Additional Explanations for Scene 3

According to NHTSA two out of three drivers don't come to a full stop at a stop sign. Here are some instances of how drivers feel at stop signs.

Date: Tue, 3 Jun 1997 12:17:39 -1000
From: Christie (
Subject: Random kindness

At a stop sign or a stoplight, where I am waiting to pull into traffic (to turn right at a stoplight, or to turn either way at a stop sign), I sometimes find my view is blocked by a vehicle in the next lane, which is also waiting - especially trucks, vans, and cars that are "taller" than mine. I have resolved to be conscious of this and not block the view of the driver in the next lane, who might be looking to see if the traffic is clear and if it is safe to pull out.

From Sat Jun 14 13:34:21 1997
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 03:03:57 -1000
From: Philip Branton
Subject: Citizens Against Speeding and Aggressive Driving--DC

Dear Dr James,
I am a founding member of CASAD, a citizen's lobbying group in Washington DC formed by concerned people dismayed by drivers who speed, run lights and stop signs, tailgait, and in several instances had 'duels' on the local highways which have killed several people. We are trying to raise public awareness of this problem and also to lobby local government officials to increase police details to the traffic division--difficult in a city with shrinking budgets and a high violent crime rate.

From Thu Nov 7 07:52:23 1996
Date: Thu, 7 Nov 1996 10:01:29 -1000
From: Meg Wall-Wild
Subject: Driving Story
Hello Dr. Driving!

My story is bicycle related. I live in Madison, WI. So do about 100,000 bikers. I was headed to work, on a one way street, during a SNOWSTORM. I was cut off by someone who blew off a stop sign. That's right, someone was riding a BICYCLE IN THE SNOWSTORM. I beeped to let them know that I was having trouble stopping in time, sure that I was going to hit them. They flipped ME off, cut off the driver in the next lane, who came within 2 INCHES of hitting ME (always better to hit a car than a bike, right?). The other driver also beeped, and got the same treatment I did. The biker then scooted down a different street. Scariest part was HE WAS NOT WEARING A HELMET!

I have come to the conclusion that the major problem with traffic (re: Pedestrians, drivers, bikers) is that no one HAS ANY MANNERS ANYMORE. Also, I am taking on a life time project - I want bikes accountable for their actions since, especially here in Madtown, bikes are being used more and more for daily commuting (they are VEHICLES, TOO). I WANT THEM PLATED. They come zooming up from behind ON THE SIDEWALK and don't bother to say "on your left", though that is partly irrelevant as it is ILLEGAL TO RIDE A BIKE IN A BUSINESS AREA: DOWNTOWN MADISON. The way I see it is that I would rather be pissed at a stupid car driver. At least if they screw up and there is an accident, you hit car first, not stupid biker.

Thanks for letting me vent. Keep up the good work!
Meg Wall-Wild

From Thu Mar 27 15:35:39 1997
Date: Thu, 27 Mar 1997 16:26:37 -1000
From: Kwooda
Subject: You can't be serious!

If you are an experienced driver who pays close attention to what others on the road are doing and how they are driving, it becomes quite clear after a while that there are a few general categories of driver "types" out there and there are only a few general sets of behavior patterns the different types of drivers will exhibit. Learning how to recognize and identify those patterns enables one to very accurately predict what a driver is going to do...and, yes, to know what was in that driver's mind (if anything) when they do what you knew they were going to do.

There are very few truly unpredictable drivers, but they all exhibit similar unpredictable patterns and they are easy to spot and good to stay away from. The best way I know of to avoid aggravating situations on the road is by recognizing the types of drivers around me and evading any situations before they happen. Sometimes that simply is impossible, depending on your position within the mix of driver types around you (or in the event some jerk comes flying up from behind to pass on the right without using a turn signal - you know, the type who thinks he owns the damn road and everyone better get the hell out of his way or else).

I was driving to work one day and turned onto a street where there was one car ahead of me. It was a three-lane road and I changed into the far left lane, where the car up ahead of me also happened to be. The speed limit was 40 MPH and I was doing about 39 or 40, and the car ahead of me was doing 35 or less. The entire road was clear with the exception of the car ahead of me and I slowed down for a moment, giving them a chance to pull over (you know the #1 rule of the road: slower traffic keep right!), but they insisted on doing 35- MPH in the fast lane, so I decided to do what I hate most and changed over one lane to the right with the intention of passing this person on the right.

