Mind the gap ?

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by RedShark, Jul 17, 2013.

  1. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    I don't know exactly when the heck this started becoming so prevalent, but...

    It seems to me that for a least the past year or so that drivers have become fond of leaving a 1/2+ car-length MORE space between vehicles than common.

    I see it daily now - at the front at a traffic light, or back in the que - someone will stop a good 20 feet back from where they ought to be.

    Now, when I'm on the bike I'm all for it - an open spot to hop into like they do in Europe ( where it's typical for cars to leave a space up front for the green light MotoGP grid) - but that ISN'T the case here - these are just regular old Joe-bag-of-donuts commuters who for some reason have developed an aversion to being in the vicinity of the place they are suppose to stop - and I don't think that it's the cars ahead crept forward and Mr. Textr just didn't notice - they are stopping 10+ feet off stop-lines.

    When I'm in the car it drives me nuts ( solution: ride more ) - especially when you see traffic backed up into another lane and there WOULD be ample room in the turn lane if cars used the 4-6 foot spacing like we all used to.

    What's up with that ? am I just imagining this >
    #1
  2. davidbeinct

    davidbeinct Been here awhile

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    I've noticed this particular suckiness a little bit, but I think it just fits into the overall trend, drivers suck more than they used to.

    David B.
    #2
  3. scottrnelson

    scottrnelson Team Orange

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    When that happens here in California, we just ride up and fill the gaps. They'll often move up a bit more after a bike pulls into the empty space.

    I attribute it to too many people just not paying attention to driving. It's rare to see a driver who appears to be 100% focused on driving the car. Too many distractions.
    #3
  4. klaviator

    klaviator Long timer

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    This really sucks when you stop at a light and the sensor is not sensitive enough to be tripped by a bike. Then a car stops way behind you and doesn't get close enough to be on the sensor. Most cage drivers are just clueless.

    Then there are the drivers who wait several seconds to take off and when they do they seem to forget which pedal is the gas pedal. I hate having to wait for another cycle of a light because a few cage drivers were basically asleep at the wheel.
    #4
  5. ibafran

    ibafran villagidiot

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    Around here, when the cagers stop well back from the stop line, they fail to trip the traffic light sensor. Especially aggravating if it's for the left turn arrow.

    This is a relatively recent cager habit (last 10-15yrs) with more doing it more often. It was so prevalent that I looked to see if driver's ed or AARP advisories were promoting it? Couldn't find nuttin? I am attributing it to texters hanging back and not wanting to creep while not paying attention to driving. And the Medicare drivers are just too lame to know where their cagers are in relation to anything. Has nithing to do with vehicle size or anything that I can determine.

    Filtering ain't legal or even known in these parts. Doing it here invites cager hostilities.
    #5
  6. C/1/509

    C/1/509 Why?

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    That's my read too, but it doesn't even stop at driving. Just seems that there is more distraction/less attention being paid overall.
    #6
  7. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    I think this is pretty close to the truth, the other end of the spectrum from these folks are the elderly who should no longer be driving and can not judge distance or speed to save their lives...
    #7
  8. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    This drives me nuts. We have quite a few very short traffic lights around here that let about 10 cars pass through if everyone is on the ball. Some drivers will slow down in anticipation of the light change while it is still green. A few times, on really hot days, I just go around them through the yellow light.
    #8
  9. KungPaoDog

    KungPaoDog Been here awhile

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    At least it is a good indicator of a car that isn't paying attention and that you probably shouldn't let be directly behind you.

