Do you "stereotype" other drivers' driving based on their car?

I rented a Camaro once and it was just nuts. Diesel Rabbits, Fiats, Pintos, Chevettes, Hyundai’s, you name it wanted to race me. This gently driven Camaro (no lie) seemed to bring out the worst in drivers of “lesser” cars.

Back in the day when I owned a Porsche I seemed to get a lot more respect from other drivers than I expected.

Now I drive a Saturn and no one thinks twice about cutting me off, tailgaiting me, merging into my lane, locking up their brakes in front of me, you name it. Hell hath no fury like a disrespected Porsche driver trapped in a Saturn. Given the elelment of surprise and driven like a professional, a DOHC Saturn with manual trans will give most of the cars on the road driven by amateurs a run for their money.

Back to the OP: do you expect drivers of certain cars to drive in a certain way and do you drive accordingly when near one? If so, please name make/model and the behavior.

Late 70’s Corvette: One headlight up in the daytime, driving in the right lane at two miles under the speed limit.

Early nineties Caprice: weaving in middle lane with left turn signal on for miles.

Late model Corvette: at side of road stopped by unmarked squad car.

Early edition Hyundai: on side of road in cold weather being pushed by unfortunate owner with warm hands courtesy of standard rear window defroster.

High dollar superexotics: too expensive to actually insure or drive

White vans!

Taxi drivers!

Off the top of my head those are the only two that I am inclined to stereotype. (the stereotypes are negative, surprise surprise. And I have had bad experiences with both)

White vans - lack of respect for the rules/other drivers.

Taxi drivers - Death wish! (the bastards never turn up)
Actually now that I think about it - in my experience - 90 percent of road users lack respect for the rules. The indicator becomes a redundant stick behind the steering wheel. Car mirrors are for checking one’s appearance. The more obnoxious-sounding engines are generally preferred. Streets are actually drag-strips.
Most of my contempt is trivial. But there’s one thing that I hate with a passion - speeding (especially in rural areas). Many a time have I cringed as some DICKHEAD speeds along my high-toddler-population street.

Crown Vic - Ex-cop, or Ex-cop’s wife. Must be careful around them.

Subaru - Miss the land down under, tendency to stray from their lane… (especially WRX)

Stock Honda - Middle aged conservative with the letter of the law in mind

Modified Honda - poor college student, looking the wrong place for respect :smiley:


Studies have shown that the nicer your car, the more patience and courtesy your fellow drivers will show you.

Some sociology students did a study a few years back to see how the car you drive affects how other drivers react to you. They used two test cars, one of which was an expensive luxury car (a Lexus, for example) and a beat-up junker. When they came to an intersection they would remain stopped after the light turned green, and time how long it took the drivers behind them to honk their horns. They found that divers waiting behind the “nice” car waited much longer before honking than they did when behind the “poor” car.


My car is an 89 Cavalier Z24. Black, still pretty stout, kind of sporty looking, and moves! I bought it because it reminds me of Dale Earnhardt’s car. Not a bad purchase for a 32 yr old guy. (Weak reason to buy a car, but I’m a fan…). I tend to drive fast, and people tend to move out of my way.

My wife’s car is a 92 Buick Century. I’ve never been passed by so many cars in my life!! I guess people assume it’s an elderly couple out for a leisurely drive and refuse to get behind me. My wife gets to see their expression when “Grandpa” flies by at 75+ MPH.

I tend to expect people who drive Dodges to drive very slowly or with a great deal of stupidity, sit forever at the light after it’s changed to green, not get it when they have the right-of-way, etc. My parents were Dodge-racist and I was immersed in an enviornment of prejudice from a very young age.

I also write off people in rust-covered boat-ish cars with two-tone coloring and mis-matched wheels as incredibly cool.

My own informal studies suggest that the nicer the car, the more likely the driver is to cut you off while barking into his cell phone. I give a wide berth to BMW, Infinity and Volvos.

