Bad-Driving Habits That Drive Us Mad

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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):

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  • 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.

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Cars.com images by Paul Dolan

By Matt Schmitz | July 18, 2014 | Comments (73)
Tags: In The News

Comments 

JR

hey kelsey mays,

i don't know how you interpret the speed limit but to a lot of law abiding drivers, it is the UPPER limit. it does not mean you have to drive at the limit, otherwise it would say DRIVE ONLY at xx MPH. the speed limit is the basis at which if you go OVER you can be pulled over by cops. even driving instructors tell their students to drive 5 MPH below the posted limit for SAFETY. the example you gave is acceptable since the driver does not know where to go. shouldn't you be more angry at those drivers who recklessly drive above the limit even though they do not know where to go? maybe you need to go back to driving school and relearn some of the rules of driving safely.

Robert

In NC, I see a lot of drivers turn right on red with not enough space, cutting off drivers and causing them to slow down. The law states that you can only turn right on red if traffic conditions allow. Causing someone to slam on their brakes means the conditions weren't right.

Joe

As a pedestrian, I constantly see people making right turns on red WITHOUT STOPPING first! Unless there's a green "right turn" arrow, you HAVE to stop before making a right turn on red, even if there's no traffic!

Bowrider

Jennifer and Matt nailed it. What gets me fired up the most is not recognizing that the left lane on the interstate is for passing ONLY, not for cruising.

Kelsey, I also agree with your statment. Driving under the speed limit only slows the pace of traffic for everyone. And, if you're an experienced driver, you have no business driving below the speed limit.

carma

How about improper lane usage, my number one pet peeve. Here's the scenario: You're driving on a city street, which are typically two lanes wide. As you approach the next intersection you notice the don't walk signal is flashing. All of a sudden the person in front of you hits the brakes and slows to 20 mph. When they get to the intersection they execute a lazy right turn FROM THE LEFT LANE. The light turns red as you wait for the bozo to slowly roll through the red light. The law states that drivers must move over to the right as far as possible before making such a turn and not impede traffic behind them. If you are turning, just get out of the way! Thanks for letting me vent...

Ben

"People who pull up to a toll booth and ask for directions"

E-Z Pass FTW

WTF

Matt Schmitz and Jennifer Newman - right on. Absolutely irritating to no end. Your car has cruise control. Use it if you can't be consistent by yourself.

JP

My problem is with EVERYONE's comments. No one driving today should be irritated to the point where it generates a negative emotion. If someone wants to pass in the right lane at a stop light and clogs the right turn lane, let them. It's law enforcement's duty to make that driver follow the rules of the road. If someone wants to speed up on you right before you pass them, (again) let them. Plan accordingly (even if they're and idiot) on how you will proceed. Finally, I have more things to worry about in my life (family, finances, etc.) than to wrap myself up with a 2-3 min. headache with someone I will never see again.

WTF

But you are irritated at our comments and took 2-3 minutes to post your comment?

A. Non E. Mouse

I'm with Jennifer and Matt.

Brady Holt

People who avoid a crowded turn lane or exit lane by driving along next to it, and then coming to a stop and trying to force their way in.

It's inconsiderate, of course, this entitlement to be in front of the line. It makes the people who've waited patiently wait even longer, both due to an extra car and the time it needs to get into position. And depending on the speed of traffic, it's either inconsiderate or a downright safety hazard for the people who stack up behind this jerk.

Corollary pet peeve: people who enable this behavior by letting such drivers in.

JP

@WTF...The whole Idea is I don't care what anyone thinks about bad driving, Its not my job to regulate who does what while driving and not be in a position to be involved in "road rage" incident. Just trying to get from point A to B...and this took 45 sec. to write.

J

How about those people who brakes randomly on the highway with at least 10 car length of space in front of them but the vehicle in front of them is NOT braking?

Ernesto V.

I agree 100% with this article and would add I detest uninsured drivers the most. Two years ago I was involved in 3 accidents thankfully none of them were my fault. One was an older man in his 80's who probably shouldn't have been driving and the other two were illegal immigrants - one was DUI. I wish the state of VA did a better job of preventing drivers operating without insurance because as a result my insurance has now gone up! That's money I would have been paying towards my school loans or putting into my 401k.

Something like Joe Wiesenfelder's complaint happened to me the other day.

