10 Things Houston Drivers Should Relearn From the Driver's Handbook

Categories: Cars and Trucks

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Photo by TexasDarkHorse via Flickr
Houston has some of the least courteous drivers in the country, a study shows.
Driving in harmony in Houston is a rarity, especially during rush hour. Drivers here might just be a little more difficult than motorists in other cities, too. According to the In the Driver's Seat Road Rage Survey released this week, Houston ranked first on the least-courteous-driver list.

So we thought we'd share the ten things that Houstonians need to relearn from the Texas Driver's Handbook.


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Photo by PEDS
10) Respect the cross-walk

Page 32:

You should always be on the lookout for individuals who are on foot (pedestrians) whether they have the right-of-way or not. Drivers must give the right-of-way to pedestrians:
1. At an uncontrolled intersection (there are not any traffic signs or signals for the pedestrian to enter the crosswalk) 2. If the pedestrian has a WALK signa a.) If there is not a pedestrian control signal, give the pedestrian the right-of-way on a green light.
b.) If the light changes to red after the pedestrian has entered the crosswalk, still give the pedestrian the right-of-way.

Yeah, that last line might be a little hard to swallow, but read it over about 100 times. Live by it, at least for the ten people who do walk in Houston.



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31 comments
rojcar
rojcar

#1 Is important for those driving downtown.  I work down here and have seen and heard of multiple pedestrian accidents. Bottom line - if you are turning right on a green, do not turn if there is a pedestrian walking across, or about to walk across  - pedestrians totally have the right of way.  IF you hit a pedestrian be prepared to get your b**t sued off because you are in the wrong, any way you or an attorney looks at it. I just had a lady turn right - right in front of me when I was walking across the crosswalk... I yelled at her and she stopped, got out, and actually argued that she got there first with her car so she had the right of way - and that I actually would have walked into her car, and would be to blame.. Good luck arguing that to a judge, or a jury.

John Richard
John Richard

Just look at all the out-of-state plates on the roads...too many varying types of drivers and Houston is extra dangerous when you're not sure of your routes and exits

Stacy Lynn
Stacy Lynn

And remember the left lane is the passing lane, so try and stay out of it if you're going slow or hauling a trailer.

Kristina Michel
Kristina Michel

Not to mention that many of the off- and on-ramps in this city allow for nothing else but cutting people off. Especially when you're trying to get off the freeway and turn right at a corner and there's five lanes, a million cars and only like 20 feet of road to maneuver.

Rolando Ontiveros
Rolando Ontiveros

I'll have to disagree with #2. people need to get up to speed and merge.

TheHeightsLife
TheHeightsLife

How to merge: DO NOT STOP in one lane to cut in to the other lane. Drive ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF THE LANE and the two lanes should MERGE, hence the name, like a zipper--- one car from each lane alternately. This will keep traffic moving at a slow but steady pace. 

Emily Watson
Emily Watson

so incredibly true.... USE THE TURN SIGNALS!!!!

Bill723
Bill723

Move out of a driver's blind spot when in an adjacent lane.

lulu012
lulu012

I will say one of the biggest perks to living in the suburbs (SL area anyway) is more calm and sane drivers!!! I'm not saying people are perfect drivers but there is definitely a difference.

bibulb1
bibulb1

Not in the manual, technically, but as an addendum to item 7, TURN FROM THE APPROPRIATE LANE. Over the years I have had multiple accidents because someone decided to make a left turn from the middle lane of a five-lane one-way street. Seeing this guy decide to make a u-turn from the middle lane… Just, goddamnit so much.

Konstantin Gelman
Konstantin Gelman

#1 should be get out of the left lane. GET OUT HE LEFT LANE, GET OUT HE LEFT LANE, GET OUT HE LEFT LANE!!!!

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

- Slow traffic and folks that are not passing need to stay out of the left lane!!!  <<  my biggest pet peeve.  It slows down all lanes!

 - People stopping or entering the freeway too slow.  Major cause of accidents!

crzycicada
crzycicada

Don't speed out of a parking lot in front of someone and go slow as crap.  I guess technically they cut you off but then almost come to a stop when doing so.  Double whammy!  Double bad!

