The down side to a cheap and easy driver’s exam is that many people pass when they should not. When a license is $20 and an easy multiple choice test, no one takes it seriously, and it only gets worse as the years go by. While there are many terrible drivers on American roads, these are the most common annoying driving habits.
No turn signal
Every vehicle on the road, yes, even BMWs, come equipped from the factory with turn signals. That handy little stalk on the steering column lets other drivers know your intent, so they know how to react to not cause an accident.
Excessive turn signal
Unlike the guy above, this one loves to forget their turn signal is on. They drive down the highway in the left lane, signaling for a left turn, even though the next left exit might be 682 miles away. On a motorcycle, I get it, but in a car or truck, you can hear the clicking, and see the indicator light. No excuses.
This is usually restricted to pickups, but a startling amount of people find a way to overload their vehicle. Usually it’s something like a mattress that isn’t secured, so when they get on the highway, it amusingly decides to fly away. These types of loads can be dangerous to other drivers, like an unsecured refrigerator sliding around in the bed. Not only do you have to tie stuff down, but also make sure the vehicle can handle it. It isn’t going to end well if you stuff your Ford Thunderbird with 25 bags of Quikrete.
Not understanding yield signs
Repeat after me: It’s not a stop sign. A yield sign can be blasted through at full speed if there is no traffic around. If there is traffic, adjust your speed so you can time the entry without coming to a stop. Seriously, unless there is heavy traffic, if you’re stopped at a yield, you are wrong.
No free right guy
This is also not a yield sign. At a four way stop, and at a red light, if you come to a complete stop and verify that it is safe to turn, it is entirely legal to do so. Yes, on a red, you can go. Instead, this guy sits there staring straight ahead and waits for the green. Sure, the driver might be from one of those stupid places that outlaw free right on red, like Portland OR, but no one wants to live there anyway.
Left lane hog
The far left lane on the highway is not the “fast lane.” It is a passing lane for you to get around slower traffic, then merge right back with the flow of traffic. When everyone is in the passing lane, it becomes just another lane. If you aren’t actively passing someone, move over, as you are the problem.
This can tie-in with the left lane hog, when you get two idiots together. When one 18-wheeler is going below the speed limit, another decides to pass. Unfortunately, with 80,000 pounds of Chinese junk in the trailer, the second truck passes at a speed that is 0.01 mph faster than the “slower” truck. Next thing you know, they’re both making a rolling roadblock for everyone else.
These are the guys with the $2,000 sound system in a $1,000 Craigslist car. They play a track with heavy bass, and pretend other people are impressed as their trunk rattles and vibrates. Drum & Bass? More like Dumb & Bass. I really was wanting to hear that song from 2 blocks away. Inside my house.
Can’t figure out merging
Jeez, it’s not a Rubix cube. Getting on the highway is easier than parallel parking, but so many people screw it up. Gas it, easy on the steering while glancing over to match speed with traffic. It happens faster than you read the sentence. The keys are to find an opening, and be predictable and obvious about wanting it. They’ll let you in, if they know. Unless they’re the next guy.
Not letting people merge
You’ve seen this guy blocking drivers as they try and join heavy traffic on the highway. Jerkface maneuvers his 3 Series to stay in the way as the merging car runs out of lane. Now the merging driver is pissed off, just so you could be 20 feet in front. The downside is upset drivers are the worst drivers, and you just planted that guy right behind you. Brilliant.
I get it. You bought a 15 year old 3 Series, and want other Wal-Mart shoppers to see your “luxury” car. However, taking up 2 or more parking spaces just makes you look like an asshat and your car a target for teenager’s keys. Your car, even a BMW, is designed to fit between the yellow lines. Now if you park in a handicapped spot, and are in no way disabled, you deserve to be towed.
Seriously, what is the point? Driving six inches from the rear bumper of the car in front of you accomplishes nothing, and dramatically increases the likelihood of an accident. The tailgating guy is probably the same as the anti-merging moron, wanting to get to his destination 0.00002 seconds faster. Don’t brake check this idiot; just drive slower.
Hanging your arm out the window to signal is fine in a pinch, but that’s not the long term solution. Spend the $1.97 on some turn signal bulbs. Definitely hit the auto parts store on your way home if you notice a burned out brake light bulb. Fix that oil leak. Replace that cracked windshield. Stop driving the dangerous pile of garbage, as everyone else on the road is wondering if you’re going to lose control and hit them.
No passing allowed!
The genius decides they are the authority on all things regarding highway speeds, and they conveniently drive slower than the flow of traffic. If you swing to the left to pass, the dingus matches your speed. Slow down, he’ll match you. Of course, the solution here is to drive a Dodge Viper, put the accelerator to the floor, and let the 8.4 liter V10 tell him what you think as you go flying by. If you can’t afford a Viper, just do a police PIT maneuver and laugh as the idiot goes spinning into the ditch. Okay, no, don’t do that. Buy the Viper.
These guys are everywhere recently. A few years back, “Myth Busters” scientifically (and hilariously) proved that distracted driving is every bit as bad as drunk driving. And yet I see them every day, texting while rolling through an active construction zone. Ugh.
I was recently rear-ended at a stoplight by someone not paying attention. We both got out, and after making sure the vehicles were undamaged, I noticed the other driver’s iPhone was in her hand, lit, halfway through a text message. “Do we need to exchange info or anything?” she asked. I said no, since there was no damage, there was no point. “Are you sure? Do you need anything?” she pressed. “I need you to pay attention,” I said, and got in my car.
Those are the 15 worst driving habits. Here’s the rest…
Not paying attention that the light has changed
Pay attention! Green is for go!
I get it the light changed, but give me more than a millionth of a second to get going before you honk.
Cutting across multiple lanes to make an exit
Yeah, potentially wrecking your vehicle is worth not having to hit the next exit a half mile away.
Drivers who stay in your blind spot
‘cause that seems like a safe idea. Bonus points if they are bikers.
Pulling out in front of you
I have no idea why, but this dingus wants to cause an accident. Pull onto the street when it’s clear, not when traffic is coming.
Not giving a courtesy wave when you let them in
A minor offense, but you could at least acknowledge my niceness, jerkface.
Drivers who can’t maintain a consistent speed
If you can’t figure it out, use the cruise control. Stop annoying people.
Driving 5 or more under the speed limit
This is usually the same guy as the left lane hog, just on a back road. Go with the flow of traffic.
Not pulling over for an emergency vehicle
This is illegal everywhere and shows the world how much of a prick you are.
No one willing to pass a cop
Great, so just because a police cruiser is on the highway, everyone drives slower than the cop, even going 50 mph. Stop it. You can’t get a ticket for doing the limit.
Failing to stay in their lane
This isn’t what people mean when they suggest you color outside the lines. You should definitely stay within those white lines, or prepare for a breathalyzer.
Gross. Dig for nuggets at home. No one wants to see that.
Leaving high beams on when another car approaches
– Don’t blind oncoming drivers. They might not be able to see, and could cause a head-on collision. Kinda self-critiquing here.
Driving too fast in inclement weather
This one is for the SUV drivers that go 20 mph over the speed limit during an ice storm. Look for them a mile down the road, upside-down in a ditch.
Great, now the place looks trashy, and the city has to use more of your tax money to pick it up. Littering is a double penalty on stupid.
Don’t be one of these guys. Be one of the better drivers, by paying attention and being courteous, and you can stay off the list of most annoying driving habits.
By Andy Jensen – Contributor