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10 Things that Make You Look Like a Massive Idiot while Driving
 

Do you ever wonder why everyone looks at you with astonished faces when you're driving? Well, here is a start. If you do any of these things when you drive, you are raising the blood pressure of everyone around you with your embarrassing driving. Whether you are just clueless or a bit self righteous, make sure you pay close attention. You may even learn something here.

 

I'm looking at you, National Capital Region.
 

1. Driving with your hazards on in "inclement weather"
Whether it's lightly snowing or raining, you don't need to put your hazards on, especially if you are going the speed everyone else is going. That's not what they are for, so don't use them unless you have an actual problem. Everyone can see you, and if you're smart, you've turned your lights on (it's the law in VA, at least). That's enough for people to know you're there.

 

The other day I was driving on a two lane neighborhood road behind a newish Honda minivan that was doing between 15-20 mph in a 25 mph zone at 11:00 PM. That's aggravating already, but what left me dumbfounded was when she approached a set a speed humps and put her hazards on until she cleared them. It was baffling.

 

This is also, y'know, illegal in most states and you can actually be pulled over for "improper use of hazards"

 

Also, note. Please see that I wrote "Inclement weather" not inclement weather. I'm talking about things like light rain and light snow. Weather that isn't close to being hazardous but people freak out over.
 

2. Leaving more than a car length of space in between cars at a traffic light
Don't do this. You are keeping cars behind you from accessing turn lanes (which often go green before the primary lanes, making them sit through two sets of lights), and causing traffic to spill into intersections behind you because they expected another car's worth of room that you are denying them. This is most often caused by people texting or old people who aren't able to see over the wheel. Every time I see this, I want to just pull in right in front of them and fill the space.

 

3. Lazily pulling into turn lanes
When you are turning, you get into your turn lane as soon as it's available, and then you start slowing down. That is what it is for. You do not start slowing down in the main lane of traffic and then get over after you've gone a hundred yards after the dotted line starts. Once you decide to get over, get over. A lane change shouldn't take 5 seconds and if it does, you are being lazy and selfish.

 

As a corollary, if it looks like you're going to miss your turn, just go around the block and try again. Do not slam on your brakes, cross 3 lanes of traffic, and then block another lane when you can't immediately get into the turn lane. You are inconveniencing everyone else because you don't want to drive another block. Still don't understand it? I'll let Louis CK explain it better:

4. Stopping in the middle of the highway
So you get into a fender bender on the interstate. What do you do? Well, it's simple. Move over to the side of the road. Don't just stop in the middle of 4 lanes of traffic. There's a shoulder for a reason. Use it. If you blow a tire, ride it over to the shoulder. If you stop, you are causing problems for everyone else, and potentially causing more accidents. Of course, if something catastrophic happens, like breaking an axle, you can be forgiven for not moving your car.

 

5. Riding your Brakes

Just because a car 300 yards ahead of you tapped their brakes doesn't mean you need to as well. Lift off the gas and start coasting. Be prepared to stop, but don't immediately brake. When you do that, everyone will do the same and the effect is multiplied, even to the point of people stopping. Also, keep in mind that every time you hit the brakes, you are converting your money into heat.

 

6. Rubbernecking
People rubberneck EVERYTHING here in the National Capital Region, including the monuments they see every day. Is there a police officer on the side of the road giving someone a ticket? Better slow down to see if you know them, it could be Jimmy from down the block, and you'd feel bad if you didn't say hi! Is there an accident? Then make sure you indulge your morbid curiosity!
 

7. Hanging out in the left lane
If you are going less than the flow of traffic, you do not belong in the left lane. Period. Get over. It's the law. Even if you are driving a Hybrid. Even if you're going the speed limit.
Speed limits are arbitrary, subject not to safety or engineering, but rather politics. The speed of traffic is rarely the speed limit.

 

Furthermore, if someone flashes their brights at you, and you're in the left lane, just let them by. Don't get mad. Don't get offended. Who cares if you think your speed is respectable? If they want to risk a ticket, let them risk the ticket. That's on them, not you. Plus, the whole flashing of brights to signal an intention to pass is a real thing. Even race cars do it.

 

And of course, if someone is tailgating you, just move over and let them pass.

 

If you are driving a large truck and you are in a place that isn't totally flat, please don't use the left lane. Sure, the truck in front of you may be doing 64, and you know you could do 65, but the cars around you are all going 70. Plus, you're not going to complete that pass before the next uphill, and then you'll be stuck doing 51 next to another truck going 50.5 on a two lane highway for the next 10 miles. I've seen the highway come to a complete stop due to trucks trying to do this.
 

8. Not utilizing on-ramps to accelerate to highway speeds
By the time you get to the highway, you better be going as fast as the people on the highway, so you can merge into traffic immediately and safely. This means, you should be doing at least 55 on any interstate by the time you get to the end of the ramp. And for the love of all that is good, don't stop at the end of the ramp. That's so dangerous its crazy.
 