Adam Komar
Adam Komar

How did left lane passing only / slower traffic keep right not make this list? Or another way to say it: GET OUT OF THE WAY!

Jesse Gunnels
Jesse Gunnels

Use your effing blinkers. How about that concept?! We are going to be bombarded by traffic anyway, because every other company wants to escape to Texas to get tax breaks. FINE THEM! Make them think; Is it worth moving to Texas? People don't want some crappy, part-time job. They're coming here and using our resources and taking from native Texans.

Danny Noman
Danny Noman

5) Don't Cut People Off to Change Lanes What kind of magical universe do you live in? Not Houston? Look, I want to be a courteous driver. I really do. But the only way to get into a lane during Houston rush hour is with force and reckless abandon. A turn signal is seen as a contemptible sign of weakness.

johnnybench
johnnybench topcommenter

From this morning, don't drive your tiny Honda civic into a flooded street.  And for the other guy, don't try to use the median as your high ground to drive around the flooded portion of the street.

JimWC
JimWC

0.  On all turns, you are entitled to one lane and one lane only.  The only time you are entitled to multiple lanes is when you are exiting a freeway.  When making a right turn, turn into the right-hand lane, and maneuver into you desired lane by signaling, looking, then shifting, one lane at a time.  Vice versa for a left turn.  The exception is when there are painted dashed lines directing you into the lane you should turn into.  Pay attention to them. 

Sitting there and waiting until a car in the middle lane is about to pass, pulling out in front of it, and slamming on the brakes is right out.

dougwhitehead
dougwhitehead

Where to start…


11. If you're not passing somebody, stay out of the left lane on highway.

12. Don't drive in my (or anyone's) blind spot.

13. Maybe slow down a little when it is pouring rain.

1a. Really, get off the phone!


h_e_x
h_e_x

@TheHeightsLife  The zipper is a thing a beauty when people actually follow it. So simple, so easy.

vonroach
vonroach

Except for me. I get the left lane all to myself!

FattyFatBastard
FattyFatBastard topcommenter

@RoosterMcGee No it doesn't.  Stopping to cut in line at a does, as it creates a bottleneck.  Funny how it's typically the speeders that do this the most.

h_e_x
h_e_x

Just takes an ounce of patience.

JimWC
JimWC

@dougwhitehead According to the folks that taught my last defenseless driving class, there are no blind spots.  If they exist, it's because the side mirrors are turned too far inward.  Their purpose is for the driver to be able to see what's going on in the lanes beside them, not the sides of their car.

lulu012
lulu012

@dougwhitehead  I only really get to look at other people drive the rare times I'm a passenger and I'm always stunned at the amount of people on the phone while driving. The main times I notice when I am driving is when someone is driving like a fool and I'm so pissed that I give them a dirty look and 90% of the time, they are on the phone. 


I also had to self-reflect and admit to myself that I probably need to stop using my phone so much while I drive also. I finally got bluetooth but rarely use it because it can also be fairly distracting. 


I'm defensive driving 100% of the time I leave my house and it is habit. It's the way it should always be anyway. I'll say that driving in Houston and seeing such crappy drivers, you have the decision to either take it as a lesson of how NOT to drive or utilize those same driving methods to survive. I have forced myself to learn from crappy driving.


Yeah, I'm that ONE person that gives people space to enter when they signal. I've thankfully seen that same car pay it forward to another person but it ends there. Oh well, I'll keep trying.

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

@h_e_x @TheHeightsLife  Just don't zip all the way to the front, when traffic is stop and go.  I won't let you in.

h_e_x
h_e_x

@FattyFatBastard @RoosterMcGee  I can't even count the number of accidents I've seen on I-10 to 45 because people slam on their breaks and block their lane because they refused to merge earlier. It's probably the main reason why 45 is so awful in the morning.

RoosterMcGee
RoosterMcGee topcommenter

@FattyFatBastard @RoosterMcGee WHAT?  You should never stop at a enterance to the freeway!  Gert up to about 55 and merge in with existing traffic!  What are you even talking about? 

AND, I hope youre not referring to theleft lane traffic!  Thats traffic 101 bud!  Left lane is for passing only.  Slow drivers in the left lane cause all lanes to slow down because no one can pass on the left. 

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