Cutting off

The term cutting off (or simply "to cut someone off") refers to a motor vehicle that enters a lane on any type of road or highway, without proper caution, leaving a small amount of distance between other surrounding vehicles. This driving method is considered dangerous and can lead to serious consequences on the road.


When traffic is slow, worldwide, motorists tend to become impatient. Some motorists find a way to avoid the traffic jam, by driving onto the shoulder and passing each car until the shoulder runs out or when traffic starts to clear up. When the shoulder ends, motorists have no choice but to cut into the stalled traffic. This is illegal in most parts of the world and is not proper driving etiquette. However, some motorists have no choice when it comes to cutting in front of somebody, especially when a lane ends or a stalled/parked car is blocking their path. Another scenario includes vehicles merging onto highways, cutting into the flow of traffic. If this occurs, motorists should be courteous and careful when changing lanes and/or cutting over. Motorists who show courtesy use their turn signal when switching lanes. They take more than one glance behind them and use mirrors to see if their lane is clear. On the other hand, motorists who lack courtesy normally show disrespect towards other motorists and the law. These drivers usually portray aggressive driving. Typical behaviors of these drivers include using a minimum amount of distance with the vehicle they are cutting in front of, not signaling their intentions, speeding, and sometimes having road rage.


While driving on any type of road (freeway, turnpike, parkway, one way street, two lane road, etc.), especially with multiple lanes or where passing is allowed, it is advised for motorists to be alert for all surroundings. This includes obstacles, bad weather, pedestrians, and other motorists. Any motorists who experience another motorist cut in front of them, especially with limited room and no turn signal usage, could result in an accident, regardless of any obstacles and weather conditions.

External sources

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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