By FireBurger 44 Comments
I've thought about writing this blog (rant) multiple times before, and decided that now was as good a time as any. So, here are some of my least favorite kinds of drivers, and a plea to people everywhere. Note, these are not necessarily the worst or most dangerous types of drivers (light and stop sign runners come to mind), merely the ones that are most common.
Driving Slowly in the Left Lane
As somebody who drives regularly in the left lane, this is one of the more obnoxious behaviors that I can think of. On any road with more than one lane, the leftmost lane is the passing or fast lane. If you are going to drive slower than or at pace with (this is actually worse because then you can't pass in either lane) the right lane, then get in the right lane. There is absolutely no reason for you to be in the left lane and hold everyone else up.
Now, there is an even worse breed of this sort that I like to call the Left Lane Crusader, a specimen easily identified by the presence of a column of traffic reminiscent of a presidential convoy. This fellow is even worse than the hopelessly oblivious slow driver because the Left Lane Crusader does it on purpose. Somewhere, at some point, the Left Lane Crusader got it in his mind that he is single handedly making the road and the world at large a safer place by regulating traffic speeds.
Wrong. You are actually more dangerous because you are acting unpredictably. What's more likely to cause an accident than pure speed is unpredictable differences in speed. If everyone is driving at the same pace, there probably isn't going to be a problem. However, when you pull into the fast lane and try to change the pace, that is far more likely to cause an accident.
Moreover, you've now created a column of irritated, tail-gating drivers which is the perfect environment for a major accident. Well done. If you have a problem with speeding, hand out pamphlets or buy a bumper sticker, don't try and play superhero on the road.
Not Using Turn Signals
How hard is it? Really? If you can't be assed to flick out your middle finger and hit the turn signal every once in a while then please get off the road. I don't care whether you're turning at an intersection or just changing lanes, use your god damned turn signal. Is there a good chance that you're going to cause an accident if you don't use it? No. However, I think we can all recognize that when driving behind someone, it is always helpful to know what the person ahead of you is intending to do. So just do it. It's really not that hard.
The worst offender of this, though, is the Weaver. This prick thinks the highway is his personal playground and he drives like he's playing Grand Theft Auto. Not only does this guy rarely use his signals, but he indiscriminately passes in the left, middle, and right lanes. Rarely, he does use his turn signal and I can only imagine he does so to make himself feel slightly better about his otherwise asinine behavior. Kind of like getting a Diet Coke with a large pizza.
Don't be that guy.
EDIT: To sum up my exact feelings. Thanks to SSully!
Leaving Massive Gaps between Cars at a Light
When you're waiting at a traffic light, do you leave 2 or 3 car-lengths between you and the next car? When the light turns green and the car ahead of you starts to go, do you take your time and continue to leave 3 car-lengths between you? Good, you're responsible for only 2/5 of the cars getting through the light that actually should have.
I'm not saying it needs to be a drag race when the light turns, or that you need to drive so that the next guy's exhaust is going directly into your grill, but just make an effort to keep the gap reasonable. Just pay attention and when the light turns, be ready to go.
Awareness of Drivers Behind You
This one is sort of related to the gap issue in the previous point. When waiting at a light, or just when stuck in a line of traffic, be aware of the cars behind you. Often, I see someone get strung out in the middle of an intersection or access to a turning lane blocked, only to see the cars further up leaving massive gaps between themselves and the drivers remaining blissfully oblivious to everyone behind them. Once again, just pay attention and be conscientious of other drivers.
On Ramp Speed
This one is admittedly rare, though infinitely baffling. I don't know if it's grannies or just hopelessly incompetent drivers, but this motherfucker merges onto the interstate like he or she's cruising down a dirt road. Exactly how do you plan to merge safely with 70mph traffic while going 30mph? The on ramp is meant for you to build speed and match pace with the highway traffic. That's why it's there. Please make use of it.
The Ungrateful Driver
There is little else as infuriating as an ungrateful prick. When I wave you on at a stop sign or slow down to allow you onto the road, I expect a fucking appreciative wave. All you have to do it throw your hand in the air. One little motion. Do it.
As a quick addendum, when waiting at a turn to get onto a busy road, pay attention. I don't know how many times I've slowed down and flashed my lights at someone only to see them staring at their cell phones or staring out the fucking passenger window. What are you doing?
Passing Traffic in Another Lane at a Merger
This, ladies and gentleman, is the worst of the worst. These people cannot be dismissed as merely oblivious or incompetent. Rather, they are just assholes. Pure and simple.
These are the people who, while you're waiting in line at a merger or an exit ramp, think that they can simply fly by in the other lane and butt-in further down the road. In my experience of being in the car with this sort of person, they usually rationalize their behavior by saying, "Well, there're two lanes, so people should use both." I can't discredit that. There are two lanes. However, let me paint a picture for you.
You have a funnel (merger). On one hand, you have a bucket of rocks, and on the other hand you have a long, straight tube filled with rocks. When dropped into the funnel, which do you think is going to pass through quicker? Clearly, the tubed rocks since they'll fall straight out of the tube and through the funnel's bottom. The bucket of rocks will eventually pass through the funnel as well, but only after a lot of shaking and jostling.
The point is, instead of passing by all of the other cars and jamming up the funnel when you have to butt back into line, just merge with the single lane earlier on. When you begin to see the lane slowing down, get over at that point, while other cars don't have to slow down to accommodate you. In the end, everyone (not just you) will benefit for it.
The worst offenders of this that I've noticed are the too-important-to-wait assholes in the BMWs and Mercedes, or the presumably apathetic fuck driving around in his shitmobile. In either case, this person doesn't give a damn about anyone but themselves.
That said, there is one flavor of this sort that surpasses even all others. That is the person who does this same thing, but uses the shoulder of the road to do so. This one is really self-explanatory and I have nothing more to say than if you're this person, you should be shot.
Now, I know most people think they are better-than-average drivers, and you might be thinking that I think my shit don't stink. I admit, I've made mistakes while driving and I've probably managed to piss one or two people off at various times. However, I make a conscious effort to be considerate on the road and behave responsibly. All I ask is that more people try and do the same.
If you recognize any part of this rant in yourself, I'll be happy if it just pops into your mind the next time you're behind the wheel.