Talk to me about rudeness behind the wheel.
Driving down the highway, I saw a camper ahead & it looked like it was a rental. I started thinking, oh how nice for them, that must be fun ... until a little bag came out the side window & they started dumping empty toilet paper rolls & other bits of paper all out onto the highway. Yes, fine fine, it was cardboard & it would melt in the rain soon enough. But really, during rush hour? Honestly? You couldn't have waited until the next stop, I'm sure they'll have those new fangled garbage cans for you.
Other general highway rudeness -
1/2 the cars don't signal, you might have a chance to react if they give away what they are going to do next. And if you leave any more than a car's length of space, someone will cut you off. I left that space for safe driving, not for YOU to get into.
When it rains, the other 1/2 the people don't do Lights On, Wipers On ... it's so WE can see YOU, not so you can see the road. DUH. Grey, silver, white cars in the fog, without lights on??? Think people, how will I see you coming, if you're not going to signal either.
Feet out the windows, or on the dashboard, no one wants to see your feet. Even worse when it's the Drivers! feet out the window.
Menacing with their truck to make you go faster, they'll do the speed up, like they are going to ram, & then tailgate. And they will keep doing it, move back, come up. The answer might be to let them pass, but I just drive slower.
Hasn't happened recently, but 2x in one week I was passed from behind, over the double yellow. I was going 50 in both places, so it wasn't 25 in a 60. Both on a blind curve.
Going up big hills, there will usually be an extra lane, for slow moving trucks. Instead, all the speeders pass on the right, to race ahead & cut off 3 more cars.
No one can merge onto or off a highway anymore. Like a zipper, one car on, one car off ... but no, they have to try & be one more car up. Or drive all the way past the long line of cars waiting to exit, & cut in at the last second. ALL these people waiting, that's not for you, you just go ahead, our time isn't as important as your's, YOU have places to BE.
I notice this primarily with Pennsylvania drivers, and haven't figured why only them yet. They'll tailgate someone, & if that car moves over, the PA driver, just stays right there, in their lane where they were. So you didn't want to go any faster, you just had to bother the person in front of you? A comfortable driving distance is too much to handle. Atleast NY, will pass & speed ahead, not linger next to you.
Posted by: MeganNJ
at August 30, 2010 9:02 PM
It drives me INSANE when someone tailgates me on the highway. Yes, I'm in the left hand lane and want to go faster too, but I can't go any faster than the person in front of me. You being 15 feet behind me going 75 miles per hour isn't going to make me go any faster. You know why? BECAUSE I CAN'T.
Posted by: Jennifer
at August 30, 2010 9:16 PM
People that camp out in the left lane - even on two-lane highways.
It is not the 'fast' lane. It is the passing lane.
Pass. Move over.
Posted by: jimg
at August 30, 2010 10:26 PM
People that hold up traffic in order to allow a car from the other direction to turn left.
Not those who are leaving open a space in stopped traffic, but traffic that's supposed to be moving.
Typically the response is, "I'm being courteous because they've been waiting to turn left."
No. You're being rude to the drivers in line of cars behind you who are supposed to be moving.
Posted by: jimg
at August 30, 2010 10:40 PM
When you use your blinker (like a polite human) to indicate you need to change lanes and some jerk who sees you speeds up. Completely counter productive and deters people from using signals to begin with. I get more pissed about these people, than people who don't use their signals.
Also, it's what I call the "zipper" theory. When merging on a freeway or main thoroughfare -- one car from the left, then a car from the right, so on and so forth like a zipper. Jerks that try to cut in line (FOR ONE CAR SPACE) cause big problems in traffic.
Posted by: Feebie
at August 30, 2010 11:47 PM
One thing common here on the drive from work, when the traffic is busy, is for people hurry up through a yellow light, even though traffic is backed up. The end result is they still aren't moving, but they are stopped in the intersection... while cross traffic has the green light and can't go because they are in the way.
Posted by: Trust
at August 31, 2010 2:31 AM
One of my pet peeves is when I see a sign for my exit or some place I want to go, especially when I'm not familiar with the area, and I have have plenty of room to change lanes. I signal as a courtesy that I'm moving over, then car behind me in the lane I want in hits the gas to keep me from changing lanes... even though it doesn't make them get where they are going any faster.
Posted by: Trust
at August 31, 2010 2:33 AM
On a road trip a while back, my wife and I encountered the king of courteous drivers on I-55 North just a few miles past St. Louis. Traffic was busy, it was dark, and the slow (right) lane was moving much faster than the left lane, frustrating drivers. We eventually encountered the source of the frustration... a man in a vehicle by himself doing 45 MPH in the fast (left) lane while watching a DVD on a portable player.
Posted by: Trust
at August 31, 2010 2:46 AM
During traffic jams, I try to be courteous and allow enough space for people merging over into my lane so they can safely get over. However, even though I have given them enough length, many do not take advantage of my generosity and try to get one more car length ahead. This makes no sense, as they won't get to their destination any faster. I would love to videotape these drivers and wait for an accident. Then I would send the video to the other car's insurance company to demonstrate that they weren't driving safe to start with.
