Correlation between car brands and road behaviour ?

OK, time for a bit of cross-ocean multi-cultural research.

I have noticed that road behaviour on the Dutch (and other European) highways shows some remarkable uniformatity across car brands. I’ll give a few examples:

BMW 3 Series: Tailgaters, will pass on the right (which is illegal over here), always speed excessively.

VW Golf (could be Rabbit in the US): Tailgaters FROM HELL, think they own the road, 80% have front fog lights on even in summer ‘becuz it looks kewl’.

Mercedes Benz: Will tailgate, and litterally push you off the road when you don’t respond to tailgating. Apparently, a 2000 kilo car makes one very confident.

Ford Mondeo, Opel Vectra and other VERY mundane cars (99% are lease cars): Bunch of fog light fetisjists (sp?), mostly boring suburban types who think they become superman once the engine revs. Lots of station wgons in this category.

Cars like Aston Martin and Ferrari are not to be judged. I mean, if you pay $200,000 for a racing machine that has 5 times the horsepower my car has, hell yeah I’ll move over and let you pass - you’ve earned it.

Peugeot: beautiful machines, driven by social and relaxed drivers who anticipate, move rapidly but not dangerously, leave distances and ALWAYS use their indicators.

Guess what kind of car I drive :wink:

Anyway, are there any such correlation noticable on the great highways of North America ? Or, any other place in the world, for that matter ? Just want to know.

This COULD be the shortest lived thread ever - maybe I’m the only one who’s intrigued by this phenomenon… let’s wait and see.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Crown Victorias: Driven at 40mph by the elderly, making you think its a police officer.

Crown Victorias: Driven at high speeds by thirtysomethings who want to look like police officers.

VW Jettas: Driven either at 90mph in the breakdown lane, passing everyone; or driven at 50 by out-of-staters.

I can go on for weeks about this one…


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man’s humanity to man than a fire engine - Kurt Vonnegut

I was wondering if “low rider” type custom cars are as popular in europe as there are here in the U.S.?

t lion

I really have to get to work, so I’ll just drop a couple of quick observations.

I tend to percieve SUVs as generally being aggressively driven. Having ridden in many and watched a few of them fill my rear view mirror, I’ll say I think their size both gives their drivers a tad too much confidence and exagerates their presence in the perceptions of other drivers.

BMWs are often thought of as aggressively driven cars. In 1987 I bought a 3 series after having driven a Monte Carlo for several years. I was immediately struck by how aggressive other drivers on the road became towards me.


Lowriders are known here, as are hotrods. It’s just that WHEN you see them (which is very rare) they’re always American imports (I mean imported AS a hotrod or lowrider). And I’ve never seen a EUROPEAN lowrider (so, from a European brand) or hotrod. Sure, people ‘customize’ their standard cars a little with spoilers, shorter springs (making the car lower), stripings and what have you, but that’s about it.

“Real” auto enthusiasts over here tend to spend their money on vintage cars (MG B’s and Citroen DS’s are really popular in Amsterdam).


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

coldfire? Regarding the Peugeot, try checking out . It is the web site for a pair of brothers who give advice on cars over the radio. (You might be able to pick up Cartalk on the U.S. Armed Forced Network.)

At the site, do a search on “Peugeot.”

The only strong links I have found between cars and personalities pretty much died around 1980 when imported luxury cars stole the thunder from the land-yacht Cadillacs and Lincolns. Through the 60’s and 70’s I had noticed that the very rich and the very poor each selected the largest Lincs and Caddies to drive (presumably, the poor were buying the out-of-date castoffs of the rich) and both groups drove as if they were the only cars on the road. With a broader spectrum of cars on the road today, I see fewer “obvious” correlations.


Caddy drivers, from my observations, have always been the straddle the while dotted line while driving 45mph in a 55 zone while their London Fog raincoat belt is caught in the door.

Anything with a Jesus Saves or Jesus Fish emblem on it is the crappiest car driving the slowest within eyesight. (Again, IMHO)

Those large SUV Navigators are just tanks without the guns. These soccer mom’s who drive them probably cause more accidents than the crown victoria old ladies driving at 40mph on the highway than anything else.

Everyone wants to save the world, but no one wants to help Mom with the dishes.-P.J. O’Rourke

Shirley, I thought I was the only person who noticed that. I have long been of the opinion that the worst drivers on the road, as a general class, are the people with religious symbol or a christian radio sticker plastered on the bumper. God is my co-pilot indeed.

A while back, I saw a bumper sticker saying, “God was my co-pilot, but we crashed and I had to eat him.” I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw that one.

You are also right about the big land yachts, too. The bigger the car, the slower it is driven. This of course does not apply to the SUV’s. Those bastards think they are invincible.

Hmmm, Japanese luxury cars, I usually see a guy with a cell phone stuck to his head, which is almost always up his ass. They are completely oblivious to what is happening outside the car. It was a prick just like that who ran over me when I was in my bicycle a couple years ago.

As a side note, watch out for any old guy wearing a hat in the car. He’s dangerous.

But of course, on a scale of 1 to 10, I rate an 11 for my driving skills. :slight_smile:

“The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.” - Humphrey Bogart

Not long ago there was an article in the paper regarding cars and accidents… but it was colours as opposed to car type. Red cars have three times more accidents than any other colour of car… according to Stats Canada…

We are, each of us angels with only one wing;
and we can only fly by
embracing one another

Regarding the religious symbolism:

We have that crap here too. Generally terrible drivers- hey, they’re protected right, so why signal / look / drive at a normal speed / etc.

