Social Question

Dutchess_III's avatar

Under certain circumstances, do you ever flash your lights to communicate to other drivers when you're driving?

Asked by Dutchess_III (42445points) November 15th, 2014

If I’m on a two lane, fast highway, and there is a car at the intersection waiting to pull out, and if I have the impression they haven’t seen me, I’ll flash my lights. More than once they will have been “rolling,” meaning they let up on the brake (I hate that,) and they suddenly come to a full stop when I flash.

I also flash my lights as I start to pass a semi. (When I was a beginning driver I stupidly passed a semi on the right. I was in a little Vega and the semi started moving into my lane. My dad was behind me, watching in horror! But I started flashing my lights and laying on the horn and he saw me in time.)

On a two lane, when a semi passes me, I flash my lights when they’ve cleared my car and can safely pull back over.

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110 Answers

dappled_leaves's avatar

I prefer not to, because I am very sensitive to bright lights myself, and know that this can be disorienting – and I’d rather not cause the oncoming driver to be disoriented, thanks. If I’m in an intersection, and someone is desperate to take the lead out of there, I’ll just let them have it.

JLeslie's avatar

I flash my lights when driving on the highway to tell the guy in front of me to move over so I can pass.

I also flash the person in front of me if they failed to turn on their lights, or sometimes I turn my lights off and on if they are facing me or behind me and they have forgotten their lights.

I also have used them to warn oncoming drivers about a speed trap. I had stopped doing this for a while, because I was told you can get in trouble for doing it, but recently there have been cases where it was founded that you can’t be ticketed for it and that it is perfectly legal. It might vary by state.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Very much so a few flashes coming into a town, is a signal the RCMP are watching for speeders.
A flash with a big truck lets him/her know it’s safe to pull back in.
Flashing someone waiting at a intersection at least up here would confuse the shit out of them,they would think oh they want me to pull out, and will slow or wait for me,not a good idea.
A flash to on coming traffic usually says dim your highbeams moron.

kritiper's avatar

Usually, only when the other on-coming driver doesn’t (or doesn’t seem to) dim his/her headlamps.

Misspegasister28's avatar

Yes, I do. I live in a place with a lot of animals, so if there are deer on the side of the road, I’ll flash my lights at oncoming drivers to warn them that there are animals that may cross the road.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@SQUEEKY2 So if you’re on a highway, doing 65/ 70 mph, and some guy is at a stop sign at an intersection, and he’s slowly rolling, if you flash your lights he’ll pull out, even though it’s obvious you’re going to be on top of them in about 3 seconds?

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Yup and have seen it,they aint to smart.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What I’ve seen, in that situation, is if there are, say, 3 cars at the intersection, if one car pulls out, and it’s safe for him to do so, the rest seem to think it’s safe for THEM to pull out as well, regardless of the fact that now it is NOT safe to pull out because I’m flying up on them. One after the other, like a bunch of stupit sheep.

Katz22's avatar

Yes, when I am driving on a 2 lane highway, day or night, I will flash my lights to oncoming traffic if I have seen some deer or sometimes cattle in the ditch to alert the other drivers about possible danger ahead. I will also flash my lights if I have seen a highway patrol car parked off to the side of the road. Whenever a semi-truck has passed and they are safely around me, I will flash my lights. If I am driving cautiously and slowly due to road conditions, I will often drive with my emergency flash going just to alert those behind me that I am driving slow. If someone obviously has their bright lights on at night, I will flash my lights at them.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III Well, obviously, the other driver should already see you coming. The “flash your lights” thing is only an effective communication if the oncoming driver knows what it means. If, in your region, it means “Stop! I’m almost on top of you!” then that will work. If, in my region, flashing your lights has no such meaning, then no, it isn’t going to achieve the desired result.

