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Driving Me Crazy

picture of texting while driving

Do you have any pet peeves? I'm not normally a peevish person — in fact, I'm generally quite jolly. But my jolliness and my personal sanctification are put to their greatest tests when I am behind the wheel. I'm not the perfect driver, mind you, but other drivers sometimes do some of the dumbest and most dangerous things! And unfortunately it's often in my presence, driving me crazy.

Recently I ran across the following cartoon.

picture of cartoon

When I saw it, I thought about how often I have wondered the same thing — why do people swing left to turn right, thereby making their turn even sharper? I decided to sit down and write my pet peeves about other drivers. I'll post only a dozen today.

My pet peeves about other drivers:

1. Not paying attention — texting, applying make-up, shaving, etc.

2. Running red lights — not just "orange" lights, but very red lights! Are people thinking?!

3. Tailgating — young females seem to be the worst about this

4. Allowing children to climb all over the car, unrestrained — or worse yet, to ride in the bed of a pick up truck

5. Speeding up to keep me from changing lanes, ignoring my turn signal (Who knows what I might do if I were allowed to change lanes?!)

6. Pulling out from a side street, slowly in front of me, into my lane when there's no car in the other lane and no car visible behind me, causing me to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision when I have the right of way

7. Generally abusing the left lane — going slowly in the fast lane on the highway causing others to have to pass them on the right, or slowing down in the left lane before moving into the turn lane, rather than moving into the turn lane, and then slowing down

8. Weaving in and out of lanes of traffic, endangering others, only to get not really much further ahead, and usually ending up one or two cars ahead of me at the next red light

9. Two trucks side by side, both going way under the speed limit, jockeying for supremacy, with many cars held hostage behind them

10. Not pulling into the intersection when making a left-hand turn so that another car or two behind them can also get through that green light

11. Sticking out into the right lane, waiting to pull onto the street, making people in that lane swerve around them to avoid collision, rather than backing up so as not to be sticking out in the lane of traffic

12. Obstructing other drivers' view by driving a huge vehicle with darkly tinted windows — I call it "following a moving wall and being at the mercy of its tail lights"

My dear wife (my faithful proofreader) said that that sounds so peevish. I told her, "That's why they call them 'peeves,' Dear." 🙂 What are your pet peeves behind the wheel?


"Always remember — everyone of us is someone else's weirdo!." - Rob Loach

=^..^= =^..^=

Why is it that anyone who drives faster than you is a maniac and anyone slower than you is an idiot?

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26 Comments on “Driving Me Crazy”

  1. #1 Frank
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 7:31 am

    Rob, my pet peeve is when I am #1 in the right turn lane, there is little cross traffic so I could turn right on the red light and be on my way, but the guy in the lane to my left failed to stop behind the white line, blocking my view so I cannot tell whether or not it is safe to proceed.

    Yours are good ones, too.

  2. #2 Tracey
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    Oh boy, I bet you get heaps of replies to this iv ! It’s a hot topic! And I’m in Australia so I had to translate the lane changes 🙂

    My peeves include:
    -being overtaken while doing the speed limit then having the same driver pull straight back into my lane (usually extremely close to me) and then slow down!!!!!
    -tailgating, especially by huge trucks – scary and very dangerous
    -lewd bumper or window stickers
    -drivers only using their indicator (turn signal) the second they swerve/merge/change lanes/ turn the corner, instead of using it to “indicate” their intentions
    -car stereos up so loud that the driver can’t possibly hear anything else ie ambulance siren
    -being subjected to a car stereo bass from 2 kilometers away
    -drivers not understanding road rules. We have a huge problem with drivers not understanding the laws relating to cyclists on the road – very, very dangerous.
    -roadworks or something else up ahead – most people merge when the signs say to then endure the crawl of traffic until past the roadworks – it steams me to watch “entitled” people zip past everyone else and gain 30 car lengths, then try to merge at the last second!!!!!!!!!!!!! My time is just as important as yours, you inconsiderate child!

    There you go, I’ve had my vent.

  3. #3 John Brian
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:05 am

    And that is just the drivers in SC!

    Mine is the people who pass me on an on-ramp, pull up beside me, effectively blocking me from entering the lane.

