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Thread: Driving Habits

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    Driving Habits

    Where do most drivers develop there driving habits from: from the person who taught them to drive(ie driving instructor, parent, friend); from observing other drivers on the road; mainly from their own personality(their driving is just a part of their personality like the way they tie thier shoes or get dressed in the morning)?

    I ask this question because everymorning when i'm out there early riding thru my neighborrhood and the industrial area in back of us i get passed by the same drivers and each one of them has a different way of dealing with me on the road. There's guys from the pest control company, some plumbers, a few couriers, and then the newspaper guys comingand going to the distribution warehouse. Some of these guys will lift off the gas pedal and/or brake when they pass you, you get the dudes that will just stay on the gas and speed past like you weren't there. You get the guys that will buzz you like you dont exist, you get the ones thatll move way over to the other side of the road like you have the plague lol. you get the guys thatll dim there brights for you, and you got the guys thatll keep there brights on and blind you, and you got the guys thatll have their low beams on and then see you and then flick the brights on

    I was a sidewalk rider untill november 2007. Than when I started riding in the street i started noticing this stuff. and what really makes it easy to see the drivers habits is that its the same guys every morning that i'm seeing. when youre riding in the street you're kind of having a conversation with the drivers and you're picking up vibes of their personality by the way they drive.

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    As a driver I tend to pull over to the other side of the road (like I'm avoiding the plague) for safety reasons. Suppose a biker suddenly wipes out and falls into the path of the car. 1.5 tons of auto isn't going to stop in time to avoid hitting the rider and the rider isn't likely to react fast enough to get out of the way. Especially after they've just been dumped headlong onto the pavement.

    As for where I got my driving habits - common sense, having seen a few accidents as a first responder, and respect for others using the roads.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    General observation of drivers...first; drivers in the USA are grossly under trained. In NC you take approximately 30 hours of classroom and 10 hours of behind the wheel and off you go into the asphalt jungle, licensed to pilot a 2+ ton missile. Most people get their initial driving habits from their parents IMHO. Then proceed to pickup additional bad habits from their buddies and other drivers. Some people grow out of it, others never do and are still a hazard to themselves and others until the day they die. My parents had the forethought and fortitude to send us to a professional performance driving school, we spent 4 days of intense classroom training, track time and skid pad time. Much more than required by the states. My company also requires me to attend biannual Defensive Driving courses, which reinforces the basics which I was taught way back when. Most professions require continuing education...why not driving?

    Aaron
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    Senior Member gcottay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    . . .Most professions require continuing education...why not driving?
    This would be a political third rail since driving is a basic human right. Besides, most all of us are much safer than average drivers and enforcement would require taking police away from protecting us from murderous intruders.

    Other than that, I like it a lot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    This would be a political third rail since driving is a basic human right. Besides, most all of us are much safer than average drivers and enforcement would require taking police away from protecting us from murderous intruders.

    Other than that, I like it a lot.
    Driving is NOT a basic human right! Driving is an earned privilege. Use of roads is a basic right. Driving is not.

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    Sarcasm, though, is a basic human right.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    This would be a political third rail since driving is a basic human right. Besides, most all of us are much safer than average drivers and enforcement would require taking police away from protecting us from murderous intruders.

    Other than that, I like it a lot.
    Yup...right there is the problem...people treat driving as a right and not a privilege, until that attitude changes we are going to continue to kill 41,000+ people and injure millions more every year. We keep forcing the auto manufacturers to build safer vehicles but do little or nothing to improve the major problem of the person controlling the machine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanitycheck View Post
    Sarcasm, though, is a basic human right.
    True. I didn't see the sarcasm indicator though... did you?

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    they don't just treat driving as a right, but they try to keep from being slowed down by a few seconds. I know I get caught up in that while I'm driving, and have to settle myself down a little occasionally

    And they'll have to take my sarcasm away from my cold, dead .... something.

