Jan

13

Stop Sign Protocol

By admin

 

When you arrive at a stop sign at the same time as another vehicle, you know how to handle it, right? Or are you one of those knuckleheads that are inspiring this post? It’s supposed to be real simple. At least that’s how they make it sound on the DMV written test. Whoever gets there first goes first and if you get there at the same time the person on the right goes first. That should solve everything, right?

Not quite. The DMV left out a lot of interesting situations that happen in real life. No doubt some of them appear during the DMV driving portion of the test, exposing the written test inadequacies. Lets look at a few of them.

Situation 1: Both Drivers Wanting to Do the Same Thing

There was a movie (it might have been L.A. Story with Steve Martin, then again maybe not) where four cars all got to a stop-sign intersection at the same time. They all waited for somebody else to go then finally they all decided to go at the same time, which caused them all to stop again and wait, and then finally all decide to be the one to go again. This process repeated until they all collided in the middle. It was hilarious and it makes you wonder why you have never seen this in real life. We have all certainly experienced the beginning of this with at least one other driver occasionally.

Why didn’t we get into an accident? Because at some point one driver insisted on stopping until the other went. However it’s possible for both drivers to get this resolve and frantically keep waving at the other until they both concede at the same time. I’m sure this scenario has resulted in at least some accidents, but the odds are way against it. Too many possible other variables which involve one person conceding first.

Situation 2: Three or More Cars Arrive at the Same Time

When three or more cars get to the intersection all at once, the rules of the road change slightly. Whichever car goes gives the green light to any car going the exact opposite way from the other side, regardless of when they arrived. This is because you are not impending anyone and everyone expects you to go. If you sit there like a dolt insisting on waiting your turn, you screw things up.

Situation 3: Pedestrians

Pedestrians really throw a kink in the works. It’s normal for at least one driver not to see them at first, and therefore not understand why another car is not acting in turn. This is another time when you can go out of turn – when the car whose real turn it is happens to be is stuck waiting for pedestrians. If the pedestrians do not affect your route, you can and should go. Not doing so makes you an idiot who messes things up.

It can be difficult being a pedestrian in these situations as well. I have this issue when jogging sometimes. I generally try and start getting across when nobody is at the stop signs. The problem I have with some idiots is that if they get the notion that I want across, they will stop and insist on waiting for me (when I just want them to go and get out of the way). This is really awkward when other drivers come up who do not want to wait for me and it puts me in a bad position. So my plan is usually to fake out all drivers and show no signs of my actual intentions – as it just works better for me.

As a matter of fact this is often something you have to do while driving as well, but that is a topic for another day. Suffice it for now to say that you often have to disguise your intended actions in traffic situations. This is because if the idiots get wind of it they will do things to make it difficult for you, whether they intend to or not. Driving is the ultimate game of avoiding and outsmarting idiots.

Papa Riah

Nov

7

Tips on Pedestrian Merging

By admin

Walking around in public places should be a fairly simple process, don’t you think? It would seem like people walking to and fro could all blend into a harmonious flow like some kind of synchronized swimming exhibition. At least that’s my fantasy. Unfortunately, it is far from reality. The problem seems to come from select individuals who apparently have the idea that they are royalty and everyone else should be getting out of their way.

I wish these select individuals were few, but the truth is they are everywhere out there. Just as too many cooks spoil the pot, too many self-appointed kings create major jams on the sidewalks of busy city streets. As bad as they are, they are only part of the problem. Throw in the huge segment of society that are evidently living their lives in an oblivious fog and you really have some serious negotiating to do anytime there are people between you and your destination.

It blows my mind. Either I am in somebody’s way or they are in my way. I don’t know what the self-appointed kings do when they encounter an oblivious human obstacle, as they always seem ready to execute me – and I am courteously trying to yield to them! Most of the time, that is. Once in a while you run across someone who is so arrogant you just have to get in their way on purpose to try and bring them down to earth a little.

Mama Riah and I were on a cruise recently and took some excursions which involved bus tours. Now everyone in America knows how to properly exit a plane, right? You know the people in the row in front of you also need to exit so you wait your turn and exit after them. Apparently this common etiquette doesn’t extend to tour busses. The people in the rows behind us jammed the isles and forced us to sit there until they had all passed, as if the protocol is last row exits first or something. It was like driving in Boston.

With that in mind, here are some pedestrian merging tips:

• Walking in a crowd is like driving – you don’t just stop on a whim as people behind you will run into you.

• Remember that you are not the center of the universe.

• Traffic flows on the right in America. This goes for walking as well as driving.

• The sidewalk was not invented just for you, we all are supposed to get to use it.

• People in front of you might turn right or left at any moment.

• When everyone needs to go to the same place, going in the current order that you are arranged makes the most sense.

• You really are not more important than everybody else.

• To receive courtesy you might want to try extending it once in a while.

Papa Riah