Big honkin’ Cadillacs… I assume they are driven by 80-yr olds, who will not exceed 50 on the highway or 25 off. They also can’t see, so they’re a little iffy about whether they stop 50 ft before or 10 ft after a stop light. They also creep ahead from a stop, because they really can’t see whether the cross traffic has stopped, or even exists.

I tend to assume that the drivers of really big cars are either retired or are realtors. And I expect them to go slow, which drives me NUTS because with all that engine, couldn’t they go faster?

Jacked-up trucks, usually with big tires, scream redneck to me. Before anybody jumps on me, I don’t automatically think of that as a bad thing unless they drive like a jerk. And I’ve seen a LOT of trucks like that, living in Texas, Georgia, and Louisiana.

Dinky little car with racing stripes to make it look faster? I think somebody’s trying to compensate for something! And that if they aren’t still sixteen, that’s their maturity level.

Volvo, Subaru, or minivan = left lane bandit

pickups with 36" tires = yuppies, backwater country people

sport cars from the late 80s = working class people

SUVs = yuppies, soccer moms

Hyundais, kias = people who view cars a means of transportation rather than status

ford taurus = everybody else

Mercedes drivers think they really do own the whole gddmn road.

Of course, I live in Yuppieville, which has more than its fair share of 1) Mercedii and b) arrogant gits, so I am still open to the possibility that it’s all a series of unfortunate coincidences.

Cadillac – owner paid so much for the car, he thinks the road came with it. This is thanks to two nasty experiences, one of which took place while I still had my learner’s permit.

Calculus of Logic, you’ve got this Hyundai owner pegged!


LOL! Whenever I see a Buick I think “Out of my way grandma!” Unless it’s a Buick SUV, then I think “Out of my way Tiger Woods!”

Other than that I’m pretty fair. I just assume everyone else on the road is a worse driver than I am, so I don’t discriminate, really. :smiley:

The only time I really notice other cars is when their drivers do something stupid. Then I tend to comment.

“Nice expensive car like that didn’t even come with turn signals? You got ripped off, lady!”

Stuff like that. I truly can’t tell one car from another, with the obvious exceptions of Beetle Bugs and PT Cruisers and the like.

SUV drivers. I live in yuppy town as well and whenever I see one of them on the free way, they are speeding along at least 20 miles above the speed limit and talking on the phone. My favorite is when I’m behind some one who’s slow and they make this big deal out of passing me just to get behind the guy who’s going slow. Then you see them swerving around trying to see why the guy’s going so slow (you know 5-7 miles over the speed limit) even though thier vehicle is large enough to see very well over the car. I always shake my head and wonder how these people make it though life with out killing any one with those huge SUVs.

Tricked out Hondas (or “rice rockets” as we refer to them here)= 16-24 year old punks trying to compensate for lack of something else. Will proceed to tailgate, weave excessively, deafen other drivers with their lawnmower mufflers and just irritate the living hell out of me.

SUV’s = yuppies and soccor moms. The world revolves around them and they will act accordingly.

Camero’s = shudder see above comments about tricked out Hondas and add exteme tendency to be arrogant assholes. Those are evil cars, I have to say.

I drive a Mitsubishi Mirage, stock, by the way. I’m just trying to get from point A to point B in one piece, sometime today.

BMW’s = the official car of assh*les (at least in my neck of the woods)

I’ve seen so much crappy behavior by BMW drivers that I wouldn’t have a BMW if someone gave it to me. Really.

I try not to stereotype people by their cars, at least if the cars are over 5-10 years old. I mean, I drive a 1991 Dodge Shadow America (fear my three speed automatic, baby!), but it’s not what I want to drive. It’s the car that I was able to afford and was in decent shape when I needed to get a car.

So, you can stereotype me as a cheap and poor girl who tries to keep her car decent, but does appreciate the fact that the silver paint really hides dirt well. :smiley: