For those of you that do not know where I work, I work in grocery distribution in Shipping/IT/Claims at a large distribution center about 35 miles from my home. Because I normally work twelve-hour shifts, during the winter months it is rather usual for me to drive to work in the dark and drive home in the dark as well. Since the route I take to work is mostly main highways, it is safe to say that I interact with quite a few other drivers on a daily basis. And in doing so, I have managed to compile a mostly comprehensive list of traits that if you possess them, might make you an idiotic driver.
1. You might be a moron if you do not use your turn signals
Vehicular safety 101 here. While switching lanes and exiting (or making any other turns to be honest), use your indicators. Failure to do so not only makes you an inconsiderate driver, but can also be dangerous in the case of sudden turns or other moronic movements caused by drivers who are simply not intelligent enough to use their turn signals. All vehicles are required to have turn signals equipped, let’s all be smart and safe drivers by taking advantage of this feature.
2. You might be a moron if you constantly drive at variable speeds on the highway
Just this morning, one of these such instances popped up. When I drive on the highway, I will typically stay in the range of 65-75 miles per hour in order to maintain good gas mileage while having a constant speed, which will assist better in estimations for arrival times at work. This morning however, as I was sitting in the right (proper) lane, some nitwit in a SUV comes zooming up behind me, and then just sits on my tail, despite decelerating at least 10 miles an hour just to simply sit on my tail. I thought that perhaps this person was just going to get off at the next exit, but that was not the case. I then slowed down to 60 MPH in order to get them to pass me in the left lane, and instead they maintained their tenuous grip on reality by slowing down even further. Chances are that this person was driving distracted (food, phone, radio, what have you) and instead of being a responsible adult and a proper motorist, they chose to not have their full attention directed toward the road, and thus did not notice that the car in front of them (me) was going 20 MPH slower than they were just a minute ago. Of course, the fact they were driving a SUV did not help either, which brings me to my third point.
3. There is a definite probability that if you drive a SUV or a Pickup Truck, that you drive like a moron
I understand the degree of usefulness of a sport utility vehicle or a pickup truck. However, the compact SUV (CR-V, Escape) has become the mini-van of our generation, with the two-row, and smaller (by comparison to other three rowers) three row vehicles evolving into the new soccer mom favorites. Which is rather annoying, because they’re built higher up, and it is simply much more difficult to make fun of someone who drives a SUV than a mini-van. But you know what the worst part about them is? On the highway, and especially at night, people drive these things like they’re Corvettes. And, because they are built higher up, when they have their headlights on they shine like a floodlight directly into the back of whatever car the idiot driving it is currently tailgating (usually, it’s me they tailgate). I understand that you can lower your rearview mirror to decrease the brightness, but you cannot do that to your side mirrors, which reflect the glare just as bad. And because drivers of SUVs and pickups think that they are the Second Coming and have places to get faster than anyone else, they are typically the ones who will ride your butt and shine their godawful headlights all up in your business. There’s something to be said for souping up cars, because (for the most part) they are meant to handle and drive better and faster than most anything else on the highway. Yes, the guy driving the VW Rabbit with the body kit can be a bit annoying, but compare that to the jacked up pickup truck with smoke stacks in the back. One of these belongs on asphalt, the other in the West Virginian mountains where you’re related to everyone in the county, and you still marry them because the fact of the matter is, you are improving the intelligence of the local gene pool, because it is that low. When on the highway, just know your place amongst other drivers, and stop spewing smog through my sun roof.
4. Tractor-trailer drivers can be the Absolute WORST morons in the driving world
On the whole, I don’t mind tractor-trailer truck drivers. It is the bad ones that soil the reputation of them as a whole. I believe, that if a truck is going over 80 MPH, that they should be pulled over. Compared to everything else on the road, trucks are monstrosities, and can be extremely dangerous due to their weight, cargo, and blind spots. Add speed into that equation, and you have a master recipe for disaster. Drivers that spend excess time in the passing lane, belch black smoke, or constantly speed are idiots. Sometimes, I will intentionally get in front of trucks that are in the passing lane and force them to slow down by decelerating. And if they try to pass in the right lane, it is very simple to speed up because pretty much any car out there is going to have more pickup speed than a tractor-trailer truck.
The other bad part about these trucks, is that because their acceleration is very poor, merging onto highways via inclined on-ramps can be one of the more frustrating things about driving. As stated prior, because I work at a DC, there are always trucks coming and going, which means the probability of me becoming stuck behind one is very high. And, the on-ramp to the local highway from distribution is a rather steep incline that merits truck drivers a speed of about 40 MPH while entering a highway.
And last, but not least:
5. You are definitely a moron if you do not know the most basic rule of highway driving
Drive right, pass left.
And please, for the love of God, do not “do the mess around” like John Candy, while driving.