Thursday, July 10, 2003

What They Don’t Teach You in Driving School

When I was in driving school, I was taught that you should always check your rear-views and blindspot before changing lanes, to make sure there isn’t another car where you’re trying to merge. What they never mentioned is that you also need to check two lanes over, to make sure there isn’t somebody trying to merge into the same spot from the opposite direction.

No, I didn’t just get into a car wreck. But I’ve had a couple of close calls lately, and they were only avoided because I was paying attention – the other guy never was. And notice that the situation is symmetrical (neither car has the right-of-way), which means responsibility for paying attention falls on both parties.

Or maybe there’s a nuance of the traffic laws that I missed; perhaps the car that is farther ahead has the right of way (although that would still leave open the case in which the cars are neck-and-neck and merging into the same lane). Anyone out there know if there’s a rule for this situation?

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