Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Picture this.  You're driving down a road with at least two straight lanes and a right turn lane.  You are in the rightmost straight lane, and you realize that there is a bicyclist in front of you.  Other than the bicyclist, you are the only other soul on the road at the time.  Assuming you make a complete lane change in order to pass the cyclist instead of buzzing him or her, what do you do?

A.  Move into the leftmost straight lane, pass the cyclist, and then move back into the original lane when safe.
B.  Move into the right turn lane, pass the cyclist, and then cut back over into the original lane at the last minute to avoid turning right, nearly clipping the cyclist on the way.

Most reasonable people would probably choose option A, but there are a few motorists, though surprisingly more than expected, who routinely choose option B.  It really makes no sense, since the purpose of the second straight lane is to allow safe passing, and that lane in this case is completely empty.

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