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  1. #1
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Stupid things some mororists do - a pedestrian perspective

    In my travels as a professional pedestrian, I've come across some really stupid things. Now the average motorist probably hasn't had anything happen to them more than a speeding ticket (I think my mom has had one in her life, and she's 56 years old). But I'm doing some basic math while walking down roads, and sometimes there's a staggeringly high percentage of people who do things that they really shouldn't.

    1. Using a turn signal

    This is split up into two categories. First, there's the people that just flat out refuse to use a turn signal. I can't see how people can't be bothered using a device that is designed to prevent you from dying, all with the flick of a wrist. Think it's harmless? How about the fact that failure to use a turn signal causes more than twice the amount of accidents than distracted driving causes. Remember that. Everybody gets all gung-ho about stopping people from texting, when what they should be doing is teaching people how to correctly operate a vehicle.

    Correctly. Because some people use their signal, they just use it wrong. I've seen way too many people activate their signal AS THEY BEGIN TURNING. Here's the thing. You know what that signal does? It tells everyone on the road and on the streets that you are going to perform a turn. Most of the time turning on a different road. If you activate that signal too late, you are not giving other people time enough to react to the fact that "oh, that car's turning". It's a wonder I'm still alive, knowing that every time I step outside, I'm risking my life by trusting these people.

    2. The "Poke poke"

    In the U.S., it's "right on red", since we drive on the right side of the road, so for others this may be confusing. But when a car stops at a red light, and is waiting for traffic to clear to turn right, they perform what I call the poke effect. This is where they start and stop five to ten times, as they inch forward. Why? Really. Because I'm standing there, waiting to go ahead in front of you, and I'm watching the roads. I see a clearing, and I can guess you're going to go. But are you? You inch forward, over and over, because your car is playing its own game of "Red Light, Green Light". Now I'm no mechanical genius, but I'm pretty sure that is bad for your car. It's like a wide receiver in football. Sure, his job is to get hit a lot during his career, but if he can find out a way to lessen the amount of hits he takes, he can add longevity to that career. Your car is like that, except when you're putting that wear on your brakes, rotors, and other car-related words, it's like that receiver running head first into the walls of the stands after every play. For my sake, and your car's, stop doing it.

    3. Honking at me - or any other annoying thing directed at me

    I'm not saying you shouldn't use your horn if I fucked up somehow. I'm saying, there are those people that honk their horn, or yell, or do some stupid shit intended to piss me off. It's trolling, in the form of vehicles vs. pedestrians. I don't think I need to explain why this is juvenile, stupid, and I'm begging for one of those 950,000 "distraction" accidents to be you right then and now.

    "But Pendulous, what if it's someone you know?". You have a point, magical voice. I don't know a damn thing about cars. And I would not recognize your car with a quick look, or maybe even a longer one. Sorry bro, but your truck looks like every other red truck to me. But here's the thing. No matter who it is, a horn honk equals an ass. Because you're either A. some random asshole that's honking at me to be an asshole, or B. you know me, and you're honking to get my attention. In that case though, you're honking to get my attention, and you don't even bother to stop and offer me a lift. If you know me, you should know that I probably didn't notice it was even you. So honking just says "haha, hey, I'm right here, but have fun walking down the road!" So you're an asshole either way.

    4. Being too nice

    Don't get me wrong, I love the fact some motorists want to lend a helping hand to pedestrians. But there are some things that they don't realize, or know, that they really should:

    A. I can't see that hand. Don't wave it, thinking I see it. You're stopping in a busy street to let me go. That's nice, but you're the one in the car, and I've already stopped for you, at the median where I'm safe from sober drivers. I'm walking, so I'm not in a hurry, or I've planned ahead how long it's going to take to get where I'm going. You're in a killing machine. Slowing down and stopping doesn't help either. I don't know that you're doing it to let me go. You may just be poking poking even though you're not at a stoplight. At night you can flash your lights, I can see that clearly, that's fine. But don't be nice for the sake of being nice. Sometimes, it's more a hassle than anything.

