Most Annoying Drivers on the Road
A good driver obeys the rules of the road and is considerate of those whom he or she shares it with. Then there are those that fall short of that. Here’s our roundup of the Most Annoying Drivers that we see every day.
by Mary Wimmer
Does warmer weather bring out the bad drivers? Although they may be on the road year-round, the spring and summer definitely have a way of making them more visible. That’s because motorists may be more cautious in the winter when road conditions are poor. But as the weather gets milder; some drivers see the climbing temperatures as a greenlight to engage in risky road behaviour.
Whatever the case may be, there’s no time like the present to remind all motorists to be considerate of others…and not to be one of the drivers below.
Most Annoying Drivers on the Road
Patience is a virtue, and nowhere is that more true than on the road. To the virtue-less, who change lanes as frequently as one might flip through radio stations, they should be aware that their impatience poses a danger to the rest of us. In fact, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation advises all motorists to “avoid unnecessary lane changes or weaving from lane to lane,” in its Driver Handbook. Bobbing and weaving one’s way through traffic increases the risk of a collision, especially in bad traffic or poor weather. Spending a few seconds behind a vehicle is always safer than going around it.
The Lane-ending Denier
Like a relationship that’s souring, when a lane ends the signs are everywhere – you just have to look for them. So there’s no excuse for the Lane-ending Denier, who inevitably cuts off a line of drivers as they move over to the open lane, annoying those behind him or her whom had already taken the time to merge safely.
Don’t be a Lane-ending Denier: watch for signs and react accordingly. Like the Beatles song goes, it’s only a fool who plays it cool…and cuts off others.
The Keeps-You-Guessing Driver
Some drivers would rather you just read their minds as opposed to spending the milliseconds it would take to flick on their signal for you. This is the Keeps-You-Guessing Driver, that special breed of motorists that doesn’t believe that communication is a two-way street. They like to do what they like when they like with nary a consideration for those around them on the road.
Failing to signal is at best discourteous, at worse it is a dangerous practice that can cause other drivers to have to slam on their brakes or change lanes to avoid a collision. It’s not just a bad habit, it’s against the law: failing to signal could earn you two demerit points, if you’re convicted.
The Left-Lane Lingerer
No matter how many times it’s been said, it worth repeating: “slow traffic, keep right.” That is, if you’re driving at less than the normal speed on a road with two (or more) lanes, than stick to the right-hand side. The Highway Traffic Act spells it out pretty clearly, after all; as do the statutes of other provinces like British Colombia and Alberta.
Why then do some drivers feel compelled to linger in the left-hand lane? Even Ontario’s Driver’s Handbook advises motorists to use the left-hand lane only for passing (or when turning left). Remember: “Life in the Fast Lane” is just a song by the Eagles – not words to live, or drive, by.
The Sunday Driver
We all know that excessive speed poses a danger to all, but did you know that going too slow can be risky, as well? Counterintuitive though it may be, the inability to keep up with the normal speed of traffic actually increases the likelihood of causing an accident, since other cars may want to overtake the slow-moving vehicle. It also causes the stress levels of other drivers to rise.
The Highway Traffic Act clearly states that: “No motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway at such a slow rate of speed as to impede or block the normal and reasonable movement of traffic thereon except when the slow rate of speed is necessary for safe operation.”
That means that all drivers should stay within the regular envelope of speed that is both under the posted speed limit, yet not being obstructive to the natural flow of traffic. It’s all about having some consideration for those that share the road with you.
Almost every motorist has encountered this bad driver (and some may have even been one). Not only is tailgating annoying and inconsiderate; it’s also unsafe. Back in the day, we had the “two chevrons rule” in which all drivers were advised to leave at least two chevrons of space between their front bumper and the back bumper of the car ahead of them.
While chevrons aren’t as common a sight as they used to be, the rule still applies with today’s “two second rule.” That’s the minimum amount of time needed for a driver to react to a sudden change (i.e. an accident on the road ahead) under ideal driving conditions, measured by counting the time it takes for your front bumper to reach a given point that has just been vacated by the back bumper of the car ahead of you.
While this is a no-brainer for most motorists, some need a reminder that “only a fool breaks the two-second rule.” If you encounter bad weather or are driving at night, you can add a few more seconds to that.
Don’t be an annoying driver; be courteous to those around you by staying in the right-hand lane, using the left just to pass or turn, and keeping up with the speed of traffic while leaving a cushion of space between your vehicle and those around you.