Driving, much like conducting oneself in any public setting, is all about good etiquette and being respectful to the people around you. But sometimes, people forget all of that and seem to want to watch the world burn.
Maybe it’s not using turn signals, passing on the wrong side of the road, or distracted driving, but everyone on our team (and everyone who drives) has something that sets them off and ruins their day. Here’s our team’s take on the driving behaviour that drives us bonkers:
Mike Schlee, Road Test Editor: Merge Lane Lunacy
Merge lanes were invented for merging. There may be no more misused or abused paved road surface than the poor merge lane.
Let’s start with actual merging. The idea behind a merge lane is to get up to highway speeds before safely blending in with traffic. Several times a month, I end up stuck behind a motorist doing roughly 30 mph in the merge lane while the flow of traffic we are trying to enter is closer to 70 mph. This is incredibly unsafe. If a driver is not confident or skilled enough to merge onto the highway at proper speeds, then it might be best to avoid the highway altogether.
The more irritating merge lane abuser is the person who thinks they are so much more important than the rest of society that they need to use the merge lane to pass other vehicles in a traffic jam. No, they are not clever, they’re not a better driver, and they’re not saving time. All these drivers are doing is showing everyone else on the road what an a-hole they are, but worse than that, they are making the traffic situation exponentially worse. Every time these drivers cut another motorist off to get back into the proper lane, other vehicles behind them have to hammer their brakes, setting off a chain reaction that slows things down even more.
Jodi Lai, Managing Editor: Distracted Disasters
One thing that turns me into a raging lunatic is when people aren’t paying attention and are looking at their phones. You’re sitting at an advance left turn, but the idiot in front of you is looking at their phone and you miss the light. You’re minding your own business when the jerk next to you drifts into your lane because they aren’t looking at the road. Or you nearly get rear-ended because of the same reason.
Craig Cole, Associate Editor: Have You Found the Signal?
Sami Haj-Assaad, Features Editor: Thaw out your ride
Winter time is a swell time. It’s a time for hot chocolate, ice skating and snow angels. But my No. 1 annoyance on the road has to do with people who don’t scrub the snow off their cars.
Oh, sure! Your car has great wipers and and a strong window defrost, but what about the rest of the snow and ice? You know, the stuff that goes flying off your roof or windows at highway speeds and become obstacles that only the most seasoned Spy Hunter player could avoid. Honestly, it’s pretty scary stuff to see, especially since most of that snow has hardened into ice by the time you hit the highway.
I get nervous in winter time, not by the slippery conditions, but by the laziness on display from other drivers. Please, people, spend an extra moment to wipe all that snow off your car before hitting the road. Doing so will probably save us all from stress-induced ulcers.
Stephen Elmer, News Editor: Sneaky Signaler
Jason Siu, News Editor: Swipe Right To Pay Attention
It doesn’t matter that texting while driving or using your smartphone in general while behind the wheel is illegal in the state of California. There’s nothing more annoying than when you’re sitting and waiting at a green light because the driver in front of you is too busy staring at their phone than recognizing that they should be driving. You can not get in your car in Southern California without seeing one or two drivers who have their eyes glued to their phones instead of on the road.