# Do you judge other drivers?

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
And i'm not counting seeing someone run a red light, or make an illegal turn. They're just assholes.

I mean, like, i live an hour from the airport. My company seems to always try to find business flights that take off at 0600, or before. So i leave the house at 0300 to meet security requirements. Dark, empty roads.
I like to track how far i get before i see another living soul. Sometimes i get all the way out of town, see headlights from someone coming down the mountain. Some weary traveler making it into Pittsfield before most places are serving breakfast.

Sometimes i see a car within the first mile. Those people? Neighbors, from my area, on the same roads as me, at the same time?

For some reason i always assume thet're out hiding a body.
Not necessarily a serial killer. Could be an overdose they can't afford to be tied to, a heart attack on the massage table, mercy killing without the paperwork, grandpa (but if discovered the checks stop coming).

Is it just me?

#### Toni

##### Contributor
And i'm not counting seeing someone run a red light, or make an illegal turn. They're just assholes.

I mean, like, i live an hour from the airport. My company seems to always try to find business flights that take off at 0600, or before. So i leave the house at 0300 to meet security requirements. Dark, empty roads.
I like to track how far i get before i see another living soul. Sometimes i get all the way out of town, see headlights from someone coming down the mountain. Some weary traveler making it into Pittsfield before most places are serving breakfast.

Sometimes i see a car within the first mile. Those people? Neighbors, from my area, on the same roads as me, at the same time?

For some reason i always assume thet're out hiding a body.
Not necessarily a serial killer. Could be an overdose they can't afford to be tied to, a heart attack on the massage table, mercy killing without the paperwork, grandpa (but if discovered the checks stop coming).

Is it just me?

Oh, that's just you.

I judge the hell out of Prius drivers and the drivers of most SUVs but that's all based on my own sampling of just how much of a douche the drivers of those vehicles tend to be.

Fortunately, I'm not commuting any more. I don't think I could stay out of jail given how I judge people by the political stickers on their cars.

#### James Brown

##### Veteran Member
In the last year, I've particularly noticed men sitting in idling cars in department store parking lots. Seems like no matter the time of day, or what the weather is like, there's a middle-aged white man sitting in the car, engine running, just looking out the window.

Sure, it's probably just a beleaguered husband forced to drive his wife to the store, but who doesn't want to follow her around inside holding her purse or pushing the shopping cart.

Or it's an angry oxycontin-addicted man working up the courage to run inside with his assault rifle and shoot anyone he thinks doesn't belong here.

But it's probably just a beleaguered husband.

#### Treedbear

##### Veteran Member
I try to assume the best about other drivers unless they're tailgating me. In that case I assume they're either texting someone on their cell phone or else trying to pressure me to drive faster. Either case I slow down until I'm sure they're good and pissed off. At least I know they're paying attention. Usually they get the message and back off. These days I pretty much assume when people are doing something stupid it has something to do with being distracted by their cell phone.

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
I took driver's ed in 1972, and some of the things we were taught now seem to be null and void. Two that I see ignored all the time:
1) "When making a left turn, you watch the oncoming traffic, and you do not make your turn if it will cause the oncoming driver have to slow down for you." Well, forget that bullshit!! I don't trust any drivers anymore. They will start their left in your path so that you have to immediately brake to let them through. I live in a small town and drive a lot to medium-sized cities around here. I'd say this happens every 10 days or so. I always think,"You really trusted that I would slow down, but aren't you concerned that half the drivers around you are on their cell phones while they're approaching you?"
2) Picture me facing north at a stop sign, waiting to enter a busy road on a left turn. There are stop signs for north- and southbound drivers, but the east-west traffic doesn't stop. While I'm waiting for traffic to clear, another car, headed south, comes up opposite me at the stop sign for southbound traffic. He's going to continue straight. Finally the east-west traffic clears. Which of us should go first, me with my left turn, or him, going straight through? Well, me. I was there first. But today there are plenty of drivers who size it up as, 'straight through' goes ahead of left turn. This happens so often that I start to doubt my understanding of traffic laws.
Caveat to all of this: I'm not really a skilled driver. I'm nervous, I can't stand major interstates around big cities. You'd never want me to drive a school bus or even to haul your cabbages to WalMart. I do make some mistakes here and there (and have been lucky with all of that since 1985.) So I don't really judge too harshly. If you cut me off, I'll call you a dumb c-word, but only to myself.

