Did this driver do anything wrong?

The scene: A stoplight-controlled intersection on a heavily-traveled road. Three lanes of traffic plus a left-turn-only lane.

On the right, no more than about 30 feet before the intersection (maybe less), there’s a driveway serving as an exit from a parking lot. Yesterday, I saw a driver waiting to pull out of the driveway while traffic was stopped at the light.

When the light changed and cars began to move, a driver in the right lane courteously held back to allow the first driver to turn out in front of them. No problem there. Except, instead of turning, the driver pulled straight out, perpendicular to traffic flow. It became apparent that the driver wanted to get all the way over to the left-turn lane.

The driver then had to stop and wait for somebody in the middle lane to allow room to continue, then repeat for the third lane, before finally getting into the turn lane and out of the way of everybody who’d had a green light all along.

I was irritated. I didn’t miss the light, but certainly some people behind me who would have otherwise made it through were inconvenienced. Plus, it just seemed like a much more dangerous maneuver than was necessary under the circumstances. There are other exits for this parking lot that might have been less convenient for this particular driver, but would have allowed an easier merge into traffic and avoid inconveniencing others. Or, the driver could have just turned into the right lane, gone straight at the light, taken the next turn and gone around the block.

My opinion is that this was a very discourteous and potentially dangerous thing to do. But then, I’ve been known to over-react on occasion. The driver was just trying to get somewhere and didn’t break any laws as far as I can tell.

What do you folks think?

He pulled into moving traffic. He was wrong. The driver who waved him in when traffic was moving was also wrong as he was making a decision for drivers in other lanes and set up a potential accident.

Driver was stupid. Go down a bit and make a U-turn, you self-centered douche. I have no problem with people doing that if traffic is light, so they’re not holding anyone up - or if the people in the road have already lined up to allow it.

People hold others up constantly on my street doing shit like this. I swear, 90% of people just roam through life blithely without any concept of what is next. I want to smack the shit out of them. I wish I could be that fucking clueless. I try to plan my route so I don’t have to make these stupid turns, and yes, if i make a mistake and there’s traffic, I always pass the light and make a U-turn and come back. I made the mistake, why should everyone else suffer?


Strictly speaking legal but moronic and beyond impolite.

What’s legal about pulling into moving traffic?

I have seen this done twice in my life where the driver gets T-Boned by someone in the far lane. It is never OK to pull this move, and never OK to stop and allow someone to do it.

I didn’t have a problem with this. The intersection is busy enough that there’s really no way to get out of this driveway unless somebody lets you in. I’ve done it myself, but always with the assumption that they’ll just turn into the right lane and get moving – which is what usually happens.

It drives me crazy when people who miss a turn or something do shit like this NOW NOW NOW instead of just proceeding further up the road and changing directions in a non-dickish way.

I make a similar type of turn (cross 2 lanes to an immediate left turn) frequently when returning from the supermarket. However, I never pull out unless I have a clear path to the left turn lane. Often, the person in the right lane will try to let me in, I wave them forward instead of pulling out, and wait for traffic to clear.

On busy days, I take the “around the block” exit, or just go past my desired turn and cut through a different way.

I don’t know if there is exactly a law against it, but I know those kind of self-importent people will be the first against the wall when the revolution comes. Or at least that is the way I like to imagine it.

The driver was a jackass.

This is the right thing to do.

I wouldn’t say it’s an “illegal” action. As in, you won’t get pulled over by a cop for doing it. But it’s definitely something that you would be faulted for by an insurance company if you caused a car in the left lanes to t-bone you.

Driver was an asshole and should be pulled out of his car and shot.

That said, I see people do this with some regularity in front of one of my bus stops. There’s a lot of honking and yelling but to their credit they always eventually make it to the left-turn lane.

I don’t know if I’m imagining exactly what you’re describing, but if I am, it seems like a perfectly reasonable, routine maneuver that’s encountered daily in my area. The key is, to me, that the traffic isn’t described as moving. The light was red. Someone in the right lane let the car out of the drive, who then proceeded to cautiously make its way to the center lane. If the lanes are blocked and people can move, they generally do so. If not, we’re considerate enough to let the car pass through. It only takes a couple of seconds, and you shouldn’t be tailgating the very second that the car in front of you begins to move anyway.

All in all, it’s much less dangerous than idiots that illegally use the left turn lane as a merge lane when pulling out of a drive and into traffic. They’re the ones who should turn right and then later make a U turn.


The situation in the OP is the light is green. The driver is making everyone else wait while he/she drives across 3 lanes of traffic that should be moving but is not because this person is blocking several lanes.

I have to pull out (to turn right) of my complex each morning in a virtually identical situation. Usually when the far right lane gets going (right turn only) some kind soul will let me in, and I’ll wave back my thanks. I actually have the option, if traffic is light, to cut over to the left turn lane (since that is the direction I actually need to go), but if there’s tons of cars there forget it, and I’ll just go down, make the right, and then go down a block and do a you-ee.

That is the first time I have ever seen it spelled that way.

Sounds like a goddamn good way to get your ass run the fuck over, to me.

This happens often where I am.

I don’t condone it, but it’s not usually that big a deal. I’ve never seen an accident caused this way, and really it might hold you up for a minimum of 10 seconds and a maximum of 90 seconds. Meh.

It’s illegal in NC.