I have a working theory: maybe the lack of snow this winter has made Missoulians forget their driving manners.

In the past 48 hours, I've seen or heard about several headshake-worthy driving behaviors that make me think we could all use a reminder.

Many Missoula Driving Behaviors Are Great

Let's put this in perspective: it's not all Missoula drivers. I've talked before about how kind Missoula drivers can be in traffic, especially when it comes to letting people in. I've also seen Missoula drivers use four-way stops correctly. This is a different kind of bad habit.

Manfunction Junction Missoula Montana
Canva, Goolge

Missoula Driving Behaviors Change Over Time

Back in the early 2000s when I was learning how to drive (yes, I just dated myself), I remember one of the most common bad habits was seeing multiple drivers pass through an intersection after the light had turned red.

If I were to guess, I'd say that the days of waiting 5-10 minutes for your turn at Malfunction Junction made a lot of Missoulians impatient. That impatience turned into trying to squeeze through the light even after it changed.

I've still seen that I-can-make-it attitude around Missoula but there's a new behavior I've rarely seen drivers attempt in other cities/states.

Missoula Needs to Respect Right of Way

The first time I saw it happen, I think I squeaked. Waiting at a light, I was in a lane that made me "oncoming traffic" and the car across the street turned left--right after the light turned green. The left-turner was the first one through the intersection. Sneaky.

Here's an intersection where I've seen this happen quite a few times.

Dore Lane and Brooks St Missoula
Google, Canva

Most of the time, it's not a big deal. If a person is brave enough to try it, they also tend to get through the intersection quickly. The intersection above is one where it is so big a person turning left before oncoming traffic can get through the intersection without getting hit. But, that move is against the rules of the road and could put other drivers at risk. Please don't do it.

10 of Missoula's Most Infuriating Intersections

Ever found yourself at one of these intersections and wanted to scream? We feel you.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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