Are you a candidate for Idiot Driver of the Year? Take the following test and find out!

During my trip yesterday, I certainly encountered a number of candidates. So without further ado, let’s see how you measure up with the competition!

  1. You are driving a Winnebago in the right lane of I77 in Virginia (2 lanes), with requisite pickup truck in tow (a bit of overkill, but whatever), in a fairly intense drizzle. A blue sportscar (me) passes you on the left.

Do you:

(A) Remain in the right lane, going c. 5-10 MPH under the speed limit, since, after all, you are driving a top-heavy motorhome while towing another vehicle (a combination which isn’t exactly manueverable even in the best of circumstances), it is raining pretty heavily, and there’s no reason to risk you and your family’s lives in pointless quien es mas macho stunts, is there?


(B) Floor the accelerator, pass the blue sportscar yourself after he has safely merged back into the right lane, cut him off, and then slow down from 70 to 50 MPH right in front of him, while two large semi trucks prepare to blow on past the two of you.

  1. Same highway, same weather conditions. You are in a pickup hauling a trailer, and come along a vehicle in the left lane who is passing another even slower vehicle which is in the right lane. The pass should be completed in no more than 15-20 seconds or so, and then he likely will merge right and let you go on by in turn.

Do you:

(A) Give him the requisite 3-4 second buffer, which is courteous and prudent, given the hydroplaning danger involved. 15 seconds is nothing-soon he’ll be out of your way forever, and then you can go on your merry way.


(B) Charge on up to his rear bumper, slam on your brakes 3 feet from said rear bumper, and continue riding him like that until the pass has been completed and he merges out of your way.

  1. NC I-77 south, heading towards Charlotte. You are in a white pickup, and are driving c. maybe 1-5 MPH faster than the 70 MPH limit. You continually come across slower vehicles on the right, followed by some occasional gaps.

Do you:

(A) Use the gaps to merge over to the right, giving any vehicles behind you which are faster than you are a chance to pass you; you can then move back to the left as needed to complete your own passes. Traffic flow becomes infinitely improved, and there are thus no dangerous ‘conga lines’ snaking across the North Carolina landscape.


(B) Remain camped in the left lane for more than 50 miles (not exaggerating), refusing to yield to a single faster vehicle, while they all pile up behind you (before I took 485, I counted more than a dozen stuck behind this bozo). Sometimes someone will attempt to pass you on the right, only to get boxed in by the slower cars in this lane, making the situation even more dire.

  1. You are a trucker leaving a weigh station in Georgia during a Biblical downpour (much heavier than it was in Virginia). Almost all vehicles on the highway have slowed down to 40-45 MPH with their emergency blinkers turned on-because, after all, visibility is less than a football field and you would have scant warning of an approaching snarl or wreck.

Do you:

(A) Merge out of the weigh station slowly and carefully, being sure to match the flow of traffic in your multiton missile of potential death, and giving those in front of you plenty of a buffer just in case.


(B) Come charging out of the weigh station at full bore, hitting 60+ MPH by the merge, and then proceed to drive up on the tail of a blue sportscar, forcing him to either let you remain there like a Klingon on his arsehole, or speed up faster than he is comfortable with in said conditions just to get away from your insane-as-fuck ass.

  1. Extra bonus question (this happened 3 blocks from my home, after like I said 600 miles). You are in the left lane of a multi-lane signaled highway, and wish to turn off into the shopping center on the left; there is an ample deceleration lane available. No rain, tho it is cloudy and at dusk, so visibility isn’t great.

Do you:

(A) Signal early, pull over into the deceleration lane early, and only then slow down once you are out of the flow of traffic.


(B) Don’t signal at all, and jam your brakes on while still in the left lane of the highway, causing the blue sportscar behind you to have to take evasive measures to avoid your worthless carcass, only then initiating your turn.

If you answered (A) to most or all of the above questions-congratulations! You fully grasp that driving on a highway in fair-to-abysmal conditions is not a task you take on lightly, requiring fine judgement, courtesy, and common sense so as to help ensure that everybody arrives alive.

If however you answered (B) to most or all of the questions, you are indeed the lowest form of life on earth. You lack the wisdom and discernment that God gave a baboon, and Lord help those who encounter you and your blithering, thoughtless and utterly moronic driving style. Consider yourself lucky that the requirements in this country to earn a driver’s license are indeed very low, and that even if Fate does attempt to teach you a lesson at some point, you undoubtedly won’t learn a fucking thing. Extra demerits if you had a child in your vehicle at the time, or if you have loved ones waiting for you at home.

