Do I Turn You On?

You are going to be sorely disappointed if you’ve got a mind like mine and just read the title of this post.  I’m talking about your turn signal.

My apologies.  I’ve already committed to writing what follows, though, so we may as well muddle through together.

I just can’t seem to win when it comes to the lane change.  It’s feast or famine.  Either some idiot just bolts in front of me with no signal or some idiot flips on the signal and just comes over.

But, MC, why would they do that while you’re on your badass motor?  To be fair, I’m talking about my personal car on the drive home.  If someone was fool enough to do something like that whilst I’m working, they’d get a rag for their trouble.  Make no mistake, it’s happened many times while I’ve been working.  Remember why I love being in Trafffic?

Exactly.

On the way home today, however, I was tooling along minding my own and listening to my Dave Ramsey podcast happy as a lark since the weekend had arrived.  Traffic on the freeway was moderate and moving along at a nice 50 mph or so.  I had a good 110′ between me and the car in front of me.  (Who can tell me why?  Come on, fellow traffic nerds, I know you’re out there…).

At any rate, I was in the #3 lane.  A car next to me driving at about the same speed and offset around 15′ or so ahead of me signaled a right lane change (into my lane).  The driver didn’t wait to make sure it was clear.  I’m not even sure the driver bothered to look.  The signal came on and the car just came right on over.

I reached over to flip the overheads on then realized a Honda accord doesn’t come standard with a light bar, shamefully enough.  I started to get bent and of course yelled words of encouragement in the offending driver’s general direction and had a familiar feeling of warm fuzzies spread throughout my being when I realized I could just take this opportunity to educate my readers on proper turn signal usage (or flame the idiot anonymously over the interwebs…you know, whichever one is more effective).

Enjoy the following section from the California Vehicle Code (read to you in a droning DMV voice…which you will have to make up yourself as this is a blog and there is no voice component):

22107.  No person shall turn a vehicle from a direct course or move right or left upon a roadway until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal in the manner provided in this chapter in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.

The important bits are “…until such movement can be made with reasonable safety and then only after the giving of an appropriate signal” and “…in the event any other vehicle may be affected by the movement.”

Layman’s terms: You can’t just flip your signal on and make your move.  It’s not an Olly-Olly-Oxen-Free move.  Just because your signal is on doesn’t mean you have the right to change lanes.  You actually have to check your surroundings to make sure no one else is already freaking there!

Had there been a collision, the driver that signaled and changed lanes would have been found at fault and the primary collision factor would have been the section listed above.  Unfortunately, there isn’t a section covering driving with one’s head firmly planted in one’s rectal cavity.  But, oh if there were….

So, please, from one responsible driver to another.  Do us both a favor and look before you leap.

What are some of your traffic pet peeves?

Featured Image Courtesy of Flickr and The Rocketeer

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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37 thoughts on “Do I Turn You On?

  1. My mother-in-law, whom I love dearly, has used her turn signal exactly once that I can recall. It shocked me so much I would have fallen over had I not been held up by the seat belt. To be (somewhat) fair to her, she drives quite a bit in Houston, where if you turn your signal on traffic will rush to block you so you cannot change lanes. Driving there is rather a terrifying free-for-all.

    Now, my biggest personal pet peeve is people who drive around at dusk with their parking lights on. I strongly suspect these are the same folks confused by the whole parkway/driveway thing.

    And then there are the people who cannot merge properly onto the freeway, or let oncoming traffic merge smoothly. I move over when I can or slow down if I must to let people on; there’s only so much room and nowhere for the entrant to go. By that token, however, the person who is entering the freeway needs to do their best to use the acceleration lane for its intended purpose and not hit the freeway at a brisk 40 mph.

    Actually, I have a whole litany of traffic peeves, which is why I so enjoy your blog!

  2. Oh man, MC, you should not have asked – I have a feeling you’re going to get a lot of comments here. 😛 I sometimes dream of being a traffic cop – even though I know I’d make a terrible police officer – just so I’d have the satisfaction of being able to ticket people for committing my traffic pet peeves.

