Jump to content

Aggressive Driving


You can move now
 Share

Recommended Posts

Spun-off from the other topic, because I'm curious what people think. There are good arguments to be made that both aggressive driving, and slow driving, can increase the odds of an accident occuring. Certainly, both can be annoying. Which one do you prefer to be around?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

False dichotomy! While slow drivers are almost always cautious, not all fast drivers are aggressive.

 

—Alorael, who prefers drivers who move above the speed limit in open lanes and who slow down and take it carefully when things become more difficult.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to consider myself a defensive rather than an aggressive driver, but I've noticed that such definitions tend to be relative. I live in an urban area, so you pretty much have to drive aggressively just to keep up with everyone else. When I go outside the city, I appear to be much more aggressive compared to the average suburban driver. I've have been in less accidents than anyone I know, at least. Heck, my cars have accrued more damage sitting parked than they have with me driving them, but again, that's the city for you.

 

Edit: Oh, to answer the poll question: I prefer fast, aggressive drivers. I seem to be skilled enough that they aren't much of a danger to me. In fact, slow drivers often appear to be much more dangerous to me because they tend to be unpredictable and irrational, unlike skilled aggressive drivers. Not that aggressive drivers can't be unskilled, but I'd stand by my claim that they are at least more predictable and rational.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You should move to southern Arizona where drivers are regularly measured exceeding the speed limit by 20 mph or more. Some on the interstate highways can reach 100 mph in a 55 mph zone.

 

You can't say that faster drivers are safer when you see all the bits and pieces of their cars strewn along side the road from hitting things.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, there's that relativity again. I was referring to driving in the city, not on highways. When I say fast, I mean like quickly squeezing between drivers when roads merge or just running yellow lights. When I say slow I mean like not immediately going when a light turns green or stopping at a stop sign for too long. That's city driving. The fact that I don't immediately honk at people who are guilty of the later actions would cause most people to say I'm not an aggressive driver at all. I still think I'm pretty aggressive but simply don't have the rudeness that usually goes with the territory. smile

 

As for highways, I'll go about 70 when it's 55 mph and people will still constantly pass me. If someone is going really slow, the fact that in Pennsylvania you're only supposed to be in the right lane when passing someone makes it easy to do so.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like aggressive drivers because they keep the cops busy so they pay less attention to me. I'm a fan of going with the flow within reason. If everyone around me is going 10+mph over the speed limit, I'll go 10 over. If everyone is taking it nice and easy, I match. But if I'm in the lead, I like to go 5mph over and slow down as little as possible for turns. Gotta love that g-force.

 

I usually drive rather defensively getting into the lane that I'll need to be in for my next turn and following the crowd, unless I notice a heavy truck ahead of me that will have to stop for a red light. That's about the only time I switch lanes.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm driving in an urban area I'll go with the flow, but I'm not aggressive when it comes to lane changes and whatnot, so I'll typically end up being in one of the right lanes. I do punch through intersections if need be, but I don't do that often. If there's a stop sign, I always make a full and complete stop, never a California stop.

 

If I'm not in an urban area, I'll almost always drive at or below the speed limit, unless I'm driving in Oregon. Nevada has a nice 75 mph speed limit on the highway, and I don't see a need to go any faster than that. Speeding usually doesn't save you much time, unless you're going a long distance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I will admit to grossly exceeding the speed limit on highways, generally going five miles an hour over the speed limit in suburban and urban areas, and trying to do as the terrain dictates on small rural roads (the speed limits always seem to be infuriatingly slow or challengingly fast). While Thuryl's analysis is good, I'll take a slight speed push over a crawl any day. I am always in favor of more movement (to the point of often refusing to wait at a bus stop when I can start walking to the next one despite the risk of missing the bus and the fact that I save no time by doing so).

 

—Alorael, whose greatest objection is not to speed but to preoccupation. Luckily he sees much less application of cosmetics, eating, and other obvious idiotic multitasking on the road. Unfortunately it has all been replaced by cell phones, Blackberries, and other small gadgets. Those are also quite likely to get people killed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Sleeping Dragon
Ah, there's that relativity again. I was referring to driving in the city, not on highways.

This is on highways that are inside the city limits where they use photo camera enforcement to measure speeds and generate traffic tickets. Although I've been passed by cars that must have been doing 20 mph more than me in order to do it so quickly on city streets.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: deprivation cannot end privation

—Alorael, whose greatest objection is not to speed but to preoccupation. Luckily he sees much less application of cosmetics, eating, and other obvious idiotic multitasking on the road. Unfortunately it has all been replaced by cell phones, Blackberries, and other small gadgets. Those are also quite likely to get people killed.

Generally, I'd frown upon texting while driving, but I do understand why some businesspeople and whatnot do it. It doesn't justify the high risk involved, but it's at least more excusable than doing it to flirt with someone.

There's also bluetooth, but that costs money.

Originally Posted By: Master1
Cutting through intersections bugs me. If no one is there, it's excusable, but it's still a bit dangerous in my opinion. Now, I don't have much experience with driving, but I think that one should avoid cutting stop lights whenever possible.