  4. #4 LeAnne Solt
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:32 am

    This is hilarious! My husband could have written this entire post — I hear about the stupidity of drivers nearly every time we’re in the car. 🙂 He might add one about general incompetency with turn signals. It seems we often get stuck behind the drivers who never use their turn signals when turning, and then leave them on forever when they’re not turning. Great post!

  5. #5 Brian
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Rob, how apropos this post was to read first thing upon arriving in the office this morning! Are these in order of the greatest to the least? If not, your next post should tell us your opinion of that order! I think numbers 9 & 10 need to be way further up the chart! Also, how about adding this: Having the car in front of you hesitate to go at the light at White Oak and Wade Hampton TWICE! That light already only allows 4 to 5 at a time to go, and that’s if everyone is ready to stomp it when the light turns green. This morning I was 5 cars from the light, but the car in front of me hesitated for a gooooood loooonnngggg time before moving after the car in front of it was already into the intersection, so we both missed that light, leaving her to be the first at the light for the next go around. The next turn, she did it again and she and I were the only ones that made it thru, me on yellow! Oh, and how about a second one – being the Greenville Traffic Engineering department who won’t listen to the problems created by a change in the timing of a critical light for the morning traffic needs of one of the largest employers of citizens along Wade Hampton Blvd.! 🙂

  6. #6 Michael
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:41 am

    Amen to #6! Another of mine is when drivers do not pull into the median to turn left but instead come to a stop in the left lane to turn across the median and the lanes of oncoming traffic. Another one is when traffic traveling in the opposite direction on a four lane highway stops for a stopped school bus. Here in SC the law changed a few years ago so that you are not required to stop in such a situation. I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents where people see a stopped school bus and plan on just driving through when suddenly the person in front of them slams on the brakes because they didn’t know the new law and causing a rear end or chain reaction accident.

  7. #7 Tony
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 8:58 am

    Amen to everything you wrote! Here are two of my pet peeves:

    1) Drivers that stop at a traffic light but do not pull up to the line, especially at intersections where the signals are camera-controlled or have sensors under the pavement.
    2) Drivers that leave up to a full car length between them and the car in front of them when stopped at an intersection, especially when they are blocking access to a turn lane. For Spongebob fans (if there are any here), when I see this, I often tell my kids “Look! There’s the Invisible Boatmobile!”

  8. #8 Betty-Ann
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 9:16 am

    We have experienced nearly everyone of these peeves. All very frustrating. #5 and Tracey’s comment are particularly frustrating to my husband. We read a humorous comment by a child who after hearing her Dad call someone an idiot asked, “Dad, are you ever the idiot?” LOL Most likely we all have been at some time, even though maybe in error.

  9. #9 Laura B
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 9:30 am

    These were great . . . but if you think SC is bad, DO NOT go up the east coast. We went to NJ a couple weeks ago, and if I didn’t have the little “spotting” mirrors on my side mirrors, I’d’ve been sunk. There’s only about one car-length between vehicles moving at 50 mph, and it’s NORMAL to have to squeeze in that size space at that speed for lane changes. YIKES!

  10. #10 Vikki
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 9:35 am

    Man, have you opened a can of worms! Some of mine are listed above. Probably most of my peeves come when traffic is backed up and the loonies are behind the wheel. Things like:

    Lane guarders during crawling bumper to bumper traffic and no one will let you change lanes to get to your exit. As if letting one single car in front of them will make that much of a difference.

    Sitting in a traffic jam for miles only to find it’s an accident, well off to the side and, once getting up to the scene, the traffic is free moving. They weren’t slowing down because of the accident, but to rubber neck the accident, hoping to see blood and guts.

    People who seem think the emergency lane is for their use when traffic gets slow.

    Or how about when my lane is ending and no one will let me merge into their lane. They look straight ahead and pretend to not even see me.

    Merging onto a highway and no one will let you in.

    Getting behind someone who is going slow, then fast, and kinda weaving around. There was a day when we used to peg them as possible drunks. Now they are often talking on their cell phones!

    And let’s not even bring up someone reading a book!!

    And the list goes on………

  11. #11 Kris Stephens
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 9:40 am

    I can totally relate! I especially liked the final observations about maniacs and idiots. I’ve said something similar, but in an alliterated version.

    “There are three categories of drivers: Maniacs. Morons. and Me!” 😉

    I guess it’s our pride that leads us to think that “we” are the ultimate standard of proper driving!