    I too hate people who don’t signal, signal and then move without looking, signal and glance in the rearview mirror but don’t shoulder-check before moving over, and – last but certainly not least – people who slam on their brakes for a turn and only signal the turn afterwards. But you’ve covered the signaling pet peeve, so I’ll try to move on.

    Another thing I freaking hate is drivers who cross solid white lines. If there’s a solid white line between your lane and mine, or two solid white lines, or a triangle filled with diagonal white lines, or anything but a dashed white line, it means YOU DON’T GET TO COME INTO MY LANE YET, ASSHOLE.

    And finally, after living for 3 years at an address in New Jersey located on a very twisty 2-lane road, I think my all-time most hated assclown driver behavior is people who can’t or won’t stay in their own lane – or even on their own side of the road – when the road curves.

    I mentioned this pet peeve to my ex-sister-in-law once, by the way. Her response was to give me a puzzled look and say “But, haven’t you ever noticed, when you go around a curve, the car just naturally wants to drift to the outside?”

    My response was to give her a look of deep disbelief and say “Um…. that’s what the steering wheel is for.” o_O

  3. The first thing that came to mind, since MC stole my idea, is that I share the same frustration with my 8th grade Driver’s Ed teacher: People not stopping AT the stop line. Either at a stop sign or traffic signal, it really bugs me when drivers stop 10-15″ BEFORE the stop line.

    BONUS POINTS: If on a roadway with a single lane in each direction of travel, it’s possible (and has happened) that a vehicle is not even close enough to the stop line to trigger the fucking induction loop!!! (sorry about the french). Then, you’re sitting there, coming to a boil, while the clueless moron in front of you can’t figure out why the signal isn’t changing.

    Honorable mention:

    – people swinging left to make a wide Right-hand turn at the last minute (as if they’re towing a 90′ yacht) – you have a tighter frickin’ turning radius than that, ass-hat!
    – people who “california roll” through a stop sign, not coming to a complete stop at a loaded 4-way – complete with pedestrians
    – people entering the freeway at surface street speeds with light traffic and optimum driving conditions

    Okay, I’ll stop now.

  4. Okay…. I couldn’t resist. I found this video from back in 1965. It’s called “Goofy’s Freeway Troubles” and is about proper driving etiquette, if not actual vehicle code.

    • Okay, last one, I promise. I should have just spent more time on the first post… this just looks OCD.

      What I neglected to write after posting the video (above) was that I think people who receive ANY moving violation should be FORCED to watch this, regardless of disposition/verdict.

      In fact, ON-THE-SPOT viewing is even better, just in case they decide to pay the fine and move on with their lives and miss out on a great educational video.

      This can be done conveniently, whilst waiting for the nice officer to return to your vehicle with your prize for coming in 1st place in the (insert favorite violation here) contest.

      That is all.

  5. Improper turns (right turn into the far left lane ’cause I gotta turn left in only 2 miles)

    Driving with dog on lap (You can’t embrace a human but your dog can stand in your lap and stick his head out the window while you’re on the phone in traffic?)

    Jack wagons that go left when I’m trying to pull ’em over for something else stupid that they done did.

  6. People who turn into the wrong lane (2+ turn lanes onto a 2+ lane road), people who stand at a red for a ridiculus amount of time to turn right when it was perfectly safe to turn 2 minutes ago while traffic is backing up on the busy road behind them, people who fail to yield to emergency vehicles, people who blow through red lights making a right turn in front of other traffic, but DUIs bug me the most though!
    I so could keep going but than I’d have to start talking about things that I do so I’ll just stop now before I get ahead of myself. 🙂

    Btw I love ur blog, keep it coming! I spent 2 hours of my 6 hour drive to Sacramento listening to the last 2 podcasts, you guys are hilarious thanks for the entertainment on a boring drive!

  7. I got hit by someone like you described there MC.

    I was on the Baltimore beltway in stop and go rush hour mess. Top speed of like 30 mph,, we were usually around 20. (No danger of wearing out second gear) I was traveling in the right hand lane because my exit was only two away and in that sort of traffic I wasn’t going to fight over just to fight back.

    There was a car to me left a little behind me. Her front right tire was more or less even w/ my back left tire. So the bulk of my vehicle was in front of her.

    We had traveled like that – varying only a few feet either way – for maybe 5 minutes or so.