    B. There are other cars on the road. If I'm darting past an eight-lane highway, like I need to do to get to McDonald's where I can put back all the calories I just burned dodging people who don't use turn signals, then you're at a light with three other lanes (Don't ask me why there's not a Walk signal there, or why there IS one on a one lane four-way stop. Sometimes this city is weird.). If you slow down and stop to let me go, you have to realize there are three other lanes of people who aren't aware that that's what you're doing, and are moving in the same kinds of killing machines that you are. Again, be nice, but be aware of what you're doing.

    5. Those white lines are there for a reason

    Even before I moved to a city with walk/don't walk signals, I was aware of the laws of pedestrianism. Pretty much every stoplight has a white line indicating where the first car in line should stop. Why? Well, I don't really know if that line is directly related to anything with the other motorists. But, there is one thing it does. It indicates where I need to walk across. In a big city with said signals for walking, there are actual lanes that make it obvious. Why would you drive up and into that area, and sit there waiting on a red light? You can't expect me to be forced into traffic while trying to cross. Granted, it's not usually that extreme, but that IS why it's there, is it not?

    6. Sometimes, I just can't get any further off the road

    I'm not walking that close to the road to piss you off. Sometimes, in smaller towns where there are no sidewalks, two feet off the road is a large ditch. I kind of have to walk on that foot-wide stretch of concrete between the white line and possible death. Not that there isn't death on the other side of that line too. But you don't have to hug that white line. You may think that your Geo is too wide to make room for me, but guess what? That giant SUV made room, and I didn't wonder if my right arm would be cut off when it came by. You don't have to change lanes. It's kind of nice when people do, and it seems pretty apparent they're doing it for my benefit. That's one of those "be nice" moments where it seems like they can't do it wrong. But there is usually (and not always, I understand not every road is the same size, but again, if that SUV fit...) enough room to make me not fear for my life.

    So, there you go. Use your turn signal, don't risk your life to assist me, and don't let James Harrison ruin your car.
    Last edited by Pendulous; 2013-01-16 at 01:19 AM.

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  2. #2
    While that's not an exhaustive list, but it's not bad! As someone that drives, walks, and bikes pretty regularly, doing each has made me think about how to be better at each.

    Another one I'll add is people that don't actually stop for stop signs, but do primarily rolling stops. Here's the thing - I'm a runner, so when I'm coming up on an intersection, I might be out of your obvious view as you're doing your rolling stop thing, but I'll actually be at the edge of the sidewalk by the time you arrive there. Stop, look both ways, then proceed. This should be obvious, but apparently it's too much of an inconvenience.

    Along the same lines, when I run with my girlfriend, she's typically lagging a bit behind me. She's been nearly struck a couple times at stop signs by people that watch me go by and are such a damned hurry to get going that they just start going after I'm passed without looking back the other way.

  3. #3
    Fluffy Kitten Badpaladin's Avatar
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    I very rarely drive and can relate to pretty much all of this. I've had the pleasure of interacting with a guy who yelled at me for being "in the middle of the road" in a designated walkway, with a yield sign facing his direction.
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  4. #4
    Of that list, the thing I hate most are drivers who stop for pedestrians j-walking the road. Fucking a, you're crossing the road COUNTING on them to be moving quickly. When they stop randomly in the middle of the traffic flow to let you pass, it generates all sorts of headaches for you, and the other drivers behind the "super polite" driver.

    And lets not forget the drivers who stop in the middle of the road to let you pass as you're j-walking in front of them, and then they honk and make faces at you like you're at fault that they stopped.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendulous View Post
    1. Using a turn signal
    This isn't a pedestrian pet peeve, it's an everyone pet peeve. We all hate it. I don't know why people can't bother, or they do it WHILE they're turning.

