Steady or Pumping?

My mom does this. I only get carsick when I ride with her. She also used to slam on breaks at the sight of a yellow light, but we broke her of that habit, mostly by screaming in terror every time she did it.

What the OP is talking about, I think, is someone who drives a bit pushy on semi-crowded roads, such that they are constantly hitting the gas to gain ground when there is a gap, and then having to let up suddenly or even brake when traffic in front slows down. Something akin to tailgating.

That’s the only way to drive here in Seoul it seems like.

Not in my mom’s case. That was her standard technique regardless of traffic conditions. I think she actually claimed that steady gasoline consumption was bad for the engine.

I do this. I’m sorry, but several people have pointed it out to me and I can’t seem to stop. It’s not a huge lurching, and not when I’m starting or stopping, but if I’m driving along and see something that may be a hazard my foot comes up a little, and then when I determine it’s not I put my foot back. Apparently I subconsciously notice a LOT of potential hazards. My love gets 50 miles more per tank of gas when he drives my car, and I think it is due to my driving style.

No - the driving style the OP referred to is, I think, unrelated to the transmission. It’s something done when you’d reasonably expect to be simply maintaining a steady speed. Gearshift changes should be done much less often - and unless you’re a newbie to manual transmissions, can generally be done MUCH more smoothly.

I once had the misfortune of riding with a fellow who pumped/released the gas pedal, CONSTANTLY - as in “on one second, off one second, on one second, off one second”… the entire trip up I-395 (this was a ride acquired via the slug-line, which DC-area folks will recognize). I was jerked back and forth constantly. I genuinely felt nauseous after half an hour in the guy’s car.

My mother-in-law does this. After riding in a car once while she was driving and constantly jerking me around*, I vowed that I would never ride in a car again that she was driving. And I never have.

  • That, and backing up on the interstate because she missed her exit. :eek:

My Dad is an extreme pumper. For example, on Interstate highways, he’ll accelerate up to the speed limit or a bit beyond, coast down to 40 or 35, and then accelerate back up again. It’s not just that it drives me nuts; it’s the safety of the drivers behind him that I’m also concerned about.

For me, I’ll admit to a bit of pumping in city traffic, on major and minor arterial roads with a bit of traffic. On the highway or roads with less traffic, I stay steady or use the cruise control.

My husband does this. I pointed out the thread to him and told him that other people complain about it too; he said “Tough, then I’ll never drive them home from a Dopefest”.

What a bumface.

If you go fast enough, all danger comes at you from the front.


I’ve driven with a few people (mostly old men) who do this. It drives me in-freaking-sane. It’s not hard to keep steady pressure on the gas, really, I can do it for hours.

Oh my fucking god, my husband does this and it drives me up a wall.

Hours later: BRAKES!! :smack:

I always, always do that.

I’ve never heard of it, or experienced it. I can’t understand why anyone would do it.

I apply the appropriate amount of pressure to the pedal as I deem necessary at any time, and endeavour to change that pressure as smoothly as possible.

My grandfather used to do this. Hard on the gas, off the gas, hard on the gas, BRAAAAAAAAKE, hard on the gas, etc… For no apparent reason. I didn’t really notice until I got my driver’s licence and was taught the proper way to maintain speed. After that, I was scared shitless in the car with him. Thank the Powers That Be he is no longer allowed to drive…

My boss (male) does this. Like he has to pump the gas out by foot pedal or something. It drives me so nuts I won’t ride with him anymore unless absolutely necessary.

I’ve seen others that tend to pump a little or vary speed but nothing like “the pumper”.

I took a cab ride where the driver did this.

I walked the rest of the way - I don’t get sick but it REALLY annoyed me.

For some reason unknown to gods or man, my (female) SO has started doing this. I swear she used to be a good driver; I don’t know what happened.

I usually drive when we go places together, so I’m not sure when it started. I noticed the other day when she drove because I wasn’t feeling well. Not only was she tailgating (on city streets, for no reason), but she was doing the speedup-slowdown-speedup thing.

Gah! See if she ever drives again while I’m in the car!

I once threatened the life of an otherwise lovely young lady during a drive from Birmingham to Atlanta. She pumped the gas the entire way.

It is a terrible, terrible thing to do to your passengers.

I think someone mentioned transmission up-thread. “Pumping” could very well be due to a driver having learnt to drive on a manual transmission. When you drive a manual, you have to take your foot off the gas to hit the clutch pedal.

After decades of driving a stick when I first drove an automatic, I instinctively took my foot off the gas and groped around with my foot for the clutch. When I hit the gas again the car kind of jumped.