Driving Pet Peeves
Life in General

Driving Pet Peeves

I took drivers ed 50 years ago this summer. I grew up in a small town and in the days when drivers ed was given in the summer to all 15 year olds. We took classes in the mornings and then drove in the afternoons.

My instructor was one of our guidance counselors and he lived just a street over from us. He would pick me up for driving and then I’d drive about a mile downtown to pick up our other two drivers. Their names were Lynn and Linda. I’m not sure if that was on purpose but it did make things interesting.

In my 50 years of driving, I’ve witnessed a lot of bad drivers. No, I’m not a perfect driver myself, but I do have a perfect driving record. So, I feel qualified to share my driving pet peeves. If any of these sound like you, sorry, not sorry.

Turn signals

Why do people not signal when they’re moving into the turn lane, but then signal once they’re there? At that point, I’ve already figured out you’re turning. Telling me before moving into that lane would have been more helpful. And do I even need to use my signal if I’m sitting in the turn lane? Shouldn’t it be obvious I’m turning? And what about those people who want to turn left without moving into the turn lane? Or they barely get into that lane. Grrrr.

I learned something in drivers ed that I didn’t understand then and don’t understand now. Why do I need to signal that I’m getting on the interstate when it’s pretty clear that’s why I’m on the entrance ramp? What else would I be doing?

We’ve all been behind the guy who doesn’t realize his turn signal is still on. Drives me crazy!!

What people are not doing

There are so many drivers who don’t think ahead. Hmm, I think I’ll be going to Lowe’s once I turn left at this stoplight. Maybe I should get in the right lane (of two) since that lane becomes a right turn only lane into Lowe’s. Or maybe I should be in the left lane (of two) since I don’t want to go to Lowe’s.

There are other examples of people only thinking about where they are right this minute and don’t get in the proper lane for where they’re going. Then they expect you to let them move into your lane.

Some of this is simply not being familiar with the road which I can understand. However, there are also those who think they’re special and don’t have to get over into another lane when there’s clearly a lane closure ahead. They drive all the way to the end and then expect some kind person to let them in. Sorry, I’m not that person!!

So many people are not paying attention. I don’t know if it’s cell phones, eating, messing with kids or pets, or simply daydreaming but there are drivers slowing down or speeding up and it’s annoying to be behind them.

They also tend to have trouble staying in their lane, which can be worrisome. What might they do when I try to pass? One of our cars has a sensor that vibrates the steering wheel and beeps when you cross a line without using a turn signal. Don’t people get tired of that going off?

Many drivers only think about themselves and not the others on the road. It drives me crazy when I see someone leave two or more car lengths between them and another car at a stoplight. Why? All it does it make it difficult for someone to possibly get into the left turn lane before the light turns.

Other peeves

I hate being behind someone trying to merge into traffic but isn’t going fast enough. It’s especially bad if this person decides to suddenly stop. Whoa!! I’m usually pretty considerate when someone is trying to merge when I’m already on the road, but I get impatient if they aren’t doing their part to slide right into traffic.

Why do people veer left in order to turn right at an intersection or into a driveway? They act like they’re in an 18 wheeler and need all kinds of room to make the turn. I don’t know about you, but my car’s pretty good at making right turns on a dime.

I imagine every state has “right on red” laws. I think it’s great that we can do that. But there’s so much abuse. I call these drivers “right on red abusers”. They’re the ones who think they either don’t have to stop first or they don’t have to worry about the cars coming down the road. I see people turning left on red, when they’re on a one way street. I actually checked to see if that’s legal. It is, but only if you’re also turning onto a one way street.

I also have trouble with drivers who pull out in front of you and then poke along. This even happens when there’s no one behind me. You couldn’t wait for me to get by first?

Traffic cameras

There have been huge debates in our legislature about traffic cameras. I’ve kind of lost track of where this stands, but I think some of them are now illegal. I don’t understand the debate. If someone is breaking the law either by speeding or running a red light, shouldn’t they be punished? Why does it matter how they’re caught?