    2. The "Poke poke"
    It's not going to damage the car. The reason people edge out is that the further they go out, the more they can see. See, in a car, visibility is much more limited than when on foot. Drivers are allowed to turn right on red, but they still need to use caution. Not only do they have to look out for the traffic to clear, they have to make sure no pedestrians are trying to cross (because if the light is red, so is the crosswalk that is going perpendicular with them). When it turns green, suddenly the right turners have to look out for the OTHER line of pedestrians. Either way, they have a lot to look out for.

    3. Honking at me - or any other annoying thing directed at me
    Really? If they know you, you expect people to offer you a lift? Some people walk because they want to. I would offer a friend a lift if it looked like they wanted it, but usually I can tell the difference between someone who is walking and doesn't want to walk and someone who chooses to walk.

    4. Being too nice
    The reason motorists let you cross is because if they hit you, it's almost always their fault (legally). We don't know if the next idiot is going to just start walking across the road without looking and just expect all the cars to stop (yes, pedestrians do this more often than you'd believe). We see someone waiting to cross the street and for fear of not killing someone and not getting sued, the sensible drivers stop. I can't read their mind, so it's best for me to just let them cross.

    5. Those white lines are there for a reason
    Yeah, agree here. Seems a lot of drivers don't know what the point of white lines are.

    6. Sometimes, I just can't get any further off the road
    Sorry, I'm not sure I'm understanding what you're trying to say with this one? Not to change lanes? Drivers should be changing lanes (provided the other lane is open and clear) whenever somebody is on the side of the road. This includes pedestrians, broken down cars, and police cars pulling someone over. It's just what we should do.

  6. #6
    Herald of the Titans RicardoZ's Avatar
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    My personal favorite are these people who see you crossing the street and speed up on purpose almost wanting to hit you just so they can say "It wasn't MY fault!"

  7. #7
    For #2, you have the right of way. The guys is probably not sure if you know of it or not, so he doesn't want to run you over if you start walking (which you legally can).

    I feel you for others, though don't walk often anymore, but seen all of it constantly when I used to walk to highschool.

  8. #8
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seegtease View Post
    It's not going to damage the car. The reason people edge out is that the further they go out, the more they can see. See, in a car, visibility is much more limited than when on foot. Drivers are allowed to turn right on red, but they still need to use caution. Not only do they have to look out for the traffic to clear, they have to make sure no pedestrians are trying to cross (because if the light is red, so is the crosswalk that is going perpendicular with them). When it turns green, suddenly the right turners have to look out for the OTHER line of pedestrians. Either way, they have a lot to look out for.
    Trust me, where I am now, they're not seeing more by edging up like that. I understand in certain places. One place in my hometown, you had to move up almost in traffic, because the house to your left had a freaking bunker, and it looked like a giant mound. But, people do it every situation. At stop lights, when they're going straight, and so there is no way they're allowed to go until that light turns green. It only becomes a personal problem when it happens in front of me.

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  9. #9
    The Insane peggleftw's Avatar
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    for me the thing that annoys me most is people reversing without actually looking if theres anyone around, and people who dont inidcate.
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  10. #10
    Mechagnome Neetz's Avatar
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    I was waiting for my bus once after work and some nut job was driving out of Lidl car park nearby and almost knocked down a pedestrian. The driver shouted out of his window "Get off the road you thick cunt!" and the pedestrian shouted back "IT'S NOT A ROAD YOU FUCKING MORON, IT'S A CAR PARK!"

    I laughed so hard.
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  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendulous View Post
    2. The "Poke poke"
    Another part of it is the "I'm turning right, so will only look left for oncoming traffic" factor. Meanwhile, on the right, there's a pedestrian or something else that they're ignoring.


    [quoite]4. Being too nice

    A. I can't see that hand.[/QUOTE]

    Especially lovely when someone's got windows tinted darker than the Men in Black and they might be waving you on, or they may be staring you down, who can tell YOUR FUCKING WINDOWS ARE ILLEGALLY TINTED SO NO ONE CAN SEE YOU!