I saw a crappy beat up Renault 25 the other day that had one of them fishy things on the back. There were some scratches near the fish, indicating that the guy who obviously bought this car second hand had done all he could to get the DAMN fish off. Since it didn’t go away, he had to come up with a different solution: he put a sticker of a GIANT OPEN JAWED SHARK right behind the fish :slight_smile:

Cracked ME up, that’s for sure…


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

Vans annoy the hell out of me, nd not just because you can’t see around them. It seems like vans are always the slowest things on the road, and they’re typically driven in the fast lane.

For some reason, Volvo drivers act like their car is made of fine china.

I’m not trying to hijack this threrad, but I’ve got to share this, and this seems like an appropriate place (I didn’t see any “Twilight Zone incidents on the road” threads). I was driving to work one morning (about two months ago). I was halfway to work, having just gotten on FM 249 (a four lane highway).

Suddenly, I noticed that I was the only car on the road, because everyone else was driving pickup trucks. I’m serious. There were like 50 of them! This lasted for about ten minutes, when I finally got to work. I thought I was in some kind of redneck parade or something.

OK, back to your regularly scheduled thread.

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

I think this stuff varies a lot depending on where you live.

For instance, here in St. Louis, Volkswagen drivers tend to be among the more sane people on the road. They’re mostly found in the middle or left lanes, either keeping up with traffic, or going 10 MPH over the limit if the road is open. Of course, the fact that I drive a Jetta does not influence my observations in the slightest. :wink:

The ones to watch out for around here are the pickup trucks. The shiny new ones are the least threatening; their drivers are simply over-agressive, and treat the pickup as a cheaper version of an SUV. But if you see a old, rusty, powder-blue Ford with no tailgate, be prepared for it to move in random and erratic directions for no reason whatsoever. (Well, that’s a description of nearly all St. Louis drivers, but the pickup trucks are worse. And don’t even get me started on the 20-year-old Cadillacs…)

Laugh hard; it’s a long way to the bank.

OK Sealemon,

That one was good enough to be included… twilight zone things on the road… :slight_smile:

Now, back to our scheduled program: Car Corrrelations ! Film at 11.


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

If my mother’s Volvo (240) is an example, Volvo drivers can’t help driving that way. That damn car is SO UNRESPONSIVE that it’s dangerous. I’ve driven it a few times, and almost gotten killed trying to pull out into traffic.

There’s a measurable lag between the moment you floor the accelerator and the moment the car moves. In that car, you have to wait for a 1/4-mile gap before you can pull out into traffic, otherwise you’ll get creamed.

I imagine that it’s a byproduct of Volvo’s making sure that the car is “really safe” in a collision (e.g., by making the car heavy and sturdy, etc.) Unfortunately, it increases the likelihood that you will get into a collision, because the car is about as responsive as a rock.

The Cat In The Hat

From the movie Cool Hand Luke:

I can’t believe no one has mentioned Volvo yet. My truck driver father pointed this out to me and my personal experience has confirmed this: Volvo drivers not only drive defensively, they take it upon themselves to see that you do too. “Hey, I’m going the speed limit. Why shouldn’t I drive in the passing lane? Nobody can drive faster than me, right?”

“The departure of the church-going element had induced a more humanitarian atmosphere.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
Clouds of Witness

I can’t believe I didn’t notice that two people had mentioned Volvo previously.


Don’t get ME started on truck drivers !
No offence to your dad, but they’re the scum of the highway over here in Europe - seeking some sort of perverse pleasure in overtaking another truck with a speed of 80 km/h When I’m just 20 meters behind them in the left lane and approaching at 130 km/h !! Side note: trucks are NOT allowed to go any faster than 80 km/h in Holland, and ALL trucks can manage this speed with a full load. In theory, no truck should overtake ANY other road vehicle since they should all do 80 km/h and they’re the slowest things on the road. Alas, reality teaches us otherwise. The government had to make a law SPECIFICALLY prohibiting trucks overtaking in rush hours.

I must have nearly crashed into the back of a truck (or, worse, been nearly driven into the safety rail by a truck starting to overtake without seeing my car next to him) at least 20 times already.


Then again, I don’t know ANYTHING about American truck drivers. So, once again, back to our main dish for today: cAr CoRrElAtIoN !!!


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)

I wasn’t gonna say it, pluto…

You say “cheesy” like that’s a BAD thing.

Coldfire –

I see I left an unintentional impression that I (and my father) think that truck drivers are examples of good road behavior. They are not! For my father, the only species of road fauna lower than Volvos are trucks. He’s an old-fashioned, depression-era kind of guy, has been driving for fifty gazillion years and continually complains about the IQ, hygiene, courtesy, education and general demeanour of the average trucker. He delivers the goods on time, no accidents, no tickets, and he thinks alot about the other guy. But he knows he’s the exception, not the rule. BTW, he makes very good money in a generally low-wage industry precisely because he is way above the norm.

I will offer one more tip garnered from his years of experience: Never drive on the highway after one a.m. Any trucks you see out that late are almost certainly piloted by artificially stimulated operators. Pull over. Get some sleep. Start again when the sun comes up.

My fa

“The departure of the church-going element had induced a more humanitarian atmosphere.”
Dorothy L. Sayers
Clouds of Witness

I guess some things ARE universal :slight_smile:


“You know how complex women are”

  • Neil Peart, Rush (1993)