There's a stoplight on a road near where I live, and almost immediately afterwards, the road narrows from two lanes to one lane.

So, this guy in a BMW M3 pulls up next to me (I'm in the left lane, he's in the right lane). When the light turns green, he zips up and cuts me off where the road narrows.

And, while he was preparing to do all that, he held up the people behind him who wanted to actually turn right. Jerk.

Vik

Minor complaint: drivers who, when making a turn at an intersection, oddly feel it necessary to turn in the opposite direction first (encroaching on your lane) before making the turn. For example, if they're making a right turn at an intersection, they move left before turning right.

Vik

JP- My problem is with your comment. No one commenting today should be irritated to the point where it generates a negative emotion. I have more things to worry about in my life (family, finances, etc.) than to wrap myself up with a 45 second commenting headache with someone I will never see again.

;)

Card13

I always have issues at intersections with two turning lanes (in the same direction). People are frequently not paying attention and will sweep into the adjacent lane as they are making the turn. I have to slam my brakes or get their attention with my horn because there is nowhere for me to swerve to avoid them. There are also people who simply don't choose the correct turning lane. They use the inner left turning lane when they need to make a right soon. Then they have to force their way across all of the lanes.

Dust Bunny

JR--in many places, drivers that drive under the speed limit in lanes other than the right-hand lane can be ticketed. The right lane is for cruising, and that's where sticklers for speed limit should stay. The left lane is for passing, which often requires going a bit over the limit, briefly. If you insist that the speed limit the upper limit, no matter what, stay to the right.

Cranberries

All of the above. Except... Bill Jackson, I don't get it...what's wrong with passing on the right? Are you saying someone in the right lane should get over two lanes and pass the center person on his left, and then get all the way back over? Must be an Illinois thing.

Cole

Drivers who pull up to a red light and stop in the well-marked crosswalk. In Minneapolis there's frequently even an extra white line indicating how far back from the crosswalk drivers should stop, and other drivers STILL pull all the way into the crosswalk. Whenever I'm on foot I give those drivers hella stinkeye for that nonsense, but in a car there's not much I can do.
Also, drivers who don't give bicyclists the three feet they're allotted by law when passing, and bicyclists who thread the needle as if the law doesn't go both ways.

Jay Banta

People who are on an on-ramp lane which continues and becomes an exit ramp who want over but seem to have forgotten what those left and right blinking light things they have are! I'd be glad to move over if I can, speed up or slow down if I can't to make a space for you but how the hell do I know if you want over or are headed for the next exit!

Lanny

People who become distracted at red lights by their phone and don't go when the light turns.

Steve-O

Lane discipline is nonexistent in the US. Passing on the right is illegal in Germany, but YOU DON'T HAVE TO because people get over after they pass!

jacobsos

Two annoying habits
1 - not stopping at all at STOP signs in a neighborhood with 4-way stops at all intersections (like ours) because they figure the other drive will stop. Kids and walkers: cross at your peril.
2 - use "brights" or high beams when unnecessary, e.g., where there are streetlights and one almost doesn't even need to have the lights on.

PG

Drivers who don't understand that the exit lane is for slowing down - NOT the traffic lane before the exit lane. Same with merging - speed up BEFORE you merge into the traffic lane.

PG

@Cranberries - passing on the right is illegal in many places. It's just not enforced much.

Don't try it on the autobahn - they DO enforce it.

GC

Drivers on Interstates who pull up to pass and then sit and sit and sit ... and ... sit in the blind spot, especially when you are close enough to the car in front of you to pull out and pass it. Likewise, people who creep past 18-wheelers like they're inspecting the rivets in the trailer. I was always taught to pass decisively!

jakdedert

You pull up to a stop sign at a T-intersection with the intention of turning right. Once traffic from the left is clear, you can proceed. While you're waiting a big SUV pulls up next to you to make a left. He can't go until traffic from both directions is clear, but you can't see past him, so you inch up enough get a view of the lane. Despite the fact that he can see right over your little Corolla from the bridge of his land-yacht, AND he can't make his turn anyway, he matches you inch for inch. You have to wait until he turns left before you can turn right...despite the fact that there hasn't been a car coming from the left for some time, but heavy traffic from the right.

PapaLimaGolf

One of the things that irritates me is when I'm driving in stop-and-go traffic, maintaining a safe following distance so I don't have to keep jamming on the brakes and some asshat darts into that gap from the lane next to me in an effort to get ahead by one car, forcing me to fall back even farther to create a new safe following distance.