  12. #12
    One of the things I can't stand is parking lots. I'm amazed that there aren't more accidents in them. People routinely go the wrong way and then scream and yell at you when you are the one trying to go in the right direction. Either that, or they'll drive down the middle of a two lane parking area then flip out at you trying to drive on your side of the line, or make some crazy veer off - again, like I'm in the wrong and not them. Cut their turns in parking lots and not paying attention to the person who is in the right and almost running into a head on collision because they tried to cut it too close.

    It's like parking lots are people's excuses to drive like even more idiots than they already are. Or that for some reason basic traffic laws don't apply in parking lots.

    Seriously, drives me crazy.

  13. #13
    Warchief tommypilgrim's Avatar
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    I really hate people who don't indicate. I'll stand at the side of the road waiting for them to pull out so I can cross the street, then they go the other fucking way. It's annoying as hell.
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoZ View Post
    My personal favorite are these people who see you crossing the street and speed up on purpose almost wanting to hit you just so they can say "It wasn't MY fault!"
    The flip side is the idiot walker guy that when you are in the car and they run out into the middle of the road....then they see you.... What do they do?....Typically they stop and freeze and look like they are trying to decide of you are going to stop or run them over. Pro-tip: GTFO of the road, don't stand there like a deer in headlights, get off the damn road. He's the one in the car that is going to kill you if you don't move. You're the one that ran out on the road with no regard for your own safety,

  15. #15
    The Insane Cattaclysmic's Avatar
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    The poke poke effect can also be because they dont want people to drive in front of them. Like if you are in a jam on the highway. You have to continuously move forward or people will take advantage and you will get further back.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Pendulous View Post
    5. Those white lines are there for a reason.
    As someone who primarily bikes and walks everywhere, this one is a particular piss off for me. I cant tell you the number of times I have seriously contemplated sliding (daramatic buddy cop movie style) over some morons hood, or even better, opening the back door of their car and moving through to exit out the other side, when they block the entire pedestrian crossing lane with their car just so they can get a better view of the continuous stream of traffic that isn't actually going to let them make tha right hand red turn untill the light actually turns green.

  17. #17
    Fluffy Kitten Dacien's Avatar
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    +1 Pendy, I'm on board with pretty much all of this.

    One new thing I don't like is motorcyclists weaving in between cars during heavy traffic, because a week ago a motorcyclist obliterated my side mirror doing so

  18. #18
    Moderator Pendulous's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Svifnymr View Post
    Another part of it is the "I'm turning right, so will only look left for oncoming traffic" factor. Meanwhile, on the right, there's a pedestrian or something else that they're ignoring.
    I have kind of a story on this. There's a restaurant here, drive-thru and walk-up, called Cook-Out, which is only relevant if all of them are shaped like this. There's one entrance and one exit. The entrance is easy enough to go in, but the exit is a little pain in the ass (you can also enter from it, it's two lane). You have to exit onto the side road, and then drive up to the light. Anyway, I was walking along, and someone pulled up to exit out the entrance. Clearly distracted, because she didn't see me, and she was on a phone. I almost walked in front of her before I realized I would probably die. I don't think I really need to add another one that says "stop using the phone while driving".
    Quote Originally Posted by Cattaclysmic View Post
    The poke poke effect can also be because they dont want people to drive in front of them. Like if you are in a jam on the highway. You have to continuously move forward or people will take advantage and you will get further back.
    Yeah, but that's in a traffic jam type setting. These are people on a side road (I don't know what else to call them), waiting to pull out. And I think it is damaging, if only a small bit to constantly start and stop like that.

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  19. #19
    Legendary! Blueobelisk's Avatar
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    LOLs Pendulous your list is hilarious, I'm actually a really nice driver but I'm also kind of aggressive and I kind of speed kind of sort of so I'm good for a pedestrian like you.

  20. #20
    Don't walk on streets with no sidewalk or amble shoulder. If a car hits you in that case, it's your fault.
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