Really Specific Rants: People Who Drive Fast Past Me in the Parking Lot

I could lay into Atlanta drivers for a multitude of sins, stupidities, and errors in judgment. But I won’t. The traffic layouts and general busy hum of the place make good driving difficult and mistakes all-too-easy to make. Plus, the nature of getting around the metro area means people are often frustrated, late, and stressed whether they’ve got horsepower or footpower.



There is one scourge of Atlanta which I’ve managed to avoid in almost every other place I’ve visited. There’s no good excuse for it and frankly, it’s stupid as hell. But I see it constantly: People driving way to fast through parking lots. And especially driving very quickly past people backing out.

It happens to me so often I’ve become a tad paranoid about it, while I witness it at least once a week as long as I keep my eyes peeled. Someone will start backing out, and SUV’s and minivans are common enough that you can count on at least one side of your car bring complete opaque. Then some jackass revs his engine and zooms past you at 30-40 in a parking lot, forcing you to slam on the brakes.

To be blunt, this mystifies me. Yes, take ten goddamn precious seconds and wait for one car to back out. You’re less likely to cause an accident. Shockingly, people in a wide array of car models may not be able to see around the vehicles nearby. And even if they can, they probably won’t see you coming when you stomp on the gas from halfway down the parking lot row. Plus, frankly, I wouldn’t bet on coming off the better in a collision. Odds are you’re going to strike their rear bumper with your dash, as well as driving their car into the next spot. Which is likely to lead to a ticket and a nasty insurance premium hike as cops probably don’t smile on people zooming in parking lots. Not to mention that zipping around lots can be dangerous for pedestrians.

What really got my goat was when I was stuck (between an SUV and a minivan and craning my neck to see) trying to back out. It’s night, visibility is poor but with just enough light that I can’t easily see oncoming headlights - but at least oncoming drivers can see my taillights. And I imagine they do, but three assholes found it easier to zoom past me without warning. Most amusing was the jackass who kept going… only to hit his brakes and stop dead behind me for some reason while honking. Shockingly, this display of good judgment and defensive driving did not inspire me to suddenly develop psychic powers to detect traffic out of my line of sight.

I’ll be blunt. My car sucks. It doesn’t matter if you total it while getting off with a paint scratch - I’m going to win if it comes down to who loses more in a wreck. So for the love of pete, start fucking acting like you’ve got some sense and drive slow and careful in a place with people walking back and forth, backing out of places where they might not see you! You’re protecting your own car and saving your own ass, motherfucker!

Sigh… This speed-crazed stupidity is not, alas, peculiar to Atlanta; you may find the species Parkinglotacus idioticus roaming the wilds of Massachusetts as well.

I’ve been noticing that everywhere I go lately, too* - people driving as fast as they physically can in parking lots. There are speed bumps, but we obviously need to put in higher ones and much more of them. Or caltrops. Or tire spikes that pop up after a car going a certain speed triggers them.

*ETA: And by “everywhere,” I mean “everywhere from Calgary to San Diego and back again.”

They do it here in Sacramento, too.

Yeah, I got dinged by this obnoxious Yeltsin Look-Alike in his '76 Dodge Char… oh, wait, you said Really Specific Rants: People Who Drive Fast Past ME in the Parking Lot. So everyone else’s experiences don’t count.

Well, then, I pit that Trotsky Look-Alike in the '76 Ford Pinto who drove too fast past smiling bandit last Thursday…

I just hate navigating through large, busy parking lots, period. Its just every-man-fend-for-himself chaos in which drivers seem to lose all sense of direction, navigation control and attention to what’s in front of them. I feel a sense of relief every time i make it out unscathed.

I agree about the speeders, but if this is an understatement–if you are one of those people who block the whole parking lot waiting for someone to leave because you simply must have a space right in front of the business doorway, and you’re too damn lazy to park farther back and walk a little–then you’re just as bad as the speeders. And if you do this at a gym (which I often see), then you’re twice as bad.

I totally agree with this. As I snarked to one such “driver” once I finally got around her and got parked while she was still waiting, as I walked past her car into the store, “it’s really amazing how fast you can park if you’re not too lazy to walk an extra few feet”.

Hey, it wasn’t a posted handicap space she was blocking traffic waiting for, I figured the remark wasn’t totally unjustified. :smiley:

Shit, what about assholes who illegally park in the handicap spots at the gym to go pump some iron?? Thes are also the guys juiced up on steroids. Its a personality trait: the rules dont apply to them.

Try blocking them in, see how that goes.

