Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Five more annoying freeway drivers

A couple more 1800-mile round trips to and from Mom's house uncovered these other annoying freeway drivers (in the tradition of The Top 10 Most Annoying Freeway Drivers).

5. The Driver with Cruise Control Set 1 Mile per Hour Slower than You
Technically, these drivers aren't doing anything "wrong" per se, but when traffic is fairly heavy, they're extremely annoying. They're going slower than you want to, but because they're passing slower cars, they have a right to be in the fast lane. And they're going just a little too fast for you to comfortably pass. It's easy to get caught behind one of these drivers for miles. I got stuck behind one of them for half an hour on my last trip.

4. The Guy Who Leaves His Car by the Gas Pump and Goes Shopping
I guess technically this one isn't a "freeway driver" when this occurs, but it happens at freeway gas stations, so I'm counting it. At crowded gas stations, with cars lined up to get to the pumps, a normal person -- anyone who's ever thought of anyone but himself -- takes in the situation and thinks, "I'll get my gas and get out of the way before I go inside the store." But not this guy. (It's usually a guy.) He just leaves his car at the pump while he goes inside to use the facilities (20-to-1 he doesn't wash his hands afterward) and get his hot dog and a Big Gulp. Then he strolls out 10 minutes later and pumps his gas and leaves, never noticing that he's made the congestion about 10 times worse.

3. The Slower Down to Pass
This wanker driver moves along pretty fast. So fast, in fact, that I often change lanes to get out of their way. (I'm no Fast Lane Stayer -- except, that is, when the car that wants to pass me is a Beemer or a Benz. Then I stay where I am as my own little contribution to class warfare in America. But I digress.) But the weird thing is, these drivers slow way down whenever they pass someone. It's like they have to take a good long look at every driver they pass. So when you're behind one of them, you have to tap the brakes and disengage the cruise control every single time they pass somebody. And that gets annoying after the first FIVE HUNDRED AND SEVENTY TIMES!

2. The Slow Darter from in Front of a Truck
You may remember the Slow Darter around Trucks from last time. This one is a little different, and quite rare -- I've only seen one once, but she was both annoying and dangerous. She was driving along in the right lane at about 55 in a 70 zone, with a truck tailgating her. She neither sped up, nor stuck it out until the truck passed her. Instead, she "darted" into the fast lane (still going 55) and let the truck pass her on the right while I got to find out exactly how quickly the brakes on a Hyundai Sonata can slow it from 80 to 55.

1. The California Highway Patrol at the End of the Month when They're Trying to Meet Their Citation Quotas
They just won't leave a man be to drive in peace.

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