One of the “objections” is that they’re used to make money for the city. That tells you how many people these cameras are catching, doesn’t it? Again, if you’re not doing anything wrong, why should you care? Everyone’s become so obsessed with losing their rights, they’re spending time on things that make no sense.

OK, I bet you have some driving pet peeves of your own, don’t you? Tell us about yours.

12 Comments

  • Mary

    I am late to the party here, but I had to speak up. I am one of those drivers that sometimes leaves multiple car lengths between me and the car in front of me. I am very sensitive to chemical smells and if I pull up behind a diesel spewing vehicle my lungs slam shut and I can’t breath. I think it’s better for the traffic flow for me to leave that space rather than collapse and stop all traffic.

    And speaking of traffic flow, that merging thing that bugs you is called a zipper merge and keeps traffic moving rather than backing up one lane while the other is open. Traffic moves faster and safer if people use the zipper merge.

    • Retired Introvert

      Thanks for sharing your perspectives, Mary. I sympathize with your chemical sensitivity. I don’t like some of those smells either but fortunately I don’t encounter them that often.

      I’m aware of the zipper merge and it works fine when used correctly and in those situations where it’s meant to control traffic flow. I’m referring to those situations where drivers have had plenty of time to get over but choose to drive ahead and expect to be let in at the last minute.

  • JoAnn Adamson

    I husband’s comment for people who don’t use turn signals is that the car must not be paid for yet and that it must be broken. I totally agree with everything you mentioned about traffic cameras. If they’re breaking the law, they should be caught! And, yes, put the funds into the city coffers, it can help pay salaries of police officers who are out there protecting us.

  • suzanne

    I have so many, where to begin. The most annoying (and also illegal) one is the guy on the Interstate that insists on driving in the left lane, blocking everyone from passing. Then, there is the guy that gets too close (pushing) trying to intimidate me to go faster when I’m hanging out in the middle lane minding my business. Of course, there is the guy that doesn’t know that when the light is green the right turn has ‘right of way’. Did you know that most traffic accidents are caused by illegal left turns? Don’t get me started on roundabouts. We have a lot of those in our town and people are completely clueless. Anyway, you have obviously touched on one of my pet peeves today – bad drivers!

    • Retired Introvert

      We’ve been doing a lot on interstate driving the last few weeks and trucks have been the worst when it comes to clogging traffic. Especially at night.
      I actually don’t mind the roundabouts but many people don’t know how to navigate them. They either go too fast or stop when they shouldn’t.

  • Marty

    You hit pretty much all of my pet peeves also. I’m convinced that cell phones are the source of most bad driving habits and will probably stay that way, sadly. My main personal peeve are the rude drivers who tailgate so closely.

    • Retired Introvert

      Cell phones have not been a positive thing for drivers. I can always tell when I’m behind someone who’s on their phone. At best, annoying. At worst, dangerous. I agree it’s not likely to get any better.

  • Donna Connolly

    Great list! As I do more walking than driving, my number one pet peeve is drivers not stopping when pedestrians have already entered the crosswalk. I can’t tell you how frequently this happens in our small town. Argghhhh!!

    • Retired Introvert

      Drivers are actually pretty considerate with walkers around here. I also walk a lot and haven’t had any bad experiences so far. Now I’ve probably just jinxed myself!!! 😁

  • Jackie Foote

    Arizona has crazy drivers, and my list of pet peeves is longer than I care to write. However, my top ones are tailgaters, drivers who are obviously annoyed that I’m following the speed limit by honking, hand gestures and throwing bright orange paint balls at my car, and those who speed past me on the left to then pull in front of me so they can go onto the exit just a car length or two away…so dangerous. I have one of those State Farm gadgets that monitors my driving and saves me $221 every 6 months on my insurance, so others can just be annoyed that I drive the speed limit.

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