  12. #12 Jonathan
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 9:44 am

    A co worker told me that if you randomly slow down and turn on your left blinker tailgaters give you plenty of room. It works. Maybe on your future list of pet peeves you will include people who randomly slow down and turn on their left blinker.

  13. #13 Skip Hughes
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 10:38 am

    4 pet peeves — 2 driver, 1 highway design, and 1 misc:

    1. Stopping waaaaay out in front of the wide white stop line at stop intersections, sometimes a full vehicle length or more into the intersection, so that traffic has to veer off course to avoid a collision.

    2. Improper turns at multiple-lane intersections . i.e., not staying in the same lane when making the turn, but crossing multiple lanes directly to the opposite side. Several scenarios come to mind.

    3. Intersections that do not cross at right angles!!! My old head can’t swivel 135 degrees to check for oncoming traffic, and turning my vehicle so that it stops at a 90 degree angle to the roadway isn’t always possible.

    4. Tall grass, shrubs, terrain and signs that block the view of oncoming traffic at stop intersections. Stick you nose out too far to get a good look and you risk getting hit — or “peeving” other drivers.

  14. #14 Barbara H.
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 10:54 am

    I could echo most of these. Some of the red light runners that bother me most are the ones who seem to think if they stick very close to the car in front of them, it’s ok to keep coming through the intersection no matter what color the light is. I’ve seen as many as 3 cars come through in close caravan style AFTER my light has turned green and theirs has turned red.

    And I really hate when I am trying to change lanes, there is plenty of room, I flip on my turn signal — and the car in that lane speeds up so now I can’t make it. I call that and the driver who zips in front of me only to slow down and turn the “me first” syndrome.

  15. #15 Heather
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 11:09 am

    @Laura B. Once you get used to driving like that, it’s not so bad because most of the drivers are actually paying attention to what’s going on. Most of them.

    These days I drive with rural Marylanders — they go 45 mph. They could be going through a school zone or on a highway, but exactly 45 mph is all some of them will do. Bless their hearts. The (mostly male, Chevy-driving) tailgaters are probably out-of-towners.

  16. #16 Diane Heeney
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 11:29 am

    –People who use their turn signal to indicate what they are in the *process* of doing, rather than what they intend to do.
    –Dogs in the back of a pick up…or on a flat bed. Just hit the brakes hard one time and see what happens! Some justify it if they are restrained…but I’ve heard of dogs choking to death that way when they tried to jump out.
    –Texting and driving is against the law in WY. But we saw someone using a small laptop while driving…yikes.
    –This isn’t really a “driving” one…but seeing folks leave their pets in a car on a hot day drives me nuts.

  17. #17 Diane Heeney
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 11:37 am

    Tony…if you are ever behind me in traffic and I stop way behind the vehicle in front of me, it may be because it is a diesel and I can’t stand having that stuff pumped into my air vents. 😛

    Also, not a peeve but rather an observation. My Dad often noted what he used to call the “hurry up and wait” phenomenon. The person who just cannot abide going a click above the speed limit and simply must blast past you in such a way as to make a statement…only to find himself sitting inches in front of you at the next traffic light.

  18. #18 Ron
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    You know if it wasn’t for other’s driving habits not matching up to my expectations of how I think they should drive I wouldn’t have anything to talk to myself about when I’m driving alone. Seriously, I don’t know why everyone seems to be in such a big rush they only end up like Diane said “sitting inches in front of you at the next traffic light.”

  19. #19 Vikki
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Just a comment for Laura B and Heather. We lived in the Chicago suburbs for almost 30 years, so I know what kind of driving you’re talking about. You do get used to it and, yes, people do know what they’re doing and where the boundaries of their cars are (at least for the most part). In some areas, the only way to even get into traffic is to gun it when you see even the slightest gap between cars, like 2 car lengths instead of the usually 1-1/2, (that is unless you want to just sit there for hours waiting for a break in traffic). It’s just the way it is with so many drivers on overcrowded highways and you do learn to deal with it. We have family in Wisconsin (where we grew up) and when visiting we would have to keep reminding each other that we weren’t in the Chicago area anymore and to try not to scare the Wisconsin drivers half to death with our driving. Unfortunately, I’m sure we did a number of times.

