Every day I climb into my car, strap on my seatbelt, and lift up a prayer that no one will kill me while I’m driving. Every day, as I’m driving along, someone tries to kill me. It’s a running joke with my family, friends, and loved ones that my car must be invisible to other drivers, or people hate those who buy a Prius.
I’m of a different opinion. Most of my day is spent in the car, driving to various hospitals in and around the Houston area. Because of this, I’m noticing a growing trend: people drive like jerks. They get into their car, believing it to be an amoral, cushioned bubble, and forget that other drivers are human, too. They forget their humanity, and act in an outrageous manner.
Why? Because their actions hold no consequence. They perform the most heinous driving habits, thinking their behavior is justified, because the another driver somehow wronged them. They arrive at their destination, get out of the car, and morph back into societal understanding of humanity. People do not act in person how they act while driving.
I ruminate about this far more than I should, which is why I’m breaking away from Momdom to write down my list of horrible driving habits. Here are the ten worst driving offenses that make people–people who may be amazing outside of their vehicles–jerks.
1) Driving on someone else’s bumper.
Drivers who ride on another car’s bumper are total jerks. Do these people follow others in the grocery store, poking them to move faster? Are they the person who rams into someone’s shoulder, because the person is taking too long to pick out a can of green beans?
I can’t even imagine what society would look like if drivers acted in real life how they act in the bubble of their car.
Newsflash: people do not drive faster because they’re being tailed. They also will not “move over” because another driver feels the need to hover on their bumper. Accidents happen because of people who drive like this.
2) Honking as soon as a light turns green.
Oh M my G. Let a driver’s eyes adjust to the light change, and allow their brain to register the new information, before blaring a horn. Maybe that person is in the middle of blasting out, with tone-deaf precision, Taylor Swift’s newest single, eyes closed, hands pressed to heart, soul taking flight.
At least let them finish the chorus, and then honk at them.
Don’t be a knee-jerk honker. One second of mental adjustment from another driver will not make you get to your location any faster. If anything, it makes the driver being honked at take longer to move forward. They process information from the light change, process information from the rude honk behind them, process the time it takes to call the person a jerk, and then remember to push on the gas.
3) Reversing out of a parking spot, or driveway, without looking.
I call this “bat out of hell” driving. They don’t look, they don’t care, they just hit the gas pedal, zoom, and expect other drivers to heed to them. People die that way. Pedestrians, bikers, motorcyclists, other vehicles all contain living beings who don’t want to die by reckless driver.
This is a total jerky move, and it shows a self-absorbed personality. What’s worse, most of the time these drivers scream at the people they almost killed, and act like it’s the other person’s fault.
4) Turning on the wrong side of a median.
A police officer pulls into the median, turns off his car, walks up to my car, and states, “Ma’am, you’re on the wrong side of the median.”
I bat my eyelashes at him, smile, and say, “That’s because every other driver, for the last five minutes, has pulled into the spot you’re in. I tried waiting, realized no one was going to allow me to drive the correct way, and pulled into this spot.”
He tips his hat at me, walks back to his car, and drives off.
Medians are exactly like lanes of traffic. Drive to the opposite side of the median. Don’t create the flow problem, it makes you a jerk.
5) Not allowing a pedestrian to cross the road.
How hard is it to pause for twenty-two seconds, and allow someone to cross the road? It’s like slamming a door in someone’s face, instead of holding it open for them. Or walking straight into someone, because pausing takes too long.
They are human beings, drivers are human beings, too. Depress the break, and allow the person to cross the road.
6) Pulling into traffic, and causing other drivers to slam on breaks, when an opening is five seconds away.
There is a one-mile gap between my car, and the car behind me. There is a fifteen foot gap between me, and the car ahead of me. So, which option does the driver who wants to pull out from a shopping center choose? The small space in front of me. I am then forced to slam on my brakes to keep my car from slamming into theirs.
What a jerk thing to do to another car! Not to mention, if my car hit their car, I am to blame for their idiot driving decision!
7) Not allowing another driver to merge onto the freeway.
When driving in the far right-hand lane on the freeway, other cars will merge into that lane from the feeder road. Drivers in this lane know to expect merging traffic, and yet there are many who feel the need to run merging traffic off the road. Causing a driver who is entering the freeway to stop, swerve toward a jersey wall, or veer into the grass is a terrible, jerktastic move.
Either slow down, speed up, or change lanes. That’s three options: choose one.
8) Drifting between the lane markers.
I can always tell who didn’t learn to drive through Texas Driver’s Ed, or who is stupidly texting while driving. They do this slow crawl toward one lane marker, and then move toward the other lane marker. It’s a weird movement that I do not understand. It’s especially annoying when I’m driving next to a driver doing this.
It’s not hard to remain in the center of a lane. It’s not hard to not drift from side to side while driving for long stretches. Put your right knee in the center of the lane, and don’t be a jerk driver.
9) Getting revenge on a driver for a perceived slight.
Cutting people off, screaming at people while driving, driving alongside them to host a pissing contest, or stopping a car in front of a driver to cause problems is the ultimate jerk move. People don’t act this way outside of the confines of their car–why do they think it’s acceptable to lose their morality inside their car?
10) Flipping off another driver.
Why do people think it’s okay to flip off another driver? What is it about cars, and lack of personal responsibility? People cannot walk into their place of business, and flip off their boss. They can’t walk up to someone on the beach, and flip them off. They can’t pass someone on the street, and flip them off.
Well, they probably can, and it makes them a jerk. It also creates more trouble than they’re willing to handle.
So, why do it in a moving vehicle?
People tend to get into their vehicles, and feel the need to win some imagined race. They perceive other drivers are offending them, through any amount of driving means. It is then they feel the need to “teach” them a lesson. The only lesson that is taught, when people drive like this, is that they’re driving habits make them a jerk.