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Learn How To Drive Like An Asshat

Posted in driving, Funny, General, Guide, How To, Safety by Kurt Ernst | November 18th, 2010 | 22 Responses |

I’ve driven in most of the 50 states over the past few decades, as well as quite a few foreign countries. American drivers are tragically bad compared to the Germans or Japanese, but our sense of self-preservation makes us more skilled than the French or Brazilians. One thing is clear when you travel around the United States, though: there are more cars on the road every single year, and the ability of people to drive cars seems to decline with each passing month.

This used to drive me crazy, but I think I’ve finally found a way to stay sane and make money at the same time. Instead of fighting something I’ll never be able to change, what if I offered training on how to be a bad driver? Most people have a natural talent, which can be honed to tragic proportions with just a little bit of effort. I’m working on my curriculum and pricing now (and don’t worry, I’ll offer a 10% discount for RideLust readers), but here’s a brief overview of some of the topics we’ll cover in class. After all, if you can’t beat them, charge them for a diploma.

Lesson One: Never Use Turn Signals

If you use it, you lose your strategic advantage.

Ask any ninja, and they’ll tell you the same thing: never communicate your intentions. The same holds true for driving, so why telegraph your intentions with a directional signal. Instead, just stop short and turn whenever you feel like it. Changing lanes? Just force yourself in, since most other drivers won’t force you off the road and into a tree. As an advanced strategy, we’ll cover how to leave your turn signal on and frustrate other motorists for hours.

Lesson Two: Yielding Is For The Weak

Do so and you admit weakness.

See that guy passing you? He’s going to try and cut in front of you unless you slam the door on him. Denying him the space in front of you will fill you with immense personal satisfaction; after all, he wanted something and you took it away from him. As an added benefit, you’ll get to where you’re going 3/1000 of a second sooner, and we all know that time is money.

Lesson Three: Come To A Complete Stop When Turning

When cornering, he should be faster than you are.

Do you really want to piss off that three mile line of traffic that’s built up behind you? Slow to no more than one mile per hour before making your turn. Don’t forget to block the lane first, otherwise traffic will accelerate around you. If it’s raining, slow down even more, because everyone knows that turning with any amount of speed in the rain just isn’t safe. Once you master the basics, we’ll cover advanced topics like turning right from the left lane and turning left from the right lane: even if you’re not driving a tractor trailer, it never hurts to practice those big rig skills.

Lesson Four: It’s Fun To Brake Check Other Drivers

Ah, the perfect opportunity for brake checking.

Think someone is following too closely, or if you just want to have some fun, why not brake check them? You know, slow suddenly and for no reason other than annoying the car behind you? Sure, you could just yield the lane, but that wouldn’t show Mr.-Flashing-His-High-Beams who’s boss, now would it? Bonus points are awarded, posthumously, for brake checking tractor trailers, especially those carrying hazardous cargo.

Lesson Five: The Cell Phone Makes You A Better Driver

'You wouldn't believe how many cars I've got stacked up...'

See those drivers doing 45 in a 70 mile per hour zone, clogging the fast lane while they talk to their BFF about who won last night’s “Dancing With America’s Next Top Apprentice”? Do you think they woke up one day with the ability to ignore everything around them? Hell no, it took years of training for them to get that oblivious. We’ll give you pointers on ignoring insults, single digit salutes, molotov cocktails and the occasional automatic weapons fire (Los Angeles and Miami classes, only).

Lesson Six: If My Car Runs, It’s Safe To Drive

These tires are barely broken in, not worn out.

You know all that safety propaganda you hear about changing tires when they’re bald or replacing brake pads when they wear out? You know that’s just a military industrial complex conspiracy to get you to spend money, right? We’ll teach you how to drive on bald tires (with protruding steel cords in winter classes) and how to brake when you’re down to the metal brake pad backing against your rotors. We’ll also teach you how to ignore brake light failure, headlight failure, low oil pressure and overheating. As long as your radio works, your car is just fine.

Lesson Seven: Using Other Drivers As Rolling Chicanes

Where's the challenge in speeding here?

