Different States With Different Driving Cultures.

Topic 30118 | Page 3

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Errol V.'s Comment
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Andrey gets it right:

Each US state is the same. And driver's manual is the same. You always yield when turning left unless you have a green arrow. But even with a green arrow, if an oncoming guy is not slowing down, I would rather yield than kill him.

The only small difference I've noticed is between California and places from the Midwest to the East Coast: the hesitation in making a left turn with a single left turn arrow like we are talking about.

In California left turn lanes, cars will pull out into the intersection with the main green light, and wait for a chance to go left. The other left turn cars pull up close behind. Then if they are still there when the yellow light comes on, they all head for the left turn, paratrooper style. As many as four cars will clear the intersection just on the yellow.

Not so in Memphis, at least. Some drivers "get it", but when a left turn arrow goes out many drivers stop at the crosswalk all together and that's all there is till the next green.

I'll pull my whole truck out into the intersection waiting for my chance to finish my left turn.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Mikey B.'s Comment
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So, I’m from the city on the east coast and i’m having a hard time grasping the differences in speed limits in certain areas as well as the different things to look out for on intersections. I just failed the road test here in missouri because I failed to yield on green when making a left turn. I’m use to having the green light to turn left while the oncoming traffic has red especially when the lane i’m in is specifically for making a left. It has the arrow and everything. It threw me off big time. Also, why is it 40mph in a small town with lights every block. I’m scared to go more than 30 in an area like this while everyone is flying by me. By the time I get to the next light i’m slamming on the brakes. Changing lanes seem difficult cause i’m not going as fast as the traffic too. I know I just gotta get used to it but it’s really starting to bug me and it keeps throwing me off. I’ve practiced and practiced and practiced while I had my trainer yelling at me because I can’t shake off my muscle memory from driving my car around in jersey. I’m a very defensive driver while I feel like people are more aggressive here because of the lesser population. Idk man. It’s just weird to me. I know i’m gonna be running into this situation more and more as a rookie otr driver once I start hitting the road. Does anyone have tips on getting the hang of a new place quick? I wanna be able to be as safe as possible when driving in a new town/city for the first time and even after that.

I'm gonna play devils advocate here. Everything you mentioned is the same rules, regulations and law in every city in America. Basic drivers ed stuff that you should have already learned from driving a car. I've driven a car in multiple states from the west coast to the east coast and all points in between. It was the exact same basic laws everywhere. That's how we function as a nation. You personally don't know the laws and I suspect you are feeling bad about failing so you are now looking for a scapegoat so you don't have to take all the blame. Seriously ou ously, if you don't know that you have to wait to turn left on a green light until its clear....how did you ever survive daily driving. East coast has the same lights as everyone else. You should have learned that when you were being taught to drive a car. I bet you've had many close calls and just thought everyone was a holes. The speed limit between lights in small towns...they have a speed LIMIT so cars dont race to 85 between lights if you cannot figure out how to drive a truck between them without slamming on the brakes at lights...well, perhaps truck driving not for you. That 40 mph was a limit...not a mandatory speed to hit. Seriously you sound dangerous. Maybe you spend some time learning laws by reading a DMV learners manual, I assure you it's the same in every state. I feel for you having not passed but really, that's entirely on you. Learn the laws before you try again, please. First time you try to go left on a solid green and a family of 6 is driving through their green light you are gonna kill a family of 6.

OTR:

Over The Road

OTR driving normally means you'll be hauling freight to various customers throughout your company's hauling region. It often entails being gone from home for two to three weeks at a time.

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.

DMV:

Department of Motor Vehicles, Bureau of Motor Vehicles

The state agency that handles everything related to your driver's licences, including testing, issuance, transfers, and revocation.

OWI:

Operating While Intoxicated

Old School's Comment
member avatar

Honestly, I have been pondering this conversation for several days. I didn't want to comment because I kept thinking there's no way we have places that allow you to turn left on a non-arrow shaped green light without yielding. I was assuming he had arrows painted on the road for the left turn lane. It is as Mikey says. If you don't have a lighted arrow you have to yield to the oncoming traffic. I honestly think this was a case of testing anxiety. I think "Dirtydeeds" let the pressure of having that tester sitting over there in the jump seat push him into the realm of total confusion. He then just got all out of sorts and felt if he was just sitting there idle he would fail for impeding traffic. Something crazy like that must have started racing through his head. He overreacted to the anxiousness he was experiencing and decided he needed to get rolling. It was a simple mistake that could have serious consequences. That is why Mikey sounded the alarm.