Posted by: Fayd
at August 31, 2010 4:31 AM
People who drive up to construction zones where it CLEARLY states a million feet back that their lane will be ending and to merge...so they hit the gas to get to the front of the line and shove their way in.
Posted by: Ann
at August 31, 2010 4:04 PM
Aw, all you previous posters stole all my thunder about lane changing!
I guess I can summarize a little, though. Some folks on the road seem to view driving as a competitive event. Would it really hurt you to let somebody merge into another lane ahead of you? Are you being awarded a fabulous prize for blocking somebody out?
Other drivers are potentially worse. How many of you have tried to merge onto the freeway, looking for a gap in traffic, and wondering if the driver of the car you're trying to merge in front of is even aware that he or she is passing an on-ramp? How many are yakking on their cell phones? I've seen lots.
Posted by: Old RPM Daddy
at August 31, 2010 7:20 PM
That, and the people who don't realize the whole point of the ramp is to get up to speed and MERGE, not drive 20MPH all the way down and then stop at the bottom. GRRR.
Posted by: Ann
at August 31, 2010 7:42 PM
Ann, I think this is a classic case of misguided altruism. People think they are being considerate of others by merging early and only inconsiderate drivers would wait to the last minute to merge. But if you actually consider the situation, more cars per minute can pass through the road if we use the maximum number of lanes for the longest period and then merge one from your lane one from my lane. Merging early just creates a longer artificial traffic jam, and isn't it rude to create an artificial traffic jam where none need be?
It's a case where apparently selfish behavior has an actual positive effect and apparently altruistic or considerate behavior has an actual negative effect. Shouldn't outcome matter? even if someone gets ahead of someone else?
Posted by: smurfy
at August 31, 2010 11:11 PM
Agree with Smurfy on that one. I think it's best to use all available lanes, then use the "zipper" theory when merging together.
My pet peeve is when I'm the last one through a congested intersection before the light changes. I have calculated that I have enough space to get through and not block traffic, but the person in front of me leaves ten feet between himself and the car in front of him, leaving me hanging. This also happens when I'd like to make a right-hand turn at a red light. I'd have enough room to do so if the person in front of me didn't leave all that empty space. Why is it SO HARD to pull up all the way?
Posted by: Jamie
at September 1, 2010 2:54 AM
This is kind of a mix between pedestrian and traffic, but the drivers are the rude ones, so I'm leaving it here.
I'm a runner, and I do a lot of running on city streets. I totally get that sometimes it's hard to see pedestrians in time to stop for them at a crosswalk, so I don't really expect it unless I'm already running across the street. BUT, if you're the douchebag leaning out of your car leering at me while you drive by, I kinda think you saw me. Or, better yet, at stop signs, these same douchebags drive verrrry slowly through the intersection while they leer and block me from crossing. I so don't understand it, especially since I am likely un-showered, un-made up, red-faced and sweaty.
Posted by: Sam
at September 1, 2010 5:15 AM
My pet peeve is people turning left at stoplights who refuse to drive forward past the crosswalk until the light changes and stops oncoming traffic. If the first car would simply pull forward to the center of the intersection and wait in the middle of intersection for the light to change then this allows one or two more cars to inch up behind him and then make the left turn on the same light.
But when a clueless driver, thinking only of himself, or not thinking at all, sits at the crosswalk and then drives forward to complete his left turn only when the light changes to stop oncoming traffic then all the cars behind him are stuck behind the crosswalk and have to wait 'til the next light to get a chance to turn.
In Los Angeles having only 1 car turn left per signal change can mean sitting for a long time waiting to make a left hand turn if there is no left turn arrow!
Posted by: Brett
at September 1, 2010 9:05 AM
Uh, Brett.. perhaps this is different where you live, but it is illegal to pull up over the crosswalk where I live, and you'll get ticketed for it. Plus it's really annoying when some dipshit pulls way up to make a left turn, even though they can't until the light turns... and then people who would legally be able to make a right turn on the red cannot safely do so because they can't see around the person in the left lane.
Posted by: Angie
at September 1, 2010 3:46 PM
Okay, Brett, I read through that again, and I think you mean it would be nice if people pulled out once the light turned green, so that more people could get through it.. which I agree with. When you said "waiting for the light to turn" I assumed you meant waiting for it to turn green..not when it was already green. Perhaps I'm still unclear, I don't know!
Posted by: Angie
at September 1, 2010 3:49 PM
I hate it when cars pull into the crosswalk. It makes it impossible for pedestrians to use the crosswalk without dodging traffic coming from the other direction.
Posted by: MonicaP
at September 1, 2010 4:19 PM
@ Smurfy and Jamie - I'd agree with you, if the person doing it was TRAVELING AT THE SAME SPEED AS SURROUNDING TRAFFIC. These asshats stomp on the gas, come flying up from 75 cars back, and shove their way in. THAT is RUDE.