    Also, keep in mind that (around here) you are supposed to leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front of you that you could pull aside in the event that an emergency vehicle were to want through. Is it possible that we are actually witnessing people getting safer? Nah, probably just more clueless.
    #9
  10. the_sandman_454

    the_sandman_454 Been here awhile

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    I haven't experienced this yet. Usually I get the clowns who don't know the timing of the traffic signals trying to race to the red light, while I'm just coasting to it. Uh, y'all do realize there's a 0% chance of hitting the next one on green either right? I don't understand. These people are in town every day, it isn't rocket surgery figuring out the timing.
    #10
  11. aspad

    aspad Been here awhile

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    This is a relatively recent cager habit (last 10-15yrs) with more doing it more often. It was so prevalent that I looked to see if driver's ed or AARP advisories were promoting it? Couldn't find nuttin? I am attributing it to texters hanging back and not wanting to creep while not paying attention to driving. And the Medicare drivers are just too lame to know where their cagers are in relation to anything. Has nithing to do with vehicle size or anything that I can determine.

    QUOTE]
    ---------------------------------

    Drives me nuts too in the car. I regularly drive through a complicated junction with several entry/exit points and sets of traffic signals. The gaps left by all the idiots completely screw up the traffic flow and slow everything down.
    What really burns me is when they leave a huge gap to start with but then close up just before the light turns green having already done damage to the flow behind.
    A recent epidemic with no apparent cause that I am aware of...
    #11
  12. ktmdirtybiker

    ktmdirtybiker Been here awhile

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    I attended a security driving seminar and one of the things they stressed was leaving a big enough gap in front of your vehicle to quickly escape. If you need to backup to get away you are screwed. Maybe guys returning from overseas have that ingrained in their habits. After seeing some of the videos of bad shit happening to the truck convoys, it would be real hard to unlearn that habit. Don't know if this is whats happening or just dumb cagers not caring.:eek1
    #12
  13. RedShark

    RedShark Long timer

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    Yeah, I understand the rule about 'trapped in' distance - if you can SEE the car ahead of yours' rear tires, you OUGHT to be able to cut and run without reversing - but that is about 6 feet back or so and I see a full car-length gap often. I just don't get it.

    When they do it up front of a que I ALWAYS dive in on the motorcycle and wave 'thanks' !
    #13
  14. RoadRdr

    RoadRdr Mostly Pavement

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    I attribute this, driving slow while blocking the left lane, and lots of other bad driving to the "I'm the center of the universe and unaware of my surroundings" mentality. Zero manners.
    #14
  15. green hell

    green hell yawning or snarling

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    i've never been to a security seminar, but i have been rear-ended a time or two, so i try to leave a big enough gap that i can at least mitigate the collision. the first incident damn near drove my car under the rear end of a semi.

    the second, with a larger gap, allowed me to stand on the brake and not be forced into the car in front of me (i was on a bridge, and there was no place to escape to). i saw the car come over the crest of the bridge at a fairly high speed and i knew i was boned.

    not a huge gap, but enough...
    #15
  16. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    I see a whole lot of the I am the center of the universe driving around here, my favorite trick is the middle lane drivers going at least 5 under the speed limit in the center lane with people flying by on both sides. Most of the time if you get a look at them they appear to be completely oblivious of what is going on around them....:norton
    #16
  17. henshao

    henshao Bained

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    Honestly the middle lane is not a bad spot to do it. Let people zoom by in the left lane and get on and off the highway at their own pace in the right lane.
    #17
  18. Navy Chief

    Navy Chief Long timer

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    They are a hazard, I have seen more near misses with people busting their asses trying to get around them at all costs.. Fortunately I have seen on MD state patrol light one up and pull them over for this behavior. People need to learn to drive or GTF off the road.... I have seen more incompetence and sheer stupidity since I moved to this area than any other place I have lived.
    #18
  19. Spaggy

    Spaggy Long timer

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    I was in a defensive driving class where the instructor said, "When the light turns green, I count to 3, I look left, I look right, I look left again and then I go." What an idiot.
    #19
  20. KX50002

    KX50002 NooB, my ass

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    We have the opposite problem in this area. No one seems to know that they are supposed to stop on the big white line. When I come around a corner in a big ass truck and can't make it bhecause they stopped over the line they look at me like I'm an asshole, and say things like "don't you know how to drive that thing?"
    I have taken to exaggerating the swing and just sitting on the air horn until they move.
    #20