Let’s face it, no one has enough time to pay attention to speed limits anymore, and how often do people really get pulled over, anyway? We’ll teach you how to use the highway as your own personal slalom course, which will make commuting fun again. Topics include passing on the shoulder, passing in the median, passing on the right and how not to launch you 80s muscle car into a bridge abutment.

Lesson Eight: You’ve Got High Beams, So Use Them

Who cares if you blind oncoming drivers?

Do you really care what other drivers think? So what if you blind them with your always-on high beams; it’s not your problem if they can’t drive with their eyes closed. Besides, you paid good money for HID lighting, and it’s your God-given right as an American to use every feature that came on your car. In advanced classes, we’ll teach you how to aim high beams to fry the retinas of oncoming drivers.

I’m probably missing a few lessons, so feel free to hit me up with ideas. Classes will be filling up quick, so be sure to make your reservation in advance. You’ll need to bring your own car, plus your own assault rifle and ammunition in Los Angeles or Miami.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my buddy Corey, whose “Make Someone’s Day Easier: Use Your Turn Signal” piece gave me the idea for this story. Which, incidentally, is tongue in cheek and not to be taken literally. It’s called sarcasm, so spare me the hate mail.

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22 Responses

  1. Canrith says:

    Lol, awesome article.

    Lesson 9: Red lights are impromptu drag trees.
    If at a red light next to a sports car, prove that you are a better driver and launch your Prius like you are in a top fuel dragster. Everyone will respect you more for beating the guy casually driving to work. Advanced courses involve doing this several times in a row while talking on your cellphone.

  2. I love this blog, because unlike most other car blogs out there you have a sense of humor and these blog posts make me laugh.

    More ways to be a bad driver : (these are thing that other people do that piss me off)

    Drive super slow in the fast lane on the 405 fwy in morning traffic with a quarter of a mile gap between you and the car in front of you and therefore holding up the entire lineup for cars behind you and locking up the entire fast lane and making everyone else late for work including me ! I wouldn’t be tailgating you if you weren’t in the fast lane, fast lane is for fast drivers and for PASSING, if you can’t beat the heat get out!

    Drivers who cut the line at the McDonalds drive through. Every day there is this truck who won’t stand in drive through line at McDonalds but he likes to cut in the middle by going around.

    Don’t change lanes at the last second trying to get on the fwy! There are drivers who try to speed in the other lanes and then try to get into the lane on the freeway at the last moment. I block them on purpose because they make me mad. Once a guy that I blocked tried to scare me by almost hitting my car! Bad drivers tick me off every day!
    Driving in so cal is a war zone!

  3. a says:

    my car’s auxiliary lighting module is out so the turn signals don’t work…

  4. Kurt Ernst says:

    Canrith, I was driving a press fleet VW Jetta the other day and I shifted to manual mode at a light. When it went green, I accelerated normally but must have been on a painted line, since the car lit the tires. I felt like the biggest tool in the world, launching a 2.5 liter Jetta at a traffic light…

  5. Kurt Ernst says:

    Hunting Beach – thanks!

    You reminded me of another one – the driver who EXACTLY matches the speed of the car next to him, so you can’t pass. Most times, they’re just oblivious and not malicious. A lot of times there’s a cell phone glued to their ear.

  6. Taylor says:

    So now we need a course in how to “Surf The Web Like An Asshat” cause you know people are going to totally mis-interperate the whole blog and be so pissed off that they will not take the time to read the whole thing and see your disclaimer in the last two sentences.

    Let the hate mail commence!!!

  7. […] us more skilled than the French or Brazilians. One thing is clear when you travel around the […]Read more… Categories: Uncategorized Tags: AMCI, Engineering Evaluations […]

  8. Corey says:

    Taylor – I don’t think anyone needs a course in “Internet Asshattery” – the average internet user is a living, breathing PhD Thesis on how to be a jackass on the internet :).

    Thanks for the shout out Kurt!

