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Why the inching?

Koen Aerts
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Joined: Feb 07, 2012
Posts: 344

There are a lot of things that annoy me in traffic. Besides the obvious things like being cut off, someone that's tailgating, or seeing someone being distracted and not paying attention to the road (and with 2 kids in the back seat), it's also the act of inching. For instance at a red light when cars stop they leave these huge gaps - several car lengths - in between, then sit there for about 10-20 seconds and start inching little by little to close the gap. Why is that? Why do people leave those big gaps and then keep inching for so long? (go, stop, go, stop, go, stop, ...) It seems quite common and I see it all the time. Why can't people just drive to the point where they can go no further so they don't need to inch forward forever? I can see why this is so easy to do with an automatic transmission; all you need to do is ease off the break a little and the car just starts inching. But still, why? Is it fun to do? I drive a standard so it requires some more effort to repeatedly inch forward and stop. Because I don't like to inch for no reason I tend to just stay where I have stopped, often ending up being the one with the huge gap before me since the cars in front of me have already inched forward quite a distance

Then there are those people that at first stop right at the line of the intersection, which is good. But then while the light is still red they start inching all the way over the line, often ending up in the middle of the crosswalk section. It seems they're so impatient and can't wait to get going, so I would expect to see some burning rubber and smoke when the light turns green and they disappear out of sight within seconds. Instead the light turns green, they sit there for 3 more seconds and then ever so slowly accelerate and take forever to get anywhere close to the speed limit.

I'm currently reading Traffic - Why we drive the way we do by Tom Vanderbilt. It provides some interesting insight into the reasons why people behave a certain way in traffic. So far I haven't read anything yet about the inching thing
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2841
    
  11

I suppose it gives people a small sense of control. They may be stuck from moving much, but at least they can move a little. Usually it's harmless, and you see it in lines of people as well. What drives me crazy is when I'm waiting to turn right, which is legal on a red light where I live, and somebody turning left is inching into the crosswalk, blocking my view of oncoming traffic. That person can't turn left until the light turns green anyway, so all those inches mean nothing to them.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Axiom: everyone on the roads is an idiot.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
dennis deems
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Joined: Mar 12, 2011
Posts: 808
If I am more than comfortable with the space between me and the car in front of me, but less than comfortable with the space between me and the car behind, I will inch forward.
Mike Simmons
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Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 3003
    
    9
Dennis Deems wrote:If I am more than comfortable with the space between me and the car in front of me, but less than comfortable with the space between me and the car behind, I will inch forward.

Then the terrorists win.
fred rosenberger
lowercase baba
Bartender

Joined: Oct 02, 2003
Posts: 11169
    
  16

Bear Bibeault wrote:Axiom: everyone else on the roads is an idiot.

fixed that for you...


There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors
Koen Aerts
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Joined: Feb 07, 2012
Posts: 344

fred rosenberger wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:Axiom: everyone else on the roads is an idiot.

fixed that for you...

Most people, including myself, seem to think of themselves they are good drivers, or better than most other drivers. Possibly because there is no constant feedback on how we perform on the road each time. The only time we get feedback on our driving is when we're in an accident. But if we crash into a tractor trailer because we were too busy texting or blabbing on our cell phones... is that an "accident"? Apparently only a very small percentage of accidents are true accidents, the rest of them are outcomes from idiotic actions. I've been in one of the latter before.
Greg Charles
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 01, 2001
Posts: 2841
    
  11

Ray: Don't drive like my brother!
Tom: Don't drive like my brother!

(Weekly signoff to Car Talk.)
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

All drivers think they are from Lake Woebegon, where all drivers are above average.

Most drivers have no idea what their car can do, and no idea how to control it. The only place you can learn car control is on a racetrack.
Koen Aerts
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2012
Posts: 344

Pat Farrell wrote:The only place you can learn car control is on a racetrack.

I thought it was on a Playstation.
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

Koen Aerts wrote:I thought it was on a Playstation.


Just as folks learn how to use a sword or battle ax on World of Warcraft.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

I challenge anyone to a battle ax battle!

Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

Nice photo, @bear. But how does one fight with that thing? If you swing and miss, you have zero protection.

There used to be a local bar/pub that had some weapons on the wall. The "two handed sword" was nearly six feet long. We spent many a beer trying to figure how you could fight effectively with that thing.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Asteroth never misses!
Pat Farrell
Rancher

Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4646
    
    5

Bear Bibeault wrote:Asteroth never misses!

Ha. When you are up against a little quick guy, they move out of the way before you can even get the swing going.

In intercollegiate wrestling, I would love to watch/see the 150lb guy against the heavyweight. Speed vs strength.
Koen Aerts
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 07, 2012
Posts: 344

Bear Bibeault wrote:Asteroth never misses!

