TexRiv_63

Excessive Driving Interval

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This may be a bit off topic but if you drive your old cars you may have noticed this. We all complained for years about people following too close, tailgating, cutting too close in front, etc. Well lately (within the past year or so) I have noticed the opposite - drivers leaving way too much of an interval at stoplights and intersections. I'm talking about stopping one to three car lengths behind the white line or the car in front of them. At first it was a curiosity - maybe they were looking at their cellphone, sleepy, who knows. But then I started to see this a lot and it happened regularly in the accumulation lanes for turns, backing up regular traffic lanes. Sometimes if it was the car in front of a turn lane they would be so far back they would not activate the in-pavement signal sensors and no turn arrow would show up. This is when it became a pet peeve that I don't remember being an issue before. Has something changed in driver's ed? Has anyone else noticed this as a recent phenomenon? 

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Might be a trick they learned here in Seattle, Don. There are careful, considerate drivers here who stop at a green light because they figure it will turn red soon ! Seriously !     -    CC 

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Dunno, living in tourist heaven I always leave extra room when driving for the sudden decisions and those who find out why one lane has fewer cars than another.

 

That said here it is usually the opposite - the lead car creeps over the crosswalk and leaves the sensor area. Can often just replace except have seen them suddenly decide they are too far forward and come hurtling back. I really like rear proximity warnings.

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I have noticed the same thing, I thought it was they were in a hurry to get back to their phones so they stop as soon as they can. It also seems they are slow to get moving once the light changes.

 

Could be I am getting to be a grumpy old guy but who knows...

 

Dave

Edited by Dave39MD (see edit history)
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If you are talking about two lanes at a stop light the left lane is staggered, or set back a good two car lengths here in Connecticut so a tractor trailer can turn into that street with out crushing the  idiot on the !Phone blocking the pedestrian walk way with their Forester. Just an observation on my part. For some reason they are allowed to blow through Stop signs too, happened at lunch time today.  Bob

Edited by 1937hd45 (see edit history)
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I ride my bike sometimes, will go into a left turn only lane and wait at a red light, a red left turn arrow. A car will come in behind me, but stop several car lengths back so that the left turn lane sensor does not get activated.

 

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Yes common in Australia too. Made worse by the people having stopped 3 car lengths back inching forward while the light is red. I wonder if it’s just coincidence that there is so many autos on the road now and fewer people who have driven stick. I’m pretty sure you’d be cured of the habit pretty quickly if it meant slipping the clutch each time.

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Around here they don,t go into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn. That prevents at least 2 cars from making a left before their lite turns red........

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16 minutes ago, Bhigdog said:

Around here they don,t go into the intersection while waiting to make a left turn. That prevents at least 2 cars from making a left before their lite turns red........

Here in beautiful Illinois that very tactic is against the law. Learned that in commercial driving class

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10 hours ago, plymouthcranbrook said:

Here in beautiful Illinois that very tactic is against the law. Learned that in commercial driving class

 

The PA drivers manual only states to not enter an intersection if the lane is blocked ahead of the intersection. It doesn't address waiting in the intersection to make a left turn. There likely is some wording buried some where that addresses it.

From a practical standpoint waiting outside of an intersection to make a left is an unnecessary impediment to the flow of traffic.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it............Bob

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I have noticed it, but not really with any increased frequency compared to the previous 20 years. Maybe we just notice it more because more and more lights are triggered by sensors and if you aren't in just the right place they don't work. There's a sensor intersection by my house that I use twice a day and there's occasionally a person not stopped where they should. I give them a while to figure it out, then I give them a gentle toot of the horn. Sometimes they just get startled enough to move forward a little. Sometimes they don't and we have to wait for a car to appear on the dead-end street on the other side of the intersection and trigger THAT sensor. And occasionally I'll get anger--a finger, a frustrated gesture that says, "What do you expect me to do, run a red light?" I get it, you don't understand how sensors work. But after three or four minutes with nothing happening, maybe put your brain in gear? If I'm sitting at a light that seems to not be changing within a reasonable amount of time, I look around for indicators why and eventually, yeah, I'll go through it when the coast is clear on the assumption that it's broken. I don't know, maybe I'm alone in spending any time paying attention to how things around me work. I once got out of my car to go explain the sensor to the person in front of me, but she saw me coming and ran the red light to escape, so that isn't really an option.

 

As with most puzzling behavior, I think it's just plain old garden-variety stupid, the very same that has been plaguing our world for centuries. The problem is that in today's world, stupid is no longer adverse to your chances of survival and is sometimes even rewarded, so the stupids are no longer encouraged to, you know, not be stupid.

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I haven't noticed it at intersections with sensors but maybe I'm guilty of staying a car length or two behind at a stop sign or traffic light.

I always leave myself an out in case of an angry or road rage driver in front of me.

 

Bill

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One thing we have in Orlando is thousands of tourists in rent cars from all over the world including from UK, Japan, and Oz whose every expert reaction is rong.

 

Also have a lot of NASCAR fans who believe that if only 6" behind your bumper, their MPG will go up.

 

Agree, when stopped I often cannot see the car behind's headlamps. Not all bad since they often cannot find the dimmer switch.

 

Twice I've been rearended while stopped in a line of traffic. Because I leave a little extra room, I didn't hit the guy in front.

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It might be that they are so engrossed with their phone, that in the past, they inadvertently bumped the person in front of them or crept into the intersection. God forbid they put the phone for a minute. 

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Could this be a result of these new fangled cruise and automatic braking stuff that has become the norm in the last few years?

Your new car decides how far back it will stop or follow, not the driver.

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I took a Safe Driving Course for "Mature Drivers" a year or so ago. AAA and AARP both offer courses like this and both courses qualify for a discount on your automobile insurance. Even before this course I have always stopped far enough behind a vehicle waiting for a light so that I could see the rear tires of that vehicle touching the road (ie where the rubber meets the road). For my daily driver car that means about a 1/2 a car length space. For my truck that is more along the line of 3/4 of a truck length. Leaving a space like this gives one the ability to pull around the vehicle in front if needed.  It also provides space in case one is rear ended while waiting for a light. One down side to this spacing is that one sees just how many vehicles we share the road with that are driving around with BALD/WORN or almost FLAT tires. Seeing the steel belts on a tire in front of you glistening in the sunlight or one's headlights gives one such a warm, fuzzy feeling (NOT). Makes one wonder how vehicles with tires like that pass the Pennsylvania Safety Inspection?? It must be SO MUCH FUN to drive on tires like that in the rain or snow.

 

BTW, PENNDOT resurfaced some of the roads near where I live last year. One road goes between two shopping centers so it's light has two left turn lanes (one for each shopping center). Before the roadwork each left turn lane had a sensor to trigger the green arrow when traffic was waiting to turn while holding the other 4 lanes under a red light. I would really like to meet the person responsible for NOT replacing the old sensor for this light. Now 4 lanes of traffic get to sit and wait for the two green arrows to go through their cycles when there is NO traffic waiting to turn. Talk about a FAIL when it comes to traffic flow management.

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2 hours ago, charlier said:

Even before this course I have always stopped far enough behind a vehicle waiting for a light so that I could see the rear tires of that vehicle touching the road

Friend of mine followed this instruction from his driver's ed teacher.  All was good until he came up behind a school bus......

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TexRiv,

               Your timing on this post is very interesting to me as we were just discussing this subject last night. 

The full car length between cars at traffic lights has become more prevalent in the last year here in Palm Springs as well. Noticeably so, in fact. Most in last night's discussion agreed this behavior seems to parallel cell phone usage. 

We are regularly seeing the same problem with drivers stopped two car lengths from a stop line, preventing the traffic light from being tripped. Simply uninformed drivers.

In my decades of driving I have never really seen these giant gaps at traffic lights before.

I'm not generally looking for an "escape route" at a simple traffic light controlled intersection. Rather just looking to get through on my turn. I usually stop with three or four feet between my car and the car in front. Of course I don't consider every intersection as a "station idenification break" from driving where I can finally get back to texting. I think what many of these drivers fail to realize is that they also have a responsibility to other drivers.

If several drivers at an intersection indulge in this poor habit of leaving huge gaps between cars, perhaps only four cars can pass through when the light turns green rather than the eight or ten cars intended.

I believe it is just bad driving manners.

 

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53 minutes ago, GregLaR said:

Most in last night's discussion agreed this behavior seems to parallel cell phone usage. 

 

Experienced this early this afternoon...

I have a habit of using the street which has a light at the entrance & exit to our local College because, there is a light. I could use other streets to access this major cross town road but sometime traffic is way too busy!!

As I pull up to the red light I see this fellow standing in the through lane (naturally on his phone).

With traffic unusually light the signal turns green for us and notice the fellow proceeding ahead but that he is on a skateboard. Somewhat stunned I watch as he then goes right, crossing the centre line (again no traffic to speak of) and rides on the left side lane way to on coming traffic.

728973846_TravelSmarts...-February272020pic2.thumb.JPG.78f68d42221661533582761abcdb610f.JPG 

I realise due to the recent 4-5 inch snow fall sidewalks are not all shoveled but...

 

Do we need to "insist" on driving/traffic School courses for these technological geniuses?

688838034_TravelSmarts...-February272020pic1.thumb.JPG.e0f8309cd8946eb7a5aea09e20590df3.JPG

Edited by dei (see edit history)
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I have done enough inner city driving to know how important it is to leave "escape" space so no one can box you in at a light or just in normal driving. I harp on it to the offspring as well. That's life safety with the car positioning.

 

For inside prevention I hit the lock button for the doors as soon as I cross the city limits. Next time you are walking back to you car with friends sit behind the wheel and see how hard it is to keep one of them from entering through the passenger door. It ain't as safe as one might think out there. You might see me leaving some extra room, but it is only my "fight or flight mechanism" kicking in.

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Took the AARP course when offered cheap and does save a noticeable amount on my daily driver insurance.

 

I generally leave about a car length between myself and a stopped car in front though close slowly when the light goes green and they sit there. Also have air horns.

 

Since 2012 all of my cars have hands-free. Push a button and the phone is answered, no eyes needed. Have several BT radios in cars so the phone button is in the same place. DDs have it on the steering wheel.

 

Doors lock automagically and do not open until in park.

 

Some stuff I like but on DD has over 75 buttons, levers, toggles, and levers whis is getting a bit abby-surd. (I put velcro dots on important ones)

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11 hours ago, Bhigdog said:

 

The PA drivers manual only states to not enter an intersection if the lane is blocked ahead of the intersection. It doesn't address waiting in the intersection to make a left turn. There likely is some wording buried some where that addresses it.

From a practical standpoint waiting outside of an intersection to make a left is an unnecessary impediment to the flow of traffic.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it............Bob

BOB BOB BOB.  Don’t try to assume any common sense here in Illinois. I believe that there is something in the state constitution outlawing it.

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