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?