Posted by: Ann
at September 1, 2010 4:24 PM
I'll attempt to be brief but this is a difficult one to be short with. I'm a part time motorcycle rider. On a Monday evening I'm traveling on road with two lanes going both directions separated by a concrete island. I'm riding right of center in the left lane. A guy in a pickup truck, unprovoked passed in my lane between the island on my left and me riding just right of center next to the lane delineator. Mind you there isn't enough space to actually do that, his mirror clipped my arm and the force of the pickup upset my balance.
Obviously this infuriated me to the point of confrontation. I followed him to the next light where cars had stacked up behind him. I split the lane traffic as the light was red and I intended to confront him. Mind you, the motorcycle handbook at the DMV encourages splitting traffic at stopped traffic lights as it's safest to be in front of traffic.
As I pulled up nearing him, he hit the gas and swerved right in my path to cut me off and or hit me with his vehicle. I'm still not positive as to which. He then rolled down his window and unleashed a string of expletives at me. To which I kindly returned as we were not having just a confrontation anymore, he was putting my life in jeopardy. After a brief and heated exchange he raced off and I was unable/unwilling to follow him further. I did not want to find out what the end result would have been had I followed him and continued the confrontation. It would have had a violent conclusion of that I'm sure. I was shocked that someone would play so trivial with someone else's life. Pickup truck versus motorcycle? I don't stand a chance.
I drove the short distance home, parked and vented my frustration when another motorist pulled up in front of me. He asked and volunteered his help in calling the police and being a witness on my behalf if I'd gotten the license plate of the vehicle. He was willing to help me press whatever charges were available to me which made the situation really hit home. He had witnessed the event and said to me he was amazed that I wasn't hit or killed. That statement really took me down a notch.
I know people on motorcycles can be very inconsiderate, but to think this guy had such an issue he was willing to put my life in jeopardy is still to this day unfathomable to me. I didn't get the license plate due to my inability to control my temper at the time. But I did get distinct markings of the vehicle and if it is ever seen again in my neighborhood, the license plate will be recorded and a report made. Far too late for the police to take any action, but a guy like that will have another run in with someone in the future of that I can guarantee.
Posted by: CJ
at September 1, 2010 5:24 PM
A frequent sight here, is when you have multiple lanes from a collector/distributor system on the interstate merging into a single lane and then onto the expressway. Inevitably, a driver who wants to exit 1/2 to 1 mile further away will insist on forcing a space into the merged lane, resulting in cars merging from multiple directions.
Rude and unsafe. Give the drivers just 1/4 mile to move into an interstate lane, and you will have plenty of room to move over for your exit.
Posted by: Dorris
at September 1, 2010 5:26 PM
This is a cross between traffic and littering. I don't have a lot of respect for smokers at the best of times, but when they throw their filthy butts out the car window I quite literally scream with rage. Given enough time at a light, I will exit my vehicle, pick up the butt, say to the driver: "Excuse me - you dropped something," and flick it back in their car.
Bad enough they pollute the air around them; bad enough they litter sidewalks with their detrius; do smokers really have to impose the disgusting remains of their puerile habit on our roads and highways? Aren't all cars still equipped with ASHTRAYS?!
Sorry . . . getting riled just thinking about it . . .
Posted by: Tim Webster
at September 1, 2010 5:28 PM
I am right up there with the comment about letting people turn left (yielding the right of way when they shouldn't. This is a great way to cause an accident.
I almost hit a pedestrian when on a 2-lane One Way street and a van stopped to let a pedestrian cross (as was proper procedure). However, I had no way of 1)knowing why the van was stopped, 2)seeing the pedestrian behind the van, or 3)seeing beyond cars parked on that side of the street. I probably should have been more cautious because, lo and behold the pedestrians (pre-teen kids) came flying out from behind the van, causing me to stand on the brakes and come within a few inches of disaster. This incident actually made me cry, being a parent.
But the point I was trying to make originally is that of drivers who are coming up to a red or yellow light and kind of mosey on up there like they have all day, meanwhile oblivious to the cross streets and driveways to the side, in which there are people waiting to get out into the traffic lane.
Posted by: Paula Barbee
at September 1, 2010 6:08 PM
Many cars no days do not have either an ashtray or one of those pop out cigarette lighters. Also walking up to someones car that you do not know is a good way to get shot, you never know who is behind the wheel.
Posted by: ssq
at September 1, 2010 6:14 PM
On the subject of blinkers... I was taught that the blinker is there to let the other drivers know what you intend to do next. "Hey, guys! I'll be slowing down ahead to turn left." I CANNOT STAND the people that turn their blinker on after they've hit the breaks and are actually going into the turn. It's blinker, then brakes! Asshats! That's why you have that big dent in your rear bumper, you jerkoff. Because you didn't warn the people behind you that you'd be turning, you just slammed on your brakes randomly. This drives me crazy, if you can't tell.
