Cutting the Corner

Cutting the CornerI live beside a road where I can watch an "S" curve out of my window and visibility is limited due to vegetation on both sides. I don't have to watch for long before a see a driver who "straightens out the S" by driving more or less in a straight line through the corners. I haven't seen a crash happen here because of this behaviour yet, but my traffic policing experience tells me that it is just a matter of time.

It doesn't matter that there are no lines painted on the pavement at this spot, a driver is still required to confine the path of their vehicle to the right hand half of the roadway. Lines are helpful, but they too are often ignored as evidenced by the uneven wear of the center line in another nearby section of winding road near my neighbourhood. I've met drivers there who are crowding the line or actually slightly onto my side of it.

Why are these drivers so poor at maintaining proper lane position? Surely everyone must realize that keeping to your lane has to be one of the most important rules of driving! Just because you don't want to slow down or are too lazy to steer properly doesn't mean that you are entitled to use some of my side of the highway.

If you maintain proper lane position then you have a safety buffer around your vehicle that allows you to take avoidance action if something untoward should occur. Consider what might happen if you meet another driver that drives the same way you do. Maybe it is a good idea to stay to the right of center after all.

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Cutting corners

...a slightly differenct observation, but similar:

Even if you're on a highway/freeway, with your "choice" of lanes to travel in around a corner, try to maintain your position in your own lane unless you're absolutely sure that you can change lanes safely.  If you're travelling fast enough such that you feel the need to straddle hatched lines around corners to "straighten out the road", things can go badly quickly should there be another vehicle trying to occupy the same space as you.

I've been communting over the "new" Highway 17 (Hwy 99 exit 26 to the Tsawwassen ferries) for the last few days and with all of the corners and elevation changes on this road there are going to be side-swipes galore if people aren't careful.  The "ferry traffic" folk are used to a straight piece of road and speeds of 140kph, and now they're going to have to learn that those types of speeds on this new piece of winding highway are probably not the best idea.

Cutting Corners

This type of behavior seems to be very common these days. It also can be quite deadly if you're riding a motorcycle! Last summer, I was riding my full sized Harley Davidson motorcycle with the headlight and two driving lights on. I was forced onto the paved shoulder on a corner buy a car completely straddling the centre line coming the other way. It rattled me so bad that I turned around and followed him to his destination a few blocks away. I asked him if he was even aware of what he had done and how close he came to hitting me. He replied that he had seen me coming but because I was riding a motorcycle he felt I had lots of room to get out of his way. He also stated that he felt that the lines on the roadways were just a guidline.  Needless to say the conversation degraded from there! A very stupid and dangerous habit indeed!