Jeff Cutler reports on an encounter of the mini-van Masshole kind in a Big Dig tunnel.
Gotta call you out here Adam. Jeff Cutler was the Masshole in this case. Typical Masshole behavior includes doing their best to not allow people to merge into the lane ahead of them. Typical Masshole behavior does not include signaling before changing lanes like the guy in the minivan did.
1 - Cutler stated that he had a car directly on his tail. Just how was he supposed to let this driver in? Put on his brakes and be rear-ended? That would be considerate to the mini-van, yes, but not to the fellow behind him.
2 - Insofar as Massholes on the road, I believe that the problem starts at testing for licenses. The state should up the requirements for getting one. Have a real driving test, rather than the simple one they now give. Have a much harder written exam. And, since the state won't want to give up the fees from giving out fewer licenses, I'm even willing to sell my Libertarian soul and say that they could up the cost of the license itself, to compensate.
Of course, fewer drivers also equals fewer tolls, fewer tickets, and fewer excise taxes, and since they wouldn't want to see those sources of revenue dry up, we won't ever see it.
If gently slowing down to let a car in ahead of him would have caused him to be be rear-ended, then why wasn't he be rear-ended when he had to "slow dramatically" when the minivan cut in front? Doesn't make sense, does it? And, that's another thing about Masshole drivers, they're always right even when their logic fails. It's always the other guy who's wrong.
He did slow, therefore he could have slowed. QED.
I guess he just didn't feel it was sufficiently convenient for him to slow short of being forced.
I assume the fellow who was behind him saw the mini-van making its move into his lane and applied his own brakes as Cutler was applying his. If Cutler, however, had applied his brakes without warning, the results may have been drastically different. Just my assumption. I could be wrong.
I'm wondering whether there's another way to brake other than without warning. What should you do, stick your arm out the window? Aren't brake lights the warning that the car in front of you is braking?
I drive 128 twice every weekday, so I am fairly familiar with tailgating and being cut in front of. I don't like it. I don't like the fact that I have to tailgate the guy in front of me or a stream of cars will swerve in front of me. But these are both facts I can't change and have to work around.
Mr. Minivan had somewhere he had to go. He had to get to his exit. Mr. Whiner should have let him do so - by braking slowly and not suddenly. The guy behind Mr. Whiner shouldn't have tailgated in the first place, but apparently did his bit insofar as he didn't rear-end Mr. Whiner. If Mr. Minivan's swerve was sufficient warning, then it seems evident that he was sufficiently warned to brake upon Mr. Whiner taking the initiative.
"I'm wondering whether there's another way to brake other than without warning."
Perhaps my wording was not clear. The warning I was referring to was not one from Cutler, but that the driver behind Cutler saw the mini-van coming over into his lane at the same time as - or even before - Cutler. He/she then applied brakes concurrently with Cutler. If I had been behind Cutler, I assume that's what I would have done, since I am a reasonably good driver who keeps his eyes not just on the car ahead of him, but on all traffic that might have an effect upon me.
If Cutler, however, had just applied his brakes - no sight of the mini-van moving into the lane for the driver behind Cutler - the driver behind Cutler may well not have had sufficient time to react. That's all I'm saying. And, as I said, it's assumption. I could be wrong.
If I were doing my best to keep that van from merging into my lane, he'd still be driving.
I was just minding my own lane and speed and trying to drive safely when the minivan driver put my occupants at risk, his occupants at risk and the occupants of every vehicle in the tunnel behind us at risk by cutting me off.
I was able to slow (as noted by the semantic purists who've commented here and at my blog - http://www.bowlofcheese.com) but thought it unsafe based on my 27 years of driving in Massachusetts without an at-fault accident.
Further, the practice of flicking on your blinker and moving simultaneously isn't really non MassH behavior. It's right up there with setting up camp in the fast lane at 42MPH, refusing to allow merging traffic on an onramp, being oblivious to rotary rules, and running any and every bicyclist into the curb.
Until we take some of our traffic laws seriously, people around here will drive as if they're in GTA.
I'm just saddened that so many people who read my rant feel so strongly about their right to drive. It's not a right, it's a privilege.
there are better examples of masshole driving happening all day long!