9. Waiting for a lane to completely end before merging

Roads go from three lanes to two lanes or two lanes to one lane all the time. The wrong way to handle this is to drive until the very end of the lane that's ending, and then try to merge at the last possible moment. This causes traffic jams. EDIT: This causes traffic jams because no one knows how to zipper merge, because people are jerks and hate letting people in. Here's a graphic provided by Nobody showing how to do it:

 

Instead, merge as soon as you are able. Sure, there that lane there that looks pretty open, but just merge when you can and you'll help everyone. You also won't look like a total tool!
 

10. Blocking the Box
You know who you are. You know what you're doing. Just don't do it. When in doubt, wait it out.
 

Unfortunately, most of you guys know this already. But I bet you know some people that do this. Share this. Disseminate freely. If these people knew what they were doing, maybe they would stop. But seriously. They probably have Facebook. Share it there.

 

What else makes people look like total idiots? What do you see people do that really grinds your gears when you are on the road?

 

Source: OppositeLock

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Posted

I agree with every point. In fact, I see people do most of these things every single day and it drives me nuts. Bad driving is probably my biggest pet peeve, because it puts the bad driver and everyone around them in danger and causes frustration for everyone involved.

 

I honestly wish there would be more severe penalties for not following these rules.

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11. People that come to a complete stop to take a right turn. What. The. F***.

(Obviously when you're driving on the right hand side of the road.)

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12. Pulling out on to on coming traffic and then driving really slowly, I've yet to fathom why people do this and have started beeping them

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Here in CT 8 and 9 are the biggest issues, you got people merging onto the interstate STILL doing 35 in a 65, then speed up

 

I've seen way too many close calls because of these bad drivers 

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12. Pulling out on to on coming traffic and then driving really slowly, I've yet to fathom why people do this and have started beeping them

 

If no ones around and it's night, put your full beam on. Help them notice you next time.

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2. Leaving more than a car length of space in between cars at a traffic light

 

SERIOUSLY what is the deal with this. I can remember when I first started driving in like 1996, NOONE did this. Now EVERYWHERE I go I see people pulling up to lights and they leave not just 1, but 2-3 car lengths between them and the car in front of them. I don't get it... I am starting to think these people all have some type of mental disorder.

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If no ones around and it's night, put your full beam on. Help them notice you next time.

 

usually day time, i've seen it happen to cars in front of me.

 

I can't understand it, because if they know they are going to drive slowly then why can't they wait that extra 20 seconds instead of slowing everyone else down.

They are going to burn in a very special level of hell. A level they reserve for child molesters and people who talk at the theater. 

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SERIOUSLY what is the deal with this. I can remember when I first started driving in like 1996, NOONE did this. Now EVERYWHERE I go I see people pulling up to lights and they leave not just 1, but 2-3 car lengths between them and the car in front of them. I don't get it... I am starting to think these people all have some type of mental disorder.

The times I see people do that it's usually because they're on their mobiles while slowing down and don't look up before they stop so they overcompensate.  

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Worrying over this crap is pointless.  People drive badly.  The reality is, a lot of people probably think you drive bad too.  Realize that and try to have some patience. 

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#7 is the one thing that drives me absolutely nuts.  In this area there are signs every mile that say "slow traffic keep right", but too many people are either too oblivious or don't know how to read.

 

Riding somebody's a*s and not using a turn signal are the other things that are way too prevalent.  All these things really come down to people not paying attention or not having any courtesy.

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Grr, I hate people who violate most of these, but 7 and 8 annoy me the most. Whenever I drive on the highway with my friends, they get scared when I punch it on the on-ramp. Honestly, who doesn't love to be slammed back into their seats every once in a while?! :) I hate people who just travel on the left lane.

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The UK equivalent of No 7. is hanging out in the middle lane. You'll get people doing 65mph in the middle lane, and you can't (legally) undertake them, so you have to overtake them even when there's nothing in the lane to their left. It's soon to be illegal to hang out in the middle lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22770064

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The UK equivalent of No 7. is hanging out in the middle lane. You'll get people doing 65mph in the middle lane, and you can't (legally) undertake them, so you have to overtake them even when there's nothing in the lane to their left. It's soon to be illegal to hang out in the middle lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22770064


I've seen people here join an A road and go straight into the middle lane.

It's illegal to undertake, but it's not illegal to pass on the left if you were already in that lane. I just drive past on the left holding the horn on.
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My new favorite thing people do is stop for a yield sign in a right turn lane when that lane continues into its own lane after the turn. Traffic from other directions flows into their own lane as well so there are almost zero reasons people should be stopping there, yet they do as if it's a stop sign like the rest of traffic has.
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I agree with all of these, but #3 pisses me off so bad. Almost everyday, there is someone who waits until the very last second to get in to the turn lane when it is unoccupied AND to make matters worse, they don't even completely get in the turn lane! The tail end of the car is still outside of the turn lane! Someone must have taught them this, and if they did they need to be slapped in the face!

