eat something and get some sleep. I drove around the parking lot, got to the street, and traffic was backed up from the intersection past the driveway I was in. The light turned green, and I patiently waited for everyone to go before I went. Some kind soul stopped to give me time to turn onto the road so I could go home. As I pulled out, they suddenly lurched forward and t-boned me! He told me he was distracted, reading a txt on his phone, then realized the light was green and he hadn't moved yet so he excitedly moved on. But when the police officer arrived, he told a different story: he was moving along like he was supposed to be and I pulled out in front of him without looking! The liar! And the police officer believed him too, cited me with failure to yield for oncoming traffic and now I'm going to need my car repaired and my insurance rates are going to climb... and the insurance adjuster says I'll owe the other guy 6,000$ to fix HIS truck! It was barely scratched! What a stupid day.

Perspective Four:
I was leaving school, heading home to do some homework. The trip home isn't particularly long, but it's punctuated by a lot of stop lights and stop signs. At some point, this little blue car turned in front of me. Shortly after, he stopped in the middle of the street for no reason! Then I saw him waving at someone in their driveway, and they backed out into the road and went about their day. Another few intersections and stop signs later, he stopped again and let another person onto the road. A few cars had joined in line behind me. Continuing on, we stopped a third time to let someone onto the road, this time from a side street. More cars fell into line behind us, and the one behind me lightly honked their horn. A few minutes later, we stopped again and I could hear three different distinct horns behind me honking as we let yet another car onto the road before us. Luckly, the little blue car turned off and I was able to complete my drive home, but that half of the trip behind the little blue car took me longer than the entire trip takes on a normal day!

Driving laws are written to be equally fair to everyone; people on the roadway and people entering the roadway. They're also written with insurance law and collision statistics kept in mind. Deviating from the standard driving pattern presented in drivers manuals presents a danger to those you're trying to be polite to, opens up doors for insurance abuse, and often results in pissing off more people than you actually help.

Don't deviate from the prescribed driving pattern.


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Dennis Stout

May 2017

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