After spending the summer driving season making a giant circle in the desert from Phoenix to Las Vegas to Malibu and back to Phoenix, it has become apparent to me that there are certain types of drivers you meet over and over on the road. Since I spent the better part of 18 hours with them, this is what I have determined is out there for you, should you decide to take to the open road this summer.
1. The NASCAR wannabe-You know who we are talking about here. Maybe it is even you. The driver who always feels the need to go as fast as humanly possible, with no care at all for speed limits, the flow of traffic, lives of other people, cops, etc. They are the ones who fly up behind your car like Wily E. Coyote on an ACME rocket. If you are lucky you can move over and get out of their way. Otherwise they will slow down only when they are within 1.2 inches of your bumper and not move from that spot until you are free to get out of their way. They pay taxes for these roads damn it and they can drive however they like! If you are really unlucky, you will attempt to move at the same time they change lanes to pass you on the right and due to the speed discrepancy, they will likely vaporize you in the collision.
2. The Law Abider-I live with one of these. If the speed limit is 55 then they go exactly 55. Not 56, not 54. Everyone else on the road can piss off, because they are right and you are wrong.
3. The Brake Rider-You have surely dealt with these in your everyday driving also. They are people who, for whatever reason, feel the need to zoom up on the person in front of them and then hit their brakes, startling you behind them into thinking something is happening that requires you to stop. You know you are behind one of these people when you find yourself hitting your brakes every 5 minutes for no apparent reason whatsoever. It’s double the fun at 80 M.P.H., when you are desperately trying to avoid rear-ending someone who keeps hitting the brakes. Most of these people drive some sort of giant Hummscalade that you cannot see around or over or through, adding to the feeling the stopping must be necessary due to something happening that you cannot see. Nothing ever happens.
4. And 5. Mr. Cruise Control and his opposite, Mr. Oblivious- These two are something else. For some reason they always seem to appear in pairs, like the universe has conspired against you and this is your punishment. Mr. Cruise Control has picked his speed and will not touch the brake or the gas to adjust in anyway for anything short of a 10-car pile up. Then he would have to reset the cruise control and who wants that? He is invariably paired with Mr. Oblivious who is drunk, texting, or both. His speed can vary anywhere from 55 to 95, in the space of a single mile. He is the one going so slow that you have to pass him, and then he races up next to you. You can play the “passed you/no passed you” game with this asshole for miles. No matter how desperately you try to get away from him, he will be there at every gas stop, bathroom break and fast food run.
6. The Hoarder- This is the person that, for unknown reasons, appears to have everything they own inside the car with them. The windows are full and the back seat is stