How can you do this in NJ?

Discussion in 'Start Your Journey Here' started by NJUser, May 24, 2008.

  1. Right Lane Cruiser

    Right Lane Cruiser Penguin of Notagascar

    Just a thought here. I have been in similar circumstances and was able to dodge to the shoulder to avoid an accident. In order for this to not be possible the person would have to change lanes when they were either nearly on top of you (in which case, he most definitely was not looking!) or in a curve to the left where traffic in front could block a driver's view of the next lane to the right -- we are all taught not to change lanes on hills or turns because we can't see far enough ahead.

    Both situations may have been narrow misses if you'd been going faster, but no guarantees. If this person was weaving in and out of traffic at a higher speed than everyone else (typical of people who pass on the right), he still would have hit you.

    This is conceptually similar to one of my pet peeves -- people who use oncoming lanes for blind curves. They assume no one will be there and put me in constant danger of a head on collision. The assumptions are the issue here.

    Traffic laws are designed to help us deal with the unknown by establishing a set of reasonable behaviors we can depend upon for those situations we cannot get enough information about in order to drive properly informed of the situation. Blind curves are one -- don't use an oncoming lane when you can't see if someone might be dangerously close. Don't change lanes when you can't see far enough to determine if someone is dangerously close. Don't pass on the right -- it isn't what is expected. Don't use unsafe following distances because it doesn't allow for proper reaction time to road hazards. Use turn signals with a pause so that other drivers know your intentions and can react accordingly.

    I could go on but the point here is that it appears rather unlikely to me that you could have avoided this unless you really weren't watching your rearview for any hint of change in flow behind you. I'm typically glancing at the rearview every other second or so -- it only takes a fraction of a second and should give you plenty of time to react.

    Likewise, unless this fellow was right on top of you anyway, he should have had time to dodge to the shoulder as well unless he was going significantly faster than surrounding traffic and did change lanes pretty much right on top of you.

    With all of the above said, I'm very sorry you ended up in this mess. It is deplorable that one cannot reasonably expect to be safe without extreme defensive measures on today's roads and sometimes even that isn't enough. I agree that legally it was the other driver's fault but do remain unconvinced that it could absolutely have been avoided had you been driving faster. Sometimes the odds are stacked against you and there really isn't anything you could have done -- the thing to keep in mind though is that this is not consistently the case.

    Best of luck to you and don't give up on this, okay?
  2. SlowHands

    SlowHands Hypermiling Ironman

    There's been times where I've used the buffer zone in front of me to speed up a little bit or momentarily back off the brakes to avoid being rearended by someone coming up from behind too fast. One time I even ended up diving to the shoulder to get out of the way which gave the guy JUST ENOUGH room to (hold your fingers : this : far apart) avoid crashing into the car that was originally in front of me - if I hadn't have been looking back and forth front to rear to sides I would have been nailed hard. Sure a certain amount might be luck, but there was still a part that was looking for the POSSIBILITY that the car behind me was not stopping as fast as I was.

    I never like to see anyone get into any kind of accident... lightfoot raises some good really good points and questions.
  3. PTDixieGal

    PTDixieGal Can I go fishing now? GOOD

    Speaking as a former Emergency Medical Technician, not as a cop...

    In most states, if someone rear ends you it is THEIR fault, not yours. However, one should always be aware of your surroundings because some people are inexperienced or inattentive and others FLAT OUT DON'T CARE (these are the worst!). I'm always looking for places to pull over or get out of a bad situation.
  4. kwj

    kwj I hypermiled this

    NJUser, as I said before, so sorry this happened to you. Was anyone injured? You say you had to stay at home. Hope you are doing okay. Was anyone charged? What do YOU think was the actual cause(s) of this accident? Was speed a factor? Alcohol?

    I know in NJ, it was law to keep right except to pass. The police used to pull anyone over who was in a middle or outer lane, when they were not passing anyone. It would seem that the other driver could be charged with at least a couple of counts, e.g. speeding, failure to drive in the proper lane, failure to match speed to conditions, improper lane change, to name just a few that seem to fit.

