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My top 5 most hated drivers

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I've been a driver for nearly 20 years and like anyone else, I've made my shares of mistakes behind the wheel. My worst offense was getting caught while driving insanely above the speed limit on a highway. I was a teenager at the time filled with that mental drug called invincibility.

Well, the judge wasn't amused. He fined me a sum that seemed to me like a small treasure at that time, and my license was suspended for 20 days. An expensive lesson that has stayed with me to this day. As the adage goes, "with age comes wisdom", or perhaps cowardice. Whatever the case, these days I can't fathom driving even near those speeds of the yesteryear. I have now pretty much turned into a defensive driver who tries to get along with the other fellow riders. But there are a few types of drivers that irritate the hell out of me, and here is the top 5 list starting with most irritating:

1-Cell phone chatterers - These people irritate me everywhere, but mostly when they are driving. You can tell by the erratic driving and lack of attention to the rules. The worst offenders are those driving standard cars, juggling the wheel, the phone, and the stick-shift, while supposedly paying attention to the road. Thankfully laws are being passed banning this practice. If not for safety, it should be banned just for its annoyance. Hang it up.

2-Indecisive souls - You’ve seen them. Blinkers indicating left turn, while they are making a right. They ride the middle lane on a two-lane road at 5 mph. They are more of a hazard than I was in my teenage years. If you can't make up your mind, you don't belong behind the wheel. Walk.

3-Tailgaters - What exactly is the point of tailgating? I realize that slow drivers are sometimes aggravating, but tailgating them isn't going to turn them into Earnhardts. It could even annoy them enough to slow it further down. Tailgaters are too dumb to realize this, and somehow they are conditioned to believe that this practice gets them to their destination faster by inspiring the driver up front to see the error of his ways. Back off.

4-Traffic light runners - I know the urge of squeezing your car past that yellow light is strong, but it's not worth it. I was once hit by one of these types, who apparently believed that running a freshly turned red light is legal. Needless to say that he got to his destination much later than if he had obeyed the rules. Yellow light means prepare to stop, and when you realize that the light is about to turn red, conquer that obsession to beat it. Stop the car and relax. The light will turn green again. Promise.

5-Oncoming high-beamers - Some are forgetful, others are too arrogant. I can deal with the first type fine, since it happens to most of us. A gentle flash corrects the situation. Being confronted with someone's high beams in the back roads is not just a nuisance, it's dangerous. Every time a high beam catches my eyes at night on a dark street, it renders me pretty blind and driving becomes a stunt act. A small obstacle like a fallen rock could yield a big disaster. So how do I deal with the arrogant drivers shining their lights in my face? I give them a taste of their medicine by flipping my lights high. Admittedly, two blind drivers are worst than one. But in most cases they get the message and knock it off, and I immediately reciprocate and we end up with two sighted drivers passing each other.

If you fit one or more of the above types, just put down your cell phone and switch to low beams when you see me coming. You can find plenty more drivers to annoy.

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