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Another driver [dis]courtesy story. Am I wrong?

astrojax 18 June 2013 81

[no cyclists were harmed or even invoked in the development of this article]

so, what do rioters think?  i am approaching among other traffic at or just under the posted speed limit, on a major arterial road in the nearside (left) lane, a major thoroughfare (let’s call it ‘northbourne avenue’) when about two-three hundred metres ahead the lights go red – so i know i’m going to have to stop, and likely for a little while.

instinctively, i ease off the accelerator and coast up towards the red light.  bloke in a 4wd (always seems to be a bloke – young-ish usually, too) behind me continues at his speed until he is right up my clacker (ie, dangerously tailgating) and, as we’re about there pops on his left indicator as it transpires he is wanting to use the slip lane and turn left at his [safe] will…

as i pull far enough ahead and almost stop at said red traffic signal he zooms underneath me, sounds the horn fitted to his vehicle, glares grimly at me while flipping a bird; as if i should have known he wanted to get ahead of me and i was delaying him for some important fire or something…  the hide of me.

similar scenario has played out a few times the past week or so; i’m not crawling at three k’s an hour, but fu***ed if i’m going to keep accelerating, using more of my fuel and then use more of my brake pads simply to facilitate his progress past me.  especially when he didn’t give me notice of his intent [it’s called an ‘indicator, goose.  you might find its control on the steering column].

what should i have done? (for the record, i smiled at him – think it pissed him off more…) am i at any fault?  is this flagrant display of discourtesy more prevalent of late or am i having a bad run?

thoughts please.


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81 Responses to Another driver [dis]courtesy story. Am I wrong?
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The Antichrist The Antichrist 10:15 pm 19 Jun 13

Very Busy said :

Um no!!! Absolutely 100% INCORRECT.

For those of you that have a trip computer with an “instantaneous fuel consumption display” in your car, you will already know that these comments above are totally uninformed.

Not to mention wear and tear on the brakes.

Regardless of fuel economy and wear and tear, it is much less stressful, and more comfortable for passengers, to drive in a conservative manner rather than an aggressive one.

Rubbish. How much *extra* wear and tear on the brakes is going to happen here ?? Absolutely none. Nobody is suggesting that the OP should be driving up the lights flat-out, then stop in a screaming hurry with smoking tyres ?? FFS look no further than your own dribble for uninformed comments.

The reality here – as confirmed by the OP themselves – is that in the first instance, other traffic was going past them – i.e. – faster. Well yes it would be, when you have started to slow down some 300m away from the lights. From the point of view of the 4WD driver – he is driving along minding his own business at the same speed as the surrounding traffic – all of a sudden they are faced with a vehicle directly in front that is slowing down for no apparent reason, some 300m before the lights !

And the OP wonders why they get flipped the bird ?? You gotta be kidding me.

The actions of the OP in this instance are nothing more than passive-aggressive driving, designed to get a rise out of the monstrous gas-guzzling environment-destroying fourbie behind them. They get the rise they were looking for – then complain about it and justify their actions with some totally p!ssweak argument about saving fuel ??? what a crock.

I am just glad that others here can see right through the argument. I would bet my left one that if the OP had just continued to *drive* up to the lights in a normal manner – well, normal for the rest of us – then the 4WD driver would have had no reason whatsever to flip anyone the bird.

wrigbe wrigbe 10:34 pm 19 Jun 13

Have you been driving a different car lately? Maybe you were just driving a car that he assumed his car had a right to overtake. 🙂

I have a theory that there are unwritten rules of the road in Canberra, where the bigger and older the car, the more they get to abuse the smaller and/or newer cars.
We have two cars in our family. When I drive the Subaru outback I seem to have no trouble on the road. Everyone treats me with respect.
When I drive the Nissan Micra people are always trying to overtake me dangerously (despite the fact that I am doing the speed limit), they tailgate, etc.
Yet my driving style and skills are exactly the same. In fact the only difference I can think of is that the micra is a tiny bit zippier so it takes off from lights etc faster.