As @SQUEEKY2 mentioned, usually flashing your lights in Canada means one of two things: speed trap ahead OR you’ve left your brights on. So, those are the things that a driver will think you’re trying to communicate when you do that. They’re not going to try to imagine what other thing is wrong.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Something I find interesting: If I’m in town, and come to a 4 way stop, and some person is at the other stop sign before me, then, IMO, they have first dibs at pulling out. However, often they don’t. They sit there like they’re afraid of a high speed collision if they pull out. I have learned that, in that situation, if I look steadily away from them, then they’ll go. It’s counter intuitive to me, but it works. I hate that “waving at the other driver to go,” shit. It’s so annoying.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That’s just it, @dappled_leaves. They should see you coming but for whatever crazy reason, they don’t. A lot of wrecks happen by idiots pulling out in front of someone on a high speed highway. If I feel like they really haven’t seen me,their wheels are rolling or whatever, I flash my lights, and they always, immediately, come to a full stop. It’s not a “regional” thing. As far as I know I’m the only one who does it. And it works.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III “It’s not a “regional” thing.”

Um… so you are saying from your region. @SQUEEKY2 and I have told you the exact opposite. Why would you deny what you don’t even know for a fact?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I have never seen anyone else do it, except my dad. It works, every time, and I’ve been doing it for 40 years. Apparently your experiences are different. Not sure why you’re so anxious to start an argument over this.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Why do some people think I am starting an argument every time I say anything?

JLeslie's avatar

I’m with @dappled_leaves It depends on what the flash means in your region or to that particular driver. If I am at a 4 way stop, the law is whoever arrived first goes first. When in question one driver might wave the other on. If someone waves me to go, then I put up my hand as a thank you and also it is like telling someone to halt, and I go ahead. If I am at a four way stop and it’s dark and hard to see each other in our cars, if they flash their lights I am not sure if they mean for me to go, or for them to go. My interpretation is they are telling me to go, not warning me they are moving into the intersection. I rarely encounter people flashing beams at a four way stop. If a vehicle is moving towards an intersection and they flash their lights I assume they are warning me they are entering the intersection.

Coloma's avatar

Occasionally, mostly when I see deer on the road ahead, or I flash my brakes to warn the driver behind me that I see a hazard. The deer scene out here is scary, I hate driving at night anymore.
Just last week a friend creamed their car when a deer leapt in front of them on the freeway. 5k in damages but thankfully my friend was in control and didn’t crash or swerve into oncoming traffic.

JLeslie's avatar

Deer are so stupid when it comes to cars. When we moved to TN we had tons of deer where we lived. My husband had never experienced anything like it before. I told him you have to come to a complete stop. They will just stand there and then suddenly dart into the road just as your car is near them. It’s like they jump into the crash. You have to wait until they leap away before you start up again.

Ironically, I have found that in a time of serious threat I have the deer in the headlights reaction, and freeze at first, before I can act. I read that a lot of animals and insects have this as a defense mechanism, humans seem to vary depending on the person.

Coloma's avatar

@JLeslie So true, I have had them run into the side of my car when I slowed to less than 15 MPH. haha They are so unpredictable!

LuckyGuy's avatar

I flash in two cases:
1) I flash trucks to show it is safe for them to pull in .
2) I flash oncoming traffic when I see a radar trap set up in their lane.

JLeslie's avatar

@Coloma I would think they are suicidal (which is what I say about children under the age of 5, it’s like they want to go back, doing things like putting keys in electrical sockets, drinking poison, jumping in pools when they can’t swim) except it isn’t unusual for the deer to not die, they might get hurt, or not hurt at all. Sometimes they do get injured very badly and die.

Although, come to think of it, as I write this I am reminded that a girlfriend of mine, another Capricorn, she once told me that seeing a deer is a loved one who has died visiting you. Maybe there is some sort of cosmic connection.

Or, not.

Pachy's avatar

Years ago, blinking was common practice where I lived, but in recent years it seems to have become an insult to other drivers. On the rare occasions when I flash my lights. Either the other driver blinks back and leaves his/her light or he/she simply ignores me. So I’ve pretty much gotten out of the habit of blinking except when I’m really blinded.

A bigger problem for me if when a vehicle, especially a high-profile one, is behind me with lights on bright. Not much to do about that except try to adjust the mirrors. I always dim my lights when I’m directly behind another car.

