Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Driving Ettiquette: The Lane Change

***Originally posted January 6, 2011***

Despite being a proponent of public transportation and alternative means of getting around, I personally am tied to my car.  Living in Plano but working in Dallas, a lot of my time on a daily basis is spent in the car.  To make up for this 1 1/2 hours of loneliness in my automobile, I listen to talk radio and try to communicate with fellow drivers by hand signal and flashing lights.

Perhaps the most frustrating maneuver to perform while traversing the motorways is the lane change.  What makes it so difficult is anticipating the expectations of the drivers in the desired lane.  In other words, is that dude (not to be gender specific) gonna let me in, or is he gonna make me work for it?

My intention is rather clear by the turn signal: I need to move over.  But what will be the reaction of the driver?  It would really help me out if the driver slows down a little bit to clear a space that would ease my lane change.  More often than not in this damn city, however, the driver speeds up and blocks a clear path to the next lane.

If this is the status quo in drivers' etiquette, what does that say about our expectations from each other when we're not in our cars?  Is this why it's so difficult to pursue progress in Dallas?  In the pursuit of change in lanes or civic mentality, why does blocking a clear path become an instant, initial obstacle?

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