Perspective Newsletter
Spring 2015
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So who's 'blocking the box?'

​​Arrgh! It's yet another gridlocked commute home and there you sit, a green light beckoning you forward, but you're stuck because a fellow driver is blocking the intersection. Sound familiar? In a recent PEMCO Poll, 83% of respondents said they encounter "box blockers" at least occasionally.

In that same Poll, about one-third of drivers acknowledged they've accidentally been "that guy" – creeping out, hoping to make it through the light, only to wind up obstructing other drivers themselves. A few admit doing it even when they know they might not make it.

In Washington, those "aware" box-blockers tended to be younger with 17% of drivers under age 35 saying they occasionally enter an intersection knowing they won't make it to the other side before the light changes (only 7% of drivers over 35 confessed to the behavior).

Intentional or not, box-blocking is as risky as it is rude, creating a perilous situation for both cars and pedestrians, particularly when walkers get forced out of crosswalks. It's also illegal, earning violators a fine up to $250 in both Washington and Oregon.

PEMCO's intersection etiquette poll tallied responses of 1,200 adults split evenly between Washington and Oregon. To see how your experience stacks up with other Northwest drivers, read detailed results on our PEMCO Poll page.