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Old 07-06-2008, 10:23 AM
 
29,176 posts, read 51,437,279 times
Reputation: 21566

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Are you in good hands? Maybe not if they belong to an Anchorage driver.

Residents are crashing more often than in years past, according to a report released this week by Allstate Insurance Co.

Anchorage drivers crashing more often, insurer says: Anchorage | adn.com (http://www.adn.com/anchorage/story/456189.html - broken link)
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:19 PM
 
4,986 posts, read 9,041,896 times
Reputation: 3273
Yes, I read the article the other day too. Unfortunately, it did not surprise me at all. Having escaped from So. Kalifornia a while back, I thought I had experienced the bad driving capitol of the US down there. Unfortunately, many Anchorage drivers could write THE definitive book on bad, dangerous, and discourteous driving.

Since being up here, I have personally witnessed half a dozen serious head on collisions, directly due to one driver trying to irresponsibly cut in front of another at a busy intersection. I have also witnessed countless incidents of near missies cause by rude drivers going out of their way to cut each other off, and had it happen to me once or twice.

Perhaps by biggest concern is the habit of some to make a right turn at a stop sign and pull out onto a busy street without any regard for oncoming traffic. I’ve watched numerous folks not even perform a proper “California Rolling Stop”, they just pull out into traffic without even looking, assuming oncoming cars will yield for them. This is crosses beyond rude and irresponsible behavior to being a dangerous disregard for everyone’s safety when done in the winter. Nothing stops your heart faster than watching some knucklehead pull out 15 feet in front of you on an icy road! Studded tires or not!

On one occasion this last winter, as I was travelling down a quiet road near my house, I watched in amazement as a minivan driver, making a left turn from a side street into my direction of travel, was so bound and determined to get in FRONT of me that she gunned her engine and broke loose on the icy road doing several complete 360’s before heading off into the ditch. Saddest part is if she would have simply waited two or three seconds more for me to pass, there wasn’t another car behind me for a mile and she would have had the entire road to herself and all the time in the world to complete her turn safely.

Sorry for the lengthy rant, but this happens to be a particular pet peeve of mine. I have taken several safe driving courses both on and off the job, and I think they should be mandatory for everyone. Driving a car should be performed in just as safe and deliberate manner as flying an airplane or riding a motorcycle. But many don't even give a second thought to the task at hand and end up causing serious consequences.
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Old 07-06-2008, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
11,838 posts, read 26,676,584 times
Reputation: 2795
So the drivers are worse there than they are in Boston?
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:09 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,824 posts, read 21,723,292 times
Reputation: 6526
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Photographer View Post
Yes, I read the article the other day too. Unfortunately, it did not surprise me at all. Having escaped from So. Kalifornia a while back, I thought I had experienced the bad driving capitol of the US down there. Unfortunately, many Anchorage drivers could write THE definitive book on bad, dangerous, and discourteous driving.

Since being up here, I have personally witnessed half a dozen serious head on collisions, directly due to one driver trying to irresponsibly cut in front of another at a busy intersection. I have also witnessed countless incidents of near missies cause by rude drivers going out of their way to cut each other off, and had it happen to me once or twice.

Perhaps by biggest concern is the habit of some to make a right turn at a stop sign and pull out onto a busy street without any regard for oncoming traffic. I’ve watched numerous folks not even perform a proper “California Rolling Stop”, they just pull out into traffic without even looking, assuming oncoming cars will yield for them. This is crosses beyond rude and irresponsible behavior to being a dangerous disregard for everyone’s safety when done in the winter. Nothing stops your heart faster than watching some knucklehead pull out 15 feet in front of you on an icy road! Studded tires or not!

On one occasion this last winter, as I was travelling down a quiet road near my house, I watched in amazement as a minivan driver, making a left turn from a side street into my direction of travel, was so bound and determined to get in FRONT of me that she gunned her engine and broke loose on the icy road doing several complete 360’s before heading off into the ditch. Saddest part is if she would have simply waited two or three seconds more for me to pass, there wasn’t another car behind me for a mile and she would have had the entire road to herself and all the time in the world to complete her turn safely.