    I feel this odd bump/wiggle like I’d just hit a badly patched pothole, then I feel a drag like I’m pulling a very small trailer. Nothing weird in the steering like a bum tire or such. Then I happen to see something odd in my rear view – the hatchback that had been by my back tire was now sitting at a 45 degree angle behind me and keeping up with me, traveling sideways.

    She had came right over into me so that my bumper pierced her front right fender (because that fender was fiberglass from being replaced in an earlier accident….) and I was now dragging her down the road.

    I’m like…wtf?!

    No shoulder to speak of there – like, half a car wide – so I pulled over as best I could and stopped. First words out of her mouth? I bet they give me a ticket for this one too!

    I call the cops on my cell – back in the days of analog cells. Cop rolls up in under 10 – it was rush hour and they’re always looking for issues on the beltway.

    She tells the cop that she put her signal on so she had the right to go…cop says “no you don’t have the right to go, and even if you did, where did you think she was going to evaporate to in bumper to bumper traffic?”

    She then says “but I didn’t see her there!”

    The cop blinked….looked at at my 1978 Suburban which is still happily wearing a hatchback on it’s bumper without even leaning towards that side and asked the woman how long she’d been legally blind. (Those were her words. Her tone said “are you really THAT stupid or do you think I am?)

    Yes…that’s right.

    Chickie pie came over front fender to my bumper when I was in a freakin 1978 Suburban. Seats 6, plus like a 6 x 6 foot bed, came with it’s own zip code….and says she didn’t see me.

    Yes, she WAS on a cell phone at the time of the accident, why do you ask? 😛

    We couldn’t be towed the way we were, so we had to get the cars apart. The other driver tried to rev her car forward to get it unhooked (bumper curved around the side so it had acted like a really big fishhook) and her car just spun it’s tires. The suburban rocked as if a mild breeze had kicked up. She tried to go backwards, that worked every bit as well.

    I couldn’t back up because her car was sitting at an angle behind me, all I would have done is push her backwards, she couldn’t get the car to unhook.. Cop tells her to sit on the brake and tells me to pull forward.

    So I drag her about 5 feet.

    Cop tells me to stop, tells her to put it in reverse, tells me to pull forward and I drag her another 5/10 feet as her tires spin away, but her fender finally gave up and ripped off. Her side fender kinda wrapped around the front, so her headlight and part of her grill went with it.

    My bumper was dinged and pulled down on that side by like three inches, but it was one of those diamond pattern things so it didn’t show so much.

    Tow truck took her, I drove off.

    All I can say is that she’s damn lucky that truck sat as low as a truck can w/out special work. If it’d been jacked up, she’d have ended up hitting my axle or the hitch.

    I still miss that truck. It got “footage” rather than “mileage”, but I sure felt better in heavy traffic in it!

    To this day, I can’t believe “I didn’t see her” was the excuse used…that was the best she could come up with.

    So yeah, that is one of my biggest pet peeves too. The other is tailgaiters.

  8. People who don’t indicate is mine, but since its been said…. Improper use of round-abouts. They are there so you don’t have to stop. If there is no one there KEEP GOING!!

    Also, those who tow a trailer or caravan, doing significantly less than the speed limit when there is no where for the backed up traffic to pass. Just pull to the side. Please. Pull over. Come on, it’s not that hard. Pull over. I’m starting to twitch. PULL OVER YOU ARSEHOLE! Show some courtesy…. No? You Dick.

    Wow. I feel a bit better now.

  9. I just hate it when I am just driving down the freeway minding my own business going with the flow of traffic at 20 miles over the limit. Then out of nowhere some cop just pulls up behind me and actually gives me a ticket! and I am like o. m. g. and
    oh wait. wrong blog. ummm oh okay. nevermind. sorry.
    har har
    In seriousness, I don’t get irritated much at other drivers. HOWEVER, the one thing that I just cannot fathom is that first driver in a dedicated left turn waiting for the green arrow who then gets that green arrow and just sits there
    and sits
    and sits
    It’s green and it’s THE left arrow. You have the right of way (or right to wake up from your nap).
    It doesn’t stay green forever. Go.
    Okay so in 20 seconds 3 cars get by. Thanks.