Posted by: Gina
at September 1, 2010 7:54 PM
Oh the cigarette out the window thing pisses me off too. I live in Colorado, and we had a couple of really bad drought years in a row. Several forest fires were started because of behavior like this. And yet, I still saw it.
If you don't have an ashtray, either put one in or stop smoking in the car. Throwing your butts out the window is NOT acceptable, especially if you burn my forest down.
As a corollary, I also hate it when people spit their chew out while stopped at a light. You'll see the door open and someone poke his head out to spit that crap all over the road. Disgusting.
Posted by: Ann
at September 1, 2010 9:11 PM
I'll add to the thing about drivers who pass a line of backed-up traffic and then cut in at the head end. There's a ramp I have to take every day that usually backs up a bit. Depending on how far it backs up, it sometimes interferes with an entry ramp and it isn't always easy to merge in, so once I get in line, I'll let other drivers in front of me up to a point. But when they go to the very edge of the exit and then cut in, it causes drivers behind to have to check up, and the sudden unexpected stop causes several accidents a week there. So once we get about 100 feet from the exit, I'm pretty aggressive about not letting other drivers in. I've had other drivers flip me off for not letting me in right at the edge of the ramp. Sucks to be you dude, but you're not that special.
The other freeway bad driving I see a lot here is people who come off of a ramp onto a 70-MPH-limit freeway doing 40, and cut directly over to the left lane.
Posted by: Cousin Dave
at September 2, 2010 1:54 AM
Gina - not to be argumentative, but when I learned to drive, I was taught that you started signaling three seconds before you will change lanes or turn, no more no less. Any less and people don't have time to react, any more and people may misinterpret what you're doing and cause an accident.
Posted by: threephoe
at September 2, 2010 2:51 AM
Many years ago my husband took a new job in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I flew in from Minnesota with our young son to find a house. On the way to meet a real estate agent we stopped at a small grocery store in Grapevine, Texas. Before we had time to get out of our car, a pickup truck backed into the space in front of us. The drive got out, unzipped his pants, and peed right there in front of God and everyone. It was mid-morning. I was ready to go back to the airport! I must say I never saw that again and the people in Texas are some of the most polite in the US.
Maybe this should have been posted under 'shopping'?
Posted by: ellana
at September 2, 2010 2:56 AM
I agree with MonicaP on the crosswalk thing. As much as I think some rules of traffic are fungible, I never, ever pull into the crosswalk. I have gotten honked at by people behind me while sitting at a red light. As if giving them that five extra feet while we're stopped is going to make a difference. However, I also agree with Jamie on hating when people don't pull up all the way, forcing someone to block traffic if he's already in the intersection. But the crosswalk is not for stopping on.
Something that seems to happen to me a lot (or else I just notice it more than other infractions) is when I'm the last in a line of traffic, yet the person pulling in from an intersection or driveway zooms out in front of me, even though there is no one in my rear view mirror. I hope it's worth the potential T-bone to get that extra third of a second ahead.
I don't know if anyone here is familiar with the Cool Springs area of Franklin, Tennessee, but there is one thing I absolutely hate about driving there. The typical layout is two lanes of road going each way with a large median in between, leaving a sizable space at the intersections. One the one hand, it's great because if you want to turn left, you can pull out into the intersection and then stop and wait for the other side to clear (this is in the shopping areas, not a major highway or anything). However, there are many, many people who will pull up beside you on the right as you're waiting to turn left into traffic and they also want to turn left. I understand wanting to go ahead and take advantage of the lull in traffic, but this means that you can't freaking see the oncoming traffic around them, the jackasses. Worse are the ones who do that and then zip into traffic in front of you.
And, threephoe: I was taught in driver training that it's fifty feet, so that sounds comparable to your three seconds. Almost as bad as people who don't signal are those who signal and then drive right by three or four turns before they get to the one they want. That means we behind them are on constant alert so we don't hit them when they finally put on the brakes.
Posted by: NumberSix
at September 2, 2010 8:14 AM
Motorcycles! Agree with CJ the way people act around them.
BF rides all year long & has had some crazy almost-accidents.
Just last night, a truck from the local stone company was in the right lane, J in the left, coming up to pass as the truck swerves over the line, then notices, goes onto the shoulder & kicks up rocks. (our guess was on the phone.) J sees a large, like golf ball size, coming for him, so he watched it & tried to dodge it. It hit him right in the hand & then again in the arm. His gloves have a protective knuckle shield, otherwise he could have broken his knuckles. He said to himself, F You. And the driver must have been watching, because he rolls down his window & starts yelling back.
Other times, people pull out in front of him, speed to pass & then get in front & slow down, tailgate, swerve, merge without looking & push him into the shoulder & the rumble strip.
Always seemed to me they are just mad to be in a car. The motorcycle is so freeing, when not next to these yahoos!
Although I have seen some rude motorcycle behavior too, splitting lanes during rush hour traffic, so they are the only one moving. Driving on the shoulder in the same instances. Wheelies, stopies, weaving between cars and sometimes even with their little GF in shorts & a tank top. She won't be so cute when her skin rips off.
