COLLECTING DATA ON HOW DRIVERS COMMUNICATE:
My Observations
 
 
TABLE OF CONTENTS
 
 
Instructions for this Report 
Introduction
SITUATION #1:  Changing Lanes 
SITUATION #2:  Merging Lanes at Entrances
SITUATION #3:   Racing
 
Links to Previous Generations
Epilogue
 
 
 
INTRODUCTION

   As drivers drive on the road, good and clear communication is the key to preventing accidents.  The form of communication changes, due to the fact that every driver is separated by individual vehicals.  The effectiveness of verbal communication then decreases because each driver is not situated close enough hear each other.   Therefore this forces drivers to rely on alternative measures of communication.  These alternative measures are a combination of non-verbal communication such as:  vehicular resources, physical gestures, facial expresssions, and lip movement (mouthing).  However, there are some drivers who do use the verbal communication in addition to the nonverbal ones.

    In my report, I will present four situations, in which I have observed through driving, on how drivers communicate with each other.  I will discribe the situation, give the method of communication, and then analyse it.

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SITUATION #1:  Changing Lanes
 
 

The Situation:  On the H1 freeway going East (Kokohead) bound.  Just about to pass the Punahou off ramp,  a driver on the exiting lane wishes to get onto the next left lane because he didn't want to exit there.

Method of Communication:  left car blinker (signal light)

My Analysis:
 
    This is a very effective way of communicating non-verbally to the other passing drivers.   The use of the left car blinker automatically signals the message to the other drivers on the left lane that he wants to get into that lane.  They (the other drivers) understanding his message, then can slow down or speed up.  At the same time, with the use of the left car blinker, it effectively signals the car behind him that he will not continue to exit on the ramp but wanting to get back into the freeway.  In this particualr situation the driver turned on his left car blinker just in time for the driver behind him to slow down.  Not only is it important to use the correct form of communication but the correct timing is also essential.

    Not everyone uses their signal lights when wanting to change lanes.  This causes very dangerous situations for the other drivers because everyone is in motion.  While in motion, their is a certain amount of time people need to stop or slow down.  If someone just changes lane without signaling, the person behind will have to suddenly brake in order not to hit them.  I don't understand why people refuse to use their signal light when changing lanes.  It's not that hard, it can be done with with only a touch of the finger.  

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SITUATION #2:  Merging Lanes at Entrances
 
 
The Situtation:  Using the Liliha on ramp going East (Kokohead) bound.  A driver is trying to get onto the very busy freeway (it is morning rush hour).  No one is letting her in, everyone is bumper to bumper, she tries moving in closer and closer.

Method of Communication:  left car blinker (signal light), left arm straight out the window with palms open, mouthing (moving lips) a message

My Analysis:  In this situation, the use of the left car blinker is not effective alone.  When it is morning rush hour traffic, many drivers are very inconsiderate.  Although her left car blinker was on, she was still unable to get onto the freeway because no one was willing to let her in.  It is not because the other drivers didn't understand the signal, it's because they ignored the signal.  This then leads to the use of the arm and hand gestures.  The arm straight out with open palms gives the signal to the driver that she would like to get in.  To me this is effective because it gives a visual cue to the other drivers that they do not normally see on the road.  Not everyone drives with their arms sticking straight out of the car so this brings her to their attention.  Then she is able to mouth (move lips) a message to the driver the looks at her.  This then forces him to let her in because he has made interaction with her.

    When there is a person to person interaction it reduces the inconsiderate actions.  This could be because we can see the other driver as a person and not just another car trying to get in.   By using our facial expressions and physical gestures it brings out our humanness to other drivers.  This then breaks down the barrier of drivers just being a thing.  It doesn't harm anyone if the gestures and facial expressions are pleasant and nice.  If used negatively then it will have a negative effect.  That then will result in road rage and a bad day.

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SITUATION #3:  Racing
 
 
The Situation:  I was in the car with my friend who drives a Volkswagen Corrado.  He always drives wreakless and he always speeds.  We were on King Street and was coming to a stop.  There was a BMW that was already stopped on the other lane at the intersection.  My friend wanted to race. 

Method of Communication:  screaching down then suddenly stopping very close to the BMW, reaving of the ingine

My Analysis:  In this situation, my friend used the sound of his engine to signal to the BMW that he wanted to race.  
 

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LINKS TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS
 
 

Kristin Subia

    Kristin Subia examined the following situations:  making turns, changing lanes, yeilding the way, making room in one's lane for someone, tailgating and overtaking, and racing.  In her report she defines and explains the effectiveness of vehicular communication, verbal communication, and the gesture/facial expressions.
 

Andrew Shapiro

    Andrew Shapiro's report was a self study which he observed a busy 4 way stop for 2 days at the time
between 3-6pm.  His report was very long but very infromative.
 

Mary Elizabeth Pacheco

     "Actions speak louder than words."  was Mary Pacheco's main focus.  She emphaised on the positive forms of communication like smiling and waving a hand to say thank you.
 

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EPILOGUE
 
    There is so much that goes on while driving that we at times we forget about sharing the road.  The main point is that we drive safely and not get injured while driving.  We can accomplich this by uses the correct communication measures wisely and effectively.

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