Bad Driving Habits That Can Get You Killed (Waving Others)

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Waving Another Driver On Is Courteous!

Waving someone to go is dangerous.  Many people think it’s an act of courtesy to wave somebody on, for instance, the driver going straight may wave the left-turner to go first; a driver may wave pedestrians to cross after stopping for a stop sign.  These are just two examples of an activity that can get you and other people killed .

Let’s analyze the first example.  The left-turner, by law, is supposed to yield t the driver going straight, but the driver going straight is not in a hurry and  as a courteous gesture tells the left-turner to go first.  Anytime you break the law there is a possibility of a crash.   The driver who stops for a left-turner may very well be rear-ended by the car behind who never expected him/her to stop in that situation.  Drivers who know the law expect other drivers to obey the law so they can predict what other drivers will do.

 There was a court case some years ago, where a trucker who was going straight (in the left lane) waved a left-turner to go first.  The left-turner listened and went first and was then hit by a car going straight in the right lane. The trucker was held liable for the crash and charged with impersonating a police officer.  It’s not your job to direct traffic.  You should never tell other people what to do since you can’t control the entire situation. Maybe the left-turner couldn’t see the car coming in the right lane since the truck may have blocked his vision.  And, more than likely, the trucker didn’t check traffic in the right lane before he told the left-turner to go.

 “Courtesy” never supersedes right-of-way laws.  If you’re given the right-of-way, take it.  Doing otherwise can create hazardous situations for others.

 The second example has a similar explanation.  Maybe the pedestrians aren’t crossing because they see something that you don’t see.  You’ve stopped for the sign and you wave the pedestrians to go.  But they see an 18-wheeler coming on your left side, which has no intention of stopping for the stop sign and that’s why they’re not crossing.  Just imagine what would happen if they did listen to you.  You would have caused their death.

 Understand something: the law says you must yield the right-of-way – it does not say you must force anyone to take it.  If you yield and they go, fine.  But if you yield and they don’t go, so be it.  You did your part, you yielded and that’s all that’s expected of you.

 One more thing.  Your license is an individual license, not a team license.  You need to make your own decisions without being “coached” by other drivers. Likewise, you shouldn’t coach other drivers (or pedestrians); let them make their own decisions.


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