Sorry for the lengthy rant, but this happens to be a particular pet peeve of mine. I have taken several safe driving courses both on and off the job, and I think they should be mandatory for everyone. Driving a car should be performed in just as safe and deliberate manner as flying an airplane or riding a motorcycle. But many don't even give a second thought to the task at hand and end up causing serious consequences.
I drove in California for several years, and while they are definitely "aggressive" drivers, I did not consider them to be bad drivers. Of course, I had experience with drivers from Nebraska to compare them with. Maybe that made the difference.

I do agree with your assessment of Alaskan drivers. The worst I have ever seen anywhere I have driven. I flat out refuse to drive on the first day of snow, because I know that hundreds of poorly trained and equipped drivers will be flying in every direction seeking the ditch.

People who move to Alaska that have never before experienced driving on snow and ice should be required to take a winter driving safety course before being allowed on the road after October.
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Old 07-10-2008, 02:26 AM
 
10 posts, read 32,755 times
Reputation: 14
I completely agree that the driving has gotten MUCH worse over the last few years...to the extent I don't like to be on the road and don't like my hubby out there driving, either. I don't understand why people are being so careless and rude??
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Old 07-12-2008, 10:22 AM
 
3 posts, read 21,987 times
Reputation: 18
I'll agree with everyone here. And ditto on the first day of snow. Why is it so hard to remember that snow is slippery until you slip on it? As much as I hate to say it, because I love this place, the collective body of drivers in ANC is possibly the worst I have ever seen.

Rampant driving discourtesy aside, there may be a serious lack of knowledge regarding traffic laws here. The worsening statistics certainly suggest that a problem could be present/developing. They should publish more data on the subject, like length of time living here, etc. which might support the idea of a driving class for new residents. I think everyone should have to take a multi-week driver's training class before turning them loose. It just makes sense. I would even support a tax for that. It would also probably help to raise the driving age to 18.

100% agreed on the turning out in to traffic in front of another car thing, which also happens to me a lot. Can't they see the giant gap in traffic behind me?

Two other particularly disturbing actions I see alot are the tendency to just roll through an intersection with an "orange" or even blatanly red light during the winter/with snowy roads and a lack of knowledge about right-of-way issues. My favorite, on the way to work each day, is the Northbound exit ramp off New Seward to Tudor. There is a yield sign for the access road (Brayton Drive) that only a minority of drivers seem to obey. I got flipped off one day last year by some incompetent woman who nearly rammed me while failing to yield.

Someone please tell me if I am wrong, but when two cars merge at the onramp to the highway doesn't the car already traveling on said roadway maintain the right-of-way? I appreciate the courtesy many drivers seem to display by changing from the right to left lanes to give entering drivers more room, but I've seen people do this and either cut off a passing driver in the left lane or otherwise endanger other drivers as a result. Not safe driving in my opinion. Additionally, people on the onramps often clearly do not yield to existing traffic.

And don't even get me started on the Glenn....
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Old 07-14-2008, 01:06 AM
 
655 posts, read 807,080 times
Reputation: 240
They come up with these BS studies about every 2-3 years, then raise your rates about 15%. I drove the Alaska roads for 26 years and never so much as got into a fender bender, never been stuck or in the ditch, or even had a single moving violation. Yet every 2-3 years my rates jumped 15-20%. Pure BS!
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Old 07-24-2008, 05:45 PM
 
4,986 posts, read 9,041,896 times
Reputation: 3273
Quote:
Originally Posted by TC Skier View Post
...My favorite, on the way to work each day, is the Northbound exit ramp off New Seward to Tudor. There is a yield sign for the access road (Brayton Drive) that only a minority of drivers seem to obey. I got flipped off one day last year by some incompetent woman who nearly rammed me while failing to yield.

Someone please tell me if I am wrong, but when two cars merge at the onramp to the highway doesn't the car already traveling on said roadway maintain the right-of-way? I appreciate the courtesy many drivers seem to display by changing from the right to left lanes to give entering drivers more room, but I've seen people do this and either cut off a passing driver in the left lane or otherwise endanger other drivers as a result. Not safe driving in my opinion. Additionally, people on the onramps often clearly do not yield to existing traffic.

