I spend a fair amount of time on the road so I see a good amount of stupid driving and stupid drivers (as well as perfectly good drivers, but we aren’t talking about them in this post). Some are just reckless, some are distracted, some are completely clueless, and some…are just plain unreasonable. And it’s that last category of drivers that really irritate me. The other types of drivers I can stand…from afar. I may find them briefly annoying and/or dangerous, but once I’m far enough away from them, they don’t continue to bother me. But those unreasonable drivers…
So, what do I mean about unreasonable driving? Well, it’s not really a particular style of driving. It’s not necessarily aggressive driving, although sometimes that’s part of it. It’s that these people are probably unreasonable in their day to day lives as well and it happens to be that they are driving near me and thus I perceive them to be unreasonable drivers.
So…what do I mean about unreasonable people? You know the type. Sometimes you see the woman arguing heatedly with a shop clerk about something inconsequential and has to have her way. Or it’s the guy who is really demanding and condescending and rude to the wait staff for no reason other than he perceives that it makes him look powerful. Or the client the demands to include things outside the agreed scope of the project and refuses to give you more time or money to do it. You know, unreasonable people.
So, I assume when these people go driving, they keep their unreasonable ways. For example, there was a woman driving a luxury SUV behind me when we were very stuck in traffic. So stuck that we were probably moving only 10 ft every 30 min or so. You think I’m exaggerating, but I’m not. It was really bad traffic. We were also in the left lane so there was no place to go. And what did she do that was so unreasonable? She would honk. Any time I let more than 3 ft of space get between the next car and me. Three. Feet. And when I would look back in my mirror at her, she’d be gesticulating and pounding on her steering wheel. I’m sorry, but in the grand scheme of things, being 2 ft closer to your destination when you’re stuck in stuck in such bad traffic doesn’t make much of a difference. If we were in the right lane and I only needed to move a few feet so that she could get around me into the right turn lane, I would think she was a jerk but I’d do it, because I know how frustrating it is when you only need a few more inches of space to get to a lane you’d like to be in. But we weren’t in that situation. And she was being completely unreasonable.
Another example? How about the guy in a subcompact who would flash his high beams at me and put on his blinkers to try and get me to move over into the next lane so he could pass me? Now then, the US has standards on the use of the passing lane. You generally pass on the left lane and slower traffic should keep to the right. And this is in relation to the speed of the traffic around you, not the posted speed limits. So, if the traffic around me was moving faster than I was driving, then definitely I should have moved over to the right and let the guy pass. BUT. I was traveling with traffic. And I was traveling faster than traffic in the lane to the right of me (we were in the leftmost lane). And I was holding distance between the car in front of me who was traveling at about the same speed I was. And this guy would not have any of it. He kept flashing his high beams at me. And I finally did after I passed one particularly slow moving truck. And he raced forward past me by about 1 ft when he had to slow down again. Why? BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING.
What I found even more irritating is that after he passed me, he proceeded to repeat his whole performance to the car in front of him. He may have been doing that the entire trip, slowly bullying other cars out of his way. I think he managed to bully that other driver too, and then what? Same thing. He got may be a foot in front of the other car and had to slow down again BECAUSE TRAFFIC WAS MOVING AT THE SPEED I HAD BEEN DRIVING. If he kept at it, he would have had to do that for a line of like 5 cars because we were all traveling at the speed of traffic around us. I do not understand why he was being so unreasonable. And at the very least, he could have just started weaving like any other aggressive and impatient driver would have.