None of us are perfect, I know. We all make mistakes while we’re driving and hopefully no one gets hurt when we do. This is the case most of the time. There are some things, though, that drivers do that really make me insane.
In my opinion, the worst thing a driver can do is use people pulling over for an ambulance of fire truck to get ahead of traffic. I’ve seen it happen so many times. It happened to me again on Friday. We have a lot of construction in town that was causing a huge traffic jam. I was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, waiting for our turn to go, when I heard sirens. I looked around for the source and saw an ambulance way back in traffic with the lights going. Even with the construction, there was room for people to move to the right on both sides of the road and get a clear lane for the ambulance.
Apparently, I was one of the few people who did that. I pulled into a spot and stopped, waiting for other people to pull over so the ambulance could go by. Lights and sirens going and clearly audible, I can’t tell you how many cars used that opportunity to pass me to cut through traffic. All of the people who didn’t pull over delayed the ambulance getting through and made it difficult for them to get to a light where they would turn to go towards the hospital. Losing a minute or two might not seem like much, but none of us has any idea what’s going on inside the ambulance. That minute or two could be the difference between life and death.
There are also the people who follow an ambulance and don’t allow people to merge back into traffic. I’m not talking about one vehicle that might be following the ambulance because they don’t know where the hospital is. I’m talking about other people who actually did pull over, then jump behind the ambulance to get ahead of traffic because they are so arrogant and self-important they think that they matter more than anyone else.
A little courtesy goes a long way.
The right turn on red laws have been great. I remember a time before then and there was a lot of debate about the law to keep traffic flowing. For the most part, it’s done the job. However, there are always those who don’t get the concept. See those letters in red above? AFTER STOP. That doesn’t mean you just blow through the red light because you’re making a right turn. That means you stop, see if there is any traffic moving, see if there are bicycles or pedestrians looking to cross, and then turn if it’s clear. It also means that if there’s a heavy traffic intersection and someone has a green light but hasn’t pulled up because it means they would be blocking the intersection, you let them go instead of making the right turn on red. This last bit is causing motorists to block intersections because of the people who just turn on the red light when others are waiting to move.
We call them leaf-peepers, but it comes down to anyone who is driving below the speed limit and sight-seeing. Yes, the world is a beautiful place, but if you must drive at 35mph in a 50mph zone, then you need to let the traffic behind you go. I have been stuck for 30+ miles behind people while they enjoy the view. I enjoy it too, but I drive at least within 5 mph of the speed limit unless it’s not possible for another reason. And slowing down to a near-stop in the travel lane to take a picture will cause an accident behind you. If the picture is that important, then pull over and park somewhere and take the picture.
Okay, fine. You’re going to drive 20 miles below the speed limit and sight-see. There’s a line of cars behind you. You reach the spot where there’s a passing lane, or the broken yellow line that means it’s okay to pass. I go to pass you. FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT’S HOLY DON’T SPEED UP! You’ve been driving below the speed limit all along why do you choose now to increase speed? And when you slow back down again, after the lane ends or the line becomes solid, everyone stuck behind you is going to be really pissed off.
Yes, you have a horn. Yes, you’re allowed to use it. The idea is it’s to let someone know that you are there when they don’t see you, such as when you are in their blind spot. It’s also acceptable to give a toot when someone isn’t paying attention and the light turns green (give them a few seconds, though). If traffic isn’t moving, what do you think honking your horn is going to do? Do you think it’s going to magically make the cars all part for you to drive through? We’re all in the same place and we don’t like it.
Also, you just left the house. You said goodbye. There’s no need to honk your horn ten times. They know it’s you. They know you left. If there’s a parting shot you need to make, then go back into the house. The neighbors don’t need to hear your horn. You never know who works nights and might be sleeping, isn’t feeling well, or who has a new baby. Having been there myself, we accept regular daytime noise, but this is something that’s not necessary and serves no purpose.
For people with light sensitivity, the LED lights are bad enough, but forgetting to turn off your high beams when approaching another vehicle – either head on or from behind – is just asking for an accident. I’ve stopped driving at night for the most part due to glare, and you’re not helping anyone here. I didn’t have as big a problem in the city where there are lights everywhere, but living rurally now we use high-beams a lot. It’s gotten to the point that if a driver doesn’t turn down his high-beams, I put mine back on and they usually get the point.
Keep right except to pass. It’s an interesting concept. Too bad people don’t follow it. If there’s more than one lane and you’re not passing anyone, you shouldn’t be in the left lane while traveling, unless there’s a left turn coming up you need to make. I don’t care if you’re driving the speed limit, the left lane shouldn’t be occupied unless you are passing someone, allowing someone to merge on the right, or making a left turn or exit. Again, this is something that’s very likely to cause an accident at some point, even if the left-hand-lane driver isn’t the one hurt in it.
Tailgating. Even when people are driving below the speed limit, this is never okay. It’s just not going to end well at some point. When people tailgate me, sometimes I pull to the side and just let them go on about their way – it’s not worth it. More often than not, though, I take my foot off of the gas and just coast until they back off. They seem to get the message fast that I’ll drive the speed limit when they aren’t in my trunk.
What are some things that people do while driving that annoys you?