And don't even get me started on the Glenn....
Yes, the yield signs on all of the frontage roads are practically useless, and many drivers merging onto the highway apparently do not understand the basic law of physics that two objects cannot occupy the same physical space at one time. Many of these drivers also then proceed to make a bee-line straight for the left lane where they then meander along slower than traffic to their right.

And what braniac ever decided to put traffic circles on Dowling?

Having commuted in “real” traffic for many years down south, one can almost understand the insane logic behind aggressive driving. Not withstanding the danger, it is possible to shave 5 or 10 minutes off a daily 30+ mile commute by weaving in and out of traffic and generally driving like an A-hole. But even that flawed thought process fails on the new Seward where a typical Anchorage commute might be 5 to 10 miles at most. I’ve watched people practically kill each other just to gain a one or two car-length advantage, only to pull up next to them, along with everyone else, at the light on 36th. That intersection is the “great equalizer”; we all arrive at more or less the same time no matter what. I can’t for the life of me figure out why everyone is in such a hurry.

Last edited by Moose Whisperer; 07-24-2008 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 07-24-2008, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, Alaska
17,824 posts, read 21,723,292 times
Reputation: 6526
Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Photographer View Post
Yes, yield signs on all of the frontage roads are practically useless, and many drivers merging onto the highway apparently do not understand the basic law of physics that two objects cannot occupy the same physical space at one time. Many of these drivers also then proceed to make a bee-line straight for the left lane where they then meander along slower than traffic to their right.
That in particular really gets my blood boiling. I mean how much brain power does it take to understand that you have to get up to the speed of traffic (regardless of your personal speed preference) if you want to merge safely?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Photographer View Post
And what braniac ever decided to put traffic circles on Dowling?
All those moronic east-coast traffic circles were put in while Begich was mayor. I suspect the city hired some idiot traffic engineer from the east-coast who decided to make Anchorage more like New Hampshire. Traffic circles are almost exclusively found in states east of the Mississippi River and throughout Europe. They are very rare in western states, and yet Anchorage has 3 or 4 of them now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AK_Photographer View Post
Having commuted in “real” traffic for many years down south, one can almost understand the insane logic behind aggressive driving. Not withstanding the danger, it is possible to shave 5 or 10 minutes off a daily 30+ mile commute by weaving in and out of traffic and generally driving like an A-hole. But even that flawed thought process fails on the new Seward where a typical Anchorage commute might be 5 to 10 miles at most. I’ve watched people practically kill each other just to gain a one or two car-length advantage, only to pull up next to them, along with everyone else, at the light on 36th. That intersection is the “great equalizer”; we all arrive at more or less the same time no matter what. I can’t for the life of me figure out why everyone is in such a hurry.
There is nothing wrong with aggressive driving. As long as you are obeying the traffic laws and don't cut anyone off. Aggressive driving is NOT weaving in and out of traffic. That is reckless driving. Aggressive driving is pulling into traffic and accelerating up to the speed of the traffic as quickly as possible. Aggressive driving is knowing when it is safe to pull into traffic. Passive drivers will sit at an intersection all day waiting for the perfect opportunity before pulling into traffic.

I drive daily to Anchorage and back from Wasilla, and I prefer to drive a static speed. It doesn't matter to me if that speed is 60mph or 65mph or even 70mph, as long as it is constant, I will be happy following other vehicles. However, when that speed begins to vary by more than 5mph either way, then I either get out of the way, or pass the vehicle in front of me who can't seem to drive a static speed.
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:39 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks Alaska
1,677 posts, read 6,088,244 times
Reputation: 672
Instead of new laws, maybe you folks need to enforce exisiting laws more frequently, if Anchorage is anything like Fairbanks, traffic cops are far and few between. I saw drivers getting lazy all over the state this summer and experienced Anchorage in a Class A Motorhome, trying to change lanes and one driver cutting me off with plenty of warning of my turnsignal. Yes I adapted quickly and turned shortly after trying a second attempt with the turnsignal.
Motorhomes have a great intimidation factor among smaller cars.

Anchorage has been like that for at lest 30+ years. So don't blame the new guys, blame the ones that think they can drive on frozen greased snott.
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