Driving - In which we perfect drivers complain about others.

“Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot and anyone driving faster than you is a maniac?”

  • George Carlin

I’ve found myself getting more road ragey in the mornings – and in the evenings – oftentimes at the most basic of driving skills that people around me seem to lack. So I’ve decided to create a space for me and for all of you other awesome cool drivers to post your grievances about the chuds out there behind the wheel.

So…blinkers. Turn signals. Flashers. Whatever you may call them, why the hell don’t people use them? Slowing down to a crawl and turning it on at the last minute doesn’t count, people! Straddling lanes and then shooting off to the right and THEN turning on your signal doesn’t qualify, either! During my commute, there’s one of those entrance/exits that share a ramp and it’s really tough to figure out what people are doing if they don’t signal. Or if they’re one of those jerks who don’t get to the left before a merge lane (more on you guys in a later post!).

This is my #1 pet peeve while driving for certain.

Like, people not using turn signals to turn into a parking lot, I am trying to turn left, and I have no clue why you are slowing down… can I go? Are you turning? Ah… yes you are.

I use turn signals religiously, even when nobody is around, because it keeps me in the habit of always using them.

I’d have to say my #1 pet peeve is inattentiveness. And it’s not just being behind a driver that I can tell is constantly looking down to text, although that is becoming the major factor. No, it’s just overall not paying attention that bugs me. You’re basically behind the wheel of a killing machine. When I see you meandering over the shoulder constantly, or not keeping at a constant speed, or when I see your head pointed to the right side of the car because you’re one of those people who feel the need to LOOK at your passenger while talking instead of the road* that just tells me that you’re not paying attention to what should be your main focus at this moment. You’re gonna hurt someone.

  • When my wife and I began dating, she used to do this. I used to tell her, “I’m not deaf, I don’t need to see your lips moving!” and eventually she broke the habit.

I’d participate in this thread, but the local subreddit is about 50% driving complaints so I’m exhausted. Warn me when this turns into realists vs. zipper-merging apologists so I can avoid it.

Listening to audiobooks in my car make me significantly less road-ragey and tolerant of other idiots on the road.

To add to this, I’ve been the same but I blame it squarely on, “back to office,” requirements. We aren’t 100% back yet but I’m having to go much more often and that mood basically sets the tone as I’m driving, which isn’t good. I’ve also been out of the full time commute game since pre-COVID, so traffic has only gotten busier and commute times are longer. Overall that just makes the mood even more poor as I’m driving.

My only advice is listening to an audiobook, or if you have satellite radio, some program with less lyrical music. I listen to Chill on SiriusXM, it seems to give me enough of a beat and little lyrics enough I’m not shouting or singing and I kind of relax to it. Set the tone for your mind before you get into the traffic, so it’s not in the wrong place once you’re there.

Ditto for me. It’s just a darn good habit.

Right turns are allowed on red lights here. So I am sitting in the right lane looking at the oncoming traffic for my right turn. The honking big SUV in the left turn lane then creeps forward blocking my view. I creep out a bit further and so do they blocking my view again. And so it goes. WTF? You can’t turn left on a red, You are past the stop line at the lights. Jeepers creepers, this will save you maybe all of a millisecond when you finally make your turn maybe?

I’m with you folks - I signal religiously and with plenty of time for others to see what I’m doing.

Another peeve is I hate drivers who don’t come to a complete stop and just roll right on through stop signs or red lights.

On the other hand I’m convinced my insurance company jacked our premiums about $400 year because of what you all noted recently, that Honda may be reporting my sudden accelerations and stops, speeding and tight cornering. Hey I drive a stick and I like leaving the shitty drivers behind me and giving myself space where I can see what the boneheads are up to both behind me and in front of me.

I try not to be arbitrary about things. If I have perfect vision then I’m not going to come to a complete stop at a stop sign unless there are other cars involved in the decision. My superpower is trying to avoid distractions while driving, which makes arbitrary rules somewhat unnecessary; if I know what is in front, behind, and going to happen in the next three seconds then I can react appropriately. So I signal when there’s someone in visual range that needs that information, and I’m old enough to know when that it is and isn’t.

For instance, this road:

and this road

Are both 35mph speed limit. I do not drive the same speed on them.

It shows weakness.

"Always mystify, mislead, and surprise the enemy – Sun Tzu

We’ve got a thing here, I-64 has a short tunnel, maybe150 yards long, you can see the other end of it as you enter, and traffic still for some reason slows down 15mph in the morning rush hour when it gets to the tunnel. My feeling is that the vast majority of people put in the absolute minimum of intellect and attention in driving, and thus are susceptible to all sorts of subtle influence like the perception of speed when there are walls around vs. in the open. Same with the people who pass a semi at 77mph and take forever, then once they are in front of the semi they speed up to 82mph, which is counterproductive on several levels.

Also, use your fucking cruise control on the interstate.

I never use my CC. It makes me feel disconnected.

For me it’s the highway driving where there are a number of unsafe drivers who drive 80+ MPH and constantly change lanes to get around cars. I don’t really mind the speeding, but the lane changes are dangerous. I had someone merge into my lane only a few feet in front of my car. They are unsafe and probably cause accidents from people trying to avoid them.

I have seen this mainly since the pandemic ended. The police don’t seem to police the highway and people have free reign to audition for a Fast and Furious movie.

Another peeve are the selfish pricks who didn’t get over in time to make their left so they halt the traffic in their lane while they wait for a chance to make a left from the middle lane. It’s all about them.

Speeds change too often on the highway during rush hour. I’m not comfortable using it.

My argument for cruise control is this: people can’t hold a steady speed and thus react emotionally and unconsciously to situational inputs, such as speeding up when another car is passing them or slowing down when they feel constrained while passing a truck. I see it all the time, every time I drive, in relatively open interstate travel. Sure, when it’s a full lane you have to feather the accelerator to maintain position, but otherwise I really think cruise helps people A. Actually learn what speed they want to go in a given situation, and B. Makes everything so much more predictable for all the drivers deciding whether to change lanes, pass, etc.

I really think the rise in GPS use has completely obliterated peoples’ ability to think critically while driving. Like there is no more, “Oh shit, I missed my turn! Guess I’ll take the next exit/street/whatever, and do a U-turn and come back.” Nope, it’s “CUT ACROSS THE TRAFFIC! THERE IS NO WAY TO GET BACK TO THIS POINT ON THE ROAD!!!”

And the funny thing is, the GPS will even do that critical thinking FOR YOU.

One thing I’ve noticed is a big increase in the number of people making U-turns at signalled intersections. I’ve driven in the Greater Toronto Area for my entire driving life and it used to be very rare that you would see this. It’s not illegal, but it just wasn’t done very often. Now I see it happening all the time and I suspect it’s drivers following their GPS instructions. Personally, there’s too much happening at traffic lights and I just find another way to turn around instead of doing a U-turn there.

Or around here, if anyone is pulled over, if there is a flashing light of any color nearby, If there is an emergency vehicle of any type nearby, if there is someone standing on the side of the road, if there is wildlife on the side of the road, if there is a distracting sign on the side of the road, if it’s a clear day and you can see the lake on the side of the road, if there is a partridge in a pear tree, etc.

Literally any reason. I’ve given up trying to figure out slowdowns.

For me I do not use it ever/often in the city, traffic there is far to hard to predict. But yes to cruise control on the interstate part of the commute, however.

My biggest peeve is highway drivers who insist on being in the passing lane - and will cut you off driving 10 mph slower to be there. Of course, once they’re in the left lane they’re content cruising the same speed as traffic in the other 2+ lanes.