    I hope your car comes out of the shop in like new condition. I always hated it when my cars got whacked, especially when they were less than a year old, but was mostly lucky with the repairs. The worst was a head-on with a drunk driver. My last two vehicles have not been whacked yet (knocking on wood).
  5. kayasbluetaco

    kayasbluetaco Well-Known Member

    I drive in jersey every day.... 110 miles per day... it IS possible, I am sure... and I drive major highways like 78, 287 and route 1... People on NJ roads CAN be idiots... btu I get out of the way and let them be idiots... The fnny thing is I find I get there faster in the right lane as it is... becaue every butthead in the world wants to be in the "fast lane" so they can speed up and slam on the breaks every 30 seconds.. instead I drive in the right lane (the middle on occassion to pass a really painfully slow truck) and end up passing the same person 4 or 5 times within a few miles, never changing my speed.

    I just settle in with my coffee, xm radio (classical music if feeling a bit stressed LOL) and cruise along...

    Instead of being pessimistic and in a hurry all the time, give the right lane a shot... I drive 55 miles one way, and basically take about 1:10 to get there... if there is traffic... no traffic, and it takes me about 55 minutes!

    No one is asking you to be a slug... but there is something to learn from the old fable the tortoise and the hare... slow and steady wins the race ;)
  6. kayasbluetaco

    kayasbluetaco Well-Known Member

    Ah yes... and since I rarely use brakes when everyone else is slamming on them, because I actually bother to notice when cars up ahead are hitting the brakes and I know what is coming, I always take a quick glance behind me to see if the guy seems to be paying attention... if it appears he is not, I will tap the brake lightly to flash my lights, and prepare to dodge out of the lane to the shoulder to avoid being hit... I too have been hit from behind due to someone not paying attention... people seem to only look at the car in front of them and don't seem to pay attention to what is ahead.. if a car 5 cars up is hitting the brake, you can be sure that someone in the following cars will be SLAMMING on them...

    The biggest annoyance I have is when people cut into my bubble!!!
  7. some_other_dave

    some_other_dave Well-Known Member

    Da-n, NJ, that's awful. Sorry to hear that you were repaid for trying to do something good by some jerk who can't bother to pay attention. :(

  8. Jaral

    Jaral Well-Known Member

    Wow, NJuser, what are the chances. Sucks that you got hit, but unless you were driving 45 with traffic doing 90, it was the other guy's fault. No matter what speed you are going, an idiot behind the wheel will hit someone eventually. Wierd coincidence of events still - other people have been hypermiling around the common senseless masses for years and never got hit. How ironic that you get hit just after posting about the dangers...
  9. NJUser

    NJUser Member

    Hey guys. Thanks again for all your support and comments.

    rightlanecruiser-- You were exactly right in your assumption of the person changed lanes and was on top of me. Well, I guess you could say on the back of me. LOL I guess all I can do is laugh about it. Makes everything a little easier. I see your point about a buffer "shoulder" zone and I've done that before to avoid an accident. Except in this instance there was no shoulder to pull on to. The right lane has the white line and then a curb about a foot from it. The street is really tight. I had no chance of anything. There wasn't enough time for me to look to switch lanes and see if someone was right next to me. There were cars all over. Even if I had the chance to switch, with only a 4cy I don't think I would have had the power to accelerate fast enough to get out of his way since I saw him in the rearview coming at me and couldn't get out of his way then. I just had no options at that point.

    KWJ--Thanks for your support as well. I went to the Doc again for my first cortizone shot since I have severe whiplash from the accident. I hope the car comes out like new too since it's less than a year old. Thanks for asking!

    kaycsbluetaco-- Thank you also for your comments and feeling my pain. I really appreciate it.

    People were asking what kind of car it was. 2007 Nissan Altima 2.5 (4cyl) My first start at trying to save fuel.

    Thanks again for your support and will keep you updated!:)
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2008
  10. kayasbluetaco

    kayasbluetaco Well-Known Member

    I've come to the conclusion that if you drive in Jersey you'll never have a nice car, for long.... within 3 months of getting my civic, hit in the rear, countless road dings and broken windshields from flying debris from dump trucks.... :( And yes... laugh is all you can do... if you aren't laughing, your crying!

    What part of Jersey you shlep through? Curious if they are doing construction in every corner of the state or if I am just lucky that they are doing it on every single road I drive on... literally, every single road... even the road in town right by my building...

