This is a 3-part series, in “Top 5” format, on observations of driving and traffic, an aspect of daily life that you cannot escape in most every part of the civilized world.
In Part I of this series I discussed my Top 5 Dangerous Driving Habits. While a lot of these certainly are annoying as well as dangerous to the driver, passenger and others on (and near) the road, the observations of bad driving seem to increase while on the interstate or major highways. Maybe this is because there is less to occupy your attention than with urban driving. Or maybe your awareness is better tuned in because you’re moving your hunk of metal at twice the speed as you might in the city, making the slightest mistake be a potential for serious disaster.
Here is my list of Top 5 Annoying Drivers as told from the viewpoint of the driver. Most of these creatures are found lurking on our interstates and highways, but their sorts have been seen in all types of climates and terrains.
- The Left Lane Cruiser – I ignore the laws requiring me to drive in the right lane unless passing, avoiding emergency vehicles, or other exceptions (e.g. in Illinois see 625 ILCS 5/11-701). I’m just cruising away over here in the left lane without a passable car in sight ahead of me. Oh, you want to pass me? Is that why you’ve been sitting behind me for the past 12 miles waiting for me to maybe realize it so I’ll move over to allow you to legally pass me? I dunno… I’m just going to remain in this lane still. Not my problem, buddy. Besides, the road just feels nicer over here anyway.
- The Speed Oscillator – I’ve crept up on you slowly on the interstate and then decided to sit behind you for awhile. No, I’m not a cop running your plate. Oh, yes, I’m fully aware you have had your cruise control set for the past three straight hours at the same speed. Okay, I’ll pass now. No, wait! Maybe I’ll just follow you instead. No, no… I’ll pass. Or I’ll think about it more…while in your blind spot. Okay, passing it the right choice. I’m going to do this. Now, I’m outta here and outta your life forever. Orrrr, I might slow down for a bit AFTER I’ve passed you and taken the right lane IN FRONT of you. Now you are passing me? No, I want to be firsties! [And repeat 7 more times before YOU take an exit to ditch him.]
- The Brake Tapper or The Two-Feet Driver – So there are TWO pedals on the floor which must mean I should be pushing at least one of those two pedals at all times. I’m driving…I’m driving… OH, is that someone else braking seven football fields ahead of me!? Yikes! [Brakes] And now there’s a stop light coming up half a mile ahead, must now switch from that “go fast pedal” to the “go slow pedal”. Heck, ya know what… I’ll just drive with BOTH feet so the people behind me see my brake lights on ALL THE TIME including while I accelerate. More efficient, I say!
- The Shy Turner – Darn, I missed the green and yellow left turn arrow but I should, maybe just maybe, have a chance at making this turn after all. I’ll just wait all the way back here behind the stopping line. It must be safer that way. The 13 cars behind me can wait for the next green. Oh boy, the light is turning from yellow to red now, and I’m still back here behind the line. I missed my chance to turn after the intersection cleared. Ah well… there’s always the next green arrow. But why do I hear 13 car horns honking? Odd [shrug].
- The No Stop Sign Stopper – The cross street has NO stop signs and you’re waiting patiently at the stop sign for me to drive by on the busier street. But I’ve got a better idea! While there are no stop signs for our cross traffic in my lane, I’m going to come to a complete stop at the intersection anyway. Andddd give you a nice courtesy waive to “go ahead… go right ahead.” Why are you giving me a “what is this person doing!?” look, as I’m just trying to be nice? Boy, that car is coming up pretty quickly behind me. And just about the time you take my unnecessary, dangerous invitation to pull in front of a car that is not legal obligated to stop… I WILL go! This is fun!
What annoying driving habits are missing from my Top 5?
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