This bugs me as well, though it's almost impossible to avoid at one of the intersections in town. Sometimes, it will become green for one second (no exaggeration), flash a yellow light, and then turn red. It causes quite a bit of confusion, and I'm surprised it hasn't caused any accidents.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Chacun Cherche
It is intended to be a forced choice.
Sorry Slarty, then that means I can't vote in the poll.

I am a licensed driver who drives regularly and I prefer drivers who actually follow the speed limit over all other types.

Originally Posted By: Randomizer
You can't say that faster drivers are safer when you see all the bits and pieces of their cars strewn along side the road from hitting things.
Or when you watch the news and they show a tangled mess of metal, and you ask yourself, "That was a car?"

Originally Posted By: Excalibur
Speeding usually doesn't save you much time, unless you're going a long distance.
And then only if you're driving on the freeway, and even then not unless it's at least several hundred miles before your next stop.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suppose I'd rather be stuck behind a slow driver. Aggressive drivers are more likely to do really stupid things like run a completely red light or pass in a no-pass zone from three cars back. Slow drivers can be more irritating, though, when you're stuck in a long line behind someone going 35 MPH in a 55 MPH zone and there are frequent turnouts on the side of the road.

 

Dikiyoba may be biased, though. Dikiyoba is definitely guilty of being a slow driver at times. Especially if you define "driving exactly the speed" limit as "slow".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Twice this summer I've passed a farm where there was an accident. Both times, a person was stopped to take a left turn (across oncoming traffic) and was hit from behind at, or above, posted speed. Since they had turned their wheels partially, the force of the blow propelled them into oncoming traffic, which in turn reversed their momentum abruptly.

The passenger in the stopped car died in the first incident, and everyone was severely injured. In the second, the 2 people in the opposing lane died, as they were in a smaller vehicle.

In the first incident, the driver was speeding, and didn't have time to react to the presence of a stopped car, despite having a full breakdown lane in which to pass. In the second incident, the driver was talking on their cell phone, and didn't register that the car ahead was stopped and turning.

 

So, aggressive driving is great, until there is an accident, and then it just makes a survivable situation into a deadly one. Speed limits take into account reaction times, sight lines, and road conditions, not just vehicle and driver ability.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would make a good poll question. Is driving exactly the speed limit driving slow, or driving appropriately? My answer would depend on my location. In parking lots and near crowds of children it's the latter, but anywhere else it's the former.

 

I guess as I see it, driving aggressively is more likely to lead to an accident directly, if you do something stupid or fail to react appropriately to an unexpected condition. On the other hand, driving slowly is more likely to lead to an accident indirectly. It irritates other people, which makes them worse drivers. It keeps your car AND the cars behind you on the road longer, increasing the average number of cars on the road (by a picayune amount for one slow motorist, obviously, but combine the impact of them all and you have a real impact). This increases the chance for an accident simply by expanding the pool of drivers, but it also increases it by increasing congestion, which creates better conditions for accidents as well as irritating drivers, which (again) makes them worse drivers.

 

Additionally, I don't trust other drivers. On highways and other long arteries that are not packed, I prefer to trail packs rather than lead them -- I can pay attention and leave suitable space and avoid crashing into the car ahead of me, but I can't stop the car behind me from crashing into me. As a result I tend to drive very fast when there's open space ahead of me and slow down when there are vehicles ahead.

 

In packed arteries, I will change lanes repeatedly to get out from behind slow drivers. Removing myself from that congested spot makes it less congested for everyone else, too.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I posted more or less what Slarty said, more briefly, in his other driving thread before reading it here. So yes, driving slowly can be bad too.

 

Texting and talking and checking email in the car is not forgivable productivity. The actual work produced is minimal, and the risk of death is unacceptably high. Sure, if you want to risk your life for work, go ahead, but in cars you're always putting someone else on the line as well. And a side note: bluetooth and other hands-free options help, but they only help very slightly. You're still a lousy driver while you're using a phone.

 

—Alorael, who has not driven in an overwhelming number of places. He'll just note that Boston seems unique in its combination of nearly unnavigable, unlabeled, and oddly interlocking streets and mad drivers. He suspects that the latter is due to the former, as it is not uncommon to find yourself suddenly in a turn-only lane forcing you onto a street you can't recognize, in turn forcing interesting and illegal maneuvers that are essentially a Boston norm.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I assure you that that is not a situation unique to Boston, or even Massachusetts, or New England. It is born of urban growth where there was once a much smaller town, in a location where private property rights are honored above urban "renewal" through condemnation.

Having driven extensively in 20 states and 2 provinces, and passingly in 23 other states and 3 provinces, I have decided that those crazy, quirky roads are better for the soul than the straight mega-roads, which seem to become a de facto culture or community in their own right.