Posted by: MeganNJ
at September 2, 2010 3:40 PM
Astonished no-one mentioned this yet - you're in the right lane on a highway approaching an exit you won't be taking - BUT YOU'RE NOT MOVING FAST ENOUGH FOR THE DRIVER BEHIND YOU, who whips to your left, speeds up, and darts in front of you to "make" the exit. Didn't it occur to the dumbass driver that they could sacrifice 2 seconds, wait for the exit to arrive in a timely fashion, and safely exit?
Re left turns, on green lights I always drive straight to the center of the intersection, check that I have time to turn, then go. That way cars behind me can turn too. Even if the rear of my car is in the intersection, no-one should be crossing - the light is green! And I'm not blocking the view of anyone who wants to turn right - the light is green!
Posted by: DaveG
at September 2, 2010 6:19 PM
Angie, I'm confused. Do you mean you've seen people drive WHILE THE LIGHT WAS RED into an intersection to wait to turn? What would they be thinking?
Posted by: DaveG
at September 2, 2010 6:24 PM
Regarding motorcycles - I'm in California, where I'm pretty sure it's legal for cyclists to split lanes. I HATE it, it scares the shit out of me. Bikers always say, Oh you drivers are just jealous that I'm moving through rush hour traffic and you aren't, but I'm mostly worried about hitting them because they'll be seriously injured. I don't know what is an ideal solution, because like I said it's legal, but I can't see how it's safe.
Posted by: Sam
at September 3, 2010 5:38 AM
I had another one last night
A guy missed his turn on the highway & just put it in reverse, half in the shoulder half in the road & went full speed backwards. Instead of just going to the next exit & turning around, or figuring out that it was really still the same highway at that next exit.
Posted by: MeganNJ
at September 3, 2010 3:38 PM
DaveG, sorry, I wasn't very clear! I misunderstood Brett, which had me confused for a bit. What I'm talking about is people that pull up in the left lane during a red light, but they don't stop at the painted line where they should. They drive way up past it, not in the middle of the intersection, but enough to make seeing around them impossible without being in the intersection yourself. We have an intersection where the left turn lane stops about a car length away from the crosswalk, designated by a big, chunky white line. It makes a right turn on red possible for folks who shouldn't be over the crosswalk. Yet, people will still pull up past the first white line, over the crosswalk even, and the people who want to turn right on red are just out of luck.
That's what I initially thought Brett was talking about, wanting people to get as far forward on a red as possible.. but when I read it again, I realized he meant to get out there while the light was green, which I agree with!
Posted by: Angie
at September 3, 2010 3:40 PM
Hi threephoe, I agree with you. But I was specifically talking about making an actual turn, not changing lanes. I can't stand when people don't signal until they're actually in the turn or in the turning lane. You're supposed to signal way before you hit the brakes to warn the people behind you that, Hey! you'll be hitting the brakes.
Posted by: Gina
at September 3, 2010 3:56 PM
"the motorcycle handbook at the DMV encourages splitting traffic at stopped traffic lights"
That's something I have never understood: motorcycles whitelining. If the traffic is really stopped, I suppose it's not a problem. But lots of times this isn't the case - traffic is backing up and getting slow, people are changing lanes at random, because the other lane always seems faster, and zoom comes a motorcycle between the lanes. Dangerous as hell...and has always struck me as rude. You got a vehicle, take your place with all the other vehicles.
Posted by: bradley13
at September 3, 2010 7:00 PM
My work is on a main road, and the end of our parking lot has a traffic light with a cross street directly across from the exit. There are often several cars lined up to make a left onto the main road from the cross street. I need to exit the parking lot and drive straight onto the cross street. Several times I have almost been hit by self absorbed people turning left who don't take time to notice that they only have a green light, not an arrow, and that since I am trying to go straight, I have the right of way. I've even had them give me dirty looks after they have to slam on their brakes.
Posted by: Jaelynn
at September 3, 2010 7:13 PM
No one's mentioned cyclists yet? I'm a cyclist myself - I commute by bike to to save money and stay healthy . . . emphasis on *staying healthy.* I wear a helmet, and use lights at night. I obey the rules of the road when I am traveling with motorists; I signal turns and stops, and even wait my turn in the red light queue. I even shocked a pedestrian once by stopping at a crosswalk when she'd signaled.
What grates on me is other cyclists who blithely assume that the rules of the road don't apply to them - running red lights, failing to signal, going the wrong way up one way streets, etc.
These kinds of cyclists give ALL the cyclists in my city a bad reputation. Either they don't know or they don't care, but I'm hoping it's the former and not the latter because ignorance is curable: stupidity is forever.
Posted by: Tim Webster
at September 4, 2010 6:26 AM
The rudest cyclist I ever encountered:
I was once walking through one of those scaffolding walkways that are set up when there's construction conducted on buildings. A bicyclist decided he was perfectly entitled to ride THROUGH the narrow walkway and not yield to me, a pedestrian. He nearly ran me over and even gave me his best bitchface for not moving aside for him.
