questionswhat's your philosophy on letting other drivers…

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Into traffic on like a freeway, I look at my own options first. If I can move over a lane, I do. If I don't, I do what I can to let them merge safely and legally, depending on the situation.

In the event you describe, however, I am more than happy to let them sit there not only until they run out of gas, but until their car rots. I've seen that EXACT situation...an exit that is very inconvenient, and one just a few feet away that is very convenient...turning lane, light ,everything. For some reason, it's always the left-turners that choose the inconvenient one, too. Yeah, the light is green, but the guy in front of me isn't moving to give some complete idiot 'a break'. However, the guy the next lane over isn't, nor are the two lanes of oncoming traffic. Traffic behind us doesn't know what the holdup is, so they switch lanes and further add to the problem. However, I don't hold it against them...they're driving in a legal and courteous manner.

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I've learned that if you just let people in it keeps the flow of traffic moving.
If you don't let them in they usually get aggresive and force someone to come to a complete stop.
That causes the cars behind them to stop and eventually cause a complete standstill.
It's just easier and less stressful for me to keep some distance from the car in front of me and get entertained by the lane weavers that I usually see again at a red light or traffic congestion.

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Most of the time I practice a karmic rule of letting at least one car into traffic. But sometimes I am a horrible person. If I have to be somewhere at a specific time & can't afford to be lollygagging around, I profile.
Big, ratty-looking pick ups full of rusty tools & buckets, belching exhaust 9 times out of 10 will drive slow as molasses. No way. Mom's mini-van with the soccer sticker? Odds are she's a bad driver who won't accelerate in a timely fashion, pokes in the left lane under the speed limit while passing out snacks and yakking on the cell phone.
Our Silver Citizens, bless their hearts, are over cautious & slow to the point of being dangerous. Merging into traffic on the highway or turning on to a busy street without a traffic light seems to be a challenge.
A carload of teenaged girls is a metal box of distraction on wheels. I don't want to be behind or in front of them.
And that A-hole who I see flying up in the break down lane? He can lick it. I'm not letting him in.

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This has been my rule ever since watching the video I can't really tell if it speeds up my commute on long trips, but I get less frustrated and feel it works pretty well whenever i use it. The added gas mileage and less wear on the brakes is just an added bonus.

When it comes to city driving i'll always let whoever in, I used to get mad but then I realized you have no idea what's going on in that persons life, sure they might be an asshole with no respect but what if it was someone who did everything right and is just having a rough day. I'm not gonna be that guy that blocked him in between two cars and started slowing down.

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I let people in when they use a turn signal. But that's a rare case. Usually they just wander into my lane to signal their intentions.

On the commute to and from work on a busy 3-lane highway I usually ignore the turn signals too, since everyone seems to think they need to go directly from the onramp to the far left lane, or from the left lane to the exit. Those guys can suck it.

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@cowboydann That's fascinating. Thank you for that. I'd just love to see the reactions of the people right behind that guy.

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@jazzsinger: from my experiences the people behind me seem to get what i'm doing most of the time, and the ones that don't pass me up. They'll be in the other lane only to cut right back in front of me seconds/minutes later.

Either that or everyone hates me.

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@cowboydann: Great video. This is what i was trying to explain in my post.
This is how I try to drive.

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@kp1111: I tried to edit my post to include you and say you hit the nail right on the head, but i was too late. Then by the time i made my second one I forgot sorry pal

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It honestly depends on the situation. I normally let people in unless they're being nasty. If they pulled into another lane, flew up half a block and are trying to merge back they can wait. If they are trying to merge in and it looks like noone is letting that lane merge in, I might let 2 cars in instead of just 1.

If they are pulling into the road from a driveway and are "forcing" themselves in, I'll usually make them wait, but if they're patiently waiting, I'll usually let them in.

When merging into traffic, I usually patiently wait without nosing into traffic... I will, however, jet out into traffic if I see a hole.

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Merging traffic I alternate. People trying to pull out of a side lane are evaluated by a number of factors:
1. Is is appropriate behavior given speeds and right-of-way? The street I take to work is busy in the mornings and I have to be cautious of drivers on the through street who will abruptly brake to let drivers sitting at the stop signs on the side streets in. Not just discourteous, illegal.
2. Are they paying attention? If they aren't paying attention and making eye contact I won't waste my time waiting for them. Same for obviously slow vehicles.
3. Is my letting them in going to cause me or someone behind me to miss the light? I don't think it's fair for me to pick them to go through the light and leave the guy behind me stuck at it. I try to be conscious that every courtesy I extend I am forcing everyone behind me to also extend.

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cont'd
4. Are there a lot of cars behind me? If not, then they can get in the end of the line instead of in front of me.
5. Is it their own fault? Did they choose to put themselves in the position where they are now stuck? Can they get out of it without assistance? In situations such as gridlock or construction blockages I am extra courteous as people get caught up in them through no fault of their own.

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@moondrake I'm really glad you mentioned the people behind you. I think that's an overlooked aspect in all of this. You're actions are affecting those behind you, so your charity towards someone trying to turn into traffic might actually be screwing the guy behind you.

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There is no traffic here so it's rare that I have to "let someone in". We just got back from a vacation in California (Bay area) and traffic there is a nightmare pretty much all day every day. I don't have a problem letting people in if the timing is right and there is space between me and the car in front of me. What I really can't stand though is those jackholes that will pass you doing 90MPH and then cut in front of you just to take the exit. 9 times out of 10, there is a space behind you that would have been so much easier and safer.

