Why don't drives pick the lane they want at lights?

At least, I sure as hell hope that’s a whoosh.

If’n it isn’t, just…you know…ignore me, please.


I sometimes find myself in the wrong lane at junctions if the traffic is busy and I am unfamiliar with the roads; the reason for this is that at many multi-lane junctions in the UK, the permissible directions for each lane are only indicated by painted arrows on the road; that’s fine if traffic is light, but if there’s a queue of slow-moving vehicles obscuring the arrows, it’s entirely possible, for example, to believe you’re in a lane that is left-turn-or-straight-ahead only to discover at a very late and inconvenient point, that it is left turn only - leaving you to try to pull into the next lane as the (very dense) traffic starts to move again.

Complete and utter drooling morons. Not to mention inconsiderate. Of course we all make mistakes, I’ve certainly made my share. The thing is, when I do, I don’t expect other people to yield to my car so I can turn across 4 lanes of traffic. If I find myself in the wrong lane I’ll go ahead and make the turn, find a nice place to turn around without blocking traffic, then do so. Why is that so hard for some people to do? Do you really think your time is worth so much more than everyone else’s?

I hate that as well.

But what I hate more are the people who think “the fast lane” means they can exceed the speed limit. Our regular limits around here are 65. People think that means they can go 70-75 even 80 in the fast lane. Like the law does apply to that one lane.

I better stop now before this turns into a pit post.

Yeah, we’ve got a real bottleneck right by my office, and when someone is going straight through and stops in the right-hand lane, I think “What sort of person does that?” In the three or four years that I’ve been here, going to the left-hand lane at a red and leaving the right-hand lane open has only misfired once, and that was some guy driving recklessly fast in the right-hand lane. There was a surfeit of car lengths between he and I, and then next thing I know, he’s right on my rear.

Drivers. Are. Idiots.

Last Saturday I was tailgated by a dump truck on a two land highway where the speed limit is 80 KPH. I had the cruise set at 93 KPH. This guy was on my ass for 10 minutes wanting to get by. He finally pulled around me on a dotted line (passing allowed) and pulled back in front of me on a solid line (no passing allowed) with very limited visibility to oncoming traffic due to an incline.

This was 5 minutes/kilometers away from the next town. I caught up to Mr. Willing-to-take-out-a-life-or-6 at the next traffic light as he turned into a Tim Horton’s doughnut shop.

I always set the cruise control about 15%'ish over the speed limit and have this kind of selfish tailgating lunacy happen to me all the time. What you can’t sit back and relax at 15% OVER the speed limit for 5 minutes?

It is called a “left-hand lane mentality”.

You pull up to a light in the right-hand lane, and there they are sitting by themselves in the left-hand lane. When you both get the green, they race across the intersection, pulling over quickly in front of you and then making a right-hand turn into a street or lot, right in front of you. They could have been in the proper lane when they came up to the light, but that would mean getting out of the left-hand lane.

You are accelerating up an entrance ramp onto the highway with a car right behind you. With little traffic on the road, you easily merge into the right-hand lane of the highway, but the guy behind you pulls over to the far left-hand lane as soon as he can. He has been planning on passing you since he saw the taillamps of your car. He isn’t going to wait and see if you accelerate up to the speed limit (or beyond), he has already decided he must go around and pass you, regardless of how fast you are going.

You are driving down the road, occasionally having to stop for lights and stop signs. You stay in the right-hand lane so that all the fast-holes can have the left-hand passing lane to themselves. Random idiot in the left-hand lane passes you by, impressing you that his car can go 50mph in a 40mph zone. As you slow down while coming up to the next light, you pass random idiot and several more just like him, marveling at how far behind you he is now because there are so many people in the left-hand lane. Why, the right-hand lane is virtually empty. Going across the intersection, all the left-laners blow past you as if your presence offends them. Not to worry, there they all are sitting and waiting for you at the next traffic light. They spend a LOT more time sitting in their cars at lights than you do.You pass them by and drive through the intersection, far ahead of them until they can blast past you again. This continues for many blocks, several miles. Every day. But they must be getting somewhere faster than you. They have passed you ten times already!

My favorite.
You are sitting at a light in the right-hand lane because you need to be in the right lane after turning and going htrough the intersection so you can make a right-hand turn into your destination. Even if no one is behind you, idiot pulls up next to you in the left-hand lane, also prepared to make a left-hand turn. The light turns green, and halfway through the turn, idiot either drifts over the line into your lane or gasses it and pulls in front of you as soon as they can so they can make the same right-hand turn into the destination you wanted. They could have been right behind you the whole way, in the correct lane, but they’ll be damned if they are going to give up that left-hand lane.

Everywhere they go, they have to be in the left-hand lane passing people. They simply think that the left-hand lane is ALWAYS going to be the fastest route to where they are going, regardless of what the traffic is actually doing. I recognise the pattern and I allow for it when I drive. It’s part of the reason I have been driving for over thirtyfive years and haven’t been tagged by anyone yet.

Ok, I can see the right turn on red, except around here we usually have a turning lane for that. Usually when I see this is for two lanes turning either way. I think I’ll go with idiots then, as I have been for the last couple of years.

Someone explain to me why this is. As supporting evidence, I drive a freeway with three lanes going south and a carpool lane. For a long stretch - a mile or two the middle lane goes much faster than the left lane. Being in the middle lane, I pass 50 cars, all pretty much stopped, every freakin’ morning. Another example. On a long ramp from one road to another, the right lane splits into two a bit before the metering lights. This means that, even though at the beginning of the ramp the left land has a bit less traffic, people in the right always get to the metering lights faster. Always.

BTW, the left lane of the ramp is better in one respect - that lane of the freeway is faster. However, since the metering lights let the middle lane of the ramp go while holding the left back, I can always get into that lane without cutting anyone off and without any danger of collision.
So why do people sit in the left lanes day after day, and never, ever learn that the right lane is better. You’d think that over time the lanes should even out, but it’s been this way since the ramp opened, two years ago. Are people stupid, is it force of habit, or do they have some conditioning that the left lane is faster even when it isn’t.

Voyager, there is no logic to it, just the mindset some people have that will never change.

The day that these drivers take their physical driving test is the best driving they will ever do. From then on they no longer have to follow the rules or think ahead. They have their license - get the hell out of the way!

You have a teenager with the keys to freedom in their hands. They figure they are smarter than mom and dad, and damn near bulletproof to boot. They know all they need to know about driving a car. Because of this attitude, they never seem to learn from their driving experiences, never become aware of how traffic flows and how other drivers react.While many people learn from the experience of driving things that cannot be taught in a classroom, these people pick up nothing and will never be any better drivers than they are today. Oh, sure, I used to drive like that too, at one time. Racing up to stopsigns, blasting around “slow” people, cutting the lights and lane changes a little too close. But guess what? I grew up, graduated high school and learned how to DRIVE. You probably did too, but many of your contemporarys did not. They STILL drive like a 16-year old and still have the same attitude.

All they know is to hurry, hurry, hurry. Yes, they can actually see that light turning red up ahead, other cars stopped in the road waiting for the change, but still they have to zoom up to the light or stopsign, jump on the brakes so that the front of the car dips down, only to sit there fuming because the light didn’t change and the cars didn’t pull aside for THEM. They never comprehend that those lights and stopsigns work that way all the time, day after day, year after year. Their eyes can see, but their minds do not. All they know is that if they hurry and go fast, even if it is only in short senseless bursts, they MUST be getting there faster than if they melded and flowed with the traffic.

Honestly, if it wasn’t for all the people faster than me, who zoom around me only to later get in my way, I could get where I’m going MUCH sooner.