  10. My pet prevent is peoples inability to maintain or leave proper reactionary gaps.

    Similar thing happened to me recently. I had just finished some routine enforcement duties in a rural area of my jurisdiction, and I was enroute to top off the tank. My route included a lengthy tour of one of our two-lane interstates. I was cruising at 75 (the posted limit) when I encountered a daydreaming soccer-mom in the left lane. She was maintaining a consistent (radar confirmed) 69 mph approximately thirty feet to the rear of a tractor-trailer in the right lane traveling the same speed. I followed this for about a mile before deciding to pass on the right and maneuver between the two.
    I chose to not stop soccer-mom for prohibiting the normal flow of traffic because I was on my way to meet up with my motorcop partner for lunch after refueling.

    I moved to the right lane, sped up to 75 and started to pass. It was then soccer-mom gave a one blink right signal and simultaneously changed lanes. Soccer-mom left me a rapidly closing 10-13 foot gap; and I was forced to brake to avoid depositing my front tire upon her rear bumper.

    Soccer-mom was shocked upon being cited for the unsafe lane change and the improper signal. Soccer-mom argued, “But I was being a good driver! I saw you coming up behind me, and I was getting out of your way!”

    I believed her intention was what she told me, but if she was in fact a good driver she would have proactively scanned her surroundings and yielded the left (passing) lane long before forcing me to follow her closely for a mile. Also, if she was being a good driver she would have visually checked her blind spot and activated her turn signal BEFORE moving over in a “Oh my god, a cop is driving behind me, what do I do?!” state of oblivion.

    For the record, correct me if I’m wrong MC, if someone is driving with his or her head up his or her preverbial arse, and that cranial rectal inversion nearly causes me to swap my Harley-Davidson fender insignia for Ford, Toyota, BMW (the most common happy to be obliviuos driver I’ve found), or whatever P.O.S. they are driving, then that fine fellow or lady IS GOING TO GET A TICKET, period.

  11. Two pet peves:
    1. Lane changes
    2. Freeway on ramp merge

    1.a – In drivers ed, many years ago I was taught “SMOG” as the proper lane change acronymn. Signal, Mirrors, Observe (Look), Gas (hit the juice and accelerate to the other lane). My biggest pet peeve is that people in CA seem to think that you initiate a lane change with the BRAKE PEDAL. Spend any time at any of the many freeway congestion parts in the Bay Area and you will see a never ending stream of drivers going from left to right or right to left, starting with application of the brake pedal. This is WRONG. Recently while teaching my newly turned 17 year old daughter to drive, I noted that she always started a lane change in this manner, so I guess it’s somewhat instinctive. You don’t really know what you are doing so you hit the brake. WRONG. Commit this to memory and practice it. SMOG. Signal, Mirrors, Observe, Gas = a nice, proper and “legal” lane change.

    2.a – The on ramp is made to allow one to accelerate to the proper freeway speed and then when safe to merge into the flow of the traffic. SMOG is applicable here as well.
    What is typical in CA is one of two things.
    a. Driver does NOT accelerate properly and attempts to enter the freeway at a speed vastly different than the flow of traffic, usually much slower, causing a chain reaction of backup further back down the freeway, sometimes for miles. Some do the other end of the spectrum going much faster and while this is less troublesome to those of us already on the freeway, is inherently more dangerous.
    b. The “I have a right to get on the freeway so get out of my way” entrance. I don’t know the CA vehicle code for this one, but I know that the merging traffic does not have the right to barge onto the freeway. I know this because my very first ticket was for this very infraction many years ago. This one frustrates me because it’s dangerous and also causes many accidents and tons of traffic backup chain reactions down the Bay Area freeways every day. My only satisfaction is encountering these drivers when I’m driving my big pickup towing a very long and tall 4 horse gooseneck trailer. It is not easy to safely change lanes with this rig in a lot of traffic, and when hauling horses, very dangerous to my valued equines to quickly change lanes to let some idiot make an improper merge, so I watch them all the way to the end of the onramp, screaming and flipping me off until they disappear into a cloud of smoke when they have to slam on their brakes to avoid running out of roadway or clipping my huge trailer. Morally wrong, maybe, but legal and I must say immensely satisfying.

