Thursday, September 2, 2010

You're Doing It Wrong: I am an Angry Driver

This blog has moved to Bell in Real Life.

Granted, I am the most non-aggressive angry driver possible, probably, truly, I-never-use-my-horn-or-yell-though-I-think-really-hard-about-it, but still. Anyone who has ever been on the phone with me while driving (ooh illegal) or in the car with me will hear a non-stop diatribe about the morons I am driving alongside, around or in front of. Especially right now, as my ability to sleep the last few days has taken a nose dive into oblivion.

But, hey. What bothers me about people's driving?

Here. I made a list just for you.

Driving the same speed, slower or only incrementally faster than the car in the right lane.
The left lane is for passing. PASSING. Not driving alongside to have a chat and wave party while the line of cars behind you grows ever longer. This bothers me to no end and makes me just a tad bit miffed.

Braking right up on my ass at a stop light, especially on an incline.
You know what this makes me do? I have to do that funny little double-pedal thing where my left foot is on the brake while my right foot taps the gas, because if I slide backwards even a centimeter, I'll probably tap your bumper. And I'm sure that's your plan, Mr. I have a giant red truck and I'm gonna see if I can slowly creep over the Camry properly waiting for the red light.

Constantly jockeying for position in tight traffic.
You know, I'm perfectly cool with people passing me. I like to drive fast, about 80 mph in a 65 zone (illegal again!), but I'm totally all right with moving into the other lane, where I'm able, to let people going faster go around me with only a slight comment on damn you're gonna kill yourself going 90. But when traffic is tight, and we're all waiting in lines, and you're playing the speed pass on the right to move up the left line game? I hate that, especially because they inevitably end up going in front of me, ruining my safety space between me and the next car and making me put on the brakes. And you know what? You get nowhere fast, arriving to your exit maybe five seconds before you would have earlier. Congratulations, douche?

You've been driving for how long and you don't know about cruise control?
I love cruise control. It is my favorite thing ever. Which is why I don't get how I can play "passing" games with other cars. There have been multiple occasions where another car and I will constantly be passing each other, moving into the left lane, going around, moving back into the right...just over and over. And the kicker is, my speed never changes because I have my cruise control on, and they just randomly fall behind and speed up or whatever. It's like no one ever taught them how to maintain a speed on the highway. Then I start to worry they're oblivious to it and just think I'm a competitive fiend who speeds up to pass them again after they've moved around me. Because I'm not. I just don't want to tap my brakes and drop below my set speed because they can't make up their minds.

Traffic. TRAFFIC.
But we all hate traffic, right? Eh, I don't really care so much about traffic so long as I have gas, air and some sort of beverage I can sip slowly (gotta avoid those pee breaks). What really frustrates me about traffic is when I can see the end of it. And not only can I see the end of it, but I can see the clearly defined end of it where two cars are the obvious start of all the backed up traffic behind them because they're playing the same game as the first point and acting like a living wall, where either one is unwilling to move past the other. I have been just several cars behind these before, and I don't know if I've ever been so exasperated with unknown, anonymous people outside the internet.

People who use their horn.
The car horn is the most in-eloquent, confusing, unhelpful, jarring warning in the world. How the hell am I supposed to know if that loud blast of angry noise pollution is directed at me or the person behind me? Or in front of me? How am I supposed to know it's because I am moving just a tiny bit too slow or too fast? All it tells me most of the time is that the person behind the wheel who hit it is a prick who has no idea how badly I hate loud, sudden noises and how much it makes me want to spasm jerk the wheel in sudden terror. And usually if someone is using their horn towards me, I'm already probably lost and confused and worried and stressed out enough, thank you, without your irritated BLARRGH shrieking at me.

Other drivers suck and I'm perfect. Just...just so you know.


Awlbiste said...

I totally rant to myself (or whoever is riding with me) about idiots who can't drive.

I haaate people who can't operate 4-way stops. Was this not taught in ever driver's ed class? Because holy crap sir it is your turn and you need to go so that I may go without breaking traffic laws. GO! It's your turn omg! Please don't wave me through, you need to go!

ALSO! Turn signals are not an optional element of driving. If you're turning or changing lanes or pulling out of a parking spot you need to signal that shit! This is how accidents happen!

TJ said...

The jockeying for position at a stoplight is perhaps the dumbest. I tr to never be the first one through an intersection if it's reasonably avoidable because if someone is going to run the red, the first one in that intersection is the one who is going to get hit. I think the people who change lanes and stuff to be the first through the light are silly.

Anonymous said...

Man, you'd really, and I mean really hate driving in Singapore.

Bell said...

@Awlbiste - all those, yes.

@TJ - I only change lanes before a stop light if I am stuck behind someone really slow and I want to be in a better position to get around them. I am rarely in so much a hurry I have to be "first."

Though that is also why being first at a stop light always makes me pause, look, and wait to see if someone's going to run it.

@Anonymous - I can guarantee you're correct. I hate driving around places I'm unfamiliar with. ;)

Sir Sannhet said...

@Anymouse -- Psssh, driving in Singapore is not that bad. At least the roads are a decent size.

Japan, Guam, and the Philippines are definitely the worst, second only to MIAMI, FLORIDA.

But seriously, I hate people that spend two years driving in other countries and then come back to the US only to drive on the wrong side of the road into oncoming traffic and realize it at the last second.

Oh wait, that's me.

Carrie said...

There is only one thing that truly makes me RAEG in the car. And that's when it's two lanes before an intersection, but it will be going down to one after the intersection, and someone guns it in the lane that's going to end to get ahead of everyone that's patiently waiting in the lane that's continuing. YOU KNOW THE LANE IS ENDING, A-HOLE, GET IN LINE LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!

But of course they don't, they rush out in front, and half the time have to cut someone off at the very last second to get into the actual lane. I get very antsy when I'm at the front of the line in that situation, and most of the time I'll gun it myself, just so they can't make it in front of me and have to wait for someone to let them in.

Cap'n John said...

I rarely use my Horn. I'll use it to avoid an accident but only if avoiding the accident is out of my control. Like if I'm driving through a parking lot and I'm currently stopped between two cars, and you're backing out of your space toward me. In that case I WILL toot you, and I'll keep tooting until you stop your car.

But if I can get my car out of harms way, I'd much rather have both hands on the wheel for maximum control and be concentrating on where I'm piloting 2 ton of speeding metal, than be playing a high speed game of chicken and be laying on my horn while staring you down & yelling, "OH NO, YOU DON'T!!!"

Anonymous said...

If this post were a facebook comment, I would "like" the pants off of it...

And as awkward as that sounds, I do not retract my statement.

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