We all know how stressful it is taking that driving test. You have got to deal with that anxiety and keep it at bay the best you can. Get in there and do what you know is right. Don't go second guessing anything. Be cautious and careful with every maneuver. You know the testing route now, and you know that you have got to yield at that green light until you see a green arrow or you don't see any oncoming traffic for a good long way. It will take you about 12 or 15 seconds to fully complete that turn from a dead stop. That is a lot of time for a vehicle to approach you and become a problem.

Don't get your self all stressed thinking you are going to be running across all kinds of different turning laws in different parts of the country. It is all basically the same. Otherwise we would have the kind of chaos you experienced when you took that turn without paying good attention to the signs, traffic, and signals. There was nothing unusual about that turn. Your approach to it was the problem. Forget about it and move forward. You just made a mistake. Now you know what to do.

James H.'s Comment
member avatar

Where I come from, a left arrow on the floor is always accompanied by an arrow on the light in front of it. And when the arrow is green the oncoming traffic light is always red. I’ve never seen a solid green with floor arrow combo in my life.

This assertion caught my attention. This photo, which I hope I attached correctly, is the southbound approach of Canfield Ave to Route 10 in Randolph NJ. It is right down the street from the Randolph MVC and is on the route of every CDL road test given at this location, including the one I took. There's a dedicated left turn lane, but no left turn only phase on the signal timing. I've never heard of anyone flunking the test for the reason the OP gives. I think he just had a brain freeze. It happens, and luckily in this case the stakes were low. Retaking the test is no big deal. Nobody was injured, so it's OK.

0184577001620571673.jpg

CDL:

Commercial Driver's License (CDL)

A CDL is required to drive any of the following vehicles:

  • Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, providing the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 pounds.
  • Any vehicle, regardless of size, designed to transport 16 or more persons, including the driver.
  • Any vehicle required by federal regulations to be placarded while transporting hazardous materials.
dirtydeeds's Comment
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I guess no one got what I was trying to say lol. And people saying solid green lights in left turn only lanes exist in NJ... well NOW I know. And they must be in the more country/town areas of NJ, Because in MY little city there isn’t one like that. We hardly have left turn lanes compared to what i’m seeing out here. Hell, even 30-40 minutes away from where I live the roads look different to me. Of course all the laws are the same in every state and city, No one was arguing that. I’m just saying that i’ve never seen a solid green light directing traffic in a left turn only lane. It always had a left arrow. That’s all. Jeez. Lol. It confused me, I brain farted, I failed. Good news is.. today I took my road test again and used this new knowledge to pass my exam. Only got 4 points out of 30. See you guys out there!

Anne A. (G13Momcat)'s Comment
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I guess no one got what I was trying to say lol. And people saying solid green lights in left turn only lanes exist in NJ... well NOW I know. And they must be in the more country/town areas of NJ, Because in MY little city there isn’t one like that. We hardly have left turn lanes compared to what i’m seeing out here. Hell, even 30-40 minutes away from where I live the roads look different to me. Of course all the laws are the same in every state and city, No one was arguing that. I’m just saying that i’ve never seen a solid green light directing traffic in a left turn only lane. It always had a left arrow. That’s all. Jeez. Lol. It confused me, I brain farted, I failed. Good news is.. today I took my road test again and used this new knowledge to pass my exam. Only got 4 points out of 30. See you guys out there!

Congrats, man!~

This is from Tom's notes (from Roadmasters in CMH in 2003) at school in Ohio.. <<< YEP, Ohio!

If you're turning left at a green light, pull out into the intersection but wait to turn left until all oncoming traffic has passed. If you're turning left at a four-way stop or uncontrolled intersection, you should give the right-of-way to any oncoming drivers going straight, even if you got there first.

Not even sure this applies anymore; sorry Errol V ~!! I had to dig it up, I knew I'd heard about it somewhere, LoL.

Be safe, y'all.

Glad you got it figured out, and congrats, DD ~!!!

~ Anne ~

Dm:

Dispatcher, Fleet Manager, Driver Manager

The primary person a driver communicates with at his/her company. A dispatcher can play many roles, depending on the company's structure. Dispatchers may assign freight, file requests for home time, relay messages between the driver and management, inform customer service of any delays, change appointment times, and report information to the load planners.
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