  12. In Lubbock, we have a loop system and a crosstown freeway plus an interstate, all a minimum of 3 lanes of traffic each way. But with all that, most drivers do NOT understand how to drive in the center lane to allow mergers/exits safely, and several seem to delight in driving so their speed matches the mergers, effectively blocking the merging vehicle. It’s really scary when there are two exit lanes ‘cuz the driver in the far right lane isn’t paying attention and has not intention of exiting just yet…. nice fear factor!

  13. On the subject of my reactionary gap pet peeve, I ENJOY writing following too closely tickets. (I am straight faced and professional while issuing the cite, because I hope to treat all people the way I would like to think my wife, my mother, or my daughter should be treated unless they don’t leave me that option) But inside my brain, I do a full-on “Darby Gill And The Little People” style jig…soundtrack and all. This silly internal dance happens each and every time I catch someone tailgating because, behind impaired driving and speeding, it is one of the biggest causes of injury and property damage accidents. Also in my mind, and most insurance company’s opinion, it constitutes road-rage. If you’re too impatient to consider your safety (not to mention the safety of those around you) and either back off or refrain from cutting off the blue-hair or soccer-mom (see prior reply) that pissed you off then you probably need a wake up call (aka $100 or more ticket and/or possible increased insurance premiums).

    My enforcement is based upon what follows. First, my state’s traffic law says (closely paraphrasing) you shall not follow another vehicle any closer than is reasonable and prudent to safely navigate my roads given the ambient traffic conditions (such as road condition, curves, incline, weather, traffic volume, etc…). Admittedly, the state’s law is somewhat vague and does not provide a clear cut rule to follow, so….

    Second, the state’s motor vehicle division makes available a little novelty called a drivers manual. You know that book that most people give an obligatory one time thumbing-through during their hormone-filled, I-already-know-it-all-just-give-me-my-damn-license teenage years. You, as a motorist (when you testing for and obtaining your license) swear that you have obtained and will maintain a working knowledge of that particlar piece of now likely landfill. The driver’s manual instructs that you as a motorist shall observe the three second rule. That means, if the car ahead of you passes an object, and you pass the same object before three seconds has elapsed,then you are too close jackwagon… back off (again closely paraphrasing).

    Third, since the clearly defined traffic law pertaining to tailgating is perfectly vague and undefined, I fall back on the laws of physics. Extensive studies regarding the average person’s perception-reaction time and total stopping distance when confronted with a hazard in the roadway (Such as that of a car in front of you suddenly braking to avoid another vehicle/pedestrian or that schoolkid waking into traffic) were conducted by the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration in years past. It has been scientifically shown that it takes he average person .75 seconds to perceive a hazard and an additional .75 to physically react to it. The average person’s total perception-reaction time is therefore 1.5 seconds. This does not account for the additional time and distance it takes for the vehicle to obey the laws of physics while moving, slowing, or turning according to your input. 1.5 seconds + .5 seconds= 2 seconds …. that is the amount of time.it will take the average person to navigate to a stop or avoid an obstacle should they be required to do so. I could go into how much distance one needs being proportional to their speed, but I think I’ve already hijacked too much of MC’s space.

    It boils down to this…I don’t stop a car unless the gap is under two seconds (significantly less than what my states drivers are taught to leave). In order to be on the safe side and perform my duty in a light most favorable to the offending drivers, I don’t write the ticket unless the gap is 1.5 seconds or less, unless there are other aggravating factors.to consider (such as texting or other voluntary distractions, no seatbelt, driving under restraint, etc…)

    It is very simple to figure out and observe the two second rule either count out two seconds (one thousand one, one thousand two) when the car in front of you passes a stationary object or do the math. For the math, take your speed and multiply it by three (30mph = a gap of at least 90 feet…50mph = a gap of at least 150 feet…and so on). By the by MC I assume you meant to say your gap at 50 mph was about 150 feet, typo right?

    Be careful what you wish for when you ask for a traffic nerd to weigh in. 😉

    • I was converting mph to fps, then multiplying that by 1.5 for perception/reaction time….and I wanted to see if anyone would take me up on my challenge.