I accelerated back to 40 MPH and began to pass. As soon as I encroached upon the car, it began to accelerate. By turn-off was only a couple of blocks up ahead, so I gunned it to get ahead of the car (feeling a bit annoyed). The other car continued to accelerate, deliberately preventing me from passing. "OK," I thought, "so this person is a jerk. No sense risking my life - I'll just go back to where I was and let them have their *&$# road." So I slowed down and pulled into the left lane at a safe distance behind the other car. Almost simultaneously, the other car slowed back to 35 MPH. I closed on them a bit, but was still a safe distance behind, but apparently this asshole thought differently and decided to slam on her brakes.

Of course I was easily able to stop in time (because I know my safe limits) and then she continued to creep along at about 5 MPH. Again with the brakes. "What a shit wipe" I thought. I decided to just sit tight and let her go on up ahead. She appeared to be accelerating with what I thought was an intent to continue her 35 MPH tradition, so I sped up again, closing again, but keeping even more distance between us than before. Again with the brakes. And again. And again. Fucking jackrabbit she was! She almost got what she wanted - I almost rammed her for the hell of it!

We FINALLY got to my turn-off, and it also happened to be her turn off. She pulled into the left turn lane, and I followed. The light turned green. She pulled into the intersection. A break opened in on-coming traffic. She didn't take it. OK, fine. She doesn't feel comfortable making a left turn. No problem here. A larger break opened in on-coming traffic. She didn't take it. OK, so she has no depth perception. I can accept that. Finally, there were no more cars. The light was green. She just sat there. OK, now this is *&$# ridiculous. The light turned yellow and she proceeded to turn. My front wheels were already across the line into the intersection, so I followed. Half-way through my turn, the woman in front of me stopped. STOPPED! Leaving me out in the intersection while the light turned green for cross traffic!

OK, so the woman is a psycho hose beast with something crawling around in her ass and she wants someone to put her out of her misery. Had I been anyone else, I would have! She decided she (or I) had enough and completed her turn, allowing me to move my ass out of the way of the people who are beginning to get pissed because my vehicle is in their way. We go down a very short street to a stop sign, where we stop. No turn signal. "Which way are you going, lady? I hope you turn right so I can get on with my life." My destination was to the left. She gets out of her car and walks over to me and has the *&$# odacity to ask me, "what's your problem?" "Funny," I thought to myself, "I was just about to ask you the same thing - but I didn't feel like being an asshole and making a deal about it in the middle of the *&$# road." I just looked at her, absolutely astounded and bewildered. "What's *MY* problem?!?!" I asked in response.

She just looked at me for a few moments. God knows what she was thinking. "Stay off my ass!" she finally said and got back into her car. It was so absurd I broke out laughing. I couldn't believe this person who created this whole situation out of her own perception (which wasn't even close to real life) got so riled up (and got me pretty pissed off in the process) would lash out at someone who was initially trying to avoid her in the first place!

That is a prime example of someone who should not be allowed to drive. People who are going through emotional times in their lives SHOULD NOT DRIVE!!! What really blew me away was that she was wearing a lab coat. I couldn't only imagine she must have been under a tremendous amount of stress, and I prayed to the universe to please never let her touch anything that has anything to do with any medical treatment that is critical to anyone's life! She was apparently having a bad life day and was not concerned with how it may be affecting other lives and how it was simply making her own life worse by emphasizing it.

Anyway, I just had to vent that driving story, although it will never top the story I have about a guy turning left from a lane of on-coming traffic after driving half a block in the same lane. What really pisses me off on the road is seeing drivers who have no regard for anyone around them...much less any consideration or thought for them. It may be that very ignorance that ends their lives (possibly taking other lives with them).
Mr. Whiner

Date: Thu, 24 Apr 1997 13:04:47 -1000
From: Paul Holloway <"">
Subject: Help me with driving
I'm 15. I'm about 4ft 9inches and yes I can see over the dash board. A little. I live in Texas. I just finished the driving class and I have my permit so I'm on the road WITH MY PARENTS, but now I have to go 7 hours driving, 7 hours observation (1 hour each time).

When it's my turn to drive I drive like a freak. I can stop at stop signs, but I have to stop quicker when I get up to the stop signs and I go to fast on curves. I've gotten better on the curves. Plus I suck AS A DRIVER. I was wondering if there is any way I can get better or tricks you have or treatments. I want to pass my test before my 7th turn is up and tomorrow and Saturday are my 3rd and 4th. Please Help.


