Sometimes Driving Friendly, the Texas Way, Can Be Very Dangerous
Despite what you may witness sometimes when driving down Timberland Drive in Lufkin or North Street in Nacogdoches, Texans are known for driving in a courteous fashion. It's in our blood. Our state was named after the Spanish spelling of the Caddo word for friend. You see the signs on highways advising motorists to 'Drive Friendly, the Texas Way'.
Personally, I try my best to drive courteously. If someone has their blinker on and they are trying to merge in my lane of traffic, then I will SAFELY allow them access. If someone is trying to pull out of a parking lot into traffic, I will SAFELY allow them ahead of me.
The key word here is SAFELY.
So many times I've seen well-intentioned motorists try to be friendly to another motorist or pedestrian and in the process put that motorist, pedestrian and/or other motorists in danger. This usually happens when there is more than one lane of traffic to consider.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE #1 -
I saw 3 or 4 high school girls attempting to cross Highway 94 to get from the school grounds to a grocery store. An eastbound car in the slow lane decided to stop to let them pass. There was another eastbound car travelling in the fast lane and that driver could not see the girls cross the road, nor could the girls see that car. The vehicle that had stopped had created a blind spot in the process. Plus, there were other lanes of traffic to be considered.
Thankfully, the driver in the fast line was able to see the girls just in time and came to a stop.
REAL LIFE EXAMPLE #2 -
I was stopped at a red traffic light. It was a double lane frontage road and I was in the right hand land. The left hand lane of traffic was still moving. A motorist on a side street to the right decided he wanted to go across both lanes of traffic. The driver of the car in front of me gave him access and tried to wave him through both lanes of traffic. A kind gesture but he didn't notice another car coming down the other road. The motorist on the side street was almost T-boned.
I decided to write about this because we've been seeing an extraordinary amount of accidents as of late in the East Texas area, especially accidents involving pedestrians. The police report on one of these many auto-pedestrian accidents sounds like this type of courteousness could have been in play.
YES...always drive friendly, but alway makes decisions based on safety. Unless you are 100% sure of all possible outcomes of your actions, it's better to make that motorist or pedestrian wait a little longer until the situation is safe.