So many common courtesies have absolutely vanished. * sigh *

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@Pachy of course they have vanished ,welcome to the ME FIRST,ME FIRST world no one else matters it’s all about me,me,me.
And people get all upset when I tell them I don’t want kids.

stanleybmanly's avatar

I flash my lights at night at oncoming vehicles which have neglected to turn on their headlamps. It’s getting tougher for me to distinguish when approaching cars have their “brights” on these days. The introduction of “aircraft landing grade” halogen lamps combined with the apparently lost art of headlight “aiming” makes for unending surprises in night driving. Maybe I just like to bitch more as I get older.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I might flash my headlights if I notice a hidden police officer waiting to book unsuspecting drivers for speeding. I figure, they’ll slow down thereby achieving the desired effect of reducing their speed. I’ll flash if there’s some element of danger ahead for the oncoming or other driver. To alert them there’s a problem.Or if I notice their vehicle has some sort of problem. Perhaps with their headlights, or a load that’s come loose or a back door not closed properly.

However, someone flashing an oncoming car in the situation you describe @Dutchess_III could be construed as you saying ‘drive out, I’m letting you in.’ You’re likely to confuse the heck out of the driver waiting. I know I’d find it very confusing if people flashed at me to signal they were there. It would just puzzle, or as @dappled_leaves suggests, blind me! Drivers don’t flash to alert other people of their presence. Why wouldn’t they be able to see you? If you have your headlights on and you’re in their line of sight? If you think they might come out, slow down to allow yourself time to take evasive action.

As to flashing at people to make them change lanes (sorry @JLeslie) that would be considered very aggressive driving here. I do understand it’s annoying when people hog the outside lane, and my husband has been known to flash lane hoggers, it is considered bad driving manners here.

I think flashing truck drivers as you pass would also be confusing to them @Dutchess_III. If you were overtaking a truck to the right of them (it would be to the left here) you’re in the suicide lane and probably in the driver’s blind spot. That’s why you shouldn’t overtake in that lane.

@stanleybmanly, I so agree on the new headlights. They’re so bright!

jca's avatar

I will flash my brights to cars in front of me in the left lane only, to ask them to please move out of the lane when they’re going slower than is appropriate for that lane.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit “As to flashing at people to make them change lanes (sorry @JLeslie) that would be considered very aggressive driving here”

Yes, that’s true here, also. I’d be very surprised if a car driving slowly in the passing lane is unaware that people want to pass them. It seems to me that when I’m stuck behind someone like that, they are trying to make a point. Flashing my lights at them would just be more fuel to that fire.

jca's avatar

I think sometimes when people drive slowly in the left lane, they’re just into being in that lane and either clueless that it’s upsetting to others (those remind me of zombies) or they’re aware but don’t care (for example elderly people who just figure they’re going how they want and tough if others don’t like it).

Coloma's avatar

@JLeslie The deer around here outnumber half the worlds dead relatives. They outnumber mine by about 10,000. Heh!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Perhaps you didn’t understand the scenario fully. I’m not talking about in-town driving or oncoming cars.

The scenario is, I’m on a highway that has intersecting roads. I’m doing 65/70 miles an hour. If there is a car stopped at a stop sign at an intersecting road, but their wheels are slowly turning. I assume they are in a rush or impatient,and might do something stupid. When I flash them, invariably, their wheels stop rolling. Then I know that the see me.

@SQUEEKY2 said ”…oh they want me to pull out, and will slow or wait for me,...” that’s not a valid scenario. How do you “slow” or “wait” for someone when you’re doing 70?
Who in their right mind could construe it as “Pull on out” when the car is bearing down on them and will obviously be at the intersection in about 3 seconds? That’s when I realized I hadn’t made myself clear.

Also, I don’t do much night driving, so most of the time it’s during the day so no one is getting “blinded.”

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves So, what do they do there? Tailgate? Weave around traffic? Keeping a safe distance and flashing someone to indicate you want to pass is the safest way to pass. I never understand people who have a problem with it. How are you going to know I want to go faster? Unless you were paying attention to your rear view mirror and saw me come up fast. I find people who drive slowly tend to be less aware of what the traffic around them is doing. I tend to be less aware when I’m driving slowly.

If the person is tailgating and flashing their lights repeatedly like an asshole then I understand being annoyed by it.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Always if I see a hazard in their lane. Last time was I saw a farmer on a corner. I finished the corner and there was an 18 wheeler. I flashed the lights big time.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I understood the scenario @Dutchess_III but it would still be confusing to see someone in an oncoming car flashing their headlights and confused drivers aren’t a good thing.

The law here says you’re not supposed to sit in the overtaking lane. People still do it @JLeslie but flashing them is more likely to make them slow down and stay there. They shouldn’t be in that lane anyway and they don’t give a shit so they won’t care about me flashing and tailgating. I’d pull back into the other lane and cautiously move past them.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t see what could possibly be confusing. If they think it means to go ahead and pull out, then they are really too stupid to be driving a car.

I’ve found that flashing cars who are idling along in the fast lane usually do move over.

JLeslie's avatar

@Earthbound_Misfit It annoys me flashing lights is not taught in drivers ed as a legitimate way to ask someone to move over. Some people don’t even know what it means. Most states greatly discourage passing on the right or actually have a law against it.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

You’re advised not to overtake on the right (here it would be the left) too. Hence my comment to Dutchess_III about the suicide lane and the truck. In Australia (and it would seem Canada), it’s considered aggressive driving to flash. We don’t like people hogging the inside (overtaking) lane, but they do it. Since it’s seen as rude, people are more likely to respond negatively. I don’t get why slow drivers don’t just stay in the other lane or move over once they’ve overtaken. That they don’t is universal by the sound of it, but the response to flashing lights may be a cultural thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Truckers used to have mud flaps and the one on the left said, “Passing Side” and the one on the right said, “Suicide.” I just do no understand how 100% of the driving population doesn’t understand that it just isn’t safe to pass on the right. In fact, I’ve noticed that in Wichita it’s become a fecking free for all on the interstate. It wasn’t like that 20 years ago.

JLeslie's avatar

A slow driver who drives in the passing lane/fast lane is either a bad driver, doesn’t know the laws, or just is a little oblivious that day for some reason. If I don’t notice someone coming up on me fast and they flash me I have no problem moving over. It isn’t going to slow me down to let them go. If they drive up on my ass and tailgate me I’m am beyond pissed for their lack of safety concern.

A lot of people here also don’t like when people flash lights. They don’t like all sorts if things. I don’t like when a fast driver is reckless and I don’t like when a slow driver thinks they are going to teach other drivers a lesson by grid locking the lanes. That is reckless too.

ibstubro's avatar

Very, very seldom. My Camry’s headlight adjustment is a spin-ring on a lever hidden behind the steering wheel. It’s sort of unsafe, to me, to try to change it, then change it back while driving.

It’s frustrating because I would otherwise flash people that didn’t have on headlights at dusk, and that didn’t dim their oncoming brights.

I gave up on the radar warning. From the several tickets I have gotten, in my opinion, you get what you deserve.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Am I the only one who flashes to warn others about a radar trap?
You’re welcome..

JLeslie's avatar

It was mentioned by me @LuckGuy in my first answer and I think other people too.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@JLeslie “It annoys me flashing lights is not taught in drivers ed as a legitimate way to ask someone to move over. Some people don’t even know what it means.”

Well, again, it doesn’t mean “pull over to the right lane” to everyone. If that is common parlance in your region, great – but don’t expect people from outside of your area to know this. I wouldn’t. Mind you, I also wouldn’t sit in the passing lane.

And, again, as a person who is sensitive to bright lights, I’m very happy that this is not taught in driver’s ed. It’s irritating, distracting, and disorienting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Part of the problem, I think, is the signs used to read “Slower drivers stay right.” Well, some 90 year old might be doing 40 in a 60 and think he’s being speedy Gonzales.

I used to warn of radar traps…till a cop pulled me over for it! I didn’t get a ticket, but did get a good chewing out in front of my kids. So now, everyone is on their own!

JLeslie's avatar

@dappled_leaves I am very sensitive to bright lights. Normal car light approaching me in the opposite lane bother me. A high beam flash from behind, especially during the days, doesn’t bother me at all. At night I think people are more likely to notice a car approaching from behind. If you don’t drive slowly in the passing lane you don’t have to worry about it.

It’s not like I drive around flashing my beams all the time. It might happen a few times a year.

Magical_Muggle's avatar

My father, has and always, flashes his lights at cars that are coming the other way, to warn them that there are police coming up, but i think it’s something all aussies do

livelaughlove21's avatar

The only time I do this is to occasionally let someone know that I’m letting them into my lane if their blinker is on but they clearly haven’t noticed that I’ve slowed down to let them over. It’s more of a, “uh, hello, get the hell over.”

I definitely don’t flash my lights at people so they’ll get out of my way (or, as I call it, being an asshole) or to warn people about a cop or radar trap.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I read recently somewhere (news) that it’s actually not illegal to warn oncoming drivers of speed traps. I think, if I remember correctly, that someone challenged it and they found that it’s not illegal. I did ask a cop friend once what statute it’s under, and the one he told me that it supposedly falls under didn’t sound like anything that would cover “warning other drivers of speed traps.”

deni's avatar

I flash my lights to oncoming traffic if there is a cop up ahead or if there is a deer, or other wildlife in the road.

Aethelwine's avatar

I do not warn other drivers of radar traps. I’ve had too many close calls with impatient drivers who are speeding. I secretly hope they get caught by the trap. Safe drivers don’t need warnings.

I flash oncoming cars that forget to dim their high beams when I approach them.

ibstubro's avatar

Getting a speeding ticket means that you are not only seriously (more than 5–10 mph) breaking the speed limit, but are also inattentive.
Trust the voice of experience.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Right. I read that too @jca. I just don’t like getting spanked!

The last time I got a speeding ticket was around 1998. I was doing 28 in a 20, in town. Old Snaggle Tooth pulled up behind me at a stop light, and as soon at the light turned green and I started to go he hit his lights and siren. Scared the shit out of me.
I had my ten year old son with me. So I pull over, and old Snaggle Tooth gets out of his car and sidles along side of my car very cautiously, with his hand on his gun. Yeah. In his mind he was apprehending a very dangerous, bank robbing gramma and her side kick.
He suspiciously asked where I’d been and where I was going “In such a hurry.”
“I went to the Walmart in Dosenville to get camping stuff for my son, who is in boy scouts, because he is going camping next week with his troop! And now I am going home!”
He says, “Well, you were doing 28 in a 30.”
I said, very exasperated, “NObody does 20 through town!”
He said, “We’re trying to change that.”
I wanted to snarl, ‘You know, you should really see a dentist!” But I didn’t.

I told this story in court, and they dismissed the ticket, but I still had to pay court costs.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Absolutely:

Solid brights: Entering my lane will cause me to have to slow to the point that you are creating a hazard.

Flashed brights: Come on over, go before me, you are clear to re enter your lane after passing me.

Flashed brights with a left turn signal on a two lane road: I am about to pass you.

Triple flashed brights with no one near me: I just passed a cop in a speedtrap.

Headlights briefly off: Thank you.

Regarding the ticketing of drivers that warn others of municipal collections officers, I mean speed traps. What about this incredibly useful crowdsourcing app that allows drivers to note where speedtraps and the like are on the highway?

Lots of communication going on there.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I only flash to let people know they can have the right of way, be it merging in my lane or going first at a stop sign.

ibstubro's avatar

Cool, @SecondHandStoke, but I personally would understand none of your headlight communications. Where did you learn them and do they apply in your current location?

In the Midwest I only remember single flash=dim your lights and double flash=speed trap.

dappled_leaves's avatar

I love how half the people think flashing their lights means “Stop doing what you’re doing” and the other half think it means “Keep doing what you’re doing”. And each camp is annoyed at the other for not getting it.

Aethelwine's avatar

^this is why I love living where there is very little traffic :)

Magical_Muggle's avatar

for me flashing our lights to warn someone It’s just something all aussies seem to do, it’s being nice, so they don’t get caught, so they know if they need to slow down etc. just something nice and neighbourly to do….. but the lights are never flashed for any other reason, unless the car is broken down, then they will flash, but of course they will flash (the cop flash is just two flashes of the headlights, then off)

SecondHandStoke's avatar

@ibstubro

If your entering my lane forces me to rapidly haul down from let’s say a conservative 110 to 70 with no warning a hazard has been created.

Regarding such incidents I consider drivers to be innocent unless proven guilty. In other words common decency demands that I do not think you to be a clueless asshole, rather you just didn’t happen to see me closing at a rapid clip. Innocent errors do happen.

The full on brights behind as you enter the passing lane: If you do not learn the others, PLEASE just learn that one.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Programming note:

What you happen to be piloting will indeed contribute to my impression of your attitude.

In other words what would seem to be an honest mistake by a Subaru driver would be interpreted by me to be outright arrogant malice if committed by someone in an Escalade.

However a small amount of obnoxiousness will be tolerated if you have brought something as credible as let’s say a BMW M car to the table.

Whether you like it or not. One is what one drives, though not the way people usually interpret the saying.

Magical_Muggle's avatar

HAHAHA, I’m like that, if you’re in some types of cars, never mind,
if your in other ones, (especially those fancy cars only rich bastards can afford) these people very easily become assholes. also, people that fall under the very easily asshole genre, are those who drive the arrogantly huge range rovers etc. (just my opinion)
But does anyone else find it hilarious when you see those small little ladies driving one of those massive range rovers etc.? I do, I wonder if the car is actually their husbands…......

JLeslie's avatar

I own Porsches a Ford truck and a Honda Accord. What assumption are you going to make about me? I drive similarly in all of them. A little slower around curves in the truck.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It’s the done thing here for radar and rbts. Flash me from behind to move over and I’m gonna slow waay down.

Magical_Muggle's avatar

@JLeslie I usually don’t care that much, but when they drive badly, my being annoyed at the car will vary depending on the type of car and who’s driving it (sometime people really just shouldn’t own a certain car), but if you’re a good driver, I really couldn’t care less if you were an alien or a hippopotamus, well, actually, I’d be pretty startled if you were either, (especially the latter) but yes, I hope you get my point

JLeslie's avatar

@IheartMypuppy I’ll agree if they drive aggressively and badly and are in a BMW it gives the impression they think they own the road. Not only BMW’s but I get your point.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@trailsillustrated Why would you slow down?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutches_III I would guess to punish them.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III I read it as flashing one’s lights in her region indicates that there is a trooper on the highway, so she lowers her speed to avoid a ticket.

In other words, she wouldn’t recognize that the person behind her is flashing their lights specifically to get her to move over, so it wouldn’t work.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That doesn’t really make sense. Indicating a trooper is done by oncoming traffic who just passed the cop. You can’t warn of a speed trap up ahead when you’re behind a person.

@trailsillustrated Well, now you know. Folks that flash from behind are saying, “Please move over so I can pass.”

JLeslie's avatar

Maybe that is what Trails meant. I read her answer as two very separate sentences. One about radar traps and one about someone who wants to pass.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Flash me from behind to move over and I’m gonna slow waay down” was confusing to me. I’m not sure exactly what she meant.