Maggie

I wish people would pay attention and be ready to roll forward as soon as the light turns green, especially for short light cycles or left turn signals. We can all start rolling together at the same time if we're watching. British traffic lights actually turn amber again before turning green, which helps everyone get ready to move.

Frank Smith

People who MUST get in front of you in the right lane so they can turn right.

Bruce Lowry

Just today was one of my "favorites". Driver goes half a mile down a 4 lane road and then realizes that they want to turn left into a local shopping center. Car stops in the right lane with the nose 6 inches into the left lane and turn indicators on causing traffic behind them to change lanes as the right lane is not moving and no gap appears for their car.
Oh, and there are 4 more entrances to the same shopping center in the next half mile!

jakdedert

Traffic is backed up for a block or more at a light, but folks still insist on keeping two or three car-lengths between them and the car in front. What do they think will happen...the car in front of them is going to suddenly back up and ram into them? Those same drivers then leisurely maintain that distance after the light turns, even though it means that several behind them will be left waiting at the light.

D.

So, you're standing in line at the supermarket. It's a long line.....then someone walks up to the front and cuts in line. This is akin to passing on the right, just to get a few cars/seconds ahead of everybody else. I prey on these people; they will be the ones stuck behind the semi in the RH lane as I block them out. Emotions? Naw. Self-righteous? Perhaps. I don't tolerate rude behavior in a person, whether in the supermarket or on the freeway.

ArtR

Turn signals: Those that don't use them and those that use them to tell you why they braked 10 seconds ago.

sailcat54

I live in a rural area where the roads are two lanes and traffic moves only as fast as the slowest moving vehicle. My pet peeve is the utter disregard that slow drivers have for the people behind them as they pass turnout after turnout without pulling out of traffic and allowing others to drive at the speed limit. Not over the speed limit, mind you, but somewhere in the vicinity of a normal and safe rate of speed. Driving at ten to twenty mph under the posted limit is being inconsiderate and selfish. Grrrrrrrr!

Kellye

Card13 that is the WORST. I hate it so much, and yet in NM where I live, it's almost like the preferred way to turn from a multi-turn lane into a multilane. A friend recently had to do defensive driving and was shocked, SHOCKED when the instructor covered "don't change lanes mid-turn." NM drivers have lots of problems in general with turning issues. I deal daily with people who think they don't have to signal unless they are making a 90 degree turn at an intersection. Recently I approached another driver who had been weaving all over the highway and roads (we coincidentally ended up at the same shopping center) and asked her why she felt compelled not to signal while repeatedly changing lanes. "Why would I use my turn signal when I wasn't turning?" Walked away face palming. Also with drivers who have no idea what left OR right hand "turn only" lanes are or could be for and turn ACROSS them from driving lanes. We also have a lot of problems with drivers "waving across" other drivers, pedestrians, and bicyclists, when they are not the only traffic (or only lane of traffic) on the cross street. Several pedestrians in my town have been killed by "good samaritans" that waved them into oncoming traffic. This took me more than 45 seconds to write, but I don't feel bad for getting peeved. Road rules are so that everyone knows what is going to happen in a given situation and can avoid getting KILLED if possible. Making your own rules/not knowing the rules kills people every day. I know I make a few mistakes on the road now and then and I try to give others the benefit of the doubt when they do dumb things, just like I hope others do for me. I try to be proactive and alert, and plan ahead to compensate for people around me who are about to commit driving boners. But people who just plainly never learned the rules of the road, or who just think they don't apply to them, make me see red.

Kertie

Thank you jakdedert, for expressing my #1 driving pet peeve! I don't understand this trend of leaving a gazillion car lengths between your car and the car in front of you?! It used to be the rule was to maintain one or two car lengths while DRIVING, not when stopped at an intersection. It makes no sense! That just wastes space and leaves other drivers trapped. Pull up, for cryin' out loud!

Beverly Nelms

Driving on state roads or Farm Market roads and slow moving cars move over to the shoulder to let you pass. I'm not in that big a hurry. All the debris from the road ends up on the shoulder. The last thing I need is someone on the shoulder running over something, having a blow out and ending up swerving into traffic speeding up to pass or off the road.