His tiny head looks a bit like that alien that popped out of the stomach in Alien.
Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2274
    
  28

Koen Aerts wrote:

Then there are those people that at first stop right at the line of the intersection, which is good. But then while the light is still red they start inching all the way over the line, often ending up in the middle of the crosswalk section. It seems they're so impatient and can't wait to get going, so I would expect to see some burning rubber and smoke when the light turns green and they disappear out of sight within seconds. Instead the light turns green, they sit there for 3 more seconds and then ever so slowly accelerate and take forever to get anywhere close to the speed limit.


Yes, I always wondered about that too! My hypothesis is that they are distracted by something else completely and are inching forward without realising it.
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18545
    
  40

Pat Farrell wrote:
Bear Bibeault wrote:Asteroth never misses!

Ha. When you are up against a little quick guy, they move out of the way before you can even get the swing going.

In intercollegiate wrestling, I would love to watch/see the 150lb guy against the heavyweight. Speed vs strength.


Agreed. Never been a fan of Asteroth. He is way too slow for my tastes.

During my prime (when I was addicted), I favored Mitsurugi and Sophitia -- and was able to easily beat Asteroth with those characters. Of course, because none of my friends like Asteroth either, I only fought the computer controlled version of Asteroth.

Henry


Books: Java Threads, 3rd Edition, Jini in a Nutshell, and Java Gems (contributor)
Paul Clapham
Bartender

Joined: Oct 14, 2005
Posts: 18541
    
    8

Bear Bibeault wrote:I challenge anyone to a battle ax battle...


I'm not familiar with battle axes, so perhaps this is a dumb question, but... Why does that battle ax have a bottle-opener feature on it? And (maybe another dumb question) why is the blade split like that? It looks like damage caused by whacking something harder than the ax blade, but there's no evidence of that as the edge is uniformly sharp.
Jayesh A Lalwani
Bartender

Joined: Jan 17, 2008
Posts: 2274
    
  28

Maybe the blade is split because it's really 2 blades. Generally, how the blade is shaped determines what kind of material it can cut. So, maybe one part is designed to cut through muscle, but another part is designed to cleave someone through the skull.

Just reverse engineering an imaginary weapon.. that's all :p
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Koen Aerts wrote:His tiny head looks a bit like that alien that popped out of the stomach in Alien.

Say that to his face.

Paul Clapham wrote:I'm not familiar with battle axes, so perhaps this is a dumb question, but... Why does that battle ax have a bottle-opener feature on it?

Astaroth likes beer.

And (maybe another dumb question) why is the blade split like that?

It doesn't matter when it's hitting you.

Henry Wong wrote:Never been a fan of Asteroth. He is way too slow for my tastes.

I was pretty good with him in my heyday. The only opponent I couldn't consistently crush was my partner playing Nightmare.

(Ivy bites the dust.)
Jeff Verdegan
Bartender

Joined: Jan 03, 2004
Posts: 6109
    
    6

Koen AertsFor instance at a red light when cars stop they leave these huge gaps - several car lengths - in between, then sit there for about 10-20 seconds and start inching little by little to close the gap. Why is that? Why do people leave those big gaps and then keep inching for so long? (go, stop, go, stop, go, stop, ...) It seems quite common and I see it all the time. Why can't people just drive to the point where they can go no further so they don't need to inch forward forever? [/quote wrote:

While I don't stop leaving a big gap and then inch forward, I do like to play a game where I challenge myself not to push the brake any further down than where it already is. Or sometimes I'll try to avoid coming to a complete stop at all. For me it's just a way to pass the time at a red light.
Stephan van Hulst
Bartender

Joined: Sep 20, 2010
Posts: 3603
    
  14

Big fan of Mitsurugi myself. He can dodge like crazy and his attacks pack a wallop too! It's the only character I ever bothered getting good with.
Martin Vajsar
Sheriff

Joined: Aug 22, 2010
Posts: 3606
    
  60

The problem with a two-handed sword.
eileen keeney
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 04, 2009
Posts: 51

I don't drive. I know I would be a bad driver. I take the bus.

Back some years ago, when my younger sister was maybe just over 30, and just learning to drive; My brother-in-law asked me if any of the females in our family could drive.
I replied with
"No, but some of them have managed to get a license".

My two older sisters drive, and each tells me that the other's driving scares them.

Campbell Ritchie
Sheriff

Joined: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 38064
    
  22
It diesn’t even work on the bus. My wife said she was on the bus two days ago and somebody pulled out of a side street and collided with the bus. The speed was very low, so nobody was hurt. The driver and bus driver started to discusss the incident and take name and address, as oneis required to.

Meanwhile two other passersby drove off in the car involved in the collision!
 
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