It’s no secret that we here in the United States love our cars. As a result, you quickly learn the fine nuances of driving etiquette – what to do and what not to do. Well… some of us learned these skills, but there always seems to be that other guy on the road who appears so lost in his or her own self-importance they drive like they’re the only people on the road.
10. The “Hurry Up and Stop” Driver
You may be late for that colonic appointment, but burying the throttle block to block only to slam on the brakes at the next red light 300 yards down the road is going to get you there at exactly the same time as the guy next to you that chose to just cruise the whole way.
The main difference is that you used twice as much gas, made other drivers feel like they had to avoid being anywhere near you – because who knows what you’re going to pull to shave milliseconds off that travel time – and got to sit at the light looking stupid while the rest of the pack casually pull up to the line.
9. The “Everyone Needs to Hear My Music!” Driver
Dude, congrats on buying the new Fergie single – I don’t care. At all. It doesn’t matter who you are – if you’re driving around with all your windows down specifically so that whatever you’re listening to can be “enjoyed” by everyone within in a five block radius – your keys need to be thrown down into the sewer.
I’m at a loss as to the appeal of this, and it’s truly one of the most passively narcissistic things that you can do while driving. And trust me on this one: the sound of everything from the windows to the license plate in your Civic rattling themselves to pieces is definitely not boosting your cool factor.
8. Honking at Someone Attempting to Make an Unprotected Left Turn
These people need to be shot. I can’t count the number of times someone has done this to me, apparently so impatient that they think they have a better grasp of the situation than I do. And this is despite their vantage point - the back of my car. It’s only after the fact that these people realize that, had I obliged their demand, I would’ve been immediately t-boned by on coming traffic due to their desire to turn left as soon as possible.
Are they so self-absorbed that they need to put other people’s lives in jeopardy to save eight seconds of time? Do us all a favor and opt out of the gene pool.
7. Super Ultra Mega Bright Headlights
So payday comes and what’s the first thing a jackass truck “enthusiast” does? Well, he hits Pep Boys for a set of the cheapest looking, brightest aftermarket “high intensity” headlights for the ‘ol 2x4. Course, since his truck is already above most other vehicles on the road, those super bright lights are already pretty unnecessary.
Word to the wise, lifted truck guy – everyone on the road really does hate you. Why? Because your blinding lights are beyond annoying – you might as well have a horn that just belts out “I’m a douchebag!” because that’s basically what you’re accomplishing with those knock off Xenon bulbs.
6. Riding the Brakes
A particularly bad perpetrator of this offense can be as obnoxious as a chorus of fingernails on a chalkboard. These people just need to relax, switch to decaf – whatever it takes to avoid hitting the brakes every time a synapse goes awry in their skull.
The worst cases are people who have nothing but well-lit open road ahead of them and inexplicably hit the brakes at random – how do these people get licenses in the first place? If you’re that timid about the ramifications of driving in general, you should probably stick to public transit.
5. Being Territorial About “Your” Lane
This phenomenon is truly rampant on the west coat: you’re at speed, you have room to change lanes, but the second you hit your turn signal to indicate that you’re changing into someone’s lane, they actually accelerate to block you from doing so.
Are you kidding me? Is protecting “your” lane from other people so important that you’d be willing to cause an accident to do so? Truly ridiculous.
4. Randomly Changing Lanes in Pursuit of Magical “Super Lane”
This baffles me. You’ll be in heavy traffic traveling at say, 30 mph, with random stop and go periods. The freeway is congested, there’s nothing you can really do about it. But this guy in the Bimmer didn’t get the message. He’s late for golf, so he’s on a mission to find that one mythical lane where everyone is going 120mph. If he threads through traffic causing everyone around him to freak out and make traffic worse, he thinks he may find it!
As it turns out, when you’re stopped right next to him 200 yards up the road, he finally realizes that all that effort was completely and utterly pointless because there is no friggin’ magical lane. Oh wait, he still didn’t get the hint. Relax, jackass!
3. Talking on a Cell Phone While Driving
Alright, we’ve all been guilty of this one at one time or another. But the truth is, it is distracting and people who drive with a cell phone constantly pressed to their face are the worst drivers on the road. Is the conversation that vital?
There’s a reason why they banned driving while using a cell phone without a hands free device – it’s because it impairs your driving as badly as being drunk does. Not that the law did much good - I still see absent-minded jackasses gabbing away while driving around as much as ever. Just remember this dramatic re-enactment the next time you have an urge to reach for your phone.
2. Stopping All Traffic in Your Lane to Cut in Line
These people need to be beaten to death with bags full of Master locks. This is the boldest expression of selfishness anyone can hope to execute in a vehicle. Not only are you telling everyone, “Hey, I’m so special, I shouldn’t have to wait in line like the rest of you peasants, I’m important!” you’re also blocking everyone behind you and creating a dangerous situation.
Of course, some instances get a pass if the situation was caused by a mistake, but I see this happen every single day at specific spots where some drivers think they should be exempt from lines. These people are truly the scum of the Earth, and I honestly believe this kind of behavior says a lot more about the person driving then just the fact that they don’t want to wait in line.
1. Cutting People off in Traffic
I mean, if you do this on the regular, you’re a dick and you already know it. Seriously, how hard is it to merge into a lane behind someone? It’s not like it’s an industry secret or something – don’t cut people off! Above all other habits of bad driving, this is probably the biggest factor in cases of road rage.
Part of the problem with the road systems in general is that one moron can ruin it for everyone else, and when you share the freeway with all types of people, morons are probably going to ruin it sooner or later and then we all have to suffer for their self-centered driving habits. Just keep this vigilante bus driver in mind the next time you feel like getting clever.