Another bad driving thread -- veering left to turn right

A comment about a witnessed collision in the “slow left lane drivers” thread reminded me of a collision I saw once.

I was on my way to work and got off the freeway and onto a surface street because it was quicker. Work was to the east, and the parallel road is to the north of the freeway. Thus, there’s a right turn involved. On the surface street there is a left turn lane, two forward lanes, and a right turn lane. A school bus was in the rightmost of the forward lanes, and a woman in a Lexus was ahead of me in the right turn lane.

When the light turned green the bus started forward. The woman in the Lexus, since she was making a right turn, veered left into the school bus. I called the police after I got to work to let them know that I had seen the collision, and I told them that the woman veered left before attempting her right turn. Before I called, it was a case of the word of the woman in the Lexus against that of the bus driver. The way things work, the school district would have paid the woman’s claim since it would be cheaper than going to court with no witnesses. Seems I saved the city a couple thousand dollars.

I see people veering left to turn right all the time. I see it at intersections, I see it in car parks, I see it on residential streets. Don’t these people know the dimensions of their cars? You usually don’t need to swing left to give yourself extra room to make a right. You’re not in a semi.

Okay, sometimes it is necessary. My Cherokee doesn’t have the turning radius my Porsche did. Sometimes I do need to swing one way or another so that I can get a straighter shot at a narrow parking space. Given that the Cherokee’s dimensions (“footprint”) are similar to a Honda Accord, I can see how people might swing their sedans in the opposite direction in a car park. But at intersections? No. Since I don’t want to block traffic behind me, I tend to move as far to the right as I can when I’m making a right turn. I don’t have to veer left to turn.

What is it that makes people think they have to veer left before a right turn, or right before a left turn?

Don’t know the answer, Johnny L.A., but some nit-witted nimrod nearly drove me off the road yesterday, when he veered into my lane–we both were traveling about 50 on a 4-lane road–before turning left. I had absolutely nowhere to go and it was pouring down rain.

These idiots act like they’re driving super-stretch Hummers.* :rolleyes:
(Not sure about using “super-stretch” and “Hummer” in the same sentence.)

We got at least one here, a black stretched Hummer belonging to a limo company. Not an H2 either.

Barf.

DD

I can’t really think of ANY situation where it’s necessary, so long as the turn isn’t substantially greater than 90 degrees.

These draivers are actually worse than the OP suggests because of course they won’t turn into the nearest open lane on their target street. No, they will swing wide across two or three lanes.

Like you said, sometimes it is necessary. I know the dimensions of my car, and I know when I do and don’t need to veer left to turn right (most common cause of veer-and-turn is pulling into a space at a parking lot).

But even when you know the size of your car, a combination of street conditions can require you to do the veer-and-turn in situations where you might not expect it to be necessary. F’r instance, on my daily commute home, there’s a right turn where I must veer-left-and-turn-right, no matter how careful or slow I drive. This happens because the road I’m turning into is a narrow street, with only two narrow lanes in either direction. If I don’t veer left before turning, I’ll either bump the curb with my tire, or T-bar the car in front of me.

This is one of those things where tere are no hard-and-fast rules; you have to adapt to your vehicle’s size, the locale you’re turning, and all the other usual factors.

My pit thread on pretty much the same thing.

Oh gawd, my mother started doing this when she got older. It was terrifying to ride with her. My sister finally broke her of the habit, but it was a scary time.