Annoying driving habits

I have periodically listed some of my pet peeves about what drivers do. Someone has made a compilation of many of them.

The one that puzzles me the most is where someone will speed up when it looks like another person will pass them. That is weird. I know people who have admitted to doing this and when I ask them why they care if a total stranger happens to pass them, they can never give a sensible reason. It just seems to be some deep-seated instinct, some kind of dominance-submission reflex that gets engaged by this act.

I do recall that as child, on the occasions when the extended family of uncles, aunts, and cousins got together, we would sometimes go somewhere like the beach in a convoy of vehicles. Then the little boys in the different cars (and it was always just the boys, never the girls) would claim bragging rights if the car we were in got to the destination first, and we would cheer when we passed another along the way

Most of us outgrew that childishness. But it looks like not everyone does.


  1. says

    I am going to object slightly to the one about how one shouldn’t drive under the speed limit in normal conditions. Well, the gas mileage on my car starts dropping rather quickly above ~65 mph. The time saved just isn’t worth the extra damage done to the environment to me (not to mention the extra $$$ spent). Then again, I don’t drive a lot, typically putting fewer than 2500 miles on my car in a year. I could see this being more important to those who drive more as that time savings would be an even greater percentage of their lives.

  2. says

    I blocked someone from overtaking me the other day by going slightly faster, but then he was doing 30mph in a 15mph roadworks zone. Just up the road he sat in the middle lane at 50mph in a 60mph zone. Some people are just zoned out.

  3. says


    I confess that I do this because I’m really annoyed by people who pass me just to slip into space between me and the car in front of me when there is plenty of room behind me.

    Maintaining safe distance between me and the car in front of me is important, so if the person slips into the space, forcing me to break to regain the lost space, the whole flow of traffic is disrupted.

    People who do this are just flat out annoying.

    This doesn’t bother me when there’s an on-ramp merge involved.

  4. coragyps says

    Youngish men (not me, these days), and particularly welders or imposters for welders are especially bad about this. They’ll get up right behind you on a nearly empty road, go storming around you at 85 mph, and then slow back down to near-speed-limit once they no longer see you through their windshield. And usually in a thunderously loud pickup truck.
    I think it’s partly a West Texas/Wyoming sort of thing. In Houston, though, they do something similar in a riceburner.

  5. starskeptic says

    Leo Buzalsky @1
    Indeed, as someone pointed out in the YouTube comments, “it’s a speed limit, not a speed requirement.

  6. antaresrichard says

    People who seem to think they’re low or completely out of blinker fluid!

  7. raven says

    I always move to the right and slow down to let someone pass me.
    I want it to be safe, because if there is a head on collision right in front of me,
    my car would likely make it a three way collision.
    The fact that it wasn’t my fault isn’t going to be of much help.

    A few years ago, a passer on the left warmed my heart.
    A car passed me unsafely going at least 15 mph above the speed limit.
    The oncoming car actually had to hit the brakes and go to the shoulder of the road to
    avoid a head on collision at a combined speed of 130 mph.
    That car turned out to be a….police car.
    He made a U turn and last I saw, there were two cars parked off the road, one with blue flashing lights.

  8. says

    I recently had to drive a loaner car while I had the timing chain replaced on my car. That car could not accelerate worth a damn. Might explain a lot of the not speeding up when merging.

  9. joestutter says

    One that is missing is one I call the lane drifters. You are on a highway with multiple lanes, there are no cars in your lane or they are far away, and then there is this car on a neighboring lane -with no cars in front- that slowly starts to drift to the lane you are on, making you slow down or change lanes to pass it. This happens quite a lot to me here in Houston.

  10. mnb0 says

    “But it looks like not everyone does.”
    I never have! When I sit in a train and there is a parallel road I always hope that my train goes faster than the cars.
    At the other hand I’ve never had a driver’s license.

  11. nobonobo says

    People who use tun signals, but not before they are braking for the turn.

    I was merely stunned when I passed a car and noticed that the driver had wood hoops against the steering wheel and was doing needlepoint at 40MPH. On I-70!

  12. EigenSprocketUK says

    My pet peeve? People who go out on to the highway and demonstrate terrible driving – just so their friend can video it, pop a “compilation” on YouTube, and monetise the clicks.
    And their holier-than-thou attitude involves driving with less than one second behind. Cool bro, you’re a genuine professional driver because you make bad driving videos for money.

  13. EigenSprocketUK says

    Mea culpa: I had watched half of it with the sound off. I started to listen to the rest just now and scrolled to the bit where he whinges about people stopped at green lights. Then he admits that he followed someone through an intersection, but “they stopped suddenly and I rear-ended them”. This guy is an idiot of the highest order. And the Dunning-Kruger is so strong he thinks he can lecture the rest of us on bad driving habits. Nah, mate. You stick to teaching Drivers Ed in Trumpsville High.

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