(Originally published 9/17/12)
Here's a thing that not many people think about: how quickly you pull up to a stop sign or red light.
I was driving down St. Laurent in the right hand lane. I saw a car barreling down a side street (my side of the road) towards the intersection that I was about to drive through. "Uh, he's going awful fast". I checked to make sure I had a green light - I did. "He's still going way too fast. Is he going to hit me? Does he see the red light?" At this point, if our velocities were to remain the same, we'd collide. I started braking while trying to figure out what in the hell he was doing.
He finally slowed down at the last minute, coming to a complete stop about 10 feet past the white line, mid-right turn. There was something about the body language of his stop that indicated that he knew about the red light and the sudden stop wasn't a result of surprise. He just pulled up really aggressively and braked hard.
I drove past and gave him this look*:
When you're pulling up to a stop sign or light, it's important that other drivers know that you're aware of the fact that you're supposed to be stopping. Otherwise they're left to assume you're about to kill them. Watch this video. You don't even have to watch it all, just watch a few red-light t-bones.
When you pull up to a light really fast, you look like you're going to run the light and kill someone. Sure, YOU know you're going to stop, but anyone watching you thinks you're one of the idiots in the above video. At best this style of driving is making everyone nervous. At worst, you're giving people near heart attacks.
I'm an aggressive driver. I'm impatient, I like to drive fast and I don't like when idiots get in my way. But I still don't pull shit like this, because it scares people. So please don't do it.
*By the way: after I passed the intersection, the guy pulled up directly behind me and tailgated for a few seconds before whipping out into the left lane, pulling up next to me and manically waving and pointing and yelling and then I swear to god rolled down his driver's side window and threw a half-full fast food soda cup** over his car and directly into the side of mine. I gotta hand it to him: insanity aside, that's some killer aim.
**I don't know what brand. Stop nit-picking