I am increasingly surprised (sometimes panicked) at what has become the normal reaction of most drivers when they see that their traffic lane ahead is blocked or partially blocked by pedestrians, bicyclists, drivers of delivery trucks, et al.

Their immediate reaction is to pull left into the opposing traffic lane in order to go around the obstruction. It doesn’t matter whether this puts them into a potential head-on collision with oncoming traffic.

To avoid the head-on collision, the oncoming vehicle is forced to pull off, sometimes onto the shoulder, maybe into the ditch. There apparently is no thought to applying the brakes or otherwise slowing down until the way ahead is safe.

A similar situation occurs at the on-ramp to an interstate highway with a sign requiring oncoming vehicles to “yield.” Today, oncoming vehicles typically pull directly left onto the driving lane, forcing those already in that lane to veer to avoid being sideswiped.

Is this an outcome of the “me generation” (i.e., I’ll get mine and to hell with others)?

This doesn’t even touch on the concern of distractions from electronic gadgets while driving.

Have modern drivers ever taken a driver’s ed course? Is safe driving even taught anymore?

Allen Bingham


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