¿¿ WHEN LEFT MEANS RIGHT ??

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This isn’t about politics!  In Mexico, when a car ahead of you activitates a left turn signal, there is much ambiguity.  ¿Is the driver signaling a left turn, or telling us to go around, (to pass, to overtake)?  It’s impossible to know!  In this country, it could be either.  This is what logicians and computer programers call insufficient argument (something which can’t be decided based on the evidence at hand).  It’s dangerous, and dysfunctional; yet it persists, and is unlikely to change anytime soon.

If you mistakenly believe the driver ahead of you is inviting you to pass, but instead the car turns left while you’re passing, both vehicles could crash.  If you believe the driver really is about to turn left, you may be stuck behind a slow vehicle for a long time, maybe even until the signal does finally mean left turn.  

Ambiguity on the road is one of the crazy things about this culture.  It’s easy to misread. Why the culture refuses to recognize the danger of ambiguity is impossible to understand.  “It’s the way we’ve always done it.”  Yet, signaling a right turn always means go around me (if the road ahead is clear).  Why is confusion preferred over clarity?  Why is danger chosen over safety?  Dunno!  Those who refuse to use logic will contribute to greater risk. (Signaling a right turn always indicates a slowing vehicle.)  I like to think that good thinking is infectious, perhaps enough to effect change; but I suspect it will be a long time coming.  

2 thoughts on “¿¿ WHEN LEFT MEANS RIGHT ??

  1. I got in an accident once, in North Carolina, over this. The lady was going down the road with her left turn signal on, then pulled off to the right side of the road, came to a complete stop, before swerving left to pull into a driveway on the left side of the road. It was legally my fault, but, jeesh! I have my right leg because I was riding a BMW, and my insurance man told me it was the only case on record of a motorcycle doing more damage to a car than it sustained.

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