We at Environment Memo are inured to having to drive a lot. Where we live, it’s all pavement. (We can talk later about the effects of all this pavement on surface water quality. It isn’t pretty.) In fact North Carolina is rumored to be one of the most paved states, in terms of total surface area. (Do any readers have information on that?) Anyway, we drive a lot.

One driving tip I recall from my Driver’s Education days (aka Driver’s Ed or Driver Ed), which is ignored all too frequently is, as put succinctly by our instructor, “If you’re going to make a right, get over to the right. If you’re going to make a left, get over to the left.”  The idea is, that by getting over  in the direction one is turning, one stays as clear as possible of those behind who are often going to go around and head on by.  As admonished by our Driver’s Education teacher, unless one is  in a truck or other vehicle with a long distance between the front and rear wheels, one does not need to veer out in the opposite direction prior to turning:  “the rear wheels will follow the front ones.”  I call this “swoop driving,” and while trucks need to do it, most cars just do not need to, or at least do not need to do it to the extent that many drivers do.

It could be there is some human tendency to mimic the trucks, and others, and this rather bad driving method just becomes part of the road.  One take-home message, of course, is the defensive driving one:  expect them to swoop, and act accordingly.


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