The smaller the car the more it seems to offend some drivers.

c_c™ c_c™ 11:00 pm 19 Jun 13

Very Busy said :

For those of you that have a trip computer with an “instantaneous fuel consumption display”

Those displays are a guide only, and from experience, only a good guide one you’ve gone about 1/3 a tank.

gungsuperstar gungsuperstar 11:58 pm 19 Jun 13

Aeek said :

gungsuperstar said :

Aeek said :

I wonder how many of those 10,000 times you discourteously, selfishly and ignorantly impede other road users so you can save no fuel whatsoever.

I wonder how many of those 10,000 times you discourteously, selfishly and ignorantly impede other road users so you can save no fuel whatsoever.

Me? I drive VERY aggressively. You happier now?
I save fuel by cycling as much as possible, which makes the roads safer for everyone.

Cyclists who think they’re doing the rest of society a favour.

That’s what gives us – yes, US – such a bad name among other road users mate. Lose the holier-than-thou cyclist attitude please. It’s undoubtedly the worst thing about cycling culture.

That, and it’s reliance on coffee. But that’s a rant for another day.

JimCharles JimCharles 6:49 am 20 Jun 13

poppy said :

This is something I don’t understand about human psychology.
snip…..
This is what enrages me and I feel I should be able to if not punch these people in the back of their head ram my shopping trolley up their ass so I can get on with my day.

You make a good point. Driving laws and regulations don’t always follow human psychology.

There was a guy on here about 6 months back saying how he drives in the overtaking lane and won’t move over if somebody wants to get past…..he’s at the speed limit so he will touch his brakes to scare them backwards. He’s not breaking the speed limit so deems himself a legal driver, but he cant’s see the need to move into the left lane (irrespective of there being huge Keep Left Unless Overtaking signs dotted on all the highways)..
What do you call that? Bloodymindedness? Obstinate? Is he right?

They’ve had the same problems in the UK where other road users have become so enraged that it’s exploded into violence and accidents. But nobody accepts they’re in the wrong legally?
They’re just introducing a new series of fixed penalties based around “anti-social” driving because public annoyance over “bad” drivers is huge.
Block an overtaking lane when you could move over – £100
Tailgate – £100
Hopefully it will stop people taking the law into their own hands and smashing up cars because they think the other driver is dangerous.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2335986/Roadhogs-face-100-fines-Crackdown-motorway-drivers-clog-middle-lane.html

milkman milkman 6:50 am 20 Jun 13

D***head tradies in 4wds – Canberra has lots of them.

Very Busy Very Busy 9:57 am 20 Jun 13

c_c™ said :

Very Busy said :

For those of you that have a trip computer with an “instantaneous fuel consumption display”

Those displays are a guide only, and from experience, only a good guide one you’ve gone about 1/3 a tank.

I’ve owned many cars with a trip computer and have never had a reading more than 10% out. I also get actual figures at each fill. So yes, a guide only, but a very very good guide.

Also, I think you’re getting confused with the function I am talking about. It appears you are referring to the “average fuel consumption” display, not the “instantaneous fuel consumption” display. The instantaneous display has nothing to do with how much fuel is in the tank.

chewy14 chewy14 10:07 am 20 Jun 13

Very Busy said :

c_c™ said :

Very Busy said :

For those of you that have a trip computer with an “instantaneous fuel consumption display”

Those displays are a guide only, and from experience, only a good guide one you’ve gone about 1/3 a tank.

I’ve owned many cars with a trip computer and have never had a reading more than 10% out. I also get actual figures at each fill. So yes, a guide only, but a very very good guide.

Also, I think you’re getting confused with the function I am talking about. It appears you are referring to the “average fuel consumption” display, not the “instantaneous fuel consumption” display. The instantaneous display has nothing to do with how much fuel is in the tank.

Yeah, I’ve got a lease car and track my fuel with the average function and the real amount on fill ups. Always pretty accurate.

Watson Watson 11:29 am 20 Jun 13

If you really are that much more concerned about your fuel usage than about accommodating the other drivers on the road in any way, you should just sit on a constant speed . Depending on your car, it’s somewhere between 40 to 89kph. Don’t slow down at all until you get to your destination because any acceleration will increase your fuel consumption.

You cannot complain about ‘discourtesy’ if you will happily hold people up to save yourself a few cents.

It doesn’t excuse the other drivers’ rudeness, but really, being that rigid about your driving style is pretty poor form.

