When the Cowboy’s lost the game on Sunday, I didn’t know whether to blame it on “fracking” or “Obama.” Most of us like to put the blame on the other party, but sometimes when it doesn’t seem like our fault, it very well may be. So, who’s at fault in the blame game? A classic traffic accident is the rear end collision when entering the freeway. The person ahead of you guns it to get up to speed to merge with the flow of traffic. And, right before they merge in from the ramp, they chicken out and lock ‘em up. Perhaps you, too, are looking at the traffic you will be merging into and not paying as much attention to the car ahead of you. And wham! So, in this driving accident, whose fault is it? I mean, they appeared to be moving along. Why did they stop at the end of the ramp? Ugh! But, it’s your fault, and your insurance agent will tell you, as well as the police, because you were following too close. If you had left enough space between cars, this may have not happened.

Since the traffic on the freeway has the right of way, there is no law that requires a driver occupying the right lane on the freeway to move over, slow down, or take any other action to let a merging vehicle on the freeway. Of course, it would be courteous to do so. Perhaps a better way of looking at it is, the higher speed always has the right of way over the lower speed. The lower speed traffic always yields to the higher speed traffic when merging. That just makes sense that the higher (more dangerous) speed should have the right away. And, the traffic already on the main road has the right of way. I hear more than my share about how people just don’t know how to merge anymore.

And the law that some have forgotten, is that you must signal 100 feet before you turn. But what if there is a street between you and that 100 feet turn? Should you signal just short of your turn? I was taught that, if you are the person sitting at the stop sign, waiting to turn onto the main road, you should never pull out until the car, with its signal blinking, is well into the turn onto your street. Because that car may not be turning onto your street, after all, but may be turning onto the next street past yours. So in this traffic scenario, whose fault would that be? Theirs, for signaling the required 100 feet? Or yours, for pulling out in front of them? You can guess.

Maybe the masses are correct. Maybe people just don’t know how to merge anymore.

Until next week…

Daun Thompson
Writer / Comedienne / Artist
Who’s At Fault in the Blame Game – Comedy Defensive Driving