Yes, you can be too nice.
We’ve all heard the horror stories about the crazy traffic in Toronto, the aggressive drivers, the gridlock and the long commutes. I have a different problem: My fellow drivers are too nice.
I live in Halifax, in a province where the natives are routinely described by tourists as “nice.” That’s great, but I’d like to suggest that Haligonians should be less friendly on the road.
We have rules of the road for driver and pedestrian safety, and to keep traffic moving as efficiently as possible. So why is niceness a good enough reason to break the rules?
Recently, a man three cars ahead of me stopped on a busy road to let vehicles on the on-ramp go ahead of him. Very thoughtful, but those drivers were waiting for a break in traffic as they should, and his consideration for them left me as a sitting duck parked on a busy road. Luckily, the cars coming behind me saw the situation in time and didn’t rear-end my car.
The busy Armdale Rotary in Halifax confuses many people, despite clear signs directing traffic to the correct lanes. Cars entering the rotary must yield the right of way to traffic already in the circle. Drivers within the rotary should NOT stop in their lane to let somebody in. Another act of niceness that is likely to cause an accident.
And if one of these acts of consideration causes an accident, who’s at fault? Likely the driver who was in the wrong place, after somebody kindly let them in. Even if you’re lucky enough to escape injury you could still face repair bills, increased insurance premiums and a whole lot of aggravation.
Thanks, but I’ll wait my turn.
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