None of us are perfect drivers. Do YOU always hold your hands at 10 and 2? How about a little touchup of the makeup in the rear-view mirror? Then there are those wonderful drivers that assume the roads were made just for them.
Consumer Reports has compiled a list of the 20 top gripes among drivers. We’ve probably all done one of these poor driving manouevers once in our lives, and that can be forgiven. Violate any of the top six, though, and you deserve to turn in your license right now.
#6 Parking your car like you own the lot
Parking your car across two spots is just asking for a passive-aggressive note to be quietly slipped under your wiper while you’re inside the mall browsing, but not really buying anything.
Seriously, who died and made you king of the parking lot?
Meme level: All the Things.
This is not Tron, and you are not trying to win the light cycle race. Swerving and weaving between vehicles actually achieves the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s unsafe; it slows down other traffic, and generally makes you look like a jerk.
When it comes to weaving through heavy traffic, you’re just fooling yourself. The grass may seem greener in the other lane, but you’ll grind to a halt just as quickly as everyone else. Except everyone else will be mad at you.
Meme level: Koala can’t believe it
Frankly I’m surprised this isn’t higher on the list, as it’s easily one of the most rage-inducing moves any driver can pull. Here I am, minding my own business, when your missile-on-wheels rockets by mere inches from my paint job.
Do you honestly assume that people can, or will, just get out of your way?
This is also super dangerous. It causes other drivers to panic, and panic leads to mistakes. High-speed mistakes that nobody wants.
Meme level: RageGuy
From the National Taxonomy Archives:
Ah, the Tailgater. This beast is common to all roadways, highways, bridges, tunnels and just about any other place you can drive a car. They can be identified by their frazzled hair, scowling face, and general obsession with driving no more than one foot from your rear end.
While Tailgaters may seem aggressive at first blush, they are in fact uniquely vulnerable to any braking situation. A simple tap of the brakes by a leading vehicle will cause the tailgater to crash headlong into said car. It is generally agreed on in scientific circles that these creatures should be classified as “idiots.”
Meme level – Scumbag Steve
On your typical “what’s the most thoughtless thing I can do today” list, this is pretty much No. 1. Not only are handicapped parking spaces reserved by law, they are there in order to accommodate people that we generally agree deserve a bit of consideration, because your able-bodied personage can take a couple of extra steps.
Or so we thought.
What you don’t realize is that handicapped spaces aren’t just placed close to the front door because they won some sort of lottery; but in fact handicapped spots are specifically sited during construction to remove the maximum amount of barriers possible for someone not able-bodied to enter a business. That regular spot you forced them into? What if there’s a curb they can’t navigate? Or enough room to open a ramp door?
Get the drift?
If you live in Toronto, this little move will cost you a cool $450. Congrats, buddy. You’ve earned it.
Meme level – Angry Boromir
If we’re going for undisputed, unquestionable, irrefutable proof of complete stupidity and self-centeredness behind the wheel, it’s texting and driving. If you get into the habit of texting while you drive, you’ve already guaranteed you’re going to either kill yourself or kill someone else. The only variable is when.
Don’t believe me? Google it. No matter what country you look at, there are countless horror stories about people dying while texting and driving.
How come, you ask? It’s simple: multitasking is a lie.
Our brains don’t multitask. It can’t do two things at once. What it can do really well is switch quickly between tasks, like focusing on the road and focusing on your phone. The result is that you’re distracted. Your reaction time plummets, and you become a liability to everyone on the road.
Every province in Canada has a law banning driving and texting, and with good reason. Distracted driving, whether it’s a cellphone, makeup, food or music players, is a killer.
When you take your mind off the road, no one else is minding it for you. To reuse a metaphor, you’ve become an unguided missile ultimately on a collision course with something, or someone, that doesn’t deserve it.
Meme Level – Insanity Wolf
This list was compiled with files from the 2012 Annual Auto Issue Survey. See the full list here.