BC Bad Driver of the Week - Left Turn Into Wrong Lane

I almost hesitate labelling this one Bad Driver of the Week because I know how easy this is to do if you are not paying attention. I did this once at a T intersection where there was a particularly wide median that made either direction look like two different roads to me. However, the driver of the gray car at the middle left approaches the intersection on a green light intending to turn left. The driver pauses while waiting for oncoming traffic to clear and then turns left into the oncoming lane for cross traffic. Fortunately, there is a break in the median where the railroad tracks cross and the driver is able to use it to get back into the proper lane.

 

Here is a Google street view of the intersection, which is Highway 1 and Ludlow Road in Ladysmith, BC:

 

 

There doesn't appear to be a clear reason for doing this. The island is marked and the view is clear. Perhaps the driver was concentrating more on finding a place to make the left turn than they were on where they were turning to? Had the driver pulled into the intersection, stopping before the center and then waited to turn, starting the turn further into the intersection would have encouraged the movement into the correct lane. Waiting in the intersection instead of where this driver did is the accepted practice for making a left turn in these circumstances.

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Comments

Say what?

because I know how easy this is to do if you are not paying attention.

 How is this an excuse for bad driving?  If you aren't  "paying attention"  then you are guilty of distracted driving.

It's psychological, or like that.

"Paying attention" can mean several things, using different parts of the brain, to my mind.

Go stand at a busy intersection (preferably multi-lane with a traffic light - but no green arrow) for a while, and watch drivers making left turns.  Virtually all of them will look at, and properly respond to, the obvious danger of oncoming traffic.  Most will have also scanned for pedestrians in their exit path.

But how many actually have the fundamental position of the vehicle correct, for setting up and then completing the turn?  Certainly not a majority.  For many, the part of the road/lane they end up in is more of a discovery, or last moment fix, than an intention accomplished.

Very often, this can be traced back to the days when they first learned to drive, and the person who was teaching them was directing them poorly - too much focused on hazards, too little on the fundamentals of getting a car around a corner.

If this doesn't get taught - and learned - properly early on, then there's no basis to build on when it comes to dealing with the task load of negotiating the turn accurately and without conflict.

Nope

Going to have to disagree with you here.  If you are in the care and control of a vehicle, it is your duty and obligation to operate that vehicle safely.  If you cannot do this, then you are a bad driver, even if only for that moment.   It doesn't matter what part of your brain or how many parts are involved, if they cannot function as one, then maybe you should try something a little less potentially lethal than driving.

As to whether or not this was learned early in their driving experience, that should have been caught then at the time of examination.  I'm pretty sure that turning into your own lane was, is and always shall be a fundamental of driving.

While watching the video, it is hard for me to tell what most of the right hand side of the viewer is showing due to the menu bar on that side, as well as the pop-up ad that you can't close down because the menu bar blocks the "x".  However, I am sure that at this intersection, like many others that comply to standards set out by various government agencies, there is more than sufficient signage available for interpretation, an example might be the yellow/black diagonal standard directing traffic around an island or obstacle in the roadway.  I would almost be willing to bet that, at that island, there is not an indication to pass to either side of it.  I could be wrong and if I am, please accept my apologies, for as I said earlier, it is hard to see the video.

Not making excuses for him/her - just my analysis of the error.

It doesn't matter what part of your brain or how many parts are involved, if they cannot function as one, then maybe you should try something a little less potentially lethal than driving.

 

This presumes that each individual is fully cognizant of their own thought processes, and how well they are functioning.  Most can't do that.  90% of drivers believe they are 'better than average', which pretty much explains it.

As to whether or not this was learned early in their driving experience, that should have been caught then at the time of examination.  I'm pretty sure that turning into your own lane was, is and always shall be a fundamental of driving.

 

Get serious.  You think that driver passed his test while making stupid mistakes such as turning into the wrong lane - or even the wrong half of the road?  Honestly?  'Should have been caught' my back foot; you're presuming (and that can be so dangerous) that the Driver Examiner will be able in a thirty minute Road Test to determine how the driver will act for the remainder of his life!  Hah!  Not a chance.

