Drivers in Pittsburgh are often known for their chaotic driving skills. Their chaotic driving mirrors the chaotic roads in the city, leaving drivers no choice but to succumb to the chaos. Pittsburgh has some rough driving situations around the city, as it is full of one-lane streets, very steep hills, long and narrow tunnels, and hundreds of bridges. The city is so full of bridges, it has even been dubbed the City of Bridges. All of these conditions work together to lead to the driving in the city to be a very unique experience.
The two biggest things that really make a Pittsburgh driver a Pittsburgh driver are the “Pittsburgh Left” and the Pittsburgh Turn Signal.
The Pittsburgh left is a driving habit that came about as a result of the city’s many one-lane roads. Among the many one-lane roads, there is also a minimal number of left-turn-only lanes. This leads to a combination that could end up blocking traffic substantially. A car could be stuck waiting for opposing traffic to slow so that they can turn left, and because it is just one lane, they end up causing a traffic build-up. To prevent this, the Pittsburgh left started. This driving practice is when one direction has a driver going straight, and the other has one turning left. As soon as the light turns green, as opposed to waiting until traffic was clear the way drivers do in most places, the driver turning left will do so before the driver going straight starts going.
This way of driving is considered cutting off another driver in most other areas, but in Pittsburgh, it is an essential driving habit.
Before making a Pittsburgh left, it is courtesy and commonplace that the left-turning driver signals in some way the straight-driving driver. This is typically a wave, pointing, flashing lights, and any other sort of attention-grabbing action.
Along the line of the Pittsburgh left is the Pittsburgh turn signal. Typically, a turn signal is meant to be used as a heads-up to other drivers that you will be changing lanes or making a turn. It is supposed to be done slightly in advance of the action to give notice to those around you. However, in Pittsburgh, the signal is not usually put to use until the action has already begun. For example, when driving, when the car in front of you is going to turn, they usually do not signal this turn until they have already begun turning. The reason behind or origin of this action is unknown.