From Sat Nov 8 13:19:06 1997 Date: Sat, 8 Nov 1997 12:40:08 -1000 From: Dave Daniel To: Subject: Canadian highways Dear Sir, I have a few comments regarding your web site. Although I believe it is a good one, I seriously have to question your stat that "On Canadian highways, 1 in 5 drivers has been drinking". Either you have information which is inaccurate, or worded poorly. I live in Canada -- Ottawa, to be exact, and although we have a problem in Ottawa with aggressive drivers (speeding, tailgating, running red lights and weaving in and out of traffic are the most common offences), it doesn't make sense that 20% of Canadian motorists would be drunk, or had even been drinking. Yeah, sure, we get plastered and go driving all the time! C'mon.

I would like to know where you got that information. What we do have a problem with in Canada are drivers in the Toronto area (about 1 out of every 15 or 20 people there), who display such a reckless disregard for their fellow motorists that you'd really have to see it to believe it. Some of the drivers in Toronto regularly drive as fast as 160 km/h (100 mph) in heavy freeway traffic (I've seen people go as fast as 250 km/h -- but that was only once; they were two assholes just outside of Toronto on the 401), zip in and out of the lanes like Kamikazes, pass on the shoulder, tailgate at such a close distance you'd think they were in your backseat, run red lights (oftentimes with traffic already in the intersection), run stop signs, sometimes pass on the wrong side of the road on city streets, occasionally drive on the sidewalk, and almost always do such weird things with their cars you have to wonder if they found their licenses in Crackerjack boxes.

The only fortunate thing is that they don't have guns. Other than that, Canada doesn't really have too much of an aggressive driving problem. As for the alcohol, as I said, I would like to find out what your source was.

Dave Daniel

Subject: Motorist Pulls Gun on Bicyclist for Running Stop Sign
From: Dan Glasstetter
Date: 1997/07/28
Message-Id: <>
Newsgroups: rec.bicycles.soc

A motorist in Boise, Idaho is charged with brandishing a loaded weapon in a traffic incident last week. The incident occurred on a residential connector street when a motorist became upset with a bicyclist who ran a stop sign. Angry words were exchanged and the motorist pulled and pointed a loaded .357 revolver at the cyclist. The cyclists father intervened and defused the situation.

The motorist has a license to carry the weapon and has been released on $25,000 bail.

The local news carried this story as part of a "road rage" sequence. Additional facts/details have not been available via the press.


The cyclist looked like your "average joe" citizen. Blue jeans, tee shirt, no helmet, just riding home from the store. He didn't look like the type someone would go after as "one of those damn bikers who think they have as much right to the road as I do." (per Bubba)

I've decided the best response to motorists taunts/insults is smiling and waving like I recognize them (get their liscense and call in the incident later). Maybe the police will take it seriously now.

An you thought Boise was a quite town....Be careful out there.


From Mon Jan 20 15:53:14 1997
Date: Tue, 14 Jan 1997 10:59:56 -0800
From: sway
Subject: CENTER lane (and other mistaken) morons!

Forget the left lane morons, my concern is with center lane morons. This is because while most people can see why they shouldn't park in the left lane, people feel justified or even superior in parking in the middle lane since, after all, all three lanes of approaching traffic can squeeeeeeze into the one left lane and eventually get by.

In general, people who do things which I perceive they know as bad, such as rolling through stop signs and making "pink" traffic signals, do not concern/worry me as much as people doing things which they actually think of as superior actions. I figure that at least the former may decide to repent but the later will keep on doing these bad things and even teach their kids that this is how they should drive.

This has happened to me about a dozen times, how about you? I'm driving along on an uncrowded road, one car in front of me and none behind. The car in front all of a sudden hits the brakes and stops for a car that has come up from a side street (with a stop sign). After a mini standoff, the side car pulls out (hey, I've been the side car as well and I'm quite leary about pulling out in front of someone who in effect is stopping for a green light) and actually was delayed more than if the car in front had just gone and I had just gone and then the side car pulled out. But hey, what a good samaritan the front car driver thinks he is, he stops to let people out.

And before I step off the soap box and don the asbestos suit (poor drivers who think they're good are highly critical), not a day goes by when I don't see someone change lanes and then signal, or come to a stop in the middle of the road and then signal, apparently thinking to themselves, "hey, I'm a good driver--I use my turn signals". These are the people I don't like (not like they would ever get a ticket). Typically, I'm turning off my signal at the point when others turn theirs on (e.g. after a lane change rather than before--apparently to confirm to everyone that they did indeed change lanes like you saw them do).

Sandy Way

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