Jim

JR- Honestly you are the problem! Most of us are trying to get somewhere. Your driving 5 miles below the speed limit (probably in the fast lane) is so inconsiderate. If you want to drive slow, just be sure to be to the right. No instructor EVER told me to drive 5-10 miles below the speed limit. Where did you learn that?

Beverly Nelms

A close second is drivers who don't know the difference between merge and yield. It's really very easy. If I'm at a yield, I wait until it's clear and go. If it says merge, we come together like a zipper. That means one person goes by, then you let me in.

Hey JR,

You realize speed limits in the US are based on political decisions, right? How do I know? Because if they were related to some safety measurements, they wouldn't suddenly be changing when your car drives into another state.

Bill Jackson came the closest to my pet peeve; but rather than being bothered by people who pass on the right; i'm bothered by those who fail to keep right. I know it's a posted law in a few states (or was the last time I was in other states on the road); but I honestly believe that it's the single biggest cause of highway accidents.

The slow lefthand lane driver is often on the phone, or doing something (or getting something done to him/her) which is already distracting them…and when you pass them, they often wake up, then speed up.

Of course, I'm uncomfortable passing in his/her blind spot, but I see no choice.

Please, let me know if there's been any studies on this? What states enforce it, which ones don't (obviously, Florida doesn't).

Karen

Driver in left lane stops for car driving the opposite way to turn left with both oblivious to the fact that the left turner does not have the right of way and there is oncoming traffic in the right lane. My van was totaled by a jerk, driving a rental car, who turned left and hit me when I had the right of way travelling in the right lane. Tried to blame me for speeding. Hello, I had the right of way. Sadly, similarly a 13 year old girl in my community was killed when she was standing in the median waiting to cross and a driver stopped in the left lane and waved her across causing her to be struck in the right lane by an unknowing driver who couldn't see her running into the right lane.

Karen

I'm surprised no one had mentioned drivers who run red lights. This is one if my biggest pet peeves. I see it multiple times a day. Today I just saw someone run a red light to turn in to a far right across another closer right turn. No turn on red sign there too. I always tell me kids that when they are the first car to go when a red light turns green EVERYTIME they MUST look both ways to make sure no one is running the red light who might hit them if they proceed when the light turns green.

Jadester

Where I'm from, there is no persistent need to turn right on red, so I grew up with seeing it as pure impatience to honk at a driver ahead of you at an intersection just because they have their blinker on and aren't moving. You're never in that much of a hurry to have the right to rush someone headlong into traffic, whether or not you personally would have done so.

Bob Muenchausen

People who sit waiting for a traffic light and do some other task or get lost in their own personal ozone long after the light turns green. I think they too need a fine when the traffic cameras clearly show their selfish foolishness to be a contributing factor to any and all sorts of violations by others at an intersection. JMO.

Alex

Kelsy May: You hope that someone gets a ticket for driving 5-10 mph under the speed limit? Perhaps you should return to drivers training or at least re-read the manual. It's jerks like you who, because of poor planning, (surely you realize how long it should really take to get to work) tailgate me and cause unnecessary stress to other drivers. Your type causes me to implement my favorite tactic: "the closer you get, the slower I go".

5-10 mph under. Really!? Impatience is not a virtue!

Vik

Alex- and perhaps you should keep right.

Sage A. Hoebermann

I agree with JR about Kelsey Mays. Speed limits today seem to be set arbitrarily. In no case should a two-lane highway, no shoulder be set above 55 mph. Damage happens to roads after the "experts" post their speeds. Remembering what I learn forty years ago has kept me out of trouble. Furthermore, if 5 mph faster makes so much of a difference to your importance, free dope slap on me.

John

People who pass me on the freeway, get in front of me, then slow down so that I am suddenly tailgating them.

Naomi

The lack of attention drivers pay to their surroundings. Safety is always number one. Especially in high traffic/populated areas. There are more possibilities of accidents because we all get irritated at one another. Please don't drive zombie style and please keep your cool while driving. Go the speed limit(go with the flow of traffic), watch for road signs and the flow of traffic. If multiple cars move into the zipperlane, deal, it's what its there for and you can't stop them without causing an accident or bad manners.

Vik

John- I'm with you, as long as you're not a left lane hog. What you describe is often punishment doled out to left lane hogs, but not by me!

Debbie

I teach driver's ed in Ohio. I am appalled by some of the responses I have read here.

