Q While driving to work one day on Interstate 280, a car put on its blinker and merged safely ahead of me. The young man driving put his hand up to say "thank you." I then realized how long it had been since anyone had done that to me while driving.
Yes, some have put a hand up, but not in a nice way. It appears that the courteous ways of driving taught to me by my parents and my observations of others have slipped away. What a shame. If only we could get people to appreciate the good things drivers do, maybe we could tolerate the bad things a little more.
A A friendly wave can work wonders to ease your commute and prevent road rage. Kudos to the young man wise enough to know the impact of a thankful wave.
Q When I get a rare break from another driver, I blow the considerate person a kiss and wave thanks! I never fail to get a huge smile in return, and it makes my day.
A I'm envious. Another driver has never given me a kiss of thanks.
Q While traveling south on Interstate 680 between Dublin and Sunol, a car without taillights passed many of us at 9 p.m. in the dark. What is the proper action to let drivers know their cars are creating hazards?
A There is no universal hand signal to let drivers know their taillights are out, and Sgt.-Bruce-the-Ex-Traffic-Cop says: "The thought of a driver speeding up to get alongside another fast-moving car on the freeway to somehow signal to the driver frightens me. Additionally, this action requires that both drivers' attention be diverted from driving.
"On a city street, maybe the driver could follow the other car to a red light or some other place where a verbal exchange might be possible. And, flashing headlights is too confusing to everyone. On the freeway, it might be best to just let the CHP know and then hope for the best."
And here is what Steve-the-CHP-Man says:
"I don't have an easy solution to communicating that information to another driver. I can't encourage a dialogue at freeway speeds during hours of darkness that would go like this:
'Honk, honk, your lights! ... What? They're on! ... No your taillights! ... What? ... YOUR TAILLIGHTS! ... OH!'" -- CRASH!
"More appropriately, call 911 with location, speed and direction of the vehicle and that information will be relayed to the beat units. Officers would much rather receive this information rather than be dispatched to a rear-end collision related to the lack of taillights."
Q It really annoys me when people behind me drive with their high-beam lights on at night. Is there any way to let other drivers know they have their high beams on?
A Some people will angle their outside mirrors so the lights of the offending vehicle reflect back in the driver's eyes.
Q In Germany, where lane discipline is strict, cars in the fast lane will turn on their left-turn signal as they approach road boulders to signal them to move over. The closing speed is usually very high. I've tried this several times and have found it works about 50 percent of the time.
A That's higher than I would have thought.
Q I am a driver for UPS who carries a sign in my truck that says, "You got a tail/brake light out." I drive more than 30 miles a day during my route, and I see more than 100 vehicles a day with taillight/brake light problems. Can you get the warning out to everyone to check their taillights?
A I hope you just did.
Q I sit high in my Land Rover and have a good view of what's going on way down the road. When I see the cars coming to a screeching halt in front of me, I don't tap my brakes. I put the emergency flashers on then shut them off. It's a good wake-up call for people behind you that there is an immediate problem and doesn't get the people behind you upset if they're clueless.
A A woman suddenly stalled ahead of me as I merged onto 101 from Oakland Road a few years ago and wisely hit her emergency flashers. I am convinced her quick actions prevented a collision.