We have a jelly here, I forget who, who said he deliberately rides in the left lane because it pisses people off. People need to understand that this is a team game. We need to play as a team, not as competitors.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: I remember who that was because he was responding to me. His initials are FF. LOL.

trailsillustrated's avatar

@Dutchess_III if someone gets behind me flashing their lights to get me to move over, they’re an arsehole, and I’m going to slow way down. They can go around. Same with the twat that beeps their horn the second the light goes green, I’m going to decide I suddenly need a nap.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

@trailsillustrated that attitude will just make the ass take needless risks to get around you.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@trailsillustrated My mistake, then. You do realize that passing on the right is prohibited? The onus is on the driver in the left-hand lane to make way for faster traffic. If you are not moving over for cars coming up behind you, then that makes you the arsehole.

trailsillustrated's avatar

We drive on the left. There is a passing lane. So the arsehole that’s going to flash can go ahead and pass on the right, looking at my middle finger.

Dutchess_III's avatar

And it’s that attitude that causes accidents. We need to play like a team, not like a bunch of areseholes.
So you’re in the cruising lane and somebody wants you to move into the passing lane @trailsillustrated?

trailsillustrated's avatar

I drive the speed limit. If some hothead is behind me, they are welcome to pass on the right, no need to flash.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So which side is your passing lane there?

trailsillustrated's avatar

If things are reversed, and we drive on the left, that would make the passing lane on the right.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So you’re saying that people actually flash their lights for you to move into the passing lane and out of their way? I have never experienced such a ridiculous thing!

trailsillustrated's avatar

Yes. There’s only one expressway here, and every weekend we get flashed by some hothead to move over, usually a p plater in a Japanese drift type car.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, I wonder…if they’re Americans and used to the left lane being the fast lane. I wouldn’t move over either, but I wouldn’t slow down.
And I’ve never had anyone honk at me the instant a light turns green. There have been a couple of times I was distracted, missed the light change, and got a beep. I just wave an acknowledgement, like, “Sorry about that!” and go on.

trailsillustrated's avatar

If there’re from a right side country Im pretty sure they would get right away which is the pass lane, I’ve driven in America and when you switch it’s exactly the same, just opposite side. Never confused the pass lane. ( but the turn indicator and windscreen wiper confusion takes time).

Dutchess_III's avatar

But they might have to stop and think about it for a second. Much of our driving is done by habit. Consider it a teaching moment, and don’t go out of your way to piss them off. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

trailsillustrated's avatar

There is absolutely no difference to driving on whichever side, and people that would have a problem with this should either hire a driver or not travel.

Dutchess_III's avatar

…But you just said the right side was the passing side there. That’s the difference between the lanes.

dappled_leaves's avatar

It obviously matters which is the passing lane. The point is – no one has the right to sit in the passing lane, while other drivers want to go faster. It’s the responsibility of a slower driver in the passing lane to move to whichever lane is not the passing lane (so, in North America, move to the right – in Australia, move to the left) to get out of the way of faster traffic coming up from behind.

Never force traffic coming up behind you to move around you. This is the whole point of having a passing lane to begin with.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’ve corrected the hell out of my husband’s driving over the last 12 years. He used to commit every sin in the driver’s handbook, including cruising in the passing lane. One time a truck came up behind us, was forced to go to the right lane to pass us, then almost immediately back into the left lane to pass another car that was ahead of us but in the correct lane.
“See what you made him have to do?” I said.
He said, “I didn’t make him do anything!”
“Yes, you did. Because you’re cruising in the passing lane he was forced to weave in and out of traffic in order to pass. He shouldn’t have to do that.”
So he’s finally gotten it together and he’s a better driver than he was when I met him. Still lets his temper get the best of him sometimes, which is just wrong. Everyone screws up sometimes.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

I’ve got to say I’m confused @trailsillustrated. I totally agree people who flash are considered to be impatient arseholes and if I need to pass someone sitting in the overtaking lane, I’ll just move around them. However, I’ve never been flashed by anyone when I’m in a lane other than the overtaking lane. I don’t sit in that lane so I can’t actually recall being flashed, but I have been tailgated by idiots who want me to move over. Usually I haven’t moved back over because I’m trying to overtake someone in the lane to my left and the idiot keeps speeding up to prevent me doing so.

