13 driving pet peeves

When I see people hanging halfway out their driver-side window to yell four-letter words or wave their middle finger, I say, “Right on.”

Idiot drivers deserve a fate far worse than appalling words and gestures.

These days even our parking lots are overrun with these idiotic drivers who seem to be leaving their common sense at home.

First, there are the people with the monster trucks and SUVs who just love to remind everyone how colossal their vehicle is by taking up two parking spaces. Let’s be honest: Nobody needs a vehicle that big. Unless you’re planning on bringing the whole grocery store home with you, having semi-truck hauling capacity is just unnecessary.

Then there are the people willing to bring parking-lot traffic to a halt because they are waiting for a front-row parking space. Even when another vacant space is only yards away, they will maneuver their car around to allow the other car out and get their car in with no chance of someone else snagging the spot.

Then there are the people who bring their sheer stupidity to the open road. One classic example is people allowing their dogs to slide around in the back of their trucks. It is clearly not safe for dogs to be unsecured at high speeds. The owner may not be worried about the dogs falling out and getting run over, but the driver behind him sure is.

Another group of hazardous drivers are the people who have their morning routine mixed up. It doesn’t take a genius to know that a cup of coffee and the newspaper should be enjoyed at your kitchen table, not from the driver’s seat of your car.

Equally as confused are the women who wait until they are on their way to work to finish getting ready. Women who apply their makeup while driving may think that they are multitasking, but most of the time they are just holding up traffic. If you’re too busy applying mascara in the rear-view mirror to notice that the stoplight turned green about 17 seconds ago, you might want to consider waking up a few minutes earlier.

But females are not the only ones who lack appropriate driving manners. The guy who winks, whistles and blows kisses at women is certainly not making the highway a better place. Maybe someone should remind him that roads are for driving, not scouting girls.

But the Rico Suave of the road looks like a prince compared to all of the Dale Earnhardt Jr. wannabes. These are the guys who obnoxiously rev their engines like they want to race. The best part about these people is that they do the same bit no matter whom they pull up next to. You could be driving a beat-up 1982 station wagon and they would still look over at you with squinted eyes and a scowl.

Quite often, these speed demons are also the same people who excessively change lanes. These are the drivers who enjoy recklessly dodging cars in their ridiculous quest to be the first to the next stoplight.

It is true, however, that lane changing becomes necessary when people fail to use the proper one. Will those who insist on driving slowly in the left-hand lane ever make the switch? I doubt it.

Then there are the lane hogs. These people will not let you into their lane no matter how long you have your blinker on or how much you try to edge your way in. I would love to ask them if the thrill of making someone miss their turn is really worth causing an accident.

Unfortunately, accidents do occur; and when they do, a whole new breed of bad drivers is uncovered. The freeway is always getting backed up because nosey rubberneckers have to gawk at every little roadside incident.

Another annoying habit that holds up traffic while aggravating fellow drivers includes incessantly applying the brakes for no good reason and neglecting to use turn signals.

These two minor annoyances, like using your brights or tailgating, are easy to avoid. But since the roads are looking more like a circus every day, it is clear that we are far from attaining highway utopia.

The more I drive, the more I am convinced that road rage is merely a natural reaction to the complete idiocy of what we see on the streets these days.