Road Rage

This could be a case for Mulder and Scully

Approximately 10 years ago I passed my driving test and from what I can remember I was a quiet and calm driver. Pootling around in my green Clio, I never raised my voice or fists and politely let other road users get on with their journey.

Roll-on to now, with my more powerful Celica, and I can barely go a couple of miles without my blood-pressure rising due to another driver’s stupidity. Is it me that’s changed or have the drivers of Britain become sloppy and lazy?

My Pet Hates

There are things that people have always done and will always do, I’m sure, but it doesn’t make them any less frustrating:

  • Hogging the middle lane of a motorway! This is pure laziness – there’s no other excuse for it
  • Sunday drivers who think it’s Sunday every day of the week. Going half the speed limit where there’s no danger from/to other road users or pedestrians, most likely to occur where you can’t overtake
  • Slow starters. Drivers who fumble with the hand-brake/gears when the lights go green, meaning at max 2 people get through the lights. Maybe put the car into gear and get ready with the handbrake if you must have it on?
  • Manouvering before signal with, probably, no mirror

Then there are the things that seem to have increased within the last year:

  • Corner cutting. Sloppy corner cutting from oncoming cars, so much that I have to hug/nearly hit the edge of the road to avoid hitting them
  • Dazzling headlights. This isn’t those new halogen lights that seem to blind you at every bump, but those drivers who fail to dip their lights at night – either too late or not at all

Is it just me?

Does anyone have any other transport annoyances? Whatever your mode of transport.


10 Responses to “Road Rage”

  1. Jon says:

    I don’t wish to be ageist but I strongly believe that anyone who calls indicators, trafficators, should have their licence withdrawn forthwith.

    Having been taught how to drive by someone who learnt in a Model T (or possible a Triumph Mayflower – I forget) I would feel so much safer without them on the road.

  2. Chris says:

    What really winds me up is nutters that jump out of a beaten up old transit van in traffic jams on the M25, and run towards my windscreen waving a hammer.

    Or does that stuff only happen to me?

    Other annoyances.

    Dutch drivers. I’m convinced the Dutch are taught to pull away when the car behind has been honking for at least a minute.

    The ar**holes that decide queues are for other people, and they will go down the closed ahead outside lane, right up to where the cones start.

    French Drivers parking.
    Traffic lights in Paris bearing no relation to the stopping and starting of traffic
    French drivers still not understanding roundabouts
    French drivers keeping indicators on, when in the middle lane.

    Scandinavian drivers ALL towing caravans behind Volvos at 20mph in summer.

    Moroccan moped drivers, traveling towards the traffic on the wrong side of a dual carriageway, at night, with no headlights, whilst overtaking a donkey also on the wrong side of the road.

    Italian drivers tailgating when I’m already driving above 100mph as close as safely possible to the car in front.

    Truck drivers limited to 56mph, overtaking a truck traveling at 55.99mph, over a space of 10 miles.

    People that drive too fast in the snow and then crash, twice. erm oops.

    As some of you may know, my driving is just perfect!

    That’s it for now.

  3. How says:

    Sunday drivers? Slow starters? It’s like you’ve been living in London for years ;)

    I bet you’d hate getting stuck behind some nutter on rollerblades going round the oldstreet roundabout…

  4. Emma says:

    I’m ditching the car so these annoyances will vanish – to be replaced by tales of tube and bus commuting. *Can* wait.

  5. I have to agree with you on most of your points, but when you say of slow starters, “Maybe put the car into gear and get ready with the handbrake if you must have it on” I feel I should point out that this is exactly the method I was taught when I learnt to drive five years ago. More importantly, it’s not a case of “if you must have [the handbrake] on”: you should have it on whenever stopped at lights for more than a second or two. If you are relying on the footbrake and somebody rear-ends you, your foot will almost certainly slip off the brake and you will, in turn, rear-end the car in front of you; or, if you’re at the front of the queue, you will get shunted forward into the crossing traffic, or perhaps a mother and pushchair crossing the road in front of you.

    Using the handbrake at the lights could save your life, or that of another motorist/cyclist/pedestrian; if nothing else, it means I don’t get the back of my car smashed up when some moron runs into you, behind me.

  6. Jamie (bro) says:

    I have been driving now for 3 years… i’m 24, and a man.

    Therefore I am “inexperienced”, young and foolish, and full of testosterone.

    A recipe for road rage as if it were being read from the pages of Delia’s How to Cook.

    Still… this aside, i think i have just cause for being angry at the following drivers and their senseless, idiotic, selfish and downright dangerous actions.

    Middle Lane Hoggers: My reasoning is that they either don’t want to appear as a “slow driver” by driving in the inside lane, or they’re “keeping out of everyone’s way” (which is quite frankly the stupidest thing i’ve ever heard anyone say… YOU’RE IN EVERYONE’S WAY YOU SILLY BINT!!!)
    Solutions: Assuming it’s a clear motorway – Position the car behind target vehicle and initiate Main Beam Flash. or Overtake as normal, then indicate left and pull into the inside lane keeping the indicator on, until they join behind. or (and this is my favourite) undertake… this is the plainest message.

    Idiots: I live near a dual carraige way. Every morning i travel down said road. People in cars, i have come to realise, are VERY STUPID. It is obvious that pulling out of a side road (from zero mph) infront of car doing 70mph is a bl**dy stupid thing to do… yet everyday someone does it. Do these people a) Not see me b) Not realise that an E reg 1.1 litre ford fiesta won’t accelerate to 80mph inside 2 seconds c) Not realise my car will not stop from 70mph to zero mph inside 15 feet or d)Simply dont care?
    Solution… be wary of idiots.

    i would write a lot more but i’m at work and i am very busy… more later!

  7. Julian says:

    Nick, I’m afaid your handbrake is unlikely to stop you bouncing forward when someone rear ends you :-(

  8. Julian: agreed, a handbrake isn’t sufficient to prevent the car moving at all, but there’s a big difference between being shunted forward a few feet and freewheeling several yards into crossing traffic. In an accident near me recently a car was propelled thirty metres across a junction when rear-ended; there’s no way it would have travelled that far if the handbrake had been on.

  9. Jamie (bro) says:

    Nick: This is a light hearted road rage topic… not a thread on “Handbrakes, footbrakes and their comparative stopping capabilities”. Lighten up pal. :o)

  10. Emma says:

    “Light-hearted” and “road-rage” don’t seem to gel in the same sentence :) but I totally agree with the sentiment.

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