From what we see in the video, it seems likely that the driver was so preoccupied with avoiding any conflict with the oncoming/right-turning semi that they failed completely in terms of identifying their own proper path of travel out of the intersection (despite the more than adequate signage and lane markings).

Interesting

As I have said, there are parts of the video not visible on my screen.  So, if there was a right turning/on-coming semi, and I am not saying that there isn't, it is not visible when I watch the vid.  Yes, very dangerous to presume, but sometimes we have to in order to save our own bacon.  We shouldn't presume that drivers as a whole are cognizant, nor should we presume why they behave the way they do, say, when they are so pre-occupied with another drivers presence that they act/react improperly.  We've all sat at or approached intersections, and for whatever reason, have had our attention drawn to another vehicle that we just "know" is going to do something very stupid and very dangerous.  We've all been travelling on roads, and seen vehicles about to exit parking lots or side streets, and just "know" that by their speed, and/or demeanor, that they will not stop before they are in our lane.  Maybe I was fortunate that my instructor taught me that presumption was a key factor to driving defensively.  Without presumption, there would be no anticipation, and with no anticipation there would be no preparation for response to the situation, and without the preparation how would we know whether we had an escape route or had to maintain course.  By the sounds of it, you have more experience/training in driver behaviour than most of us, and are probably more qualified than the average joe (or jane) to ascertain driver attitude and reasoning. I concede the point, you win, I am wrong, the driver did nothing wrong, next time they will do better, and I hope you get your foot properly re-located.

Sorry about the attitude, previously.

 

 By the sounds of it, you have more experience/training in driver behaviour than most of us, and are probably more qualified than the average joe (or jane) to ascertain driver attitude and reasoning. I concede the point, you win.

 

I do have more experience than most in this area, but I didn't mean to turn this into a win/lose thing between the two of us and must apologize for being a bit snarky before.

I've been in the Driver Training industry since 1987, with a two-year segue in the late 90s to work for ICBC as a Driver Examiner.  So yes, relatively speaking I'm probably more qualified than the majority when it comes to this, by virtue of training and experience.

I like this here website, and try to contribute where I can, because it's fundamentally a useful, educational source of information about driving, traffic laws, etc.

I'm 60 years old; and I must confess that, as much as I value the information we have available to us in this internet age, I detest seeing how many people - particularly younger generations, who very often know bugger all about anything beyond their keyboard - can tend to use the internet to vociferously attack anything and everything, when they're not amusing theselves with 'Fail' videos. Judgment and condemnation, deliberate anonymous shaming, I consider it immoral and distasteful, lacking in character. Humph! And like that!

Going back to the video, I think when you compare it to others here (like the previous Bad Driver of the Week), it ain't in the same category.  In the other vid, we see a driver deliberately not bothering to signal (no doubt a frequent habit) passing illegally off the paved surface, and cruising through a Stop Sign (I'll bet that one of these is also a frequent habit).

But the left turning dolt just made one fundamental, unintentional error that is surely not a daily occurrence in his life or he wouldn't be driving any more.

And I see an essential difference between the driver who is distracted by the cell phone in their hand while behind the wheel (a matter of choice) and the one who is distracted by potentially conflicting traffic, such as when making a left turn.

So I can't help analyzing, as far as possible, what caused a driver to behave a certain way.  What made them miss the other essential(s).  Whether you're an Instructor, or Examiner, you always know what the driver has seen - and what they should have seen; it's of great interest when they're about to turn left against traffic ... 

Off topic: if you're using a PC, often times a different browser can help your screen sizing and fitting (I believe our site host is working on it).  Firefox and Chrome both seem to work for me.

Apology Unnecessary

No offence was taken at any point in our exchange.  Like you, I am of advanced years, and my skin is a little thicker than most peoples.

 

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