Ask a trooper: Drivers must be aware of othersE-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose.
Q: I often drive on a divided four lane. I will be driving in the right-hand lane and often have a driver pull out from either a full stop in the median or even pull out from the stop sign on a side road on the other side of the highway, cross the opposing lanes and median and pull into the open left lane beside me. This drives me nuts because when they first start out, I can’t tell if they intend to cross in front of me, in which case I have to hit my brakes to avoid broadsiding them, or if they are pulling into the lane beside me. There are no merge/
acceleration lanes on the crossings where this happens. Should they wait until I pass?
A: No, they do not need to wait until you pass. You should slow down and keep an eye on them for the possible hazard you mentioned. We all need to work together and communicate when driving on our roadways. We have no control over other drivers or other vehicles. We can control only our own vehicle, and how we respond to other drivers and traffic situations and other conditions including weather, road and lighting conditions. Any time we see a possible hazard we need to slow down immediately and be prepared to stop or take other evasive action. Driving with our headlights on all the time seems to help a lot, as well as people signaling well in advance.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.