I'm really bad about boxing people in if I think they're going to be a danger to others on the road. I know it probably only makes matters worse, but the anger in their faces really makes me happy. >:)

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Unless they're being a jerk, I do my best to always let people in. I know how much of a pain it is to try, and it's really not going to have any significant effect on my arrival time if I let someone in.

I like applying the golden rule to driving, even if no one else does.

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I will occasionally allow someone to merge from a "hopeless" position, but only if it is because of something beyond their control like roadwork or schools letting out.

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I don't encounter that kind of traffic often in my humble world, but when I do I have a "one-car" rule that I follow.

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If you use your blinker I'll be the nicest driver in the world to you. Letting you in and out at your whim. I hate people who don't use their blinkers with a passion. Those F*** who are going 80+ MPH on the highway and just turn into my lane even if they are like 3 feet away from my car without using their blinker.

Also, I do note I try to use red lights when I can. Not because I don't expect people to let me out. But because it makes my life easier when driving. XD

@jsimsace: I like your 1 car rule. I generally tend to follow that too. Though depending on the situation I sometimes let 2.

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Are they likely to be better armed than I am is usually my concern.

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If they actually put on a turn signal (miracle of miracles!) and aren't trying to force their way in, then I'm happy to let a driver in whenever, wherever. No signal? Whoops, they don't exist. Trying to force their way in? Well, I've got an accelerator and the fortitude for a game of chicken. (Yeah... I talk big, but if the driver is seriously aggressive, I don't play stupid games.)

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depends. In general I'm against it. If you have the right of way and let someone else go ahead of you, I believe you are causing a dangerous situation that could easily result in a collision, injury, or death. If you have the right of way, and sit there waiting for ME to go, I'm just as inclined to flip you off as wave a "thank you".

Just a few hours ago I was late picking my kids up from Tae Kwon Do because the jackass in front of me decided to let 2 cars out of a parking lot when the light in front of us turned green. Of course I was the one who didn't make it through the intersection, and after sitting at that light for the next 3 minutes, I seemed to catch every red light possible and ended up being just late enough to annoy the instructor who was waiting to lock up the gym and go home to HIS family.

As for freeway onramps, IF ANYONE has to slow down or speed up to let you merge, YOU did something wrong.

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@capguncowboy: the anger on their faces makes me realllllllly happy too!

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@cowboydann: I'm not trying to hate or anything. The "cheaters" this guy is talking about in this video could be idiots that are cruising in the next right lane looking for an open to slide in but it could also be people WAY behind him that are cutting back out of that lane and in front of him because they clearly see a mile ahead is some "moron" driving slow with 5 car lengths ahead. That is more dangerous than just driving with the normal 1 & 1/2 or two car lengths. you could also have a "jam" of traffic behind you and the "cheaters" have been trying to get in for two miles but can't because everyone is focused on the you instead of paying attention to incoming traffic. I also assume there are on-ramps to the right during this 3 mile exit lane that are trying to merge in. Not just "cheaters". I might do something drastic if some guy is trolling the right lane every time I was going home.

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@triplebud: Years of driving in DC made me the way I am today & made me wonder if there actually IS something to be said for cultural differences making good or bad drivers. I am the Ugly American.

I can't be the only one who is driving in the opposite direction of a traffic jam who notices the utter idiots in that jam with many, MANY car lengths ahead of them who are holding up every one behind them. If you see a HUGE gap ahead of you, get off the damned brakes and CLOSE THAT GAP, especially in turn lanes with notoriously short timed lights. Close those gaps so that those behind you can make the light too. We'd all like to get home in a timely fashion. Want to drive under the speed limit? Fine. Keep in the right hand lane so others may pass you on the left. PLEASE?

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@lavikinga: Have to say I agree, and to be honest, am a bit surprised at the level of support this video is getting. Who died and made this guy boss of the highway? Who says he gets to make decisions for other drivers? Love the smug look on his face in the video.

"Driving 45 MPH has reduced wear and tear on my brakes, as well as my blood pressure". Yeah, and your high and mighty attitude has a ripple effect. If you want to drive 45 MPH, get off the highway, jackass.

I counter with this video. http://web.mit.edu/newsoffice/2009/traffic-0609.html

And this video. http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn13402-shockwave-traffic-jam-recreated-for-first-time.html

Notice how it says "after that first vehicle brakes"?

Bottom line...drive your car. Not the car of the guy in front of you. Not the car of the guy behind you. If you can't understand that, turn in your license.

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@lavikinga I'm glad you mentioned the thing about closing gaps when going through lights. There are lights where I live that turn red as soon there's a gap in the traffic going through them. I've missed lights because of inattentive people or people not closing gaps.

One time, I was coming up to one of those lights that had just turned green. There was one guy ahead of me, and we had a chance to catch up the line of cars before it went through the light. However, the guy went slow and we both missed the light. He saw that I was pissed, and he flipped me off. All he had to do was drive a normal speed, and we both would have made the light.

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I will let someone in/over into my lane, most of the time, if they signal.

However if they were driving in say a right turn only lane and then cut over into the through lane to miss sitting in a back up I will never let that person over. Get in line like the rest of us fool. You aren't special.

I hate when people don't pay attention at stop lights. Go when it's freakin green so that as many cars as possible can make the light!

It also drives me nuts when someone drives exceedingly slow in front of me and then they realize they are going to miss the light so they speed up so that they alone make the light...

Why do some people have to make such wide slow turns?

Why do service vehicles and conversion vans always drive way slower than the speed limit?

Why do old people drive slow but then take a "no cops, no stops" attitude to stop signs?