Antagonist Antagonist 11:41 am 20 Jun 13

The Antichrist said :

… Snip awesome tirade …

And the OP wonders why they get flipped the bird ??

You gotta be kidding me.

The actions of the OP in this instance are nothing more than passive-aggressive driving, designed to get a rise out of the monstrous gas-guzzling environment-destroying fourbie behind them. They get the rise they were looking for – then complain about it and justify their actions with some totally p!ssweak argument about saving fuel ??? what a crock.

… Snip awesome tirade

I have to agree with most of the sentiment here, but am still left puzzled by 4WD drivers behaviour.

I would like to see if we can draw a link between the increased price of cigerettes (and associated angry bogans recently forced to quit, or change to rollies) and the increased incidence of angry asshats on our roads? But Gillard didn’t see that one coming when she punched the prices up 🙂

Aeek Aeek 11:44 am 20 Jun 13

gungsuperstar said :

That’s what gives us – yes, US – such a bad name among other road users mate. Lose the holier-than-thou cyclist attitude please. It’s undoubtedly the worst thing about cycling culture.

That, and it’s reliance on coffee. But that’s a rant for another day.

Unholier maybe. I ride because its fun. From experience, I turn into a car wielding monster if I drive too much. Don’t see why choosing to drive less = thinking I’m being Saint.

chewy14 chewy14 12:07 pm 20 Jun 13

Watson said :

If you really are that much more concerned about your fuel usage than about accommodating the other drivers on the road in any way, you should just sit on a constant speed . Depending on your car, it’s somewhere between 40 to 89kph. Don’t slow down at all until you get to your destination because any acceleration will increase your fuel consumption.

You cannot complain about ‘discourtesy’ if you will happily hold people up to save yourself a few cents.

It doesn’t excuse the other drivers’ rudeness, but really, being that rigid about your driving style is pretty poor form.

Its not being completely rigid with a driving style. It’s basically (when possible) no fast acceleration and gentle deceleration coming up to red lights. Keeping a decent gap between yourself and the car in front to avoid unnecessary braking.

Honestly I think the ‘discourtesy’ angle is a bit over the top. How delayed was the car behind? 3 seconds? Far out, if that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you dont have a problem.

Very Busy Very Busy 12:13 pm 20 Jun 13

chewy14 said :

Watson said :

If you really are that much more concerned about your fuel usage than about accommodating the other drivers on the road in any way, you should just sit on a constant speed . Depending on your car, it’s somewhere between 40 to 89kph. Don’t slow down at all until you get to your destination because any acceleration will increase your fuel consumption.

You cannot complain about ‘discourtesy’ if you will happily hold people up to save yourself a few cents.

It doesn’t excuse the other drivers’ rudeness, but really, being that rigid about your driving style is pretty poor form.

Its not being completely rigid with a driving style. It’s basically (when possible) no fast acceleration and gentle deceleration coming up to red lights. Keeping a decent gap between yourself and the car in front to avoid unnecessary braking.

Honestly I think the ‘discourtesy’ angle is a bit over the top. How delayed was the car behind? 3 seconds? Far out, if that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you dont have a problem.

+1 except for the last line. They do have a problem; anger management.

Erg0 Erg0 12:32 pm 20 Jun 13

chewy14 said :

Honestly I think the ‘discourtesy’ angle is a bit over the top. How delayed was the car behind? 3 seconds? Far out, if that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you dont have a problem.

It’s made disproportionately annoying by the need to repeatedly tap your brakes to keep from hitting the person in front of you who is slowing at an arbitrary rate. My driving instructor taught me not to do it because you’re reducing your speed unexpectedly without giving any visible warning (i.e. no brake lights).

Innovation Innovation 1:33 pm 20 Jun 13

Can someone please explain to me how the OP is even remotely at fault if the other driver didn’t indicate early enough? And once the other driver did indicate, albeit far too late, why should the OP have then accelerated to let him through on the inside?

Watson Watson 1:43 pm 20 Jun 13

chewy14 said :

Its not being completely rigid with a driving style. It’s basically (when possible) no fast acceleration and gentle deceleration coming up to red lights. Keeping a decent gap between yourself and the car in front to avoid unnecessary braking.

