As I was driving home this evening, I had the pleasure of being stuck in stop-and-go traffic behind a large Suburban with no brake lights. Left, right and center, all out. Because it is essentially a land yacht, seeing around it wasn’t much of an option so I was left to basically use my mad telepathy skills to anticipate when the driver was actually applying the brakes. For 7.2 miles, I crept along behind the SUV until I finally had my chance to make a break for it and turn down a side road.
During that agonizing crawl, I had plenty of time to think about my biggest driving-related pet peeves. In the case of the Suburban, I realize that not every car has warning lights on the dash when such things happen, and rarely do we ask someone to check our tail-lights for us (although as basic maintenance 101 tells us, we should). However, there are certainly other things that my fellow pilots on the road do – which they absolutely have control over – that irk me to no end.
How about the person so desperate not to sit through another traffic light cycle that he keeps right on going, three full seconds after his signal has been red. Any time I’m first in line at the light, I wait because I’ve nearly been t-boned one too many times by these jokers. I just don’t understand how a person can have such blatant disregard for everyone else around him (or her) that in a purely selfish move they will dart into traffic, causing everyone else to lock up their brakes.
“Driving while texting” is the theme du jour lately but have you encountered the people with paperback novels open against the steering wheel? Seriously, people?! They make audio books for a reason. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before I see someone with a Kindle or Nook, puttering along at 45 in a 60, wondering why everyone is blaring their horns.
Next on the list would have to be the ping-pong drivers. You can identify these individuals quickly if their total lane changes exceed about three, though they’re still directly in front of you in traffic. Back and forth they go like some life-sized Atari game, trying to find a lane that goes faster than the others. These drivers don’t really annoy me as much, though, as the stop-light lane-jumpers. You know, just as you’re approaching a signal and getting your braking/shifting distance estimated, the dude in the other lane cuts into yours because it has one fewer car (and therefore, 0.5 less seconds he has to wait to cross the intersection with everyone else). So then you really have to jump on it to stop in time because their actions just removed about ten feet from your braking distance. Hope I’m not there to witness the inevitable time when someone does this in front of a fully-loaded dump truck who has far less wiggle room than I.
I could go on for another ten paragraphs, as I haven’t even gotten to turn signals (or lack thereof), the jackasses who make a left-hand turn directly in front of motorcycles, or cell-phone yappers. But why deny you the pleasure of venting? Go ahead and let it out, you’ll feel better. What kinds of daily driving displeasures really grind your gears?