Besides, there have been actual studies to back that up, which show that distorted commute routes actually shorten travel time, as drivers are constantly striving to find the most optimal path, switching locations and times to find what works best. I think Boston may have been one of the studied cities, maybe during the Big Dig.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lets just all drive with common sense. Obey the speed limit when other people are around. If it's a nice, straight road in the middle of nowhere, yeah, go a bit faster if you want, but don't go so fast as to be stupid. People who shift lanes incessantly bug me, unless they actually help by switching lanes. People who get out of the congested lane, go a hundred yards, and then try to get back in because their lane is closed (which is why there is a problem) are annoying. If the lane closes ahead, don't get into it just to pass a few cars because getting back in is a pain for all of us.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: deprivation cannot end privation

Texting and talking and checking email in the car is not forgivable productivity.


It's also against the law in this country - using a mobile 'phone without a bluetooth headset whilst driving gets you a large fine and several points on your license.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both. I shouldn't change lanes if it makes it harder for others, because it often makes it harder for me in turn. If someone, me included, can change lanes to easy congestion and help everyone, they should. Working together, instead of against each other, makes driving faster, easier, and safer.

 

Or at least, it does in my idealized world. I still haven't driven on real roads ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Dikiyoba
Aggressive drivers are more likely to do really stupid things like run a completely red light or pass in a no-pass zone from three cars back.
Or using a crosswalk as a passing lane. Or my personal favorite, flying past me as though I were parked, and I'm (not on purpose, believe me) going 75 MPH in a 55 MPH zone.

Quote:
Slow drivers can be more irritating, though, when you're stuck in a long line behind someone going 35 MPH in a 55 MPH zone and there are frequent turnouts on the side of the road.
Been there; fortunately, I know my way around and thus avoid such people most of the time. When I do meet up with slower drivers, there's usually at least one other lane so I can pass them simply by driving at the speed limit. Once I was driving 5 to 10 MPH under the speed limit, and I passed someone like he was standing still. I swear a lot of slow drivers think the speed limit is actually in KPH.

Quote:
Dikiyoba may be biased, though. Dikiyoba is definitely guilty of being a slow driver at times. Especially if you define "driving exactly the speed" limit as "slow".
Welcome to the club. You don't want to know how many times I've been cursed at for driving "only" at the speed limit, because the "real" speed limit is (according to one idiot who tailgated me, anyway) actually up to 20 MPH faster than what's posted.

I tend to drive using the cruise control, and set it to the speed limit. It may annoy a lot of people, but please consider the following: I get relatively few red lights, and have never had a speeding ticket.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The Wall Street Journal just had an article discussing the benefits of traffic jams, because it keeps drivers at a slow boil. This makes them more likely to use public transportation to avoid having to drive in that mess. Although public transportation is usually slower because of all the stop where you wait for the idiots to get on or off.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: The Mystic
I tend to drive using the cruise control, and set it to the speed limit. It may annoy a lot of people, but please consider the following: I get relatively few red lights, and have never had a speeding ticket.


If you rely on your cruise control to keep you at the speed limit, you're probably a bad driver.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not really. I use the cruise control a lot because my foot has a tendency to fall asleep on the accelerator while I'm driving; the fact that it keeps me at the speed limit is just a perk. It also has the added benefit of allowing me to devote a little more brainpower on the road ahead, thus increasing my already good reaction time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If your foot is falling asleep on the accelerator, your need to adjust your seat position so that you can sit comfortably while driving.

 

—Alorael, who suspects but cannot prove (it probably has been shown, but he doesn't know where to find such evidence) that driving, after enough practice, your brain accepts the car as an extension of you. Just like it takes no real mental effort to raise your arm, it should take no effort from deciding you need to go faster or slower to your foot pressing down on the appropriate pedal.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Originally Posted By: Sun and Shadow and Rain
If your foot is falling asleep on the accelerator, your need to adjust your seat position so that you can sit comfortably while driving.
Thanks, but I've already tried that; my foot falling asleep is more form the normal vibrations of the car, which seems to be amplified when my foot is on the accelerator for prolonged periods. Therefore, the cruise control gets a workout.
Originally Posted By: Sun and Shadow and Rain
—Alorael, who suspects but cannot prove (it probably has been shown, but he doesn't know where to find such evidence) that driving, after enough practice, your brain accepts the car as an extension of you.
I wish I could prove that, but it seems to be true. The way I drive, it feels more and more like it's the car that does the driving, and I just steer.

Originally Posted By: Thuryl
pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time
Now add hopping on one foot, and singing. tongue
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Eventually, not that it is a good thing, you will notice that you suddenly have no clue where you are, and then you notice that you're 10 miles further down the road, and you have no recollection of the intermediate events. Just daydreaming, not any distractions. That is when you have become one with the car.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I'm do die of anything but old age related things, it will be in a traffic accident. I consider myself an excellent driver when I actually pay attention. But I tend to take too many risks such as looking out the passenger side window for more than a brief glance, and then realising when I look back to the road that there's a vehicle where there wasn't one before, and that I'm nearly over the centre line.

 

I find driving extremely boring unless there's snow on the road, then it becomes more interesting in a challenging sort of way. I would definitely hire a driver if I had the money.

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...