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Number Two Is Number One least for me. No, get your mind out of the toilet--that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the top ten irritating things that other drivers do. And hogging the left lane is much more irritating to me than someone on a cell phone. My attitude toward cell phone use is like my attitude toward drug use--if it impairs your driving, then don't do it, but I don't care about it intrinsically.

The Freepers have comments, and I agree with this one (slightly edited):

No.2 is the worst.

In fact. No.2 causes every single one of the other annoyances.

All of them.

The slow "safe" drivers are the most unsafe drivers around.

They are indecisive, scared, do not follow the flow, have no clue about the passing lane, and do not use their blinkers.

They cause people rage, especially because they will not get ticketed, even though they are causing the biggest problems.

Someone speeding 10 mph over the speed limit with the flow and control of a car is not a safety hazard at all.

Slow idiots with no clue are.

Posted by Rand Simberg at July 17, 2006 09:35 AM
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How about a blinker dork driving slowly in the left lane while chatting on a cell phone?

Posted by lmg at July 17, 2006 09:52 AM

10. Perpetual blinkers on a highway aren't usually that bad. Perpetual blinkers in city traffic are dangerous, because you never know if the person in front of you is going to turn in at the next McDonalds or not.

9. Women put on makeup as much, if not more, than men shave while driving. But, what do you expect when a woman writes the article? Fairness?

8. In some states (California) and cities, this is perfectly legal. Sorry that you're stuck in a vehicle that's so big you can't figure out how to park it between the lines in a parking lot. Now get out of my way, I'm getting 45 MPG here...

7. Meh. Road-ragers are usually just as much of a pain out of the car. I just avoid 'em.

6. Just as dangerous as 10.

5. Completely illegal in almost every state, if not all 50. I've only done it once, when someone was tailgating me in town (I was doing 7 over the limit) and then tried to pass me when the country roads came up. Didn't even see his headlights after that.

4. Morons, but not that annoying. Can be dangerous if they fall into category 6 or 10.

3. Rarely have this problem, as I maintain a safe and reasonable pace. Those that are tailgating are usually the same as #4 and #7.

2. Just about as annoying as people who need 1/4 mile gap in traffic to cross a street. Get some ambition in life, people!

1. Meh. Cell phones aren't inherently bad. But driver distraction is. I'll leave statistics out of it, but anyone can be an idiotic distracted driver with or without a cell phone. It's just that cell phone users tend to comprise the plurality of distracted drivers.

When I'm in my car, #1-10 (including 8, since it's illegal in Iowa) annoy me. When I'm on my motorcycle, they actually scare me. It's never me that I'm worried about, it's all the other idiots on the road.

Posted by John Breen III at July 17, 2006 10:04 AM

Yes, No.2 is the worst. We have that whole bone headed kind of activity compounded here in NC.

We have NO minimum speed limits. Yep, you can get in that left lane, and drive 45 mph if you want to. And it hasn't been long ago, that I got behind a driver doing that, in the rain.

Granted we've been in a drought here for a few years, so maybe the driver was just hydrophobic?

Posted by Steve at July 17, 2006 11:35 AM

How about the person who has to slow to 5 MPH before making a turn?
Or the one who is in such a hurry that they pull out in front of you so that you have to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting them and then they drive at 10-15 MPH below the speed limit.
Or the driver who is first in line stopped at a red light and they take their sweet time in moving once it does turn green, so that only they and one or two cars behind makes the light before it turns red again.

Posted by Cecil Trotter at July 17, 2006 11:50 AM

OH! And idiots with a huge dog sitting in their lap hanging it's head out the drivers window!

Posted by Cecil Trotter at July 17, 2006 11:51 AM

Count yourself lucky that you don't live in the DC area.

