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Driving habits that drive me nuts

Published 6:00am Saturday, January 21, 2012

Everyone has pet peeves — those little things that drive you nuts. Those things that make you want to scream or simply shake your head in disgust.

As I was driving to work last Saturday I got behind a person who was literally driving 15 mph down one of the main roads in Russellville. I started thinking about the driving-related pet peeves I have and thought I would share them.

1) Left lane drivers. This is without a doubt my number one driving pet peeve. In fact, it may be my number one pet peeve period. I cannot stand for someone to drive at the speed limit or below it in the left lane.

That lane was specifically made for people to pass slower cars, hence the reason it is called the “passing lane” and not the “let’s putter along in this lane just because we like it better over here” lane.

I mean, seriously… Do people honestly just not notice when they have a train of cars piled up behind them because they don’t have sense enough to move over? I’ve been very tempted to carry one of those “Slower Traffic Keep Right” signs around with me to flash at people as I pass by them in the right lane.

2) Pulling to the wrong side of the median. Ok, folks. For those who aren’t aware, a median is just like the road: you pull to the RIGHT side, not the side that’s closest to you.

This ensures that you — and whoever might be in the median attempting to go the opposite direction — can see the lane of traffic you will be pulling into or crossing in front of.

It absolutely drives me bananas when I’ve pulled to the correct side of the median only to have someone else pull up and look at me like I’m the one that’s done something wrong.

3) Driving below the speed limit, especially on two-lane roads. Now I’m not talking about driving 60 mph when the speed limit is 65. I’m talking about people who drive 20 mph or more under the speed limit and back traffic up for a mile. This is particularly annoying on roads like Alabama 243 heading out to East Franklin or on a road like Alabama 13 heading to Tuscaloosa.

I realize not everyone wants to drive the speed limit — or over it, in some cases —, but if you have 15 cars behind you and no one can get past you, why not courteously pulling over to the side and letting the faster cars pass?

Would that not be a good idea?

Another problem with driving so slow is that it can actually be dangerous in itself. If you are driving extremely slow, someone driving the speed limit might come up behind you before they even realize they’re too close and it could cause an accident.
4) Pulling out in front of people then going 10 mph. Seriously, this is just not acceptable.

Your time isn’t any more valuable than someone else’s and it’s just downright rude to pull out in front of a car and then putter along, making the vehicle you pulled out in front of have to practically stop in the road to avoid hitting you or swerve into the other lane and potentially cutting someone else off in the process.

If you’re going to pull out into oncoming traffic, at least get in a different lane or, better yet, just WAIT until you have plenty of room to pull out and not cause any damage.

Like I said before, your time isn’t any more valuable than someone else’s, so waiting won’t kill you. — And when you think about it, pulling out in front of someone actually might.

These are just a few of my driving pet peeves. Hopefully this will enlighten some people to habits they may have that drive people crazy on the road.

And maybe it’ll save some of you from being on the receiving end of someone’s shaking fist and honking horn.

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