After driving in Grand Junction for over 20 years I can state with impunity that people do not drive as well as they think they do.


Take for example turning. It's a simple thing, turning. But it becomes less simple when another vehicle is also turning. According to the Colorado Driver Handbook, turning is explained like this:

" If you are making a left turn, you must begin in the left-most lane. If you are making a right turn, you must begin in the right-most lane, unless traffic signs, signals or lane markings clearly permit turning from more than one lane".

That means when you are turning right you stay in the right-hand lane, not turn into the left-hand lane. Likewise, when you are turning left, you stay in the left lane until it's safe to move over. Yet there we sit, waiting to see if the person turning will stay in their correct lane. If I had a dime for every person who turns into the wrong lane I could retire.

Entering the Highway

According to the handbook:

High speed roadways generally have acceleration ramps to give you time to build up your speed. When entering a freeway from an on-ramp try to increase your speed to match that of the freeway traffic. Do not merge into traffic until the solid white line has ended. Do not stop in the acceleration lane unless absolutely necessary. Remember, you must yield the rightof-way to the traffic already on the freeway. • Adjust to freeway speed in the acceleration lane. • Do not cross the solid white line. • Signal and move carefully into the freeway lane.

To sum that one up, the idea behind the on-ramp is to accelerate to match the speed on the highway as you merge when it's safe. Yet people just leisurely make their way down the on-ramp doing 45 - 50 mph, not accelerating to meet the speed of traffic. This can cause issues because the people behind that person is waiting to join the highway speed and may swing out from behind the slow mover to pass them and get up to speed.

Turning with the traffic light Red.

For some reason, this one seems to have been diluted. Here's what the manual states:

Stop until a green light appears. After stopping and yielding to pedestrians and other traffic, and if not prohibited by a traffic sign, you may turn right while the light is red. Also, you may turn left on a red light if you are turning from a one-way street onto another one-way street, unless prohibited by a sign.

Meaning once traffic has passed and there are no pedestrians it's ok to turn right on a red light. Except now it seems to have turned into a race. Cutting off people already in the flow of traffic just because you "can turn right on a red" is shortsighted and causes accidents. Be patient. Also, remember turning from a one way to a one way allows you to also turn left on red. I see this one being forgotten more than remembered.

One more, for safety.

When many of us were learning how to drive, we were told to hold our hands at 10 o'clock and two o'clock positions. Now, with airbags prevalent on most vehicles, it is no longer safe to drive that way. The rule states:

Both hands should be placed on the outside of the steering wheel on opposite sides, at the three and nine o’clock positions, to maintain control of the vehicle. Placing your hands at the two and 10 o’clock positions is no longer recommended because it can be dangerous in a vehicle equipped with air bags. Your grip on the steering wheel should be firm but gentle. Use your fingers instead of the palms of your hands and keep your thumbs up along the face of the steering wheel. Never turn the wheel while gripping it from the inside of the steering wheel.

One other thought. Texting while driving is just stupid. If you have to do it, pull over.

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