In California, it's illegal for cyclists to use the sidewalks or scaffolding walkways. It made me wish there were more tickets given out to cyclists who break traffic laws.
Posted by: Jen Wading
at September 4, 2010 10:16 AM
These kinds of cyclists give ALL the cyclists in my city a bad reputation.
Posted by: Tim Webster at September 4, 2010 6:26 AM
Thank you for the segue, Tim!
I live in a small city know for its political correctness. Bicyclists are met with approval, unless they act like entitled assholes.
Yesterday I saw 4 (four) examples of assholery. I'll give just one now for purposes of time.
I live on a , side-street that opens at each end to another side street. Both intersections are on hilly curves.
As I was pulling away from my house, a young father comes speeding downhill on the curve, wearing no helmet. ALSO, in a cute little carrier in front of his handlebars is a sweet little girl who IS wearing a helmet.
Since there were cars parked on both sides of the street, I stopped and pulled over. Otherwise he would have hit me or a parked car, and that child wouldn't have a chance. He swooped by me.
Do you suppose he has a "Baby on Board" stuck to his car, the hypocrite?
Posted by: siobhan
at September 4, 2010 2:29 PM
Maybe I wasn't clear. Yes, I meant that when the light turns green the 1st car in line, in the left hand turn lane, should move out to the middle of the intersection. In busy traffic areas like L.A. that driver will not be able to complete a left turn until the light turns red, stopping oncoming traffic from the opposite direction, and then allowing that car to complete the turn once the light has turned red.
Then any other cars behind it already beyond the crosswalk and in the intersection can also turn left on that light instead of 1 car per light.
I thought mentioning turning left when the light went "red" would be even more confusing so I just said something about the light changing but I guess I'm just confusing everyone. Sorry. Not sure why I'm havign such a tough time explaining this one.
Posted by: Brett
at September 7, 2010 6:12 AM
Failing to indicate is the norm here in Canberra, Australia. I just don't get it. How hard is it to flick that lever up with a couple of fingers???
Another standard is tailgating. It's something I loathe in the car, and would happily commit murder over on my motorcycle. It's utterly pointless and horrendously dangerous regardless of what vehicle you're controlling, but particularly so on a motorbike.
Posted by: Sonja
at September 8, 2010 8:40 AM
I live in Branson MO. Average age of our tourists is 78. Enough said!
Posted by: Brandi
at September 14, 2010 3:42 AM
I can “professionally” agree only with a portion of the comments posted. Oftentimes, what seems like bad driving behavior is instead justifiable. Oddly, most drivers (you too) think they are above-average drivers which contrarily they are not.
There are outliers. And, studies show that drivers of expensive & showy vehicles get away with more menacing behavior. Maybe it takes more public humiliation for them from you. But, do your diligence wisely Amy et al.
Posted by: Les_Trafik
at January 30, 2011 7:15 PM
blocking the intersection
whipping out in front of traffic and then stopping to turn
not using turn indicator or turning on indicator AFTER braking.
Slower traffic keep right (it's the law in Fla)
Posted by: Goofy_name?
at February 17, 2011 5:34 PM
This may be unique to the South. I was driving behind another vehicle on a two lane city street. We were nowhere near a stop sign or traffic light. He and the driver of the vehicle in the oncoming lane recognized each other. They both stopped in the middle of the road, rolled their windows down, and had a one minute conversation! Neither seemed to be aware that they were holding up traffic.
Posted by: Matt
at June 28, 2011 3:29 PM
When people throw their cigarette butts out their car window its not only littering, but at night it can cause a distracting flash of light as it hits the ground, and here in the west it can start a fire. When I'm on the highway and see this, the most I can do is honk my horn at them but when they do it stopped at a light - that's when I can teach them manners. I will put my car in park, get out of the car and throw the butt back in their open window while politely saying, "you dropped this".
Posted by: Russell
at October 4, 2011 3:24 PM
Mr. Russell, be careful, there are crazies out there that will shoot you for walking up to their window!
Posted by: Susan
at October 4, 2011 9:08 PM
No, really, don't let my motorcycle ride interfere with the safety of your cell phone call.
Oh, and no, that butt you just chucked out the window didn't actually hit me and burn a hole in my jeans. I must have some really intense moths.
Posted by: Jen
at September 6, 2012 8:12 PM
Where to begin, there are so many.
There are the folks who know that a lane will be ending (because of posted signs) but still insist on riding that lane right to the end to jump in front of everyone else. The best revenge I ever had against these drivers was a tag-team effort with a semi. The right lane was temporarily ending and I was behind this semi. Traffic was moving slowly and most drivers had fallen into the left lane but there were still some zooming by in the right lane. The semi driver got sick of this and moved to the right lane to jam them up. I saw maintained my position in the left lane right near the end of the semi. The result was no more tools flying by in the right lane and smoother traffic. When the lane ended I let the semi back in and when it reopened he let me pass and we gave each other a thumbs up.