Honestly I think the ‘discourtesy’ angle is a bit over the top. How delayed was the car behind? 3 seconds? Far out, if that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you dont have a problem.

It’s the whole ‘to save fuel’ angle that annoyed me. And it is rigid. By the sound of it, I prefer to approach lights/intersections in the same way as you, but if I see someone wants to get past, I will go that little bit faster to let them.

Not letting them through can result in them missing that gap in traffic. I get that all the time. Which can result in a delay of a minute or so waiting until the lights change. Obviously it is still not at all a big deal (unless it was the 3rd time in 5 minutes it happened to him maybe), but it’s a bit the same as slowing down to let cars merge in or stopping to let pedestrians cross when you don’t have to. Just a nice thing to do.

bundah bundah 2:32 pm 20 Jun 13

@astrojax

Perhaps you would be good enough to tell us where on Northbourne this incident occurred for the left turning lanes at Mouat/Antill begin quite some distance from the traffic lights?

astrojax astrojax 4:02 pm 20 Jun 13

Innovation said :

Can someone please explain to me how the OP is even remotely at fault if the other driver didn’t indicate early enough? And once the other driver did indicate, albeit far too late, why should the OP have then accelerated to let him through on the inside?

thanks, innovation…

and @bundah, it is mouatt st – the slip lane is quite short this side of nthbrne; however the slip lane over the other side on anthill is fairly generous.

and i was there again this morning, i think my ‘200-300’ was a little generous, probably more 150-200 if that, perhaps less…

and to a comment above that cited my ‘traffic going past me’ to corroborate their point that i was therefore going slowly – try doing a couple kays below the posted limit on most roads (outside peak hour sludge) and see how many cars go past you or that, conversely, you go past. does this mean i must, too, break the road rules and risk sanction by the constabulary? i’ve found several comments here to justify my despair at the paucity of respect for regulations and the right, from somewhere i’ve never been, to flaunt them with contempt and denigrate those who choose the righteous path.

stay safe on the roads, everyone. there be dragons… [oh, and how are we going for another road-related mully with this one?]

chewy14 chewy14 4:54 pm 20 Jun 13

Erg0 said :

chewy14 said :

Honestly I think the ‘discourtesy’ angle is a bit over the top. How delayed was the car behind? 3 seconds? Far out, if that’s the worst thing that happens to you, you dont have a problem.

It’s made disproportionately annoying by the need to repeatedly tap your brakes to keep from hitting the person in front of you who is slowing at an arbitrary rate. My driving instructor taught me not to do it because you’re reducing your speed unexpectedly without giving any visible warning (i.e. no brake lights).

I’d say the big set of red lights 100m in front of you is a pretty good indicator of what the driver is doing.

And if you really have to repeatedly hit your brakes to avoid hitting the driver in front of you whilst they’re slowing down, then you probably shouldn’t be behind the wheel.

bundah bundah 5:38 pm 20 Jun 13

astrojax said :

Innovation said :

Can someone please explain to me how the OP is even remotely at fault if the other driver didn’t indicate early enough? And once the other driver did indicate, albeit far too late, why should the OP have then accelerated to let him through on the inside?

thanks, innovation…

and @bundah, it is mouatt st – the slip lane is quite short this side of nthbrne; however the slip lane over the other side on anthill is fairly generous.

and i was there again this morning, i think my ‘200-300’ was a little generous, probably more 150-200 if that, perhaps less…

and to a comment above that cited my ‘traffic going past me’ to corroborate their point that i was therefore going slowly – try doing a couple kays below the posted limit on most roads (outside peak hour sludge) and see how many cars go past you or that, conversely, you go past. does this mean i must, too, break the road rules and risk sanction by the constabulary? i’ve found several comments here to justify my despair at the paucity of respect for regulations and the right, from somewhere i’ve never been, to flaunt them with contempt and denigrate those who choose the righteous path.

stay safe on the roads, everyone. there be dragons… [oh, and how are we going for another road-related mully with this one?]

Not so sure that there is a huge difference in left turning lanes between Mouat or Antill for I would suggest that one could reasonably manoeuvre a 4WD into the left turning lane approx. 100 metres from the traffic lights so on balance his response was uncalled for assuming you commenced decelerating 150-200 metres from the lights.

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