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11. People that come to a complete stop to take a right turn. What. The. F***.

(Obviously when you're driving on the right hand side of the road.)

 

People not making turns on red when it specifically says they can as long as people aren't walking across. These signs mean the same thing:

 r10_15_turning_traffic_must_yield_to_pedNo%20Turn%20on%20Red.gif

12. Pulling out on to on coming traffic and then driving really slowly, I've yet to fathom why people do this and have started beeping them

That is actually illegal, if you enter into traffic you must be able to do so without inhibiting the flow of traffic. My first accident happened because someone did this without looking left before turning out.

 

 

What gets me more is people who turn into the wrong lane, sure some people do it so they can make a turn without blocking traffic, but all forms of this wrong. Making a left turn from the left lane, you better end up in the left lane, because I will keep you in it if we are turning onto a three lane road from a double left lane. Same with turning right, go into the right lane, not the center or left lanes.

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My new favorite thing people do is stop for a yield sign in a right turn lane when that lane continues into its own lane after the turn. Traffic from other directions flows into their own lane as well so there are almost zero reasons people should be stopping there, yet they do as if it's a stop sign like the rest of traffic has.

Haha +10, I hate that.  The Moorland South exit from I-94 in Brookfield has that scenario.  There's even a gigantic 10 foot sign that says people should NOT stop, but they still do.  My horn gets a lot of exercise when I take that exit.

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The UK equivalent of No 7. is hanging out in the middle lane. You'll get people doing 65mph in the middle lane, and you can't (legally) undertake them, so you have to overtake them even when there's nothing in the lane to their left. It's soon to be illegal to hang out in the middle lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22770064

 

if I'm bored i'll  flash my lights to ask them to kindly move over, it works 10% of the time, the rest they either don't care or don't know whats you want.

a bit like how everybody in east anglia NEVER uses the hazard lights to inform others that traffic has come to a complete stop or if there is an accident in one of the lanes

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The UK equivalent of No 7. is hanging out in the middle lane. You'll get people doing 65mph in the middle lane, and you can't (legally) undertake them, so you have to overtake them even when there's nothing in the lane to their left. It's soon to be illegal to hang out in the middle lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22770064

 

I do the 'orbit manoeuvre' when that happens and flash my lights at them on the way out. 

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Sounds like the rantings of an aggressive driver rather than that of a PATIENT, defensive driver.  

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Number 8 all day long.  Oh my god.  When I lived in Washington, Fort Lewis traffic was ridiculous.  People already on the interstate would always stay in the right lane, and people leaving post didn't know how to get up to speed, which meant that I-5 was basically a parking lot while people in the right lane tried to move over at the last second and people coming off post tried to find a spot to merge into.  Normally I say that people on the interstate shouldn't have to move over, the people merging should adjust speed and find a spot, but when there's that many people every day coming out of the same on ramp, you would think the locals would remember and say, "Oh, there's a lot of people getting off work at Fort Lewis, I should move over one lane before I get there so they have somewhere to go."

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The UK equivalent of No 7. is hanging out in the middle lane. You'll get people doing 65mph in the middle lane, and you can't (legally) undertake them, so you have to overtake them even when there's nothing in the lane to their left. It's soon to be illegal to hang out in the middle lane http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-22770064

 

If there is nothing in the lane to their left why does it affect you? You should be in the left lane anyway and will simply drive past them? Obviously they're still dicks though.

 

Im generally more laid back, the one and only thing that angers me when driving is when people pull out onto the road you're on when you're dangerously close. Had a few encounters when I'm doing 60 on a road, a car is on a T-junction watching me come towards them, and then decides "fuck it" and pulls out, making me slam the brakes on. 

 

I can understand why people don't get up to the speed limit coming onto motorways though, I was taught not to on my lessons, so you save yourself from slamming the brakes on at 70mph because the left lane doesn't have any gaps and people haven't moved over to let you on.

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People drive with their hazards on ALL THE FRIGGIN TIME in Rochester during the winter. They're usually driving 5 MPH. Jesus, it's insane. If you can't drive in the winter, then you should not be living in upstate NY or DRIVING for that matter. You're more dangerous to other drivers than the friggin snow is!


Here's another one that's not on the list: Lazily making right hand turns. Listen folks, it should not take you 10 seconds to make a right handed turn. Stop doing that!

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If there is nothing in the lane to their left why does it affect you? You should be in the left lane anyway and will simply drive past them? Obviously they're still dicks though.

 

Undertaking (passing on the left) is an illegal manoeuvre UNLESS there's a queue of traffic in the right hand lane and the left lane is moving faster. Hence by passing on the left, we would be committing an offence. 

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