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Top 10 Driving Peeves
2005-06-01, 12:59 p.m.

Day 283 Top 10 driving Peeves

I was just reading another journal, over in another part of the world, and the writer listed 10 of her “Rules of the Road”. All very good rules too, ones that I even follow myself. Reading that got me to thinking though – I have a lot of peeves when it comes to driving. The vast majority of them are reflections of other peoples poor driving habits. Now that road rage incidents grab headlines every now & again, I thought I’d list some reasons why having .50 caliber machine guns mounted behind my headlights James Bond style is probably a bad idea. Or maybe just a list of my top 10 driving peeves.

Peeve #1 – Usage of the leftmost lanes on an expressway or Interstate. All expressways I’ve been on post signs that read “Slower Traffic Keep Right”. If you are doing the speed limit in the leftmost lane – YOU ARE SLOWER TRAFFIC. If you look in your rearview mirror (remember that thing?) you will notice a looooonnnng line of cars behind you. They would all like to get by. Move your ass over to the right lane. Please.

Another hint that you might be SLOWER TRAFFIC – you get passed on the right side frequently. If you look at the drivers in the other cars as they pass you, you will notice them angrily glaring at you. You may notice other not so nice things too. You can imagine what those might be. I bet if you moved over, a lot of that stuff would stop.

Peeve #2 Especially in New York – please do not use your cell phone when driving, unless you have a hands free kit. In NY it is now illegal to be talking on your cell phone while driving. Something like a $150 fine, if you get caught. But the police really have better things to do, so I was thinking. Dangerous, yes, I know. Whenever I pull up next to someone at a stop light yakking on their cell phone I’d just lean on my horn. Forever, until they get off the phone, or we have to start moving again. It would be a rather dangerous move to pull while actually driving (might scare the bejeebers out of someone and cause an accident), so I figured the stop light only restriction made sense.

Peeve #3 You ever find yourself driving down a 2 lane road, minding your own business, only to have someone pull out in front of you and proceed at 10mph under the speed limit? What really gets me is if I’m the last car in a line and there’s no one behind me for a long ways and the puller outer person nearly cuts me off to get out in front of me. And then goes 30 in a 40. Oh, if I only had that machine gun!!!

Peeve #4 2 lane road again. Person in front of you wants to make a left turn into a driveway, side street, what ever. In order to prepare for this monumental LEFT hand turn, they move all the way over to the RIGHT side of the road, blocking you and the rest of the world from getting past on the right. Ditto for the right hand turn. They apparently think they’re the only people on the road.

Peeve #5 Any old road. Busy road. You want to pull into a plaza. So does the car in front of you. Car in front of you pulls into the plaza, getting off the road. You start to follow this car into the plaza. They stop to survey the parking situation, forcing you to stop too. With half your car sticking out into traffic, just begging to be hit by the guy behind you.

Peeve #6 The middle of an intersection is NOT THE PLACE TO FIGURE OUT WHICH WAY TO TURN. Please prepare ahead of time. If you find yourself in the left turn lane, but you really wanted to make a right turn – too bad. Make the left turn, find a place to turn around and then head off to where ever it is you thought you wanted to go.

Peeve #7 Most (all??) cars built after 1960 have turn signals. Use them. It helps other people figure out where you might be headed. If by chance you DID use your turn signal, please make sure it’s turned itself off after use. It’s really irritating following someone on an expressway with their left turn signal on. I’ve even gotten in front of these people and turned on one of my turn signals in hopes they’d get the hint. Never works. Then I look like a schmuck too. Fun.

Peeve #8 4 lane expressway, way out in the sticks. Like I-90 through most of upstate NY. Busy traffic weekend. I’m doing 75mph in the left lane, in a line of traffic. Right lane is plugged solid, no hope of moving over. GET OFF MY ASS. Sometimes, during the day, I’ll turn on my headlights, in hopes that the tail lights will look like brake lights coming on (enough lights?) and the butt muncher behind me will back off. Works every once in a while. Actually using the brakes is also an option, but must be done carefully. Don’t want to cause an accident ya know.

Peeve #9 Hi beams at night. ‘nuff said. Also: headlights in your rearview mirror, especially those of an SUV or pickup truck when you’re driving something normal like, I don’t know, maybe a Ford Taurus? A bb gun would take care of those pesky headlights, don’tcha think?

Peeve #10 Inappropriate driving in the snow. You’d think New Yorkers would be pretty good at driving in the snow. Generally, you’d be right. But there’s always someone that thinks just because they could get their big 4 wheel drive SUV up to 60mph in the snow it must be ok. Then they have to slow down, or turn. Ooooopps. Amazing how many SUVs’ you see piled up in snowbanks.

I’m sure there are more, but those are the 10 little driving faux pas’ that drive me up a wall fastest. Generally, I’m easy to get along with. But some of these things really get to me. If people would just pay attention to these kinds of things, I’d be less tempted to shoot out their headlights with a bb gun.

283 days down. Avoiding road rage is a lot harder when you don’t smoke anymore. I still consider it a fair trade though.

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