You First. No, You.

Stop Sign Etiquette imageTwo cars approach a stop sign at the same time. Yes, the car on the right should go first, but since our society is oh soooo polite, they wave on the person on the left. Person on the left, insisting on the rules for crash prevention, waves person on the right BACK on again. In the meantime, three cars have accumulated between each “polite” driver as they engage in their pointless driving “dance.”

I don’t know about you, but in driver’s ed. we were taught that selfish drivers are safe drivers. Stopping to let someone pull out in front of you in four lines of 55 mph traffic is not just too polite—it is downright dangerous. Keep control of your own lane and when approaching a stop sign that you clearly came to first, take the right of way. Not only are these safe driving habits, but you will prove to the world that you can negotiate the lost art of the four way stop.

The problem is that rules of the road were created for a reason—because we can’t communicate our intentions between vehicles. If everyone assumes other drivers are out for their own right of way, we will all operate under the same set of rules. It’s when people stray from those expectations that accidents happen. For example, I expect the person in front of me to drive near the speed limit, stop and go when the unspoken road rules say so, and not to slam on their brakes to let someone out of the bank driveway on the right.

Here’s an idea, all those polite “go-ahead-of-me-wavers” should use their wonderful courtesy skills in the rest of their lives, not in their cars.