Weaving is so normal around here it isn't funny. First, let me note that I drive a Chevrolet Camaro -- and not all that slowly. Here are three things that really annoy me:

  • The turn lane passers. You're driving down a road. You come to a left turn only or right turn only lane. Since you're going straight, you get into the appropriate lane. Others, however, whiz down the turn lane with their blinker on (right blinker for left turn lanes, left blinker for right turn lanes) and cut in when they get a chance. Sometimes this is just before the traffic light. If you prevent them, be prepared for obscene gestures and worse.
  • The merge lane passers. You're coming up the entrance ramp, planning to merge onto the main highway. A person behind you veers way to the right to pass you so that they can merge ahead of you, saving perhaps seconds in their journey.
  • You're approaching a ramp that will take you from one road to another. You're the last vehicle in line. There's lots of space behind you. So why does another driver pull up on your left fender and turn on his right turn blinker? Would it kill him to follow you? Especially if he or she is driving a monster truck that's much slower and poorer handling than your little Camaro? One time -- I am not making this up -- a guy driving an armored truck tried to pull this stunt on me. My leaning on the horn got this cretin to show some sense and get in line behind me.

And then there are the most annoying people of all around here -- the worthless cops crusading against "aggressive drivers." Local cops actually advertise they are going after aggressive drivers. What do they really do? Why give out tickets for violating speed limits set way below what the traffic normally travels at. Sometimes they do this on roads that are experiencing very light traffic compared to other times.

Posted by Chuck Divine at July 17, 2006 12:36 PM

They forgot to include the drivers who take advantage of the drive to catch up on their reading. After all, that big round thing in front of them is *perfect* for spreading out the morning paper...

The one nice thing about tailgaters is that most of them slow down when you do... particularly when you keep slowing down until they crawl off your a**.

Posted by snellenr at July 17, 2006 01:06 PM

Then there are the people driving compact cars who seem to think they're driving a tractor-trailer: to turn RIGHT into a driveway, they first veer LEFT (and vice versa). Really great if you are passing them at the time.

Posted by lmg at July 17, 2006 01:21 PM

I think the writer was being tongue-in-cheek about #9, as based off my recollection of studies and personal observation women are far more likely to be "grooming while driving."

Posted by John Irving at July 17, 2006 02:42 PM

Lane discipline is poor in all the places I've driven in the US; CA, WA, NV, MA, NY... Having said that, keeping left has problems too. Some of the road design, especially around Seattle just seems designed to drive a sane person insane. The I5-520 interchange is just plain nuts.

Blinkers? I didn't realise US cars came with them ;)

Posted by Daveon at July 17, 2006 06:19 PM

I'm not afraid to admit that I am #5 and #4. People with cell phones don't really bother me. I just lay the pedal down and pass em. Every time I succumb and let someone get ahead of me they always do something stupid eventually and I get irritated and have to fly past them anyways. I've always had the impression that faster cars are safer cars simply because one can easily dictate your position on the road. I had a 7 car pile up happen around me one time on 635. I saw an opening in the throng of cars skidding around the road and I caught a high gear in my Mustang GT and romped on it. I cut that gap like Emmitt Smith on a TD run. This Minivan initially gets rear ended by a Dodge Dualie 3500 right next me which caused the van to go sideways right in front of me. I kicked my car out to the left and went around em squeezing ahead of another car in the next lane. Then, a Crown Victoria came spinning out in front of me. Could make out the business partner in his shiny white shirt and enormous tie furiously fighting the steering wheel as he spun out 720 degrees across the highway onto the shoulder taking about 5 cars with em. I timed his spinning and velocity ahead of me just right to let him go spinning by in front of me and I hooked the car to the right to shoot through the gap in the road that his car had just cleared out. He'll even typing it out right now I'm starting to feel like Mad Max recalling the glory days of post apocalyptic highway madness.

Have horsepower, will travel.

Posted by Josh Reiter at July 17, 2006 06:42 PM

I just wanted to add that I credit my staying cool and controlled the whole time during this chaos to my countless hours of race car video game playing. It was just another round of Ridge Racer as far as I was concerned.

Posted by Josh Reiter at July 17, 2006 06:46 PM

Not letting me change lanes is irritant number one. And Dallas motorists are jedi shaolin masters of that driving technique.

Posted by Alan K. Henderson at July 18, 2006 04:18 AM

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