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Driving Pet Peeves

So, for my vacation, I drove from Chicago to Miami.  Then from Miami to New Orleans.  Then Miami to Atlanta.  Then back to Chicago.

I like long drives, sue me.

Most of these are related to the fact that I have a car that, being built in the last 10 years, has cruise control.  Apparently, I'm one of the few.  There are other complaints one could make, involving the use of cell phones, but I'll leave those out.

  • The 'Semi driver that has to pass other semis, at 1 mph faster than the other semis' semi driver
    • I know someone who was a semi driver as a professional, and I respect them.  I really do.  But there is this class of semi drivers that decide that they absolutely have to be in front of 2-5 other semis in front of them.  Fine.  I also respect that semis do not have the responsiveness of a car.  Fine.  But, if you are going to pass someone, do it at more than 1 mph faster than the people you are passing.  Seriously.  If it takes you 3 minutes to move up a couple of hundred yards, blocking traffic the entire time, reconsider.  Please.
  • The 'I need to get past you right now, but I don't know why' driver
    • As someone that uses cruise control, I keep a constant speed.  If things go well, you can set a speed and keep it for long stretches of time.  You recognize those drivers that are slower than you or faster than you.  It's all good.  Then you get these drivers that seem to need to get past you as if they were going to a local hospital.  Fine.  Then they get past you and immediately slow down to slower than what you are driving at.  Figure it out.
    • These drivers don't seem to understand this.  They drive up to your bumper at significant speeds, then once they get past you (which you let them do), they drop down to a speed slower than what you are driving at, inevitably causing you to pass them, which seems to annoy them, causing them to speed up again to get past you. 
  • The 'I love your rear bumper' driver
    • These are the drivers I really don't like.  They can get up to you on the left side, or the right side.  In any event, they insist on preventing you from moving through traffic because they insist on sitting right on your rear bumper, so that you can't change lanes, can't pass other cars, can't do anything really.  Again, pass me, let me pass you, but make a move one way or the other that doesn't threaten a crash.
  • The 'traffic blocking duo' drivers
    • This happens in one of two situations, and it only works on two-lane highways. 
    • The first involves a police car driving right at the speed limit.  No one wants to zoom past a sheriff's vehicle on a highway, but normally they drive a little faster than the posted limit, so that there is some flow of traffic.  Not in this case.  Traffic backs up like the starting grid for a NASCAR race as everyone waits for the police car to take an exit.
    • In this case, two drivers, for reasons unknown to anyone, decide that they want to drive at the exact same speed, right next to each other, no matter how many cars are backed up behind them.  The worst case I was ever in lasted at least 10 minutes like this, to the point that people starting driving on the shoulder around the duo, and they still wouldn't stop blocking traffic.  Once one of them finally relented so that traffic could move, I pulled up next to one of the guys driving a moving van.  He looked like he hadn't slept in 24 hours (or was otherwise out of it), so that probably explained some of it.
posted on Sunday, July 15, 2007 7:00 PM Print
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