Commuting - Polite drivers?!
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04-27-02, 07:08 AM
This goes against the grain of usual post here, but I would just like to register my appreciation for the number of polite and careful drivers I have encountered so far in my short commuting career.
Yeah, I know I'm bound to meet the jerks eventually, but there are also those people who give you the whole lane as they pass you (instead of the bare legal minimum of 3 feet) the people who slow down as you're signalling for a left turn in front of them in a 55mph zone, and the ones who don't budge from the stop sign till they're sure what you intend to do. :p
Yeah, I know they're just obeying the law, but from what I read around here that sounds like a rarity. Of course, the police watch bikes very carefully around here (to make sure we don't drive up on the sidewalks, I suspect--I've heard them having major conniption fits about bikers and mopeders who do that) and having cop cars watching you probably tends to chill out the nastiest road rager....
You are correct there are many good drivers out there that know the road rules and are courteous to cyclists and pedestrians. For every moron I encounter there are probably 500 drivers that I don't give a second thought to, they pass safely and go about their business. I had one close call this morning with a car, but the other 500 cars that past me were fine. At the end of the day we are all human and we ALL make mistakes, it's just that some people make more than their fair share.
I would think Chris_L/Fatal Justice may have a slightly different view from me though.:D
04-29-02, 03:34 AM
while i will also agree there are for more nice and safe drivers than rude, unsafe drivers... there are still way too many.
i think they fit into a few categories:
** people who are just plain unkilled
** the worst are those who think they own the road and can do whatever they want... they want to drive fast and get where they're going NOW and if you're in the way...
** many are just fed up with the whole driving thing - traffic, waiting at lights, etc - and the whole car culture encourages pushing the envelope of safety - you've got full coverage insurance and a fender bender once a year is just a fact of life ... of course to a cyclist a fender bender can be major or even life-threatening
so yes, while 98% might be generally nice people, when they get behind the wheel they become part of the get-there-as-fast-as-possible car culture... -- i used to be a member, but now i rarely drive and do so safely when i do because i'm not in a hurry and accept that there will be traffic or whatever
most people just don't recognize what a dangerous activity driving is b/c it's such a major part of everyday life for most people and we're bombarded with advertising about how cool and luxurious driving is - people who have fear of flying b/c it's 'dangerous' then have no problem tailgating another car at 65mph in the rain... while also talking on the cell phone
I think it's also a matter of perception.
I commute along a single-carriageway road with a 60mph speed limit and no hard shoulders. It's pretty straight, with fairly good visability, so a lot of people drive over the speed limit. Most of the drivers on the road are pretty good about waiting to pass me if there's anything coming, and giving me a pretty wide berth when they do. The ones that I notice and remember are the few who don't.
I think it is time for a :beer: to the good drivers. Just every now and again! :)
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