Love Thy Neighbouring Driver

As my summer draws to a close, I want to take a moment to outline some of my thoughts about driving. This was actually my first time driving more than, say, once a week or so. I was actually part of the working class, drives to work 5 days a week, leaving a carbon footprint demographic. I finally can relate to everyone else who finds something, or someone, to spite on the road. Here are my most hated situations on the road:

1) The “there’s an invisible ‘-5’ at the end of the speed limit sign” driver. Especially on single lane roads, this uncommon species of driver is characterized by an excessive need to cruise just under the speed limit. Perhaps delusions of a police officer around every corner are to blame, or an atrophy of their right leg. Suggested remedy: Submit this class of driver to physical therapy and rehab so that they regain use of their pedal foot.

2) The Questionable Alternative Fuel Vehicle. QAFV’s are a notoriously obnoxious plague, that Inspection Stations LOVE. They are especially fun to drive behind. Example: I was driving behind a green Jetta the other day, and I had made the mistake of driving with my windows down. It smelled like he was burning old tires in his engine. I was finally able to strategically open my windows at safe intervals, once I realized I could judge at what point he was pushing down on the accelerator, announced by gouts of dark gray smoke. In that manner, I was able to acquire clean air to breath. My advice to this guy: Stick to used cooking oil instead.

3) The Slow Awkward Pedestrian. SAPs are easily recognizable by their carefree strolling, as they cross the street. As they near the three-quarter mark, they suddenly realize there’s line of cars waiting to make a left turn. The SAP then breaks out into a power-walk/shuffle in their embarrassment at holding up traffic but really doesn’t actually succeed in moving any faster (do not be fooled by stiff body movements or shoulders-up, arm pumping feints of speed).

4) The “Where’s the Exit?” driver. Picture this: You’ve got 3/4ths of a mile left before the exit. This old guy in a Buick (what else…) is unfamiliar with the area, and since you’re coming over a hill, can’t see very far ahead of him. He crawls along the highway at 55 MPH, unsure of whether or not the exit is coming up (despite the 1/2 mile sign that just flashed by). Do you a) cut into the left lane, which is screaming by you now at 65+ MPH, to get ahead? Or do you b) swallow your pride, and endure the last few thousand feet at this terrifically terrible speed?
If you chose ‘a’ you risked an accident, because there’s no way to transition from 55 to 70 MPH smoothly. If you chose ‘b,’ God laughs at you, because when this guy finds the exit, he takes it at 20 MPH, well BELOW the suggested 30, and even further from the safe limit of 40.

5) The Visually Challenged Old Lady. VCOLs are miracles of modern driving. The fact that they have licenses is an impressive feat matched only by overloaded Mexican drivers and German immigrants who forgot that “287” doesn’t actually mean “Autobahn.” VCOLs can be identified when you are idling at a “no turn on red” corner, and someone starts honking. In this case, the best course of action, is to just make the turn, knowing that the VCOL will follow you, and draw any police attention away from you, since they target the stragglers of a pack.

6) The Single-lane Hogging Inertial Truck. SHITs are a driver’s worst nightmare. Imagine, if you will, cruising along on a single-lane road, keeping a fair following distance between you and the guy in front of you. Suddenly, an aggressive SHIT, who has been waiting in ambush at a street corner, lurches out into the street. You groan, knowing that you should have driven more aggressively, but it’s too late. The behemoth of a SHIT has cut in front of you and you are forced to slow, as the bastard truck jolts, stumbles, and grinds through all nine hundred of its gears before achieving an acceptable cruising speed. You can only hope that he takes the next left, instead of remaining in front of you for the rest of the way home.

Tell me if you can relate, or if you have any to add. I jut had to vent. 🙂
Apologies for the excessive acronym-ing, that’s what happens when you work for the government. 😉 Cheers.

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