Sunday, March 28, 2010
Creepy Right Turns
Here's another little traffic pet peeve of mine. You approach an intersection with a street on your right. It could be a major intersection, an entrance to a shopping center, or just a side street. You most certainly have the right of way. You see a cage approaching the intersection on that street to your right and in front of you. There is a stop sign or a red light for the cage. But the cage never completely stops. Maybe just sort of creeps along slowly, anticipating a right turn. They probably see you, but they continue to creep along. Are they going to stop? Are you sure they see you? Better keep an eye on them. You are doing your best little scanning routine. Still have to watch out for other potential bogeys, but this bogey is demanding further attention. But then again, they are probably just waiting for you to pass so they can make a right turn ending up behind you. "Probably" But they never come to a complete stop. Is the human cargo inside putting on makeup? Talking on their cell phone? Are they being as attentive as you are? You are at the "Predict" and "Decide" stages of SIPDE. Cover the brakes, maybe slow down? How fast are you traveling? How fast are they creeping? Check for escape routes? You do what your best judgment and experience dictates what you should do depending on the situation. All of this happens in just a few seconds. Usually it never turns out to be a problem. But what if........... A lot of my riding is urban commuting, some of it in heavy traffic. I see this situation almost every day. It drives me just a bit crazy. Question: Are you as attentive when driving a car as you are when riding on 2 wheels?