One time this person stopped to wait on my spot as I approached my car with a full cart of groceries and a toddler. Do you have any idea how long it takes to unload a full load of groceries, return the cart, and then get a baby into a car seat? They waited the whole time. It was awful.

That waiting for my parking spot has happened once in a while. I take great pleasure in loading my stuff, re-locking the doors and wandering off to go to another store - even if I hadn’t planned on doing that. I make sure to smile and wave too.

I wish someone could organize vandalism to such an extent that everyone would just know “Parking in handicapped spot without a permit = getting your car keyed”.

Can’t you just picture a huge handicapped logo scratched into some douchesack’s door? And then it’s on Facebook, YouTube, the evening news, and by then it’s happening all over the world, and then…
People would pause before pulling in, decide it’s not worth it, and go find a real space.
(Penalty also applies to parking diagonally across three spaces, or scaring pedestrians, or for buying a Hummer)

I could have written this rant. My car being small and low to the ground, it’s especially bad—as you say, there’s almost always an SUV or truck on at least one side, making it literally impossible to see anything without backing up a bit.

And special note to the dickheads tearing down the lanes: if I am slowly backing out and see your car approaching, I will stop. If you like, you may honk for good measure. What you don’t need to do is sit there for 30 seconds glaring at me and shaking your head and scoffing and putting on a disgusted expression, to make it subtly clear that my attempt to back my car out of a parking space is the most abhorrent outrage that has ever been visited upon you. This is a parking lot, which traditionally involves vehicles moving in and out of marked spaces. I can either get out of my car, prostrate myself and tearfully beg for your forgiveness, or we can both go on with our lives and never cross paths again. For my part, I encourage the latter, but I will defer in all things to His or Her Majesty’s divine right-of-way.

I will agree with the rant about the people tearing down the lanes in parking lots, because its fucking dangerous.

But equally vexing are the people who take a full 60 seconds to back out of their parking spots. Much worse when they’re completely oblivious to the pedestrian traffic around them. Put down the cell phone, it should not be in your hands. Stop fidgeting with your purse, moving shit around or playing with your goddamned radio. You need both hands and both eyes to back out and get moving, and that’s your only job here.
Also, I know that, technically, the people driving in the lane have the right of way. but seriously, if someone is more than say, one third of the way out of their spot, FUCKING STOP and let them finish backing out, ok? Is that too much to ask?

Oh, and when someone does that for you? FUCKING BACK OUT OF THE SPOT ALREADY. Don’t sit there, like VT says, glaring at people, don’t play with your cell phone, don’t go all brain farty and look around like you don’t know what to do. Just fucking back out of the spot, go about your day and let everyone else do the same.

Slap their fender as they pass, then fall down screaming.

People searching for a one-closer spot in a parking lot can go temporarily insane. Back when I still did Xmas shopping, a couple of times I took a load of junk out to my car. Drivers would frantically wait for my spot, then, when I locked the trunk and walked away, do anything from an angry jackrabbit burnout to actually yell and scream at me.

People who will stop, in a half-empty lot, and block both an aisle AND the person whose spot they want to take, are the instance that drive me nuts. Just Go Fuckin’ Park!

This is a vague memory, no cite, but: There was a study done which found that, when people knew there was a lurker waiting for their parking space, they would take longer to leave it.

smiling bandit, I don’t want to hijack your thread, so I’ve started another specific driving thread.

I agree with you 100% about parking lot fast driving. Pisses me off too. I also don’t like those who drive diagonally through empty parts of the lot, you never know where they will turn.

I actually had a car following me once, like the shark in Jaws. I also put stuff in my trunk, walked away, and they zoomed past, screaming and flipping me off.

Emphasis mine.


I agree that it’s stupid to wait ages for someone to load their car, rather than find a spot a bit further away. But to intentionally load your car and then leave again, just for the purpose of making their lives miserable, seems to me the height of selfish and jerkish behavior.

I simply don’t understand people’s mentality sometimes. Where’s the empathy? Surely these people have been in the situation of trying to find a space in a crowded lot, and understand how frustrating it can be?

Yes, i understand that some lots are huge, and the lurkers are only lurking because they’re too lazy to walk a hundred yards. But, around here at least, some of the strip malls and individual supermarkets have relatively small parking lots, and at busy times it is not unusual for the lots to be completely full.

If i come out of our local Sprouts or Whole Foods or Vons during a busy time, and some person looking for a space follows me, i make point of loading up and getting out in a timely manner. And i do that because it’s what i would hope they would do for me if the situations were reversed. I’m not going to rush and run and get all frantic just to exit more quickly, but there’s also no way that i’d dally just to be an asshole.