Austin Driving

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Austin Driving

Postby gene » February 22nd, 2012, 12:27 am

Hey Drivers who learned to drive out side of Texas and otherwise good drivers, I have some questions:

I hear a lot that Austin and Texas drivers in general are bad.

What annoys you about Austin drivers?

And....

What is the correct way to do the thing that they are doing wrong?

For example, I've noticed that they/we are really bad at merging into one lane. The correct way is to alternate.
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Postby Spots » February 22nd, 2012, 12:29 am

Severe weather conditions? Why, speed up!
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Postby trabka » February 22nd, 2012, 6:55 am

All turns are secret turns.
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Postby mcnichol » February 22nd, 2012, 9:51 am

Gene,

Maybe the laws are different here, but where I grew up the left-most lane on a highway was for passing, or at least driving the fastest. I routinely see drivers in Austin just riding in that left lane going the speed limit or slower with cars behind them trying to get by or with cars in lanes to their right passing them. Again, I'm not sure if that's just not a law around here, but I remember learning that left-lane-is-for-passing in driving school.

So the correct way would be for a driver in the left lane to move out of the way when someone came up behind them, or to not drive in the left lane at all if they can go their desired speed in one of the middle or right lanes.

The other big thing -- and this seems to happen more here -- is the lack of using an indicator/turn signal. I have no idea what you are intending on doing if you don't use this. It's so easy to use...
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Postby davealley2 » February 22nd, 2012, 11:05 am

Letting someone cross multiple, congested lanes of traffic in front of you when they're exiting a parking lot is STUPID.

If you let someone do that and they get t-boned by a fast-moving car in the lane next to you, it's your fault as much as theirs.
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Postby Katie T. » February 22nd, 2012, 11:10 am

These are national rules for driving. I learned to drive in Texas and we were taught how to drive in an orderly and standard manner. I have wondered about this left lane behavior too. I wondered if people are still being taught how to drive, or where they learned to drive. I think people are just nutty.
I hate it when I'm going left on a green light in a 4-way intersection and the person opposite me, with a green light, is turning right and they wave me on to turn left before them. I hate that. It's confusing. They have the right of way. They should take it. This happens at the intersection of my street ALL the time. Trying to be polite is just confusing. Order! --Because what happens to me at the following intersection when I'm turning right? I get cut off by the person going left across my lanes. As a result of everyone going right ceding to the person turning left across traffic, everyone thinks this is the way to do it.
Sara Farr once explained people cruising in the left lane as folks who aren't getting off the highway anytime soon and are just peacing out.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2012, 11:14 am

after four years in L.A., i regard any bad driving i see in Austin as an adorable quirk. :P
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Postby Nancy » February 22nd, 2012, 11:25 am

Red lights (and Stop signs) seem more optional to people here. I noticed this a lot when I was a daily pedestrian and almost got run over daily.
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Postby ejbrammer » February 22nd, 2012, 11:47 am

I, too, am often irritated when the left lane is used for non-passing and slow driving.

Bob - to answer your question, although I don't agree, I've heard people say things re: turn signals, like 'If I use my turn signal to merge into a lane, the person I'm trying to get over in front of will speed up and not let me in in front of them. Therefore, I don't signal, I just go over, so they don't have the chance to do that."

I also notice a lot in Austin that people will be 2-3 lanes into the highway, see their exit, then veer wildly across all of the lanes and exit. I realize that sometimes a person might not notice their exit if they're new to an area, etc. But I see it way too often to believe that's always the case.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2012, 11:51 am

ejbrammer wrote:I also notice a lot in Austin that people will be 2-3 lanes into the highway, see their exit, then veer wildly across all of the lanes and exit. I realize that sometimes a person might not notice their exit if they're new to an area, etc. But I see it way too often to believe that's always the case.


yeah, this one irritates me...and its twin, people who are in an exit lane and suddenly at the last second decide they want to stay on the highway and veer back into traffic. i think these bug me most because in most instances it's a small matter to just take the next exit and loop around, or get back on the highway at the next onramp. both take a little more time, but a slight inconvenience is a small price versus someone's life.
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Postby Munga » February 22nd, 2012, 12:34 pm

People seem to have a lot of problems following the driving rules here in Austin. I think it might be a good idea to have a mandatory driving test every 5 years. It would be a good review for people, would weed out terrible drivers (they could keep testing until their driving improved), elderly drivers who should no longer be driving would be identified, and the money earned from the testing fees could go to repairing roads.

And what's with hardly anyone signaling when they change lanes?
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Postby Chuy! » February 22nd, 2012, 2:07 pm

Did you know that 16 year olds don't have to take driver's ed? For about 10 years all you need is an adult licensed driver to say that they taught you the curriculum. Then you just go take the test. My stepmother "taught" my little brother this way... He is one of the worst drivers that I know...
Chicken Fried Steak and all that...
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Postby kaci_beeler » February 22nd, 2012, 2:44 pm

I am really bothered by the speed limit on the South First bridge across Lady Bird Lake.
30 mph.

No one goes 30 on that bridge, but I know both Roy and Kareem have gotten tickets in the past for going over 30mph.

I try to stick pretty close to the speed limit wherever I drive (ever since I got a ridiculous speeding ticket), but everyone SWERVES ANGRILY around me whenever I go 30 on that fucking bridge.

I've started going 35mph on it, but people still push up behind me, because they'd rather go 40.

First world problems, I know.
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Postby Rev. Jordan T. Maxwell » February 22nd, 2012, 2:48 pm

kaci_beeler wrote:I am really bothered by the speed limit on the South First bridge across Lady Bird Lake.
30 mph.

No one goes 30 on that bridge, but I know both Roy and Kareem have gotten tickets in the past for going over 30mph.

I try to stick pretty close to the speed limit wherever I drive (ever since I got a ridiculous speeding ticket), but everyone SWERVES ANGRILY around me whenever I go 30 on that fucking bridge.

I've started going 35mph on it, but people still push up behind me, because they'd rather go 40.

First world problems, I know.


same problem exiting Enfield off of Mopac. you've JUST come off the freeway, and the speed limit immediately drops down to 25? i'm always scared of getting rear ended because i have to slam on my brakes. i get it's a residential area, but that's a huge drop in speed. maybe have a graded drop up to the stop light? i don't know...i'm sure the city's happy to get the money from tickets, so there's not much incentive to change either one.
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Hrm...

Postby Ryan Hill » February 22nd, 2012, 4:22 pm

kaci_beeler wrote:I am really bothered by the speed limit on the South First bridge across Lady Bird Lake.
30 mph.

No one goes 30 on that bridge, but I know both Roy and Kareem have gotten tickets in the past for going over 30mph.

I try to stick pretty close to the speed limit wherever I drive (ever since I got a ridiculous speeding ticket), but everyone SWERVES ANGRILY around me whenever I go 30 on that fucking bridge.

I've started going 35mph on it, but people still push up behind me, because they'd rather go 40.

First world problems, I know.


I got a ticket there too...
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