#### crazyfingers

##### Supermagnon
Staff member
There are lots of things to judge other drivers on. Some of my pet peeves are:

Driving in the rain without turning on the headlights. My car automatically turns on the headlights when my wipers are on but even before i got my "new" car I always made sure my lights were on in the rain. Cops are the worst! Cops are most likely to fail to turn their headlights on in the rain. I'd estimate that 15% of average drivers don't turn their headlights on in the rain but 70% of cops don't.

The car ahead of me taking a left turn. When I have to take a left turn onto a side street I always get over right up to the center line so that I'm not blocking cars who want to keep going. They can pass me as I sit and wait for the oncoming road to clear. I hate it when people in front of me stops to take a left onto a side street and makes no attempt to make room for others to pass. And I hate more for those drivers who think that they need to first swing to the right in order to take a left. They are morons who must have never taken drivers ed.

After a snow the people who only clear off their front windshield and leave all the other windows covered with snow. Once I saw a car where the driver only cleared about a 2 foot circle just on the front windshield to look though and left 75% of the front windshield covered with snow!

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
How about the people who pull their vehicles side by side on a two-lane street and carry on a conversation with other cars behind them? Amazing how fast I get enraged at that. Fairly or unfairly, I always think of that as white trash behavior.

#### crazyfingers

##### Supermagnon
Staff member
How about the people who pull their vehicles side by side on a two-lane street and carry on a conversation with other cars behind them? Amazing how fast I get enraged at that. Fairly or unfairly, I always think of that as white trash behavior.

Where I am I have only seen cops doing that. Several times. And of course I'm silently swearing at them. Since they didn't turn on their flashing lights it was no emergency.

#### James Brown

##### Veteran Member
2) Picture me facing north at a stop sign, waiting to enter a busy road on a left turn. There are stop signs for north- and southbound drivers, but the east-west traffic doesn't stop. While I'm waiting for traffic to clear, another car, headed south, comes up opposite me at the stop sign for southbound traffic. He's going to continue straight. Finally the east-west traffic clears. Which of us should go first, me with my left turn, or him, going straight through? Well, me. I was there first. But today there are plenty of drivers who size it up as, 'straight through' goes ahead of left turn. This happens so often that I start to doubt my understanding of traffic laws.

Even worse when at a four-way stop where some lanes are left-turn only lanes. You can't make an unprotected left turn unless three directions of traffic are clear--the two lanes passing left and right in front of you, and the lane heading in your opposite direction. But the 'rule' seems to be, "When you get to the stop sign, wait for a single car to pass in front of you, then go," regardless if it's your turn or not.

I've adopted my own rule. "When in doubt, drive as if the other person will assume that they get to go first."

#### Keith&Co.

##### Contributor
My son passed his first driving test because he was the only driver on the road that knew what blinking red and blinking yellow mean at a stoplight. Others blew through on the theory that 'broke means it don't count!' Or came to a full stop on yellow and, i dunno, waited for blinking green.
And the blaring horns of every differing opinion...jeez.

#### bigfield

##### the baby-eater
My son passed his first driving test because he was the only driver on the road that knew what blinking red and blinking yellow mean at a stoplight. Others blew through on the theory that 'broke means it don't count!' Or came to a full stop on yellow and, i dunno, waited for blinking green.
And the blaring horns of every differing opinion...jeez.

My driving education never explained flashing amber lights, but the first time I encountered it, everyone in the intersection was driving as if there weren't any lights at all.

