I hate drivers who refuse to let me in, even though they can clearly see that my lane is disappearing. What do they expect me to do, vanish in a puff of smoke? Or do they actually want me to go off the side of the road and crash into a ditch?

Especially when, after I manage to get into the lane despite their best efforts, they refuse to back off and give themselves adequate stopping distance. As if no one ever has to slam on their brakes.

Especially when, just ahead, traffic is dropping from 50 mph to a dead stop. So I have to slam on the brakes, but can’t. If I brake too hard, the idiot behind me will crash into me. If I don’t brake hard enough, I’ll hit the car in front.

Today, I found the narrow window between braking too much and braking too little. But there are few driving situations that make me more nervous.

6 thoughts on “Offensive Driving

  1. Or do they actually want me to go off the side of the road and crash into a ditch?

    I’d say yes. Look at how many people stop to see accidents, but don’t stop to let pedestrians cross the road.

    For a nation so in love with our cars, you’d think we’d be better drivers.

  2. Yup drivers now days are always in a rush, they think they own the road, they think they don’t even have to use their turn signal (why use it, cops don’t even use it), turn signal is optional in most newer vehicles (j/k).

  3. I’ve seen many cases where I’d side with the guy giving you a hard
    time, so I’d need to see the events that transpired before the
    incident to make a judgment.

    If you both are on relatively open road, and you are in unfamiliar
    terroritory, and he decides to be a dick about letting you in… clearly
    his fault. He’s out of line (bad citizen) in that case–although the guy
    trying to merge usually is legally obligated to yield.

    However, suppose you are both in heavy traffic (rush hour) in a spot
    where it’s well known that three lanes go down to two. Most drivers
    (95%) already had shifted lanes left 1/2 mile back cause they knew it
    was coming. Now you come along, and figure why wait behind the rest
    of the honest guys, so you floor it and zip along the (soon to be gone)
    right lane passing 20-30 cars. When finally the lane starts to narrow,
    you try to force your way in. Of course, the guy’s going to try to stop
    you. He waited in line like a civilized person, and you tried to cheat.

    I’ve seen it before.

    Or in the case of much slower speeds (5 mph), where cars are taking
    turns (1 from the main lane, 1 from the merging lane, etc.) I’ve seen
    a merging car or groups of them try to “rape” someone in the main
    lane by violating the taking turns rule and forcing in extra vehicles.
    Again, the guy in the main lane has the right of way and he’s not being
    a dick to expect you to play by the rules.

    I don’t know which case applied to you (he indeed may be wrong but
    we can’t decide without evidence.

  4. Zipping along in the disappearing lane is indeed for dicks. We comment on this often while waiting to turn left at a major light on our way home, as the zipdicks do their zipdicking right by us and cut in ten, twelve cars up the line. This is not the situation.

    What this is, is a merge onto a freeway or a major street. The lane that is disappearing is either marked with square dashes or not delineated. We, the mergers, are well aware that our lane is disappearing, and have matched speed with traffic, but cannot merge due to the opinion of much of the general public that turn signals mean “Pass me on THIS side.” As a result of repeatedly not being let in, we are forced to squeeze in where there is suboptimal space.

    I’ve ridden with zipdicks, but I didn’t marry one.

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