In a comment on my post about roundabouts, commenter sonofrojblake talked about the conditions under which problems can arise and how some drivers solve it and then threw in this comment about those who mess things up.
It’s a joy to see, spoiled only by the predictable selfish or oblivious asshole usually driving a BMW who is so important or in a hurry that they HAVE to gain that extra four metres by NOT letting you in.
I noted that utterly gratuitous slap at BMW drivers and wondered if any other commenters would jump to their defense. None did. This does not surprise since I long ago discovered that many people absolutely hate BMW drivers, seeing them as entitled jerks who drive as if the road belongs to them. This strong feeling has also influenced the Urban Dictionary where the top definition of ‘BMW Driver’ is:
Self absorbed, self important assholes.
They drive like they are the only vehicles on the road, don’t know how to use their indicators, don’t know the meaning of the term “speed limit” or at least believe that it does not apply to them, jump the traffic lights, park on double yellow lines/on corners/in front of dropped curbs/across 2 or more parking bays etc (impulsiveness, irresponsibility, poor behavioural control). If you ever see one getting a ticket they will always been full of rage that someone has dared to slight them (grandiose sense of self worth, failure to accept responsibility for their own actions).
They also seem to think they’re better than everybody else, and that the BMW is the pinnacle of human achievement. They imagine that other peoples dislike for them is due to jealousy of them and their car, and that owning said vehicle means they are richer than everyone else (grandiose sense of self worth), and is not in any way due to them exhibiting the behaviours outlined above (lack of remorse or guilt, lack of empathy).
In short, they exhibit many of the traits associated with being a narcissist or psychopath.
I first encountered this strong feeling a long time ago when a friend of mine, not usually given to harsh judgments, casually spoke of BMW drivers as assholes and since then I have noticed that they do tend to be inconsiderate, more so than even drivers of other luxury brands. But I was not sure if this was just confirmation bias on my part, noticing mainly their bad behavior because I had been sensitized to it. I had previously also been irritated by some BMW drivers referring to their cars as ‘Beemers’. Giving your car’s brand a pet name is a warning sign of unnatural attachment to a piece of metal.
So I looked it up and it appears that there was a study and they found that BMW drivers are actually the worst
Turns out there’s substantial scientific evidence that BMW drivers are some of the most aggressive and selfish on the road.
A study conducted in 2012 by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Toronto examined driver behavior at a four-way intersection and crosswalk on busy roads in California. Drivers were graded on criteria such as whether they cut in front of other drivers or stopped for pedestrians in a crosswalk.
In general, luxury-car drivers were the least likely to be kind to other drivers and pedestrians, but BMW drivers earned a special mention from Berkeley researcher Paul K. Piff.
“One of the most significant trends was that fancy cars were less likely to stop,” Piff told Benjamin Preston of The New York Times. “BMW drivers were the worst.”
Maybe that penchant for aggressive driving has something to do with why the BMW 3 Series and BMW 7 Series hold spots on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list of the top 10 models that generate collision insurance losses for car insurance companies.
In looking online for any objective evidence for this negative view of BMW drivers, I found sites where people simply express their hatred of them. It looks like they do have some basis for their strong feeling.