Tuesdays: Unspoken Etiquette

Here we are again….sharing some information with our fellow drivers that I used to think was an obvious, however some people just dont get it. Have you ever come up to make a left hand turn and you are coming up to the turn in the median and the other idiot is in “your lane”?! Or you ever gotten in the correct area and the other oncoming driver is perturbed and gives you a menacing look or even yells obsenities? I have experienced that. So to fill in the uninformed drivers I am here to explain how and WHY a left had turn is the way it is.

Here in Houston we do have some of the WRONG setups for making a left hand turn, typically across oncoming traffic. A turn like this one typically puts you to where you can’t see the oncoming traffic and neither can the other driver in front of you trying to make their own left hand turn.

Why the turns are setup this way I have no clue. Maybe the city of Houston wants you to get into an accident, how else do tow truck drivers, insurance companies, lawyers, the court system or anyone else that would be involved in a collision case make any money?

Now we come to a regular u-turn or left hand turn median setup. Ok now in the USA, we drive on the right hand side of the road. So you would think that in logic, when turning you would go past and make your left handed turn from the right side of the turn intersection. Instead, alot of people want to turn as soon as possible and end up on the narrow side of the turn, with the oncoming car forced to do the same, now you have two foolish drivers craning their necks around in an attempt to look through the car in front of them to see if any traffic is coming. WRONG.

When making a turn like this, you go past and turn on the right side, each driver has a clear view of the oncoming traffic and can safely make their turn. If only everyone would somehow be informed of this, you wouldnt have me yelling obsenities at the idiots who dont follow this practice when making a left turn.

Its all about being safe. So please share the roads responsibly, be courteous and drive like you have some friggin common sense!!


    • Brian
    • March 25th, 2010

    Excellent! I am so glad someone else out there in Houston has common sense. I have been put in your position so many times. The first setup makes it difficult for you to see the oncoming traffic especially if the jackass is driving a big truck. And being how we are in Texas, that is a very likely possibility. So we just end up sitting there looking at each other, because neither one of us can see if it is safe to go. That is why the second setup is correct. Anyways they teach you the second setup in Driver’s education. Guess no one paid attention.

  1. This is very interesting to me. Anywhere I can recall driving, the setup has been your first example, and as such, I think I would be doing it ‘wrong’ if I would up at the second example. I’ve never even heard of doing it that way.

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