Doing 25 in a 40 mph zone is acceptable only in extreme weather. I somehow constantly find myself stuck behind these people. The worst is when two Clovers (h/t to http://ericpetersautos.com/ for that term) are driving next to each other both going way below the speed limit.
Then there are the oddly passive-aggressive drivers on the highway. I used to drive a four-lane highway to college all the time. When I would happen upon slow-moving drivers in the right lane I would move to the left lane to pass, only to have them speed up. Apparently they took my passing them personally or they decided, in the absence of police, enforcers of the law, because obedience to authority is all these people know. The highway was posted 65, but you could safely do 85 most of the time. But God forbid you exceed 70 or one of these idiots would endeavor to thwart your effort to pass.
On that same note, it seems many people either don't know or don't care to know that the left lane is still meant for faster-moving traffic. As far as I'm concerned, on a highway, 5 over the posted is the absolute minimum for the left lane. And I say absolute minimum because in some cases it'll cause an accident. The interstates running through Chicago usually have people doing 80-85 in the left lane (posted 55).
Wow, this is getting long, so I will wrap up. People are also terrible at pulling up at stop lights. For example, if I'm the first car at a red light in the right lane, I will pull up as far as possible to allow cars behind me to turn right. Or, some left turn lanes have severe medians so I also move up to allow cars behind me to squeeze into it (so they can make the arrow when it comes). But, I regularly find myself in situations where I am in the back and need to squeeze by but driver in front does not move up despite two car lengths of space in front of him.
Posted by: John
at November 10, 2012 7:12 AM
Pedestrians who cross the road (I'm sorry if my terminology is a little off but I'm writing this from England) with their back to the oncoming traffic and with their headphones on (so they can neither see or hear the traffic) but who then give the finger or the v's when you honk at them to get their attention that they're about to get run over!
Posted by: Vik
at March 30, 2013 6:42 PM
Funny, especially the ones complaining about people zooming to a lane closure and then zipping in to the free lane, that is the way it is supposed to be done.
Most posters could use a refresher in the rules of the road
Posted by: BobbyCanuck
at April 30, 2013 6:13 PM
There is rudeness, yes. But I also see alot of incompetent drivers. Many could be on alcohol, drugs/pharmaceuticals, on their cell or just in their own little world. Very annoying! And there are pedestrians who have no Self-Preservation skills--they step out into the street right in front of on-coming vehicles, many times without even looking! No wonder the fools get hit! I ALWAYS look and trust no one, whether on foot or in a vehicle. Which is called Defensive driving and caution. And I don't use substances. I am alert when driving and don't even own a cell phone. What I see out there on the streets on a daily basis, amazes me. People are truly stupid. But there really are some good, considerate drivers out there and some careful walkers, too.
Posted by: Ronda Kirk
at May 7, 2013 12:27 AM
So, I'm going to make a left turn off a busy highway, across rush hour traffic, at a signal. As I come up on the signal, I notice that the turn lane is occupied by one car, which has its hazard lights blinking. Not wishing to be stuck behind him since he's obviously stalled (since I have a train to catch and this is a notoriously long light), I move into the left-hand through lane next to him just to his right and signal my left turn so it's obvious to anyone behind us that I intend to bypass the stalled car and turn left.
You've already guessed what's coming. Apparently this moron has decided that his hazard flashers are a great substitute for a turn signal, so when we get the green arrow, he ALSO TURNS LEFT. Fortunately, I had glanced over at him while waiting for the light, and he had a vague air of "ready to do something stupid" about him and I was half expecting it. That meant that I had the appropriate shouted compliments and hand gestures already prepared.
Posted by: Grey Ghost
at November 4, 2013 4:24 PM
I have several pet peeves of motorists which have worsened over the years
1. Reckless and Distracted Driving
I was nearly hit by a reckless driver who had NO lights on and was distracted. Thank goodness I had quick instincts to get out of his path because he was definitely distracted and did not give any consideration for pedestrians and other motorists.
Then a few minutes later when I reached the sidewalk, I noticed that same exact car going over the speed limit in my city and I was like "Something is wrong with this person." In my city, speeding is a huge problem which is often ignored and there have been times I have witnessed people speeding and especially speeding through red lights.
I had a recent encounter with rubberneckers who almost got one of my good friends in a serious accident (that part of the freeway is often congested with rubberneckers and some accidents have been a result of rubbernecking). Why would anyone stop to look at an accident and or police activity. They need to let the fire dept., paramedics, and police deal with the situation and mind their own business.
I find it sad to see our society become careless while behind the wheel and I hope people understand there will be consequences for bad judgment.
Posted by: anonymous
at December 28, 2013 2:36 AM
I do not like people speeding down the street and making so much noise while doing so. There is a continuation H.S. not far from the street I'm on. Parents, students and even school buses go way too fast on that street and it is creating a danger for other motorists and even pedestrians. Not too long ago, I asked someone about the problem with the H.S. and I was informed that there was a cop at the school site at all times. I know that the traffic cop's ticket log will increase with all of these dangerous drivers.