    A few weeks ago we were at my daughter’s in a small town in WI and turned left on to a road because the coming car was almost a full block away. Plenty of time, right? She started laughing and said we had probably scared that poor person to death because no one around there would have pulled out unless the car was 2-1/2 to 3 blocks away at the the very least. Oh, and the speed limit was only 25, but everyone drives 15-20.

    The most hair raising driving I’ve personally seen was when we were in St. Thomas. It’s filled with 1-1/2 lane roads and completely blind turns where the drivers have to beep their horns continuous all through the turn trying not to be hit. We were with a group, so didn’t actually do any driving while there, but in the 5 days we were there, we saw quite a few accidents being cleaned up. The accident rate is so bad that the police department has their own wreckers. We started looking for cars without dents and could only find a handful of them. I’m told that the Philippines are even worse because no one follows the traffic rules.

  20. #20 Elizabeth
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    How about people who turn the opposite direction from their turn signal? 🙂

  21. #21 Laura
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    How about drivers that try to change lanes without looking first? This actually happened to me recently… I was driving my husband out to his job, and a van in the lane to my right started to pull into my lane. Two problems: one, he didn’t use his turn signal, and two, he didn’t check in his side mirror and/or over his shoulder to notice that my husband and I were there, and he very nearly crashed into us. I slammed on the brakes and the other driver noticed just in time to avoid a collision, thankfully. That incident served as a reminder to ALWAYS look before changing lanes and also to be thankful that the Lord is there to protect us from these things!

  22. #22 Jason Harper
    on Jul 12th, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    On a side note, I read an article recently saying that California was considering adding LCD panels on their license plates for advertising purposes. The idea is that when the car is stopped for a few second, a video would play on the plate. Even still…. I think that’d be insanely distracting and just adding to traffic troubles.

    My biggest pet peeve is 18-wheelers who drive like they’re a teenager in a sports car. Why is it always the bad trucks that don’t have the safety call-this-number sticker on the back? One time there was a guy so bad I even slowed down to get behind him to get the number to call, and he had scratched out the last four digits!

  23. #23 ROY
    on Jul 13th, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    I followed someone in a red pickup truck one time who engaged his left turn indicator “indicating” an upcoming left turn and then promptly turned right. The “dyslectic” French professor I believe. Also just recently overheard a conversation confirming that this French professor does this on a regular basis. There just seems to be too many dangerous people on the road these days!! 🙂

  24. #24 Susan
    on Jul 14th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    Oh, my husband could have written this post! LOL He gets really wound up in traffic, and we have some bad traffic here in Vancouver. My pet peeve at the moment is people talking on cell phones when it’s against the law. My husband was almost hit head-on yesterday by a driver who swerved into his lane . . . she was on her cell phone and not paying attention. Another one is drivers who refuse to merge with other traffic till the very last minute and then push their nose into the lane, forcing their way in. We do a lot of waiting in lines and merging around here. We all have to wait in lines, and I don’t understand why some people think their business is so much more important than mine that they can ignore the merge signs and force themselves into the lineup where it’s already bottlenecked!

  25. #25 Gayle
    on Jul 16th, 2010 at 10:37 am

    Mine is drivers who try to be “nice” and wave you on at a 4 way, or such when it is clearly their turn instead. Just obey the rules of the road and don’t try to confuse people! Don’t they realize if there’s an accident it is MY fault, not theirs. I won’t take them up on it, I wait until they realize I’m not going to be swayed by their “kindness” because I view it as dangerous.

  26. #26 Rob
    on Jul 18th, 2010 at 8:52 am

    @all – This one got away from me in the number and rapidity of comments. I thank all of you who added your personal pet peeves. It’s comforting to know that I’m not the only one driven crazy by the things other drivers do. I fear sometimes, though, that I may be guilty of some of the same things myself, unwittingly and unintentionally.

    I would like to clarify for Elizabeth and Roy that what they described might be the result of some crossed wires … somewhere…. It seems to happen, though, only when the driver you describe knows the driver behind him personally and when the driver is certain that what he’s doing has no impact on anyone else. It’s especially fun to do when leading someone to a place they do not know how to get to. I’ve done it on two continents. Fortunately I never got to/had to drive in China. Those drivers need nothing to make them any worse! 😀