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My Top 6 Driving Idiots

The older I get, the more I realize that my own thoughts and experiences aren’t as unique as I once believed.  In fact, I’ve decided that most everybody thinks pretty much the same thoughts.  All day long we’re thinking the same stuff while we each think we’re thinking different stuff.  Know what I mean?

With that in mind, I wondered if you have some of the same driving pet peeves as me.  I bet you do.  I know this because I suspect you’re like me — a considerate driver whose goal is to navigate the human legion of ignoramuses each morning and evening without making a trip to the body shop or hospital.  So in ascending order of malfeasance, here’s my list of the Top 6 Driving Idiots.

You don't want to be on the receiving end of one of these.

You don’t want to be on the receiving end of one of these bad boys.

  1. Yo-yoers.  I’m convinced that non-accident-related traffic jams on the interstate would be avoidable if everybody would just use their cruise control.  Consistency is the key here.  Pick a speed and stick with it.  Leapfrog is for kindergarten.  Let’s not play it on the interstate, please.
  2. Texting boneheads.  If you’re texting while driving, it’s easy to spot you from behind.  You’re doing a slow weave within your lane, usually crowding the center line or even crossing it into my lane.  Your speed varies wildly.  So now, I’VE got to be careful to get past you before you and your unnecessary conversation run the hell into me.  Don’t you wish we could go back to the 80s when all we had to worry about on the road was people falling asleep, deer, and drunks?
  3. The Most Important Person on the Road.  Yes, I know that you’re a Very Important person and need to get places.  And I know that all of the rest of us are a just a bunch of losers with nothing better to do than to clog up the roadways to purposely make you late for your tasks of global Importance.  But see, Mr. Person, I’m already doing 80.  If you want to go faster than 80, you can use your Very Important mind to find a way to get around me, ’cause I ain’t gettin’ over.
  4. Sub-woofer a-holes.  My dream isn’t too complicated.  I dream of world peace.  The end of hunger.  A government whose neon “Open” sign is actually turned on all the time.  And being able to sit at a stop light in Nashville without some brainless, inconsiderate fool pulling up beside me in a vehicle that is essentially a sub-woofer on wheels with the volume turned up to 11.  There is no other distinguishable music — only a brain-rattling sonic thud that jingles the change in my cup holder and vibrates my rearview mirror, as if T-Rex has escaped his paddock and is coming after me.  Folks, this is what human interaction has come down to —  driving around and giving as many innocent fellow human beings as possible migraine headaches.  Good for you, Sub-woofer A-hole.  You succeeded in making 200 total strangers hate you.
  5. Merge lane hogs (MLHs).  Nothing can incur the Wrath of Johnson — not even Sub-woofer a-hole — faster than an MLH.  But since I’m in a good mood tonight, we’re going to go over this ONE MORE TIME, so everybody understands, okay?  You’re on a 4-lane road, or a 2-lane on-ramp or exit ramp.  A sign very clearly appears that notifies you that the lane you’re in will soon END.  This means it’s YOUR responsibility to get over into the other lane in a safe manner NOW.  So, here’s the important part.  It DOESN’T mean to drive to the very END of the disappearing lane and then drift into the law-abiding traffic until you collide or the other guy flies off into a ditch.  If you’re an MLH, you are, by definition, an ignorant a-hole.  (But you’re not, because you’re smart and considerate enough to be reading my blog, right?)
  6. End-of-the-Liners.  OK, I lied.  There is one other group that can out-incur the MLHs when it comes to my wrath.  End-of-the-Liners (ETLers).  No single group of drivers is more inconsiderate, arrogant, and butt-hole-ish than ETLers.  At the end of a two-lane off-ramp, one lane turns right, one left.  But the right-turn lane contains many more vehicles.  ETLers have the unmitigated gaul to drive to the end of the left lane and then either barge their way into the right-lane traffic or, worse yet, turn RIGHT at the light when they are supposed to turn left!  And have you ever noticed that the car directly in front of you in the line of right-lane traffic is the one TEXTING, not paying attention, and letting all the ELTers in?!  This is when I feel sure that the devil is at play and toying with me, because I get some really dark fantasies, like shooting SCUD missiles out of the front of my car like James Bond and blowing the ETLers to greasy smithereens.

Ahhhh.  I feel better now!

So, who did I leave out?  What did I get wrong?  Did any of these make you squirm just a little?  A pang of self-revelatory guilt, perhaps??

Talk it out, people.  Get it on the table!

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22 Responses to “My Top 6 Driving Idiots”

  1. Uncle Buck says:

    Very good Mr. Johnson, however you “overlooked” the #1 of all time……..The “refusers!” I understand that some people abstain from driving anywhere close to the speed limit [not all of the are the old “blue-haired ladies”] and I have no problem with them……..I just pass them at the first opportunity…….this, in our rural area with its limited and often short passing strips, is where you encounter the “refusers.”

    They are the one or two dirvers directly behing the slower drivers that “REFUSE” to pass, no matter how many chances they have. Being the third or fourth in line, you sucomb to the turtle speed because you don’t have adequate length of the passing lane to buzz by but one vehicle, let alone two or more……….you have but one choice……….”Go with the Flow!”

  2. Dennis says:

    I’ve experienced 1 through 5 in the last 24 hours. The SWAH was at a gas pump with the doors open. Word of the day – paddock! Kudos.

  3. Nickie Sabo says:

    Ha – this is spot-on, Mark! You and I are more alike than we know. 😉 But as the wife of a volunteer fireman and EMT, I must add one. And I can’t even write down a clever name for them, because everything that comes to mind is profane…

    Seriously people. When you see the flashing lights and hear sirens, pull-the-f-over. Wherever you are trying to go is NOT more important than where they need to be – now.