    June 19th can't come soon enough for me... 2 month break from this crazy commute!
  11. NJUser

    NJUser Member

    kayasbluetaco--I want to thank you again for backing me up on this. I get a lot of resistance on this issue as you can see on the forum. The only thing I look foward to about being out of work due to the accident is not being on the roads here. Don't get me wrong, there are times I see nothing and the traffic is fine. I'm not saying that every minute of the day the people are nuts but I would say 85-90% of the time it's rediculous. I think most people that don't see this are not on the roads here during peak hours of traffic. That's why I wanted to post a video of my ride to and from work to prove what is going on here. It's astonishing what I see people do. When I go back to work I'll try to set up a cam in the car since I won't be able to hold it while driving.

    I'd love to hear from other NJ drivers who agree with me on driving issues here. Come on guys help me out with this.

    Have a nice day and watch out for speeding idoits in your rearview mirrors!!!
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  12. kayasbluetaco

    kayasbluetaco Well-Known Member

    haha... somewhere I have a picture of the inferno that was once a truck I had to get past. I was on 287 where it is split into two roads... of course the side I was on was not moving. I ended up having to baha it over the median to get to the lanes that were barely moving... it took me 3.5 hours to get to work. The sad part is that is not really an exception to the rule during certain times of year. What ever engineers designed 78 must have been on something or thought it was funny to build the road so that you would be driving facing DIRECTLY into the rising and setting sun.

    And don't get me started on some of the 18wheelers weaving in an out of lanes, including the left lane and slamming on brakes to the point where the sky fills with smoke.. it's nuts... but one of the reason I prefer to hang in the right lane and take it easy... I can't imagine what the blood pressure of some of these nutjobs are!

    Driving on the highways in NJ during rush hour traffic is literally putting you life on the line every single freaking day... unless someone experiences it, they can never truley believe it. I imagine maybe areas around DC and parts of CA might understand... FL can be a nightmare as well... but NJ is still pretty unique in so many ways LOL... AND we have to deal with NYer's who think 105 is the speedlimit! I have been doing 80 and have almost been blown off the road, not kidding...

    But I still believe some of these methods CAN work.. I will likely not apply fas during my commutes too often, getting cut off within inches of your bumper is just to regular of an experience, many of the other techniques (buffers and all that) are a good idea because of the insanity!

    A few months ago, the actually made a line of traffic that was split from the other travel lanes (due to construction) back up over a mile because there was an accident and were were surrounded by concrete barriers on both sides!
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  13. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    I used to drive from Pottsville, PA to Franklin Lakes, NJ to provide IT support. I've come to the conclusion that people in NJ don't have a !@#$@#$ clue on how to merge safely. I'd travel 78 through Allentown on to 278. It never failed that half the people in the left most lane had to cross three lanes to the right to make their exit. They'd start this exodus with about a 1/4 mile to go. Every single merge point would slow to a stop, and then we'd all be back to 80 MPH again. That was always a good 6 hours of my life bi-weekly that I'd love to get back ;).
  14. kayasbluetaco

    kayasbluetaco Well-Known Member

    That would be called the "Jersey Slide" basically taking the exit from the left lane!

    and 78 to 287... that would be my daily hell LOL... only 20 more years to retirement!

    Oh... and you got to love the people that merge ON to the highway, going slower than the speed limit, that immediately get out of the right lane (despite no one being in front of them) to cut the guy off doin 90 in the middle or the left lane. I have watched people get on the highway and scoot all the way to the left lane, and I swear it is without even looking...

    people in NJ (and I lived there for over 30 years) seem to feel entitled to be in the left lane...

    fine with me... leaves me with the right lane mostly to myself :)
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2008
  15. Ophbalance

    Ophbalance Administrator Staff Member

    Yeah, 287. It's been a couple of years now ;). I'll take my commute on I40 any day over that mess.
  16. DebbieKatz

    DebbieKatz ФЕХ Царйца

    This reminds me of when my husband & I were dating. He lived in IL & I'm in WI, & we alternated between our 2 homes on weekends. When it was my turn to drive to his place (in Wheeling, IL, for those who are familiar with the area), & I would get stuck in the evening rush-hour traffic (before IL got smart & went to open-road tolling) in my MT Tercel, I would get myself behind a semi - not for the drafting, obviously, but because these guys don't want to have to come to a complete stop. The view was kind of limited ;), but I wasn't constantly speeding up & slowing down & having to shift from 1st to 2nd to 3rd & back all the time. Plus, even though that meant I went through the manual lanes to pay my tolls, 1 semi+trailer=at least 3 cars, so I often got through them faster :D :D

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