We do encourage our students to travel a few (not 10) miles under the speed limit, as that, as the name implies, is the MAXIMUM speed, not the mandatory speed.

We recommend at least a half a car length from the vehicle ahead when at traffic lights or stop signs. This gives the driver a little room to get out of the way when the idiot behind tries to crawl into the trunk.

And the standard travel distance is NOT one 1-2 car lengths - it's AT LEAST 1 car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed - 35mph=3.5 car lengths and 70mph=7 car lengths. Some experts recommend the Six Second Rule. Watch the car ahead of you until there is a shadow from a stationary object cast on that car. It should take you at least 6 seconds to reach that same shadow.

One of the threats are the careless fools who pass several vehicles at once on double yellow lines while traveling 10-20mph over the speed limit to avoid being behind a student driver, when the student is going the speed limit. It's illegal, it's dangerous, and it's plain stupid.

And my never-ending pet peeve is the inconsiderate and impatient people who lay on their horns when someone's car has obviously stalled. If honking the horn would make the car start, don't you think the driver of that stalled vehicle would be doing it, too?

Bob

Motorcyclists who ride in bunches that proceed through 4 ways and stop lights as it is their right to keep the pack together.
Cops, none of the traffic laws apply to them. From speeding to cell phone use the are above us, always handy with the excuses. The FOP tag is their Good Ol'
Boy pass when in their personal vehicle(s).

Laura Capu

My father used to call them SAPOs -- Self Appointed Police Officers -- people who drive just at or below the speed limit, in the far left lane in order to limit the speed of all cars around them. They should move right and allow others to pass on the left. My own pet peeve is people who do not know how or do not allow merging to occur. Traffic flows much more smoothly if everyone allows alternate car merging.

Bob11ty7

My pet peeve, which I see a lot, is drivers, especially but not exclusively trucks, staying in the center lane on a three-lane Interstate while driving slower than other traffic. I surmise they do this so they don't have to deal with merging/exiting traffic in the right lane, but they create a constant obstacle. When I'm in the right lane and going faster than the center lane, I sometimes pass on the right not by choice but by necessity. Failure to move to the right is illegal in my state, but I have never seen this enforced.

SpeedRacer

I don't understand why you drivers who insist on driving below the speed limit in the left lane get so pissed when others who are driving the speed limit or above want you to move out of the left lane. As some jack ass posted "the closer you get the slower I go". Why do you think you have the right to go slow in the PASSING LANE?? Just move over if you want to drive slowly!!!! Into the TRAVEL LANE. It's really very simple.
That is my biggest pet peeve. Slow drivers in the left PASSING LANE. My favorite is when they finally pull over and you get to pass them they flip you off! Like I'm a jerk bc I wanted to PASS in the PASSING LANE!

SpeedRacer

Laura Capu I agree with everything in your post!! If everyone let just one car in merging would be so much easier! But of course then you have the jerks who know they have to merge left but continue in the right lane so they can pass everyone and then try to merge at the last second. I never let these people in. They can sit there for their rudeness!

charlie44266

Speed limits

The way it sposed to be is the posted limit is speed of the 85th percentile driver on this road if no limits were posted. That means 85% of the drivers go the posted speed or less while being safe AND 15% go faster than the posted limit while being safe.

The reality is that a lot of limits are just made up: no traffic survey was ever done. When was the last time you saw a 47mph limit? 18 mph?

Speedometers can be as much as 10% off, either way. Use a GPS to check yours. So 60 mph means what? Drive 55 'just to be safe from tickets' or 66 because you can? What about being so distracted by trying to nail that needle right on 60 that you aren't looking at the road or traffic?

Posted limits are not maximums or suggestions, they are warnings of something completely unrelated to safety or driving.

Driving school can teach you how to drive safely at any speed up to the limits of physics. That number is not on any sign you see. Last, drivers ed is not even the beginning of driving school. If your "driving school" didn't get you on a skid pad or obstacle course, you were defrauded.

charlie44266

And ... my pet peeve is the laxity of state driving tests. There are so many people piloting cars that can in no way drive a car but they are perfectly legally licensed.

J.W.

Two habits with drivers in the Pacific Northwest: 1. Hanging out/driving slow in the passing lane of the expressway. 2. "Mergelexia" - the inherent inability to merge.

Vik

I have another one: the "honk-back". Especially when the person being honked at is clearly in the wrong / at fault, yet they choose to "honk back" like a 5 year old. Classy.

