It had the potential of being a serious accident. The car remained at a standstill in its lane, despite the green light indicating it was free to continue ahead with the flow of traffic. When the two adjoining left turn lanes cleared of vehicles, the car finally pulled forward, only to make a u-turn that covered all three lanes, and then sped off, back from wherever it had come.
I have always thought that when it comes to being in the wrong lane for a turn, the right thing to do is to complete the turn, even if it means going the wrong way. It’s usually easy enough to turn around and reverse directions, and typically adds only a few minutes to the journey.
So when did things change? I don’t know about you, but I see this type of thing a lot.
There is an intersection near my home where people often end up in a turn lane because they don’t pay attention to the signs. Drivers will sit through an entire traffic light, waiting for the signal to turn green for the lane next to them so they can merge with those cars and be on their way. Meanwhile, they have held up a lane of traffic for an entire light cycle at a very busy intersection, effectively stopping a multitude of cars from moving forward for several lights back.
Driving a car is a privilege, and nowhere does the manual say that your convenience supersedes anyone else’s ability to proceed. Why does your error – lack of knowledge – failure to pay attention – have to become the problem of the drivers around you?
We are in our own little bubble in our vehicles – listening to music, talking with passengers, thinking our various thoughts. However, our little bubbles are all sharing the same roads, and we need to do our part to help make traffic flow smoothly and avoid putting others at risk.
Just as you would not conduct yourself in such a thoughtless manner when interacting with someone face to face, don’t do so from the supposed anonymity of your vehicle. It’s not worth the risk. Besides, you never know who might be in the car behind you. Be courteous to everyone — it counts.