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    I learned everything I know about driving from watching the Dukes of Hazzard as a kid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Yup...right there is the problem...people treat driving as a right and not a privilege, until that attitude changes we are going to continue to kill 41,000+ people and injure millions more every year. We keep forcing the auto manufacturers to build safer vehicles but do little or nothing to improve the major problem of the person controlling the machine.

    Aaron

    You said it right there. Airbags, seatbelts, antilock brakes, etc. don't make a vehicle safe. A seriously defensive driver makes a vehicle safe. I drive alot in my trade. One of the corporations I worked for put all drivers through several safe driving classes. The one that stands out in my mind is the Smith System. If anyone here has a young driver in their family, I strongly suggest getting the video training part of that system. It really changed my attitude behind the wheel.


    I encounter cyclists on a regular basis, and it seems it is always while cresting a hill or going into a bend in the road where I can't see oncoming traffic. I always go into the opposing lane and stay far away from the bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JinbaIttai View Post
    I learned everything I know about driving from watching the Dukes of Hazzard as a kid.
    You must go through an awful lot of cars!
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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    This one got me ROTFL. Yeah, it shoulda had a smilie, but if you missed that, perhaps we should put the training wheels back on your bike

    To answer the OP's question, I really suppose it's a combination of all the above factors.

    At least around here, it seems like the drivers most likely to do dangerous things (like race around me only to suddenly brake and try to right-hook me seconds later) tend to be the young impatient males. These are the same ones BTW who it seems tailgate other motorists.

    Conversely, the people most likely to buzz me without swerving an inch or who actively intimidate me are the older (late 50's and up) drivers who were taught way back in the Johnson administration that Four Legs Good Two Legs Bad (uhhh..., I mean Four Wheels Good Two Wheels Bad )

    I think it's interesting that some of the safest drivers are the professionals, especially long distance truckers. Yeah, I know that the bus drivers in our transit system get a bad rap, but in my personal experience they're really trying hard, and the infrastructure forces them to create frequent conflicts with bicyclists. Something about driving 100K+ miles per year and depending on a CDL for your livelihood evidently changes your driving attitudes something fierce.

    Also, my mother once commented to me when I was a young and impressionable twit with a learners permit that driving can bring out the worst side in people. People who would never dream of cutting in line at the supermarket or the theater don't think twice about doing it in their car. Similarly, ever since I went car-light (driving my wife's car infrequently, less than 2000 miles in 2008), I've discovered that I have become much more patient and cautious; I don't race up to red lights, I leave much more generous distance buffers in traffic, and I'm much more likely to try to allow cross traffic to enter.

    It's a bit off topic, but IMNSHO this attitude of driving as a basic human right is a paramount safety issue. I strongly believe that driving behavior is also a result of an unconscious cost-benefit analysis on the part of all drivers. We weigh the relatively low risk of getting a speeding ticket against the benefit of spending less time driving. We weigh the possibility of receiving a $126 ticket if we strike a cyclist during an unsafe pass with the opportunity of saving a few seconds by passing sooner.

    Although it would be immensely unpopular, I'm starting to see a real appeal in a one-strike rule on driver's licenses: if you are at-fault in a collision that meets certain objective criteria (say, personal injury), your drivers license will be suspended for a significant period, say, two years. This would radically change the cost-benefit analysis for motorists, because the increased risk.


    Quote Originally Posted by gcottay View Post
    This would be a political third rail since driving is a basic human right. Besides, most all of us are much safer than average drivers and enforcement would require taking police away from protecting us from murderous intruders.

    Other than that, I like it a lot.
    When was the last time a bicyclist fell asleep at the wheel and killed a family of four? It's the motorists that are the problem.

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    The lack of mass transit riding and the lack of cycling leads to bad driving habits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbreathpnw View Post

    It's a bit off topic, but IMNSHO this attitude of driving as a basic human right is a paramount safety issue. I strongly believe that driving behavior is also a result of an unconscious cost-benefit analysis on the part of all drivers. We weigh the relatively low risk of getting a speeding ticket against the benefit of spending less time driving. We weigh the possibility of receiving a $126 ticket if we strike a cyclist during an unsafe pass with the opportunity of saving a few seconds by passing sooner.
    The funny thing about such a cost benefit analysis is that it is frequently way off... unless a driver is going a significant distance, upping the motoring speed by 10MPH or more, over a short distance, really doesn't save but seconds... hardly enough time to matter in the over all scheme of things. This is easily illustrated by cyclists that manage to keep pace with motorists through city traffic... even though the motorist is racing at say 40MPH between lights... the cyclist is just moving along at 18-22MPH steadily and manages to "meet" the motorist at every light.

