Top 10 Driving Pet Peeves

Suggested by SMS


When it comes to driving, everyone has their own way of doing things, which would seem to negate state licensing standards. And while everyone believes themselves to be a “great” driver, they usually have a list of pet peeves about other drivers a mile long. If you don’t see yourself on this list, you haven’t been out on the road. Take a look at the Top Ten Driving Pet Peeves and, if you practice any of these bad habits while operating your automobile, quit it!

10. The Guy Who Goes Before It’s His Turn At a Four-Way Stop


Look, we all know the rules. Whoever gets there first, proceeds through the intersection first. Trying to sneak through on the tail of the car in front of you, as if we don’t see you trying to create a train through the intersection, is a recipe for intersection accidents. And besides that, it’s a selfish and arrogant thing to do. This is the adult version of “line jumping” in elementary school. Where do you have to go that is so urgent that you can’t wait an additional 15 seconds? Settle down and wait your turn.

9. Turning Into The Far Lane


There’s a reason we turn into the near lane: it’s so the driver turning into HIS near lane on the other side of the street doesn’t come crashing into us. Of course, turning into the far lane is often much easier, but this is a chance to really show off one’s driving skills. Slow down and navigate the turn into the near lane properly, and you’ll earn the undying loyalty of the other drivers on the road.

8. Overshooting a Red Light


We’ve all had this happen to us. You’re coming up on a green, probably going faster than you should, when the light turns yellow and then quickly to red. In a split second, you have to make a choice: floor it through the light or slam on the breaks and wind up hanging out into the middle of the intersection? Or worse yet, get stuck stopped in the middle of the intersection because there wasn’t as much room on the opposite side of the intersection as you thought. There’s nothing worse than sitting in the middle of an intersection, now way out, with dozens of angry drivers honking at you.

7. Tailgating


In this day and age, there’s simply no reason to be tailgating people. No matter how slowly the person in front of you may be going, or how much of a hurry you’re in to get where you’re going, there’s no excuse for putting yourself and the driver in front of you in a position for a certain accident if anyone has to stop short. Likewise, slamming on the breaks in front of someone tailgating is equally inadvisable, especially when travelling at a high rate of speed. With all the cell phones, email accounts, and on-line navigation systems people have in their cars these days, all the tailgater has to do is look down for one second as you slam on your brakes to ensure a dangerous collision.

6. Driving Under the Speed Limit In the Fast Lane


This is probably the biggest cause of tailgating and/or road rage out there today, so let’s see if we can solve this problem right now. The right-hand lane is for slower drivers. If you aren’t going at least 5 miles over the speed limit on the highway, you are a slower driver; stay to the right. This will significantly cut down on the number of people whose dashboards are in your back window and who shout bad words at you as they drive past.

5. Road Rage


If you’ve driven an automobile in your lifetime, chances are that you’ve experienced the desire to get out of your car and throttle another driver for their sheer level of stupidity on the road. This feeling, commonly known as “road rage,” has become of great concern to psychologists (who are trying to classify it as an actual mental disorder) and lawmakers (who have been trying to draft legislation to deal with the issue for the past decade). In jurisdictions that do have road rage laws, a driver must do more than simply yell at a passing motorist in order to be charged with criminal road rage. Criminal road rage statutes generally require an element of aggressive driving, such as tailgating, slamming on the brakes, or chasing down another car. If you’re suffering from road rage, a quick bout of deep breathing might help calm you down and refocus your energy. If you think you might be the cause of someone else’s road rage, a quick “sorry” can diffuse a multitude of problems.

4. Not Using a Turn Signal


Another no-brainer. If you don’t use your turn signal, how are we supposed to know that you are going to turn? The answer is that we don’t, and don’t be surprised when someone slams into the rear or side of your car. The “use your turn signal” rule also applies when you are changing lanes, especially in heavy traffic. There’s nothing quit so un-nerving as looking in your blind spot prior to a lane change, only to see the car immediately behind you, sans turn signal, shoot out from behind you and switch lanes. Reaching out and flipping before turning or changing lanes isn’t really all that much to ask.

3. Turning from The Far Lane


Unlike turning into the far lane, which is more of a common annoyance than anything else, turning FROM the far lane, which requires crossing an additional lane of traffic, is downright dangerous and sure to inspire incredulous stares from your fellow drivers. Sure, we’ve all found ourselves in the wrong lane and needing to make a quick turn. The proper way to do this is to put on your blinker, change lanes, then turn. Simply darting in front of people to make in ill-advised turn from the wrong lane is not only dangerous and sure to cause an accident, but could certainly lead to a “reckless driving” charge and sky-high future insurance rates.

2. Talking On a Cell Phone While Driving


Yes, we know you think you can do it and still be alert to what’s going on around you. Everyone thinks that. The bottom line though, is that driving requires your undivided attention. If you’re yelling at your son about his grades or checking the grocery list with your wife while driving, your attention is divided, no matter how much you might want to think otherwise. In fact, one recent study conducted by the University of Utah found that drivers who talk on their cell phones while driving drive more slowly, brake more slowly, and are more likely to crash than intoxicated drivers.

1. Texting While Driving


This seems as though it should be obvious, but given the number of people getting into accidents due to texting while driving, a remedial course is clearly required. As refresher, anything that causes you to look away from the road and towards something else, such as a text screen, laptop, or television, is generally frowned upon while driving. A recent U.S. News and World Report article estimates that 20 percent of drivers are sending text messages as the same time they attempt to operate their vehicles. Another poll claims that a full 66 percent are texting while driving in the 18-24 age group. That is a whole lot of people out there without their eyes on the road. These numbers have driven state officials in 16 states to draft legislation carrying stiff penalties for anyone caught texting and driving.