I was waiting to pull out from a local auto dealer’s parking lot a couple of days ago, planning to turn right onto a four-lane street. The posted speed limit is 45 at that point and our 2016 Ford Fusion has pretty decent acceleration skills. I paused while a couple of vehicles passed headed in the direction I intended to travel. There was a bit of a gap between them and the next vehicle and I started to execute a snappy pullout into the traffic.
Something made me think, “There’s nothing behind this next car. I wonder how much longer I’d have to wait here until this vehicle passes?” Even though it violated my basic masculine nature and made me twitch inside, I decided to wait and see.
About three-and-a-half seconds.
Yep, that’s how long it took for me to be more considerate. Just over three seconds. Not even long enough for a good yawn. But enough time to be courteous and let the afternoon proceed more comfortably for both of us.
I could have pulled out and accelerated hard enough to be out of the way. The other driver could have easily moved over into the left-hand lane. Maybe if the Fusion and I were in good enough sync, the driver wouldn’t have had to even ease a foot off the accelerator or twitch the steering wheel slightly left.
There have been plenty of times when I’ve made a right hand turn into town traffic, pulled out into the near lane with someone coming in the left hand lane. And I’ll probably continue doing that, depending on traffic and degree of proximity to making it to work on time. In some settings, you either jump in or wait an hour or so for the morning rush to be over. But when I can take just three or four seconds and show courtesy to other drivers and my passengers, I’m going to go with that.
I should probably let Randa know about this new plan of mine ahead of time. Otherwise the shock of my patience and consideration for others might be more than she could bear.