This sad WRX isn’t mine, but I came close to making mine look like it. I was in the right lane of a four lane highway, stuck behind an older fellow who was pacing a minivan in the left lane. There were a few vehicles behind us, including a box truck directly behind me.
Going the other direction was a school bus which had stopped to pick up some kids. In Louisiana, if the highway is divided by either a center median or a center turn lane, traffic is not required to stop for a school bus. It makes sense - other laws make it illegal to require school children to cross a four lane highway to catch a school bus.
By the speed we were traveling, I assumed the people in front of me knew this. I was wrong.
The fellow in front of me had a last-second change of heart and slammed on the brakes just before he got to the bus. I hit the brakes and moved into the left lane to give the box truck some more room to stop. Then the minivan driver changed her mind about the situation and slammed on her brakes too.
I was already on the stoppers, so I pressed a bit more and came to a stop. No problem.
The the box truck came into view on my left. He had followed me from the right lane to the left lane, then took one more step and moved to the center turn lane to avoid squishing me when the minivan stopped. I nearly became the meat in a box truck minivan sandwich.
This just highlights why Louisiana insurance rates are so high. The drivers work so hard to be courteous to the people in front of them that they cause problems for the people behind them. Let me provide some other examples.
When approaching a blinking yellow, be prepared to stop. Many drivers here will stop to let the poor folks stuck at the blinking red into traffic. The drivers at the blinking red assume that the folks at the blinking yellow are going to stop, so they have no qualms about pulling in if they see the slightest gap.
Another form of this happens where side streets intersect two-lane highways. If someone on the highway is planning to turn right, it isn’t unusual for them to come to a complete stop for one of two reasons: either someone is at the cross street and needs to turn right onto the highway; or someone on the highway coming from the other direction needs to turn left onto the cross street.
The situation gets even worse when the cross-street driver needs to turn left. The right-turning highway driver will block highway traffic until someone coming from the other direction does the same thing and the cross-street driver can pull out. Yes, you read that right - these boneheads will block all of the highway traffic so someone can turn left.
Is it any wonder why we have so many wrecks at these intersections? If the people here would just follow the laws, we would have better traffic flow and fewer wrecks.
I’ve lived in four states and driven through most of the test. This is the only place I’ve seen this behavior.
So, Oppo, what's it like where you live?