Letter writer: WNC residents, look in the mirror for bad drivers

Graphic by Lori Deaton

There have been a few letters complaining about driving habits of drivers from outside the local area. I find this amusing, as, having lived on the East Coast, Rocky Mountains and West Coast, I have found Western North Carolina the least traffic-aware and most careless driving region I have lived and driven in.

These letters suggest that I “leave at home” some driving traits that appear to be illegal in the area — as in making full stops at stop signs, including when making a right turn at one or at a red light and always using turn signals before turning and/or changing lanes. I was not aware these are apparently illegal here, as 80 percent [or more] do not do the above. In order to better fit in here, I would have to discontinue these imported driving habits.

One letter complained about a line of cars tailgating on [Interstate] 26 approaching downtown but totally missed the point as to why this often happens. This is usually because there is a driver going significantly under the speed limit and who is not being held up by traffic immediately ahead — a very common occurrence here. Usually, on multilane roads you can go around — but not on most of the roads in the surrounding area. I don’t know if North Carolina has a law, as other states do, that require drivers who have more than four to five cars behind them on these roads to pull over in a safe spot. If so, it is also being ignored.

On a serious note with respect to turn signals: Not only is this the law and a reflection of common curtesy, but there is a hidden benefit for drivers. It goes back to traffic awareness, as in properly using turn signals. The driver will be more aware of traffic conditions and actually become a safer driver.

So before complaining about others’ driving habits, take a good, honest look in the mirror.

— G. Wurster
Asheville

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6 thoughts on “Letter writer: WNC residents, look in the mirror for bad drivers

    • I however feel the going 10 to 15 miles over the speed limit on city streets, disregarding pedestrian crosswalks and several cars at a time blowing through red lights after thet have changed makes this city unsafe to drive and especially especially walk in. On Interstates it’s the people driving at least 20 miles per hour over the speed limit and tailgating you if you do go the speed limit or a little over it. Plus the semis doing the same is out of control. Where are the cops when all of this is going on when they know what’s going on? Many deaths on interstates especially on 26 and people hit in crosswalks. Many drivers here are self centered and dangerous.

  1. C

    I take offense. I just looked into my rear view mirror ( to look at myself) and I happen to see an excellent driver. It’s all the other drivers that are causing problems. Those that go faster than me are jerks and those that drive slower than me are a bunch of nannies. Wait,.. lost my train of thought – had to pull over for an ambulance… as I was saying…I think that it is the carpet baggers from up North who drive too fast and the provincials, well, they just need to wake up before they get to their driving. Sleeping and driving isn’t a good mix. And, as a matter of fact, I’ve driven in other states too, and it seems that they don’t drive as good as me either.

  2. Slappy Cat

    And then there is the man driving around with a dash cam looking for accidents so he can get a new car. That is his admission on his FB page. He posts his videos on YouTube. He has posted videos of accidents in January, February and March of this year. All of them clearly could have been avoided. His accident of March 26th showed him getting off the highway, a Subaru came up along side his car, he clearly turned his car left into the Subaru causing it to lose control and flip. He has since deleted this video, but the other 2 are still available. I sincerely hope that justice is served to this man before he kills someone.

  3. PCH

    Thank you, G Wurster! Completely agree with you. Turn signals and traffic awareness are key, and sorely lacking in WNC. And while, yes, high-speed tailgating is annoying and unsafe, traveling at 10+ miles below the speed limit is similarly dangerous and irritating. Also would like to point out that highway off-ramps are engineered to give drivers time to slow down safely, so there’s really no need to slow down to 35 or 40mph prior to getting on the ramp. Another time when turn signal use could cut down on a lot of bewilderment, cursing, and steering-wheel-pounding. Communicate with the cars around you, WNC!

  4. Jason

    Let me guess… You are older (probably a rambler) and just moved here to retire or continue to “drift” and have “buyers remorse” and regret it because you too were sucked in to the Asheville MYTH of sugar plums, flying fairies who fart pixie dust, magical spice, and everything nice. SOUTH CAROLINA; 40 minutes down the road has the highest traffic fatalities in the country.

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