To clarify for those who aren’t in a country where you drive on the right, we drive on the left here. So our overtaking lane is to the right. A freeway/highway might have one, two, three or four lanes (most don’t have more than that) travelling in the same direction. The first lane is expected to be used by slower drivers, the next two by people overtaking or moving faster and the last lane is the overtaking lane. You’re not supposed to sit in the overtaking lane. You can be penalised with a fine/loss of points for doing so. To go around someone sitting in the right hand (overtaking lane) we’d have to move to the left. It’s not illegal to overtake on the left it’s safe to do so, but it’s not advised and especially if passing a truck with limited visibility.

jca's avatar

To me, if you’re in the passing lane (which, here is the left lane) and can see that there’s someone behind you who would like to go faster, and you don’t move, you’re what I refer to as an asshole driver. Not saying you’re an asshole, but you’re an asshole driver.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Ehhhhh.what @Earthbound_Misfit said. See it people?

dappled_leaves's avatar

@trailsillustrated So, you don’t force people coming up fast behind you to switch out of the passing lane to get around you? I thought that was what you were describing.

trailsillustrated's avatar

No, I drive the speed limit. If some hot head comes behind and wants to pass, go around. There’s that lane to your right. If you flash or tailgatie me, I’m going to drive like grandma.

trailsillustrated's avatar

It doesn’t happen a lot, but it does happen, country roads and expressways.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Ok, then you’re saying that you don’t drive in the passing lane at all? No one is going to flash their lights at you unless you are in the passing lane. They would just pass you. I think that’s why people are getting confused by your comments.

trailsillustrated's avatar

Why would I make my trip in the pass lane? What I am saying is, I am going 80k, the speed limit. Arsehole tailgates and flashes. Pass already!! I know it sounds retarded but yes, it happens.

trailsillustrated's avatar

And it’s not illegal to pass on the left. Unless you’ve driven here shut up maybe.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Wow, that is indeed rude (and I already find it rude to flash in the passing lane). As you were!

trailsillustrated's avatar

This isn’t Melbourne or Sydney, we have one expressway and on weekends its full of people heading to the beachfront. It’s full of hotheads in muscle cars.

jca's avatar

The main expressway where I live and work is 3 to 4 lanes, mostly used by commuters. The speed limit is 65 but in the left lane, most people go at least 75. If you’re going less than 75 here, on this expressway, it’s not appreciated if you’re in the left lane. Cops don’t ticket for less than 80.

In construction zones, the max is supposed to be 45 but nobody goes less than 60.

dappled_leaves's avatar

@jca Yup, that sounds about normal to me, too.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I think when you wrote this it confused everyone. “I drive the speed limit. If some hothead is behind me, they are welcome to pass on the right, no need to flash.”

None of us should be using left lane or right lane (I did it as well) we should just be using passing lane or overtaking lane. What I just quoted from you sounds like you are saying if you are driving too slow for the guy behind you he can go into the passing lane and go around. I say that because where you live the right would be the passing lane.

trailsillustrated's avatar

^ right. I am going the speed limit. If you want to go faster than that, go around. I know it’s ridiculous, but it has happened. Not a lot.

JLeslie's avatar

@trailsillustrated I have never had someone flash their beams at me when I am driving in a regular lane nor would I ever flash someone in the regular lanes. That’s why I had so much trouble understanding your statement. Just my own personal experience. I have only experienced it, or done it, to people driving in the passing lane.

I agree it’s obnoxious for someone to use their high beams like that.

Dutchess_III's avatar

But how else can we communicate, other than honking, which is far more strident to me. When I flash my lights it’s brief and it has a “please,” on it. I realize they don’t know this. Can’t we try to interpret it as a request and not a demand? Our blood pressures would go down if we could!

dappled_leaves's avatar

@Dutchess_III There is a limit to what one can communicate to another driver. Rather than send an ambiguous and possibly antagonizing signal, why not simply be patient and let things unfold? Because it might cost you 45 seconds from your planned timeline for the day?

Dutchess_III's avatar

I do that often, especially if traffic is in a snarl. I just hang back and let it untangle itself before I make any moves.
In other situations, they can see it however they want, but the fact is, 99% realize it means “Would you move over,” and they do.

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