Posted by: fed up
at February 11, 2014 4:39 PM
I've got one better: reckless school bus drivers. Just recently, I was waiting to cross a street and I'll be darn if not one, but TWO school buses cutting in front of a public transportation bus and continuing to zoom down the street without any consideration for the safety of the other motorists, the public bus and worst: the children. I understand that the buses have to be on a schedule, but can they still be on schedule without breaking any laws?
Posted by: Outraged Citizen
at February 19, 2014 9:05 PM
I was crossing a street and I was paying attention to my surroundings and I noticed a drunk driver swerving into one lane then trying to get in the turn lane and almost hit another car. I noticed the car was crooked in the turn lane. I am just thankful to be safe and sound and that nobody was hurt, but that person should consider getting help for his or her drinking and parking the car until the person understands the consequences of drunk driving.
Posted by: The OC
at March 12, 2014 12:46 AM
My pet peeve involves three things:
2) who use busy roads at busy times
3) purely for exercise
I have no problem with bicyclists getting their exercise on less frequented roads. And I have no problem with bicyclists who travel down main roads because they can't afford a car and this is their means of transportation. What I cannot stand is when a line of a hundred cars has to travel at 10 mph on a busy road because some asshole on a three-thousand dollar bike decides he needed to get some cardio during the middle of rush hour and didn't want to limit himself to side roads.
This is not only rude. It is the height of stupidity, because these guys are putting their lives in the hands of the good driving skills of the motorists who try to pass them with about six inches of free space. There was a teacher at my high school who got run over by a truck this way -- pedaling down a busy road at 5:30 P.M. Why would anyone in their right mind do this?
Posted by: Dude
at March 26, 2014 11:50 PM
I cannot stand college spring breakers who are either too drunk, too distracted, or too careless to drive creating problems for innocent motorists and pedestrians and who think they're above the law. In the last month, there has been close calls with students cutting in front of cars and even buses. in all the cases, the car or the bus had the right of way and were obeying the law while the spring breakers were not. I do not care if it's spring break or not, these students should abide by the law and if they cannot, they should not be allowed to drive at ALL-period.
As of today, they are supposed to be back in school, but that did not stop them from playing dangerous games with other motorists/pedestrians.
Posted by: Go Back To School
at April 8, 2014 3:16 AM
I do not like jerks who holler out the window at other people, especially towards people who are on the sidewalk, waiting for buses, etc. A man who looked to be in college was hollering out the window while his friend was driving. The guy yelled out profane obscenities towards me and another man at a local bus stop. I just ignored the jerk, knowing that he was being an attention seeking jerk. People need to think before they speak and act.
Posted by: Be Cool
at May 7, 2014 1:22 AM
Nobody here has mentioned THE HORN? The horn, dear friends, was put there so that we can warn others about a hazard that they are unaware of. It is not there for purposes of REVENGE, or to vent our anger and frustration. Using it so sends out an endlessly self-propagating wave of malaise, polluting our environment with noise and anger.
The horn is so universally misused, that I would be willing to bet that removing the horns from all cars would decrease the number of accidents on our streets.
Posted by: gzodik
at June 22, 2014 3:40 PM
Not exactly Traffic, but related. Wasn't sure whether the young woman at the gas station was badly raised or simply self-centered. First, she didn't pull up to the front pump but centered her Prius between two, making it impossible for another driver to purchase gasoline at that island. Then, leaving the nozzle in her tank, she exited her car and headed for the station store, instead of reparking at one of the spaces for that purpose after pumping gas. Third, rather than hurrying to her store errand while taking up two gas pumps, she stopped before entering the store to text or email on her smartphone. I was THIS CLOSE to saying something, but decided just to breathe deeply and post on your blog. Thanks for letting me vent.
Posted by: TG
at October 2, 2014 11:19 PM
There is another a-hole phenomenon that sometimes happens on the road. This afternoon I was stuck in traffic for about 5 minutes in the Denver area rush hour when I heard one of those "boom cars" nearby. Some jerk was playing booming bass "music" that sounded like an earthquake. It's a horrible sound that permeates the environment for quite a distance. Finally I was able to get away from him as traffic moved. It's really obnoxious that someone can do this and annoy the heck out of everyone around them.
I should report the miscreant to The Patriarchy and have his Male Privileges™ card revoked.
P. S. He looked like a dork in the rear view mirror.
Posted by: T. J. Patriarch
at August 11, 2015 2:11 AM
A couple of my traffic pet peeves -
People who think that turning on their "blinker" to change lanes seems to mean that a hole will be created for them. They just change lanes regardless of other cars.
Those drivers that speed up to pass you and once they're in front of you - slam on their brakes and drive 15 miles under the speed limit. Really?
Posted by: Kat
at August 31, 2015 8:01 PM
Is a stop sign red or blue? (required):