Dude, you were driving a sports car. That sort of disrespectful behavior simply MUST be punished.

Winnebago = win.
Blue sports car = blue.

And a blue sportscar? WTF? Man Card rescinded.

You don’t drive in the South much, do you? Drivers here scare me. People think drivers in California are nuts, but really, the CA drivers are for the most part, highly skilled and able to navigate the freeways at high speed. To outsiders, it’s scary. Drivers here are just plain stupid.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve seen someone carom from the left lane on 77 to avoid missing their exit, I’d have a tidy pile of cash.

Ditto the left-lane campers doing at best 0.5 MPH over the limit while the semis are playing leapfrog at 75 MPH.

But yeah… a blue sportscar? Was it at least not a Miata? :smiley:

We just went on a driving trip with our blue Mustang - I was astonished by how many vehicles just pulled out in front of us, causing us to slam on our brakes. I think El Kabong might be on to something there.

There were about a billion RVs on the highways we were travelling on in the Rockies - I can absolutely sympathize with you, John. Most were considerate and realized they were the slowpokes on the highway and stayed over to the right when we got passing lanes and didn’t pull out in front of faster traffic. Some were not.

ETA: This is the blue sportscar we were driving around in -I think it’s pretty butch. :slight_smile:

EETA: That’s not our car - that’s a picture of a car exactly like it.

People seem to think they are entitled to the middle or left lanes. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tooling along the highway at 60 mph in the middle lane, and I pass an exit, and of course some idiot comes barreling out of it and cuts right in front of me. There is no one in the right lane, at all. He hasn’t matched my speed, so now I have to slow down.

Why did he do this? He doesn’t have a right to be in the middle lane! Half the time they don’t even look back to see if there is someone in this lane, they just expect it will be clear for them.

But nothing gets me so mad as not using a turn signal. I CANNOT READ YOUR MINISCULE MIND.

Yesterday’s candidate was fun. Here we go…

You’re planning to make a left turn out of a gas station driveway onto a busy two-lane road. You find you cannot make your turn because there your path is blocked by a long line of cars in the left turn lane in front of you which are stopped at the red light.

Do you 1) wait for the light to change and the traffic to clear out before making your left turn,

        2) make a left out the other side of the gas station, then another left and go on your merry way, or

         3) turn into *the oncoming traffic lane*, looking panicked but determined as cars come at you head on, horns blaring and drivers swearing, eventually swerving over into the correct lane, miraculously without having caused a crash.

Option 3 wins! Just wish I had the cellphone video to post on JerkTube.

Scenario 3 from the OP happens regularly everywhere I’ve been in these United States. IMO, drivers licenses are far too easy to get in this country. They pretty much issue you one if you avoid crashing into things during the test.
I’d like to see simulators used in the test, with realistic scenarios like merging and passing.

I’m not sure what was in the water today but on my way home from work I passed two separate cars who for unknown reasons came to a complete stop in rush hour traffic on multilane freeways. Seriously people there are enough slowdowns at construction zones and merge lanes.

Middle lanes, traffic moving fairly well in the 50-100 km range and then STOP. I passed by in my lane and there was nothing in front of either of them.

My advice is to stay away from I-75 in Ohio. Your head may explode.

I tour with Bands for a living and travel(drive) all over the US, Canada and Europe. I could turn this into a ten thousand word post but I will spare you all except a few examples

I know that you recently immigrated to the US and you are in Texas so you must have a car(welcome to the States) but seriously your wife is 4’5" do not buy her the largest SUV you can find, she cannot see out of it and never will

Undertaking (Passing in the slow lane) should be a Capital Offense

Canadians! WTF stop tailgating me. The van and trailer are 9.5 Metres long, scares the shit out of me when you are so close that no part of your vehicle is visible in my mirrors. I know you are back there because I am paying attention STOP IT

People giving/receiving “Road Head” though entertaining to the band, me and all the truckers(we can see you because our vehicles are taller). Just pull over and fuck will ya, you tend to be a shitty driver

Driving on any freeway in Austin, TX at anytime. Every car is driven by some stoned moron and they are all old Volvos with a ton of bumperstickers on them, some are cleverly disguised as new cars though.