      Well played, sir!

  14. My pet peeves have already been mentioned but just for the record they are:
    1) Tailgaters – May an aircraft that is flying overhead drop something solid from its toilet system on the vehicles of these morons.
    2) People who swing over to the opposite direction to which they are turning and then turn – Hopefully whoever taught you to drive can be hunted down and slapped.
    3) Incorrect signals or lack of when entering or exiting a roundabout – May Hell have specially built roundabouts with no exits so you can spend the rest of damnation going round and round and round…………..
    One aircraft with a faulty loo, that’s all I ask. Sorry I have to go and meditate now or should that be medicate?

  15. Pet peeve: crossing the gore. If you don’t know what a gore is, you’re probably guilty of this heinous infraction. Living in Atlanta (if not ground zero for morons, it is perhaps ground…one), my favorite example of this is on the onramp from I-285 to westbound I-20 on the west side of town. Trucks using the bypass to get to Alabama and beyond go slow up the grade and people cut across the gore to get around them, often cutting off drivers already on I-20 minding their own business. I would love to see the Georgia State Patrol just sit there and ticket these drivers all day long…

    • ahhhh driving in ATL. FUN! I-75/85 through downtwon is so exciting. Drivers will do 80 mph in a 55 zone and of course stay in the fast lane, until 500 feet before their exit which is 5 more lanes of speeding traffic to the right, and then they will veer that car across every lane while braking, barely. And that does not take into account that this part of the freeway is full of blind curves. You want excitement? Drive there.

  16. 1) People who park on the street right in front of a stop sign. 20 ft people! 20 ft! (at least in my area) 2) Not using turn signals!!! Drives me nuts! 3) People who wait until the last minute to use turn signals!

  17. So I’m cruising down a road with good visibility, for, say, a half-mile, at minimum, ahead of me AND behind me. There’s no one ahead of me or behind me. A car is at an intersection ahead of me, wanting to pull out onto the road and travel in the same direction I’m traveling in. I know without any doubt that the driver can see that no one is behind me. Instead of pulling out in front of me well before I reach the intersection, s/he pulls out in front of me anyway, shortly before I approach, necessitating my hitting the brakes. And then, for his/her next trick, s/he just.creeps.along.at.a.snail’s.pace. What the -? S/he couldn’t wait until I passed them?

    • Had that happen to me a couple weeks ago. I was coming back the hospital where my mom had been taken earlier, and it was about 11PM. The road I was on is 4 lanes, I was in the number 2 lane, and there was traffic in the number 1 and 3 lanes also. No traffic in the number 4 lane.Came up to the intersection by local Wally World, lights green for us and had been. Some gray compact makes a right turn from the cross street. Does he pull into the empty number 4 lane, nope. Does he pull out in front of the car in the number 3, nope. He pulls out in front of me, and comes to a COMPLETE STOP . Then when he starts moving he’s doing 25, in a 40 zone. Idiot almost got T-boned by the car in the number 3 lane, and run over by me. Thank god my reactions were quick enough to keep from hitting him, although it was close. I think I was less then a foot off his rear end when I got stopped. Should have seen the look of terror when she looked back when I laid on the horn to let them know they about to be run over by a big black Yukon. I felt so sorry for her. Hate when drivers do stupid things, that can cost their passenger their lives.

      Almost as bad are the drivers that instead of pulling left and stopping to let Code 3 Emergency traffic go by, they either try to pass the traffic that did pull over, or they just stop in the lane they are in.

  18. You hit on one of my all-time pet peeves. As far as I know, turn signals come as standard equipment.

    Two other pet peeves:

    1) Tailgating at any speed. Physics are the law!
    2) Blocking the “box” at an intersection. I may go as long as two whole days without a person behind me laying on their horn because I won’t enter an intersection, even if the light is green, because I cannot make it all the way through the intersection. That’s where gridlock comes from, asshat!
    3) Blogs that don’t post the whole feed to RSS. Ok, that’s not traffic related, but I just came across your blog (via Mental Floss) and added you to Google Reader because I enjoy what I see. But sadly, I’ll be skipping over most of your posts (or worse, unsubscribing) because they are truncated. I hope you change your settings so I don’t miss out! I understand that FeedBurner will let people like me count as page hits if you enjoy tracking that kind of thing and hey, who doesn’t?