I don't mean they were just barrelling through and blasting their horn - I mean they had reverted to actual road rules that govern an intersection without lights, and were doing it very slowly. It was actually pretty impressive to see such an outbreak of cautiousness and competence.

I haven't encountered it again since - which is probably a decade or so of driving - and it occurs to me that pretty much everyone who arrived at that intersection thought "what the fuck is this?" and had to rely on their intuition. It was encouraging to see that most people were figuring it out without any hassle, and a nice reminder that most drivers aren't dangerously negligent.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
I do most of my 'driving' on two wheels, either a bike or a motorcycle.

So yeah, I judge a lot.

...a whole lot.

#### Treedbear

##### Veteran Member
I do most of my 'driving' on two wheels, either a bike or a motorcycle.

So yeah, I judge a lot.

...a whole lot.

Yeah I gave up motor cycling when I figured out that it was a sport and I was the one being hunted.

#### southernhybrid

##### Contributor
I frequently have to judge my husband's driving. I had always hoped that by the time he reached old age, he would slow the fuck down, not pass so many drivers, not use his horn so often and stop yelling at other drivers that he thinks are driving too slow. I usually say, "they can't hear you, but I sure can". But, I'm sorry to say that aging has not replaced his race car driving, but at least there have been no speeding tickets in the past several years, and due to the pandemic, we rarely leave home.

I'm a much more patient driver, especially around drivers who appear to be in their 80s or 90s, but I do become annoyed if someone is driving slowly in the left lane. The left lane is for fast drivers or for passing, so please get the fuck out of the left lane if you can't drive 10 miles over the speed limit. In Georgia, we are permitted to drive ten miles over the speed limit before receiving a ticket, unless we are in a residential neighborhood or a school zone. So, afaic, if I'm on a road where the sign says 65mph, it really means 75mph. So, stay out of the left lane if you can't drive that fast.

To be honest, having had too many jobs that required a lot of driving or an awful commute, I hate to drive. That's why I put up with the fast driving husband. I'd rather hang on for dear life than have to do the driving myself.

#### TV and credit cards

##### Veteran Member
There is one particular recreation area in the parkway where I would sometimes stop during my bike ride to use the restroom. After awhile I took notice that on weekdays, there's always seems to be a number of middle-aged men just sitting in their cars. It's not lunchtime. They're not eating. They are just sitting in their cars. They seemed to be congregating at this one particular area. I judged and I found another place to use the restroom.

Also, I'm starting to think there are a number of drivers who when waiting at a red light, fully intend to ignore the traffic light and play with their phones, relying on the vehicle behind them (me) to let them know the light is green.

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
There is one particular recreation area in the parkway where I would sometimes stop during my bike ride to use the restroom. After awhile I took notice that on weekdays, there's always seems to be a number of middle-aged men just sitting in their cars. It's not lunchtime. They're not eating. They are just sitting in their cars. They seemed to be congregating at this one particular area. I judged and I found another place to use the restroom.

But they never made any move in your direction? Perhaps they were praying.

#### TSwizzle

##### Let's Go Brandon!
Los Angeles is famous for its crowded freeways and when I'm stuck in traffic on the freeway I look around the mass of vehicles all stopped and wonder, "where the hell are all these people going? Don't they have jobs ? Shouldn't they be at work right now?" And I will scrutinize the driver next to me and imagine why they would be on a busy freeway at this time of day. Are they going home after finishing a shift ? Are they going to start a shift ? Are they visiting someone in hospital or something ? Why would you be on the freeway if you could avoid it ? Why are they driving so many miles ? The curious thing about some freeways in Los Angeles is that they are always busy but rush hour seems to last from about 6:30am to 7:00pm where they are crawling. Some of them, not all of them.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
The assholes that rush to get in front of me to turn even though there was plenty of room to get in behind me.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
The assholes that rush to get in front of me to turn even though there was plenty of room to get in behind me.
Depends on how slow you're going, grandma.