  4. Pam Woodside says:

    As someone who drives over 30,000 miles a year, I love this! I wish there would be a National TV campaign explaining the zipper concept for merging when there is traffic!

  5. Blog Ritchie says:

    One more – the “Magnet” driver. Magnets apparently have no will of their own. They drive as if stuck to other cars. They pull up in the passing lane and stick to the slow car beside them. If you manage to break the magnetic field (by threatening looks, gestures, flashing lights, etc.) the magnet will speed up until you try to pass, then stick to you, often on your rear bumper. If you pull over to let them pass they will freeze at the terrifying sight of a lonely road ahead and back down. They need a lot of social interaction and probably follow lots of people on Facebook and Twitter without actually saying anything.

  6. Ian Stevens says:

    All of these are great except for #3. It sounds like you feel like you are the most important person on the road and feel that your self imposed max speed (80) is the max speed that all other people should be limited to. The left lane is the passing lane…stay out of it unless you are passing.

    • Mark Johnson says:

      You’re right, Ian — I should clarify this one. If I’m in the left lane passing other traffic at 80 mph and the Very Important Person approaches at breakneck speed from behind me and then rides my bumper because he doesn’t feel that I’m passing fast enough, I don’t feel very inclined to hurry up and move over for him or her. You’re right — this is a self-imposed thought — but if you’re doing much over 80 on a crowded interstate, you’re a dangerous, out-of-control, SOB who is endangering the lives of my children. (You in the general sense, of course.) That’s all I meant. Thanks for the comment!

  7. Clancy Clown says:

    There is the group of Driving Others Unexpectedly Crazy by Hazardous Execution drivers (you do the math) that reenact their Grand Theft Auto video game by passing you going 50mph faster than you (who are doing 70) and weave back and forth across 5 lanes of traffic at once with no signal. It reminds me of my favorite bumper sticker of all time spotted in a Geaorgia Stuckeys: It featured a charicature of a devil and a hearse and it said “Speed on, Brother! Hell ain’t half full!”

    Then there are the DIAHDIFS (Dumb Idgit Asking Himself Did I Forget Something?) who are travelling around the world to the left or, at least according to their turn signal they are and you have the best view of this light for the next 40 miles on an unpassable two-lane road. Be careful, these people are a little scatterbrained and may pull off without warning because they see a butterfly.

    Then there are the FAILUREs (Floridiots Accredited in Leaving U Really Enraged). This breed migrates to the mountains of North Carolina each year and are known to drive 15mph on all mountain roads unless there is a short straightaway, at which point they will speed up to 120mph so you cannot pass them.

    But to succinctly sum up my feelings, everyone in front of me is a slow geezer that needs his license revoked and everyone behind me is driving like a bat out of hell and needs their license revoked. I’m just the Most Important Person On the Road with my Spinal Tap turned up to 11 and I…oh wait. Uh-oh.

  8. Chrystal Austin says:

    How about the blinkless? Those drivers that refuse to use blinkers drive me crazy. Just the flick of a very handy little lever would SIGNAL me of their impending vector changes….Seems so easy, nearly effortless one might say. I can’t read minds! Ugh. Thanks for the list mark. I’m with you.

  9. karenrsanderson says:

    In my youth, I know I had a few driving problems…but at this point, I just want to mind the speed limit, drive defensively, and get there safely. The sub-woofers drive me crazy – though I am content knowing that they’ll be going deaf while still in their 20s. I detest that hell-bent-sticking-on-my-bumper guy who can’t wait to get around me (me – doing the speed limit), and then I meet him at the next light. I usually honk and wave!

  10. Mark Johnson says:

    I always think the same thing about the SWAHs — “If it’s this loud over HERE, what must it be like in THERE??”

  11. Bert says:

    …they have the umitigated ‘gaul’? What, are they bringing their own warriors?

  12. Roy says:

    I LOVE your first thought and tried to explain that to my 18 year old daughter just the other day. We are SO much more alike than we are different and so many thoughts are the same.

    The best I can come up with for a name is the Cut-ters, Butt-ers, and Coconut-ers (CBC’s), followed closely by their enablers!

    You’re driving along and see a sign that says, “All traffic move to right 1000 feet.” So, as you see the end of the line, you move to the right and take your place. The CBC’s fly right past the warning signs and everyone in line, presumable because they’re far more important than us common folk (I believe you addressed that syndrome).

    They move right on past the 500′ warning and any that follow, until finally the barrels, marking, or whatever force them over into the prescribed lane. Do they take their place there and just wait? Oh, HELL no. They force their way in somewhere.

    A close, CLOSE second behind them is the person in that line that let’s the CBC’s in! Close up ranks! Unite in the cause and make the anal orifice wait like the rest of us!

  13. Drew says:

    I would definitely have to say “The Cruisers.” The jerks that like to cruise in the passing lane. These drivers usually tend to be Yo-yoers. Pass, or get over!

  14. Michelle says:

    I have a name for those who merge early…the Scared Sheep. They are afraid to use the entire length of the merge lane because they are afraid that the other nameless, faceless strangers who are lined up two miles back from the actual merge in stopped traffic might get mad at them if they drive to the legal end of the road. I’m not saying they should then barge into the traffic (which has been sitting there for 30 minutes because they were too afraid to use a legal open lane), but a simple you-go-then-I’ll-go would be in order for a nice smooth transition. And if I allow a so-called MLH in at the end, it’s not because I’m distracted. It’s because I’m rewarding them for having some balls and for not being a Scared Sheep. Use the entire merge lane to minimize long traffic backups! Always be polite to UMLs (Users of the Merge Lane) and learn from them.

Let me hear from you!

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