Weird driving habit

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Anna

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Can someone explain to me why some people pull up at a red light about 4-5 car lengths behind the car in front, and then move forward about 50cm at a time until the lights go green? What is the point of that? I don't understand why they don't just pull up a normal distance behind the previous car. It has puzzled me for ages.
 

anat0l

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Manual car maybe? Not wanting to take it out of gear. Kind of weird.

That and/or maybe something about wanting to keep the car "in action" so it doesn't have to completely stop.

Kind of silly in a way because unless they've timed it perfectly with taking their foot off the accelerator (near impossible to do so practically), then they'd be riding quite a bit on the brakes before launching off again. Then again, maybe they have **** brakes.

What's the consensus on effective braking? Obviously you can brake long but then you get the situation described here plus you ride your brakes. Brake very hard as you get to the "brake point" behind the vehicle in front, however, and that's not advisable either (wears brakes faster when you hit them hard).
 

medhead

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I do that to get shade in Adelaide summers. But only stop that far back if there is no car behind me. Also move forward immediately a car comes behind. Can't explain inching forward - they're a knob?
 

clazman

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i hate that practice..... i drive past a certain uni everyday and all the roads leading to it i see that practice. A certain race of students seem to be the main culprits and also doing 10k's below the speed limit
 

anat0l

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i hate that practice..... i drive past a certain uni everyday and all the roads leading to it i see that practice. A certain race of students seem to be the main culprits and also doing 10k's below the speed limit

Go on, or I'll say it... Chinese. There, done.

I guess at least they never get speeding tickets.

(I'm not saying any of this like it's a good thing or defensively)
 

JohnK

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Obsessive Compulsive Disorder....
 

codash1099

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My pet hate and especially where this ends up blocking other motorists (especially me) from getting into a right or left turn lane. It's just a reflection of the current disease - a lack of consideration for others.
 

JohnM

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It's become epidemic in PER - without the inching forward. I though it might be a PER (home of the world's worst drivers - give me Naples any day) thing, but apparently not. Such people in front that are blocking the filter turn lanes wonder why you blow the horn trying to get them to move forward :rolleyes::evil:.
 

sergeyvzn

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That practice comes from South Africa. It isn't safe to stop at a red light over there as you might get a bullet or a knife in your neck so most South Africans do exactly what is described. Considering how many South Africans live in Perth it probably explains why it's becoming so widespread in WA. It's just an old habit...not useful in Australia (thanks goodness) but hard to get rid of
 

kyle

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I hate that practice too and it annoys the hell out of me. I'm of that race and I'm not going to defend anyone. I initially thought those people were in a hurry but when it's time to go, they drive slowly.

My dilemma is, if the person in front inches forward, should i do the same? But then that might annoy the driver behind me?
 

dajop

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In defensive driver training was taught that when coming to traffic lights leave a car space or two in front as escape room in case the car behind or beside you looks like hitting you, and then inch forward into the space. But the instruction wasn't to keep inching forward for the whole red light cycle, just move into the space once it was clear the vehicle behind was slowed or stopping ok.
 

medhead

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In defensive driver training was taught that when coming to traffic lights leave a car space or two in front as escape room in case the car behind or beside you looks like hitting you, and then inch forward into the space. But the instruction wasn't to keep inching forward for the whole red light cycle, just move into the space once it was clear the vehicle behind was slowed or stopping ok.

Admittedly in the 1980s, the defensive driving training I did was to stop so that you can see where the tires of the car in front contact the road. Having been rear ended by a high speed car, that was enough space for me to not hit the car in front. Still that was the 1980s and things have probably changed. I would also mention that 4 or 5 car lengths (as per op) is a lot further than 1-2 car lengths.
 
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jastel

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Some city driver have the opposite problem, they want to be in the back seat!

The Sth Africa explanation makes a bit of sense, hopefully it doesn't happen here.

It also is not advisable to leave your brakes on in one spot for too long, can cause hot spots and lead to disc warping.
Not usually a consideration for normal city driving but watch race cars in the pits, someone spins the wheel slowly to prevent this.
 

anat0l

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That practice comes from South Africa. It isn't safe to stop at a red light over there as you might get a bullet or a knife in your neck so most South Africans do exactly what is described. Considering how many South Africans live in Perth it probably explains why it's becoming so widespread in WA. It's just an old habit...not useful in Australia (thanks goodness) but hard to get rid of

Fair enough, I didn't remember that, and I think in Brazil they are similarly advised as such (in fact, if it looks like you're about to be jumped, better to run a red light and be fined than to risk otherwise).

Not too useful in Australia or if you are being boxed in, although for the latter they are similarly advised to watch out for this, too. As for the former, let's hope society doesn't descend to those depths.
 

Anna

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In defensive driver training was taught that when coming to traffic lights leave a car space or two in front as escape room in case the car behind or beside you looks like hitting you

That sounds to me like a plausible explanation for this weird driving habit. But imagine the chaos with peak hour city driving these days if everyone was doing that. Traffic would be almost at a standstill because so much road space would be taken up with space rather than vehicles. I agree with whoever said it was inconsiderate.

I suppose it might also be the reason for the numptys who don't drive all the way up to the lines when they are first to arrive at the lights but stop their car 2-3 lengths back from the intersection.
 

basso

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Pretty dumb doing it in Perth. Unlike some cities, many traffic lights in Perth actually are traffic actuated, and it works much better if the signals know you are there. You know that loop in the road just before the stop line. That's there to detect your car! Make sure you are over it if you want a green light!
 

medhead

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Pretty dumb doing it in Perth. Unlike some cities, many traffic lights in Perth actually are traffic actuated, and it works much better if the signals know you are there. You know that loop in the road just before the stop line. That's there to detect your car! Make sure you are over it if you want a green light!

Exactly. I think that's why short stoppers were called numpties. I have another word for them, but complete and utter numpties will have to do. I sometimes wonder if they ever owner why they sit at red lights for so long.

Then again I know of one red light in Brisbane that doesn't react to the car, I always made my passengers get out and press the pedestrian button - and that worked.
 

Spongbob

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Or maybe they are copying the behaviour of their cat (trying to get close the rear of another cat without being noticed)?
 
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