Late Lane-Changes to Exit from Highways are Dangerous!

Sadly, it is very common here in the  N.E. USA, to see selfish, ignorant drivers deliberately stay out in the middle- or left-lanes of a highway until they are alongside the exit they require then veer or even swerve sharply  across the right-hand lane(s) to exit, right across the front of vehicles being driven correctly and safely.

Exit 28A on I-95, Massachusetts, showing at least three separate skid marks, almost certainly caused by a driver staying to the left, all the way to the exit, then swerving right to leave, or by drivers who were so distracted they nearly missed the exit, even from the right-hand lane. Terrible driving!

It is extremely obvious that this is not usually due to a driver reaching his/her required exit without realizing it — which, in itself, is very bad driving — but rather it’s a case of them deliberately staying in what they perceive to be the faster lanes until the last possible moment, in order to save a few seconds from their journey time.

Exit 32 on I-95, Massachusetts, showing at least seven separate skid marks, almost certainly caused by drivers who stayed to the left, all the way to the exit, then swerved right to leave, or by drivers who were so distracted they nearly missed the exit, even from the right-hand lane. Dreadful driving!

Photographs on this page clearly depict the aftermath of such blindingly stupid and selfish driving, and of course not all of the skid marks can possibly result in a miss!  Some of these skids will sadly also trigger rear-end collisions (that don’t even involve the drivers who initiated the dangerous situations in question).

It’s by no means just Massachusetts (though this nonsense is very common there). This is the ‘split’ to I-90 east (left lanes) and I-90 west (right lane) from I-87 southbound, at Albany, NY. Again, drivers have left their ‘exit’ to towards I-90W/I-87S too late and have caused dangerous incidents as these 4-5 sets of skid marks show.  This is a location where this type of bad driving is a daily event.

Some ‘politically correct’ road safety advocates will rail against me for referring to late-lane-change drivers as being ‘stupid’, selfish’, ‘ignorant’ or ‘dangerous’ but I’m sorry, having literally picked up many dead or crippled victims of bad driving and investigating the causes during my years as a traffic patrol police officer, I am simply not prepared to play the game of not telling the accurate truth about such idiots for being exactly  what they are: deadly lunatics!

Getting such people to stop their self-important, dangerous driving can only be a matter for law enforcement.  People with this degree of selfishness and stupidity will never listen to reason.

Here, all the skid marks are adjacent to the very end of an on-ramp, showing that failure to yield by drivers entering the highway, combined with a thoughtless failure to move to the left by drivers already on the highway, can also result in skids, which naturally can also end, quite literally, in blood and tears.

The best advice we can give is that if you are ever driven by someone who does this, make absolutely certain that they never get to drive you again.

And if you have a dashcam and you ever get video footage of someone doing this, we hope you will seriously consider giving the video to the police and thereby quite possibly help to save other people’s lives.  Thank you.

Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief InstructorAdvanced Drivers of North America

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All photographs and the text on this post are subject to Copyright law.

Self-Driving Cars are Not Imminent!

EW:  The title of the article could have been more appropriate but it is: “The Real Problem With Self-Driving Cars: They Actually Follow Traffic Laws

The driver of the nearest car has accelerated hard past our vehicle, on our right-hand side, to race us for the gap to pass the truck. He has started to change lanes but never gave any signal. If we had been in a self-driving car and we were being badly tail-gated, what would the self-driving system have done, and when? This strikes me as being a potentially complex scenario in which I could not trust a computer to inevitably get it right.  In this case, the driver in question is also taking himself into a bad area, ‘blocked’ alongside the large truck, but that is another issue.   (Copyright photo taken by me from the passenger seat!) Eddie Wren.

One quote I really dislike is this:

Excerpt:  “There’s an endless list of these cases where we as humans know the context, we know when to bend the rules and when to break the rules,” a Carnegie Mellon University professor in charge of autonomous car research told the Associated Press.

EW:  Depending on whether the journalist paraphrased or edited the comment, the professor would appear to be endorsing acceptability and even a need to break driver safety rules, but that inference, whoever caused it, is far from good.

Excerpt:  “It’s hard to program in human stupidity or someone who really tries to game the technology,” a spokesman for Toyota’s autonomous driving unit told the AP.  When we hear about autonomous vehicles crashing with human-piloted vehicles, the cause is usually a human error that the software didn’t account for, like when a Google-programmed car didn’t recognize that a human driver had run a red light.

EW:  Google hasn’t thought through the issue of other drivers running red lights?  Really?

Revealingly, though, the article ends with:  “…[E]xperts think that we have at least a decade and a half before cars can safely drive themselves among humans. It might take even longer to safely operate the vehicles in cities with especially chaotic traffic, like Beijing.”

Read the full article, from The Consumerist, here.

Comments added here by Eddie Wren, CEO & Chief Instructor of ADoNA