  9. eddie_357 says:

    sometimes you have to out asshat the asshat.if you signal your intentions the jerk will speed up to not let you over.so if you dont signal and then make your move quick you got it.also if you respect distance on the highway someone will just pull in front of you anyway so why not tailgate to begin with! how about giving aggresive tailgaters a lesson and smacking your brakes at them just as they try to roar up on you, then pull away from them if you got the HP. question; two cars pull up to a light at the same time who has the right away? answer ; the bigger car.

  10. Andy Dcruz says:

    This post is hilarious! I simply loved the captions! Especially ‘If My Car Runs, It’s Safe To Drive’ … thankfully auto manufacturers understand that we have to fight it out with roguish drivers every now and then. To understand how a driver reacts in different types of situations, Mercedes’ has come up with an interesting idea: a driving simulator. Thus they can make vehicles that perform well even when the driving conditions are bad. To find out about the device, you could view a video about it in CCM New’s website.

  11. Dr. D-Bag says:

    ….Lesson Ten: Forget how to alternate merge…. what does “alternate” mean anyway?

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Dr. D-Bag, can you imagine if we tried to teach “zippering” here? There would be flaming wreckage at every highway merge.

  12. Corey says:

    I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been flipped off by people who don’t comprehend the zipper. Just because I let one car in does not mean I’m letting everyone else merge!

  13. Bassmint Stile says:

    Another lesson:
    It’s o.k. not to stop at a stop sign or red light, if you are making a right hand turn. The other people will know and see what you are doing and slow down accordingly.

  14. Kurt Ernst says:

    Corey, I find the worst offenders to be women under 30. They either feel entitled to drive like asshats, or they’re comfortable that having two X chromosomes will keep some big, angry dude from kicking their ass. It’s bizarre to see women acting more aggressively behind the wheel than men.

  15. Kurt Ernst says:

    Bassmint, you refer, of course, to the “California Stop”. Here in Florida, we have what I like to call the “Asshat Merge”. This occurs when a slow driver waits until the last possible moment to pull in front of you, which usually requires some form of threshold braking. The then proceed to drive 10 miles per hour under the speed limit, until they block you path entirely turning against traffic.

    It’s not just blue hairs either: the majority of asshat mergers are just talking on cell phones.

  16. Seth Easton says:

    The first lesson about not using your turn signals may be sarcasm, but it’s what I regularly do now. I’ve been commuting in the Washington DC area for 10 years now and my driving habits have drastically changed. I used to be a polite, cultured driver, and I expected the same of everyone else, but it just doesn’t work. Drivers here are rude, aggressive, or just plain oblivious to the entire freaking world around them. Therefore, my attitude is now something like disrespectful defensive cautiosness. This means I often pass on the right without signaling, regularly tailgate and flash slowpokes in the fast lane, and just generally drive like an ass, because hey, no one else seems to give a shit, so why should I? This newfound attitude has greatly reduced my anger and frustration. Lest you think I’m being sarcastic, nope. I am totally serious. This is what our cultureless society has done to me! When I drive in Europe (Germany, Austria, Italy, Croatia mostly), I don’t have to drive like an asshat, because nobody else does. ‘nutty said.

  17. Seth Easton says:

    Sorry, my iphone’s aggressive autocorrect seems to have gotten the best of me. I meant ’nuff said, not ‘nutty said, lol.

  18. Kurt Ernst says:

    Seth, when you drive in NYC, Boston, Miami or Washington DC, all rules are off.

  19. Ross says:

    Lesson 3 really should cover not just turning, but highway merging, especially with semi-trailers bearing down at 100 km/h. I love this site ! How long have I been missing out on this ?

    • Kurt Ernst says:

      Thanks Ross! If you like the site, pass it along to your friends.

      I agree on highway merging – nothing frosts my shorts more than someone pulling on a 70 mph highway at 45 miles per hour, usually because they’re chatting on a cell phone.

  20. DJ says:

    Here’s one that really busts my chops… Idiots that slowly cruise in the left lane on a four-lane, divided highway (it’s a passing lane people!) and block the flow of traffic… These ‘asshats’ actually get angry that someone get behind them and wants to ‘pass’. “Hello moron, the lane that your in is made for PASSING, not cruising!!! Move over and let the rest of us get by!