Bad-Driving Habits That Drive Us Mad
on July 18, 2014
Driving would be awesome — if it weren't for all the other drivers, am I right?
For example: Traffic on a major thoroughfare is heavy and moving slowly; only a handful of cars creep through the intersection during each light cycle. Impatience grows and more and more motorists try to sneak through on yellow. Eventually, they get so desperate they start stacking up mid-intersection and remain there after the light turns red.
Does the Zipper Merge Fly With You? (Poll)
Now the cars trying to turn left into that lane can't, and they start stacking up, blocking traffic in the other direction, too. Pedestrians can't cross in the crosswalk. Order breaks down. And I become Bill Bixby, angered beyond control (despite my polite admonition that you wouldn't like me if this happened), complete with tortured expression and preternaturally enraged eyes. Now something else is turning green — and it ain't the traffic signal. These degenerates, these sociopaths, these ... these ... fellow passengers to the grave, as Dickens put it, have committed one of the driving don'ts that torques me off the most. DON'T BLOCK THE $*%&@ INTERSECTION!
What say we vent together? Let's just get it all out there on the table for some therapeutic car-related catharsis (car-tharsis?). The following is a list of annoying driving behaviors that get the Cars.com editorial department revved into the red (and by all means, let your own frustrations fly in the comments section below):
- Mike Hanley, Research editor: Territorial drivers. You know the ones; they don't let you merge even when there's nowhere else for you to go. Like it's really going to matter if you're in front or back of me while we're stuck in the middle of this traffic jam? Intersection blockers. Also, tailgaters. This is annoying in general (and also unsafe), but it's especially aggravating if you're going the speed limit or higher. Just chill.
- Jennifer Newman, assistant managing editor: Drivers speeding up when you're passing them on the highway. Usually, I'm midway through passing the slower car when its driver suddenly decides to speed up.
- Matt Schmitz, news editor: Drivers who can't seem to maintain a consistent speed on interstates. Man, you and I have leapfrogged 10 times over the past 50 miles, and I know it's not me because my cruise control has been set to the same speed the whole time. I assure you, dude, if I arrive before you at the far-flung destination to which we're evidently both headed, I won't consider it some personal victory.
- Joe Wiesenfelder, executive editor: People who pull into the rightmost lane at a stoplight so they can get ahead of the other cars when the light turns green. This guy's already a jerk for his intentions, but the real problem is he prevents cars behind him from turning right on red. If he were to stay out of that lane, countless right-turn intenders wouldn't have to wait through the whole light cycle.
- Ali Oswald, editorial intern: Not pulling over for an emergency vehicle. What in your life is so important that you can't take three seconds to pull over to help save another person's life? Also, pulling to the side of the road and not putting on your hazards. Pulling over is OK, but let me know you don’t plan on moving so that I can proceed around you.
- Jen Burklow, copy editor: Drivers who turn left from the right lane and right from the left lane on a four-lane road, careening across several lanes of traffic. OK, so you came upon your next turn and realized it at the last minute. Big deal. Go around the block, or to the next exit, and try it again rather than endangering everyone else around you.
- Kelsey Mays, consumer affairs editor: People who drive 5-10 mph under the speed limit, looking aimlessly for something while slowing all traffic behind. Bonus points for signaling a couple times when they think they found it. This idiot has decided to take a Sunday drive during a Tuesday rush hour. Which makes sense, because no one who dallies this much could possibly have a job. I hope he gets a ticket.
- Bill Jackson, assistant managing editor: Those who pass on the right. Before everybody says I drive too slowly: I'll be in the right lane of a three-lane highway and see someone several hundred yards ahead in the center lane. In Illinois (Cars.com is based in Chicago) the car coming to pass, no matter if the entire highway is clear from here to Green Bay, will always pass on the right. Also: Car drivers who blow through stop signs and yell at bikes because "you all blow through stop signs." No we don't. (In fairness, my other pet peeve is bike riders riding the wrong way on one-way streets.) Also(!): People who pull up to a toll booth and ask for directions.
- Paul Dolan, visual designer: When you are trying to pull out of a parallel parking space or pulling out of a gas station, you have the nose of the car out, you have the blinker on, you are clearly waiting to pull into traffic and instead of leaving a little room for you to pull in, another driver fills that space between cars as though you are completely invisible. Also: When there are two lanes, but the right lane is a right-turn lane and someone uses that lane to pass a long line of cars only to pull into the left lane in front of everyone.
- Lindsay Frommer, multimedia intern: It bothers me when people have the option and open opportunity to make a right on red and they don't.
Cars.com images by Paul Dolan