There are some drivers here (large retired community here) that start braking 1/4 mile from the green lights, not to mention the reds. I will often pass them (sometimes even on my bicycle, they're that slow) to go through, or to make a turn.

Another thing that I've seen getting worse and worse, and I think it's due primarily to people whipping out their cell phones the minute it looks like they might have to stop, is drivers stopping 3-4 car lengths back when waiting at a light. I will often pull into that space. I do it all the time on my motorcycle, but even in the mini-van I can often do that.

#### Tharmas

##### Veteran Member
Was it George Carlin who asked, what's the difference between an idiot and a moron?

An idiot is someone who's driving faster than me.

A moron is someone who's driving slower than me.

#### ideologyhunter

##### Veteran Member
And there's the appelation schmohawk, from Curb. "Did you see what he just did?? Schmohawk!"

#### Coleman Smith

##### Member
As an employee of an independent adjusting firm we made a lot of \$ off of bad drivers.

Money from heaven.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
My driving education never explained flashing amber lights, but the first time I encountered it, everyone in the intersection was driving as if there weren't any lights at all.

I[...]

I haven't encountered it again since - which is probably a decade or so of driving .

That's so interesting that you don't see them but once in your life!
Around here they are ubiquitous.

#### Rhea

##### Cyborg with a Tiara
Staff member
I judge the ones who get annoyed at me for rushing in front of them to turn when there was plenty of room behind them.

They seem uninterested in the facts that
A. I don't want to be stuck behind them after the turn, either,
B. Rushing is easy and fun
C. It's no skin off their nose, so why they mad?

I recognize that different drivers have different approaches to driving. They may ask, indignantly, "what's your hurry!?" to which I observe, surprised, "there's no hurry. There was a space, my car fit in it, why is that a problem?" I wish they would also recognize that people have different approaches to driving, that'll all. I love driving. I love turning, accelerating, timing the gap, adroit starts off a light, and merging with a fine-tuned timing to keep traffic flowing. They think I'm in a hurry and mad. But I am totally not. I'm driving differently.

#### Coleman Smith

##### Member
When I feel like pissing people off I get on the interstate and just drive the speed limit.

There is usually a hoard of pissed drivers going around me.

#### Worldtraveller

##### Veteran Member
When I feel like pissing people off I get on the interstate and just drive the speed limit.

There is usually a hoard of pissed drivers going around me.
In the left lane?

#### Coleman Smith

##### Member
When I feel like pissing people off I get on the interstate and just drive the speed limit.

There is usually a hoard of pissed drivers going around me.
In the left lane?

Right lane.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
When I feel like pissing people off I get on the interstate and just drive the speed limit.

There is usually a hoard of pissed drivers going around me.

I do that too when the traffic starts to get heavy. It's an interstate, not the daytona 500.

##### Loony Running The Asylum
Staff member
I judge the ones who get annoyed at me for rushing in front of them to turn when there was plenty of room behind them.

They seem uninterested in the facts that
A. I don't want to be stuck behind them after the turn, either,
B. Rushing is easy and fun
C. It's no skin off their nose, so why they mad?

I recognize that different drivers have different approaches to driving. They may ask, indignantly, "what's your hurry!?" to which I observe, surprised, "there's no hurry. There was a space, my car fit in it, why is that a problem?" I wish they would also recognize that people have different approaches to driving, that'll all. I love driving. I love turning, accelerating, timing the gap, adroit starts off a light, and merging with a fine-tuned timing to keep traffic flowing. They think I'm in a hurry and mad. But I am totally not. I'm driving differently.

I like to do that too. Straighten the curve as they say, by using the entire lane.

I've found out my wife's car has a pretty badass motor and will bark the tires pretty much at will at any speed under 15 or so. From a standing start I can smoke 'em. Don't tell her I told you guys that. I just wished the suspension and steering matched it.

Maybe I can talk her into a set of performance coilovers, lower the car an inch or two and get that center of gravity a little closer to the pavement. Maybe find stiffer sway bars.