  19. I have 2 that really irk me. The first, and you wouldn’t think this actually happens very often, but it does! Picture this, 4 lanes – up ahead there’s a split, 2 go west and 2 go east onto the highway. Here I am in lane 1 behind a df (dumb f**ker) who decides about a 1/4 mile from the split, that he/she needs to be in lane 3 or 4. Instead of just sucking it up and having to go a 1/2 mile on the highway to turn around because they can’t get over, he/she just STOPS in lane 1 waiting until it’s clear to move into lane 3. Seriously??? Oh man, I can’t even tell you how that raises my blood pressure! It’s rush hour…move your arss!

    The other one is all those df’s who pull into the intersection when traffic is not moving. Now my light is green but I can’t go anywhere. I especially love it when they get pissed off at ME for getting pissed off at THEM!

    MC, I don’t profess to be a perfect driver but the two examples above? Comon’! Boooooo to them.

  20. Biggest pet peeve is drivers with their dogs in their laps. Now that being said, I’m sure some of the pets are actually better drivers than their owners. In the Province of Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act offence of “Crowd the Driver” applies. Just a little $110 reminder that “Dogs Don’t Drive.”

    People are actually offended when I point this out to them. No doubt “Benji” loves the view from behind the wheel snuggled on the lap of his faithful human companion as the world passes by at 60 km/h, but there are two serious problems with this little arrangement.

    1. If there is an emergency and the driver sees an impending crash, 9 times out of 10 he/she will grab onto dear Benji to shield the little fella from harm RATHER THAN CONCENTRATING ON THE EMERGENCY AHEAD AND REACTING TO THE SITUATION.

    2. If “doggy driver” happens to be in close proximity to the steering wheel when the “distracted by doggy driver” nails the back end of the stopped car ahead, the deployment of the airbag will most likely leave the little guy sitting on the lap of the driver 3 cars back (if he clears the B and C pillars).

    This graphic description often leaves the driver in tears and seems more effective than the ticket.

    Pet restraints are available…please use them!

  21. Two lane road, with middle turn lane: Jackass in front of me slows to a crawl, gets into the turn lane, then turns OR Bigger Jackass in Front of me slows to a stop, ignores the turn lane, turns.

    Also, people turning left at the last moment, after the turn signal has gone red, and make me wait for them to clear the intersection before I can go on my green light (that’s how late they are).

    Last and least, people going under the speed limit. No traffic here, just slows and old ass people.

    And one time that we were on a 70 mph highway (not in town, so this was a 50+ mile stretch of highway between towns out here in BFE), and the last car in a funeral procession going 35 mph decided no one else should pass them and started straddling the lanes. We had to follow at 35 mph for about 20-30 minutes, before the ranks parted and let Mack Truck through. He got them out of the way for us.

  22. 1) Panic Brakers (someone 5 miles ahead stepped on their brake? OH NO, better suddenly stomp on mine!

    2) Rubberneckers (both holding up traffic and the whole scene safety issue).

    • Oooo, my mom is a panic breaker. It drives me nuts, especially when we’re in a nice big California carpool lane, breezing by the bumper to bumper traffic, and she has to slam on the breaks every time she sees a red light in the normal lanes (which is exactly every 0.5 seconds).

      She also doesn’t pay attention to her speed, so if she’s trying to talk to me falls off to 40, remembers she’s on a freeway, speeds up to 70, gets distracted and drifts down to 40… rinse, repeat every 3-4 minutes.

      Then there’s my ex-husband, whom I divorced in part over the vicious arguments we’d get into over his left-lane-entitlement-syndrome. He would go slightly under the speed limit in the left lane and force huge lines of traffic to go around him, and didn’t see anything wrong with it.

  23. MC – I totally read that DMV quote in the voice of Roz from Monsters Inc.

    My biggest pet peeve, as the Houstonian mentioned above, is that while driving in the related Dallas/Ft. Worth area, if you look like you’re trying to change lanes, people will intentionally prevent you from doing so. I don’t get it.

    Also, when people all going the same speed make an impenetrable horizontal line across the highway.