I wish that a DL was hard to get here as hard as it is in Britain and they actually took you DL away for driving like a murderous idiot, a man can dream

Oh and Yes do you know what a solid line actually means? I didn’t think so

Thus endeth the rant


oops unit conversion was wrong that should read 12 Metres not 9.5, missed edit window


For those wondering, here’s mine (again a picture of the exact same model). First time I’ve ever heard about this “blue=gay for a sports car” stuff. :confused: Well whatever, it’s the best car I’ve ever owned, it’s almost a part of me in a way. If it weren’t for her, yesterday would have been much more harrowing, but she’s upheld my confidence in her at every turn.

Anyhoo, back on topic-yes, I live in the South (north Florida to be exact), and it seems like I must post the same rant every year after my annual vacation. It’s the tailgators which really get my goat-seems like every single time I try to pass a slow trucker these assglommers materialize out of nowhere like I have a huge electromagnet in my rear bumper. Yet the cops prefer to cull the easy meat in the form of people doing 15-20 over, and will give each of the above sins a free pass each time (I will give credit to the GA trooper who stayed on duty in the median during the torrent yesterday-usually when the weather gets like crap these guys all of a sudden are nowhere to be seen, right when they are most needed, if for no other reason than to be there quickly for the inevitable wrecks-and yes some poor soul in a red sedan smacked the armco pretty hard in NC’s downpour).

I think the level of traffic in Austin has gotten to the point where this behavior isn’t possible except very late at night: When I was there, I’d be on a mostly empty I-35 in the middle lane going speedlimit+5, then somebody would come zooming up behind me, ride on my tail for 1 or 2 miles, and then they’d finally move over into left (but usually the right) lane and pass me. No other cars but us on the road; no need to wait for spot in another lane to open up, just willful dumbassery.

And yes, I know what you mean about the stoned morons. I’m now in one of the country’s stoned moron capitals. Unlike say Florida or Arizona, the car going 10-15 under the speed limit does not contain an old person. It contains a young male person. Here it’s a 1985 Subaru GL, regardless of what the vehicle looks like on the outside.

In Colorado, the rule is the older the 4-wheel drive station wagon, the slower it goes. 4-wheel drive SUVs may go fast or slow, but always faster than prudent for the conditions in inclement weather.

The odd city driving behavior in Texas it at total odds with the rich tradition of 2 lane rural driving. On two lane farm to market roads, there is usually a shoulder wide enough to allow slow farm vehicles. It is traditional (though probably illegal) for slower traffic to move over onto the shoulder, but maintain speed, to allow faster traffic to pass. This involves all sorts of friendly waving and signaling.

I’ve got one. You’re driving a flatbed truck carrying a modular house, in a heavy snowstorm, on a highway. Do you

A) Stay in the right hand lane and travel slowly.

B) Go at least 70 mph in the left hand lane.

(I’ve seen B.)

I gotta say, if you were the type of person I’ve seen, who passes, then for no reason immediately merges back in front of the vehicle you just passed, then slows-down/hits the brakes enough that they have to do likewise, then you were the original and bigger asshole.

I do hope that’s not the case, but the fact that the RV towing a pickup was able to pass you right back, and do the same thing, sure does make it sound that way.

I dunno why you let the RV get back in front of you in the first place. If I were in your position, as soon as I saw him merge left and start to speed up, I’d have begun accelerating in excess of his capability/inclination to keep up. With the load he was carrying, that’d be probably 80, max. Once he started falling behind, I’d have merged left and continued quickly on until he was a grease spot in my rearview.

This presumes there isn’t a cop car in the immediate vicinity, of course. If there is, I’d stay behind his durpy ass and get off at the nearest exit/rest stop for a bathroom break.

The most important components of defensive driving are 1) Don’t retaliate, it never ends well, and 2) Get the fuck away from nutballs ASAP. Even if that puts you 15 minutes later than you would have otherwise been, is it really worth the risk that they’re going to intentionally stage an accident where they merge/brake really fast, force you to rear-end them, and claim it’s your fault? Neigh!

Guess he was in a hurry to get home home.

Nope-I passed him doing 65-70, and stayed that way, something I consistently did in any passing situation. Sometimes when an Assglommer was behind me I’d speed up a bit more, then hit the resume button on the cruise control once I was back on the right, but I certainly didn’t slow way down like you described (not sure why you would go out of your way to accuse me of that, actually).

And as for Rachellogram’s suggestions, that is exactly what I did-there was a sufficiently safe gap between him, after he pulled in front of me, and the trucks coming up from behind that I just said, “The hell with this” and put her into third and went back around him. Note I did the same thing later with Mr. Insane Trucker before he even got close to me (the spray from those guys in the wet can be thick as hell too).