John

I've driven all over the country and the worst drivers are in a town called El Paso, TX.

They have a weird sort of passive-aggressive road rage style.

For instance if I'm moving over to get off at an exit someone will begin pacing me in the next lane staying at my speed so I can't get off. A friend of mine had someone do this to him forcing him to drive into Juarez where it can take an hour to get back into El Paso.

I was preparing to drive around a car in front of me that was stopped to make a right turn. As I began to change lanes a lady in the other lane sped up to block my changing lanes. I was suddenly caught in a trap and had to slam on my brakes to avoid running into the driver who was turning. I stopped short of hitting him by just a couple of feed and smoked my tires. It was a close call.

Another thing is slow drivers. I've followed cars onto the freeway entrance going 35 mph ignoring the long string of cars following them. They will poke along the city streets 10 and 15 miles under the speed limit.

One guy deliberately crawled through an intersection until the light turned red forcing me to stop and wait through another light cycle. He sped off after successfully forcing me to miss the green light.

If the freeway is busy and you need to change lanes people will close up so you have to force your way over by bluffing them. They do the same thing if you're entering a main thoroughfare from a side street.

On the freeway sometimes two or three cars will pace one another well under the speed limit so no one can get past them stacking up drivers behind them.

it's all quite weird and unpleasant.

Courtesy is the exception in El Paso where antagonism rules unlike where I live now. Here people will slow down to let you in and make room for you to change lanes. It's a pleasure driving in a town where people help one another.

D Koehler

How about the people who brake with their left foot and never take it off the brake pedal, leaving their brake lights on continuously? How am I supposed to know when they are really braking? Cell phone/text users.

Jon

If there is room enough for you to get over into the right lane so someone else can pass you, you should. The left lane is the passing lane, not the "Oh, that person is going a little slower than me I will wait here to pass them" lane. (ill

Sam

I moved to Minnesota/Wisconsin from southern California. One of my top annoyances after eight years are what I call the "Minnesota Pack Drivers". I'll explain first that everytime I think about the pack drivers I hear the words in my head in an Australian accent.
See the mysterious group known as the Minnesota Pack Drivers. We drive in packs, fifteen miles under the speed limit, with less than a foot of space between all of us. If there is some kind of danger it must be safer for us to be in a pack, so we all wreck together as opposed to one car wrecking alone.
Biggest pet peeve by far. I have nearly been in several accidents because of this. There is no where to go if an emergency happens. You're trapped.

Matthew

Surprised no one has mentioned this, perhaps because it's mostly unintentional, people who drive at dusk or night with their lights off. I always try to get their attention as I've almost had accidents with cars I couldn't see.

AlfaKiloMike

Not sure I understand @Bill Jackson's comment. On a two-lane highway, yes, you always pass on the left. However, on divided, multi-lane roads, you pass where you have to. This is an area where the law either has not kept up with common sense and practicality, or just doesn't bother addressing. Say you're going down the road in the right lane at 55 in a 55. Many cars ahead, something happens in the left lane and traffic slows to 40. Do you reduce your speed to 40 and create a backup? Or do you maintain your speed and left traffic flow?

Also, I'm glad for this discussion. It gives us time to THINK about our actions and the effect it has on others. I have been both informed (changed my thinking on something) and entertained by this. I think it's healthy. :-)

shadow walker

Oh where to begin ?

Peeve #5 Cutting me off and then poking along in front of me

Peeve #4 Poking along on the freeway on ramp and not coming up to speed

Peeve #3 Poking along in the fast lane - really? - just go with the flow of traffic and stop holding up the show for the mile or so of drivers behind your inconsiderate selfish a@@

Peeve #2 Not planning ahead and crossing multiple lanes of traffic to exit the freeway

Peeve #1 Holding onto their cell phone and talking or texting (it is illegal to do so in California) anywhere in view but OMG don't be in the fast lane in front of me doing this. I have CHP on voice activated dialing. Hello - driving IS a multitasking activity. You don't need to add anything else to it. Just drive. Don't have the gossip session of the century, don't read a novel, don't eat, don't read the paper, don't shave, don't apply makeup. Just drive. Both hands on the wheel. Eyes on the road. Mind on the traffic.

Mark A, Cook

People who stop or sit at green lights.

Jim

Tailgaters.

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