No, it’s not being the jerk in the left lane who won’t move over when you want to pass. Yes, we all hate this self-appointed traffic cop who parks in the passing lane against New Jersey law doing the speed limit or less and won’t let anyone by. But as much as we all hate that jerk it’s a different jerk I’m thinking about today.

I’m thinking about a jerk who sows chaos and confusion on New Jersey roads and is probably responsible for a good number of accidents for which they’re never held accountable.

Any guesses?

Rude black woman driver arguing and driving car
Photo via tommaso79

Here’s a test. I’m going to give you a scenario I once wrote about and you figure out who the jerk is.

You’re driving north and come to a four-way stop. There’s already been a car sitting westbound at his stop sign. There are no other cars. You come to a full stop and stare at him as he stares at you.

Then he waves you to go.

Okay, who’s the jerk?

Windshield view of an angry driver man. Negative human emotions face expression

If you said him, you’re correct. Because not only was he there first but he was to the right, and with no one on his right.

He’s the jerk because he has the right of way and he’s yielding it, setting up a stupid and dangerous scenario where if you refuse and wave back at him to go this can turn into a half minute of an unnecessary power struggle. If you accept and begin to go, he could then choose to hit the accelerator after all and cause an accident which would then be your fault.

People who are constantly giving up their right of way do it in many scenarios. Ever been at a side street waiting to turn right at a stop sign onto a main thoroughfare when the last car suddenly stops, no one behind them for a mile, and begins waving you to go?

Is this a setup? Is this an insurance job about to happen? Or is this someone so desperate to be thought of as a good person that they’re willing to confuse the hell out of everyone around them?

Frustrated driver

Stop. doing. this!

It happened recently in Somerville where I was waiting to make a left turn from a side street and an oncoming car across from me at their stop sign was waiting to make a right turn. The car coming from my right (and their left) was on the main road we both were turning onto and had the full right of way.

What does that car do? Stops dead, for no reason, and there wasn’t even anyone coming behind him, and makes eye contact with me and waves me to go. Not only was it unnecessary, it was also not the order our two cars turning off the side street should legally go. The driver turning right would go first, then me turning left.


This please-let-me-score-good-guy-points driver not only unnecessarily gave up their right of way but then waved on the incorrect car.

To anyone who does this, please know we all hate you. There’s a time and a place for it, sure. A person trying to make a right in front of you out of a driveway when if you don’t let them go will be stuck by a mile long lane of cars behind you, sure. But when it makes no sense, please, stop what you’re doing. If you want to get into Heaven be nice other ways. And learn to drive until you get there.

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