    Frankly I think a lot of bad driving habit simply comes from poor road design with far too many street signs and stop signs that just add to the confusion and frustration of the motorist sitting in place, while they idle away time. They know they could go fast... if it just wasn't for all the other cars. Congestion is it's own worst enemy...

    Quote Originally Posted by dogbreathpnw View Post

    Although it would be immensely unpopular, I'm starting to see a real appeal in a one-strike rule on driver's licenses: if you are at-fault in a collision that meets certain objective criteria (say, personal injury), your drivers license will be suspended for a significant period, say, two years. This would radically change the cost-benefit analysis for motorists, because the increased risk.
    Now that is an interesting thought... something that really stings the errant driver.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dogbreathpnw View Post
    ~snip~

    Although it would be immensely unpopular, I'm starting to see a real appeal in a one-strike rule on driver's licenses: if you are at-fault in a collision that meets certain objective criteria (say, personal injury), your drivers license will be suspended for a significant period, say, two years. This would radically change the cost-benefit analysis for motorists, because the increased risk.
    Would it really work? In NC they revoke licenses, flag your license plates, etc for people convicted of multiple DUI's, failure to carry insurance, et al. Yet these people continue to drive, we just had an incident this weekend where a person on a permanently revoked license ran a red light and killed someone. They have been charged with felony death by automobile, driving on a permanently revoked license, no insurance, DUI and several other charges. Their license was revoked over 5 years ago, they have done prison time (not sure how much), and probably will be out driving again in short order. The LEO's are doing the best they can, but the court system isn't, short of a permanent lock up you will have a very hard time stopping habitual offenders. I honestly believe if we had better mass transit, pedestrian and cycling facilities it would possibly reduce the number of illegal drivers on the road, but then again maybe not as most seem to view driving at any cost an inalienable right.

    Aaron
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Would it really work? In NC they revoke licenses, flag your license plates, etc for people convicted of multiple DUI's, failure to carry insurance, et al. Yet these people continue to drive, we just had an incident this weekend where a person on a permanently revoked license ran a red light and killed someone. They have been charged with felony death by automobile, driving on a permanently revoked license, no insurance, DUI and several other charges. Their license was revoked over 5 years ago, they have done prison time (not sure how much), and probably will be out driving again in short order. The LEO's are doing the best they can, but the court system isn't, short of a permanent lock up you will have a very hard time stopping habitual offenders. I honestly believe if we had better mass transit, pedestrian and cycling facilities it would possibly reduce the number of illegal drivers on the road, but then again maybe not as most seem to view driving at any cost an inalienable right.

    Aaron
    The problem of scofflaws continuing to drive while suspended, particularly the long term or permanent suspensions, could be addressed by making it a requirement that driving licenses have a bar code or magnetic stripe that has to be read by the gasoline pump - and as per the ATM network, an online check is made with a new national (or international) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to allow the transaction.

    People with short term suspensions might get around this by being a burden (and risk) to their family and friends. The key would be to make sure the punishment for trying to bypass this requirement was severe.

    Edit: There is absolutely no technological reason why society needs to continue to tolerate suspended drivers ignoring their suspension.
    It would be a trivial matter to require all gasoline purchases to require the presence of a valid drivers license with online checks for valid insurance and taxes etc. Profound ignorance at a political level or lack of political will is the prime obstacle.
    Last edited by HoustonB; 01-04-09 at 04:06 PM.
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

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    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    The problem of scofflaws continuing to drive while suspended, particularly the long term or permanent suspensions, could be addressed by making it a requirement that driving licenses have a bar code or magnetic stripe that has to be read by the gasoline pump - and as per the ATM network, an online check is made with a new national (or international) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to allow the transaction.

    People with short term suspensions might get around this by being a burden (and risk) to their family and friends. The key would be to make sure the punishment for trying to bypass this requirement was severe.
    What type of severe punishment? Prisons are full and they are paroling people convicted of anything short of murder for time served. FWIW the recidivism rate just for DUI in NC is around 18% (possibly higher).

    I pay cash for my fuel, no card swipe involved, drive a car belonging to someone else, steal gas... They have tried interlock systems with limited results. The biggest problem is the monitoring requirements require manpower that is currently unavailable and unaffordable.

    Aaron
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    We pick up a great deal of our attitudes while travelling as children in cars. Parent drivers (typically fathers) will make audible remarks about other road users, their skill, their speed (or lack of it) etc. When it comes to learning to drive, we modify our behaviour for long enough to get through the test and then drive just like our impatient, frustrated parents.

    I am a former Police Officer who taught at a Police Driving School, worked as a Fatal Crash Investigator, and who now works as a Road Safety Officer. I take a lot of pride in driving safely, but I still get frustrated when I perhaps get behind someone who does not have the same skill set that I have. I try very hard to put the right message across to my family when such things happen, and I chastise myself for having unrealistic expectations - who the heck guaranteed me an unobstructed road when I started to drive?
    Formerly the proud owner of a Radius C4 LWB USS 'bent and a TW 'Bents Trike. Still have the trike, but its stablemate is now a Dahon Jetstream P8.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoustonB View Post
    The problem of scofflaws continuing to drive while suspended, particularly the long term or permanent suspensions, could be addressed by making it a requirement that driving licenses have a bar code or magnetic stripe that has to be read by the gasoline pump - and as per the ATM network, an online check is made with a new national (or international) Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to allow the transaction.

    People with short term suspensions might get around this by being a burden (and risk) to their family and friends. The key would be to make sure the punishment for trying to bypass this requirement was severe.

    Edit: There is absolutely no technological reason why society needs to continue to tolerate suspended drivers ignoring their suspension.
    It would be a trivial matter to require all gasoline purchases to require the presence of a valid drivers license with online checks for valid insurance and taxes etc. Profound ignorance at a political level or lack of political will is the prime obstacle.

    I can see you are a law abiding person. you have to think like a criminal. requiring a driving licence to read at the pump is a bad idea. Its like a *** ban. It will just punish and inconvenience the law abiding. nothing more.

    1. Criminals will just STEAL or borrow a drivers licence.

    2. Not everyone that gets gas uses it for their car.

    The answer is to educate more. poolmike gave the answer SMITH DRIVING COURSE. I highly recommend this as well. The best money you'll spend. Infac it will pay for itself when it saves you the money of an accident or it saves your life. Thats how much I believe in it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    What type of severe punishment? Prisons are full and they are paroling people convicted of anything short of murder for time served. FWIW the recidivism rate just for DUI in NC is around 18% (possibly higher).
    What is the punishment if you get caught using agricultural diesel for non-agricultural purposes? My answer would be whatever it takes to make people think twice before they hand over their license to their 'friend' so that he or she can buy gas.

    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I pay cash for my fuel, no card swipe involved, drive a car belonging to someone else, steal gas... They have tried interlock systems with limited results. The biggest problem is the monitoring requirements require manpower that is currently unavailable and unaffordable.

    Aaron
    Paying cash would still be allowed, as would buying small amounts of gasoline for operating a lawn mower etc. The goal would not be to make it impossible, merely to add inconvenience and greater risk for the scofflaw.

    "Drive a car belonging to someone else, steal gas...", these fall into the category of increased risk for the scofflaw and also the owner of the car. And how long can you drive a car belonging to someone else before you need gasoline - hence my distinction about being more effective against long term suspension.
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

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    Quote Originally Posted by xpc316e View Post
    We pick up a great deal of our attitudes while travelling as children in cars. Parent drivers (typically fathers) will make audible remarks about other road users, their skill, their speed (or lack of it) etc. When it comes to learning to drive, we modify our behaviour for long enough to get through the test and then drive just like our impatient, frustrated parents.

    I am a former Police Officer who taught at a Police Driving School, worked as a Fatal Crash Investigator, and who now works as a Road Safety Officer. I take a lot of pride in driving safely, but I still get frustrated when I perhaps get behind someone who does not have the same skill set that I have. I try very hard to put the right message across to my family when such things happen, and I chastise myself for having unrealistic expectations - who the heck guaranteed me an unobstructed road when I started to drive?
    Wow I think youre right. I hadn't considered that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EatMyA** View Post
    I can see you are a law abiding person. you have to think like a criminal. requiring a driving licence to read at the pump is a bad idea. Its like a *** ban. It will just punish and inconvenience the law abiding. nothing more.

    1. Criminals will just STEAL or borrow a drivers licence.

    2. Not everyone that gets gas uses it for their car.

    The answer is to educate more. poolmike gave the answer SMITH DRIVING COURSE. I highly recommend this as well. The best money you'll spend. Infac it will pay for itself when it saves you the money of an accident or it saves your life. Thats how much I believe in it.
    I can see you have no faith in technology. And yet you use computers, the internet, ATM's, microwave ovens, modern medicine, etc. (yes indeed I am sitting next to you ).

    Oregon is currently discussing the replacement of gasoline tax with a GPS determined mileage tax, paid at the gasoline pump - with the vehicle communicating automatically with the pump. The communication is going to have to include a unique identifier (probably the VIN) in order to allow the mileage to be validated against a central database. If the vehicle can be automatically identified, then so can the driver - how do you perceive inconvenience?

    The criminal is going to have to do a little more than 'STEAL' a license, they will also have to steal a car that they have valid insurance for. So lets see - (cue this tune) the criminal has to steal a license, a car, modify the automated car identity and hack into the central computer database and update some records.

    If I go to a pharmacy and try to buy Sudafed for a cold or flu, I have to provide proof of identity, because Sudafed can be used to make methamphetamine - am I being 'punished' because I am "a law abiding person"?

    "2. Not everyone that gets gas uses it for their car." Wow my argument has collapsed! You are correct, the 1 in 10,000 purchaser of gas for a lawn mower is reason enough to allow criminals to ignore what the rest of us desire.
    Last edited by HoustonB; 01-04-09 at 08:38 PM.
    LOL The End is Nigh (for 80% of middle class North Americans) - I sneer in their general direction.

  24. #24
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    Yes driving seems to bring out the worst in people, people that wouldn't cut in line at the supermarket will do it with their cars without a 2nd thought. The car brings out the worst in people. In Driving Veritas lol.
    You see there real personality when theyre driving. The real personality is what they'll do when they think no one sees them or reckanizes them, that is the real personality.

    One strike law. In a few of these fatality accidents I have noticed that it is not the first time the driver has hit a vulnerable road user. One big time accident was that priest in seattle that hit a cyclist one year and killed a ped the next year. If the one strike rule had been aplied to him the man would of never been killed in the crosswalk. when you go back and look at some of these guys who have killed cyclists it seems this is not the first hit for a lot of them, its just the first fatal hit.

  25. #25
    Yabba-Dabba-Doo! AlmostTrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xpc316e View Post
    I am a former Police Officer who taught at a Police Driving School, worked as a Fatal Crash Investigator, and who now works as a Road Safety Officer. I take a lot of pride in driving safely, but I still get frustrated when I perhaps get behind someone who does not have the same skill set that I have. I try very hard to put the right message across to my family when such things happen, and I chastise myself for having unrealistic expectations - who the heck guaranteed me an unobstructed road when I started to drive?
    I bet you are an excellent driver. As a driver with an almost 30 year crash and citation free record, I don't understand why you would find being behind someone who does not have your "skill set" frustrating. Care to explain?

    I'm with HoustonB on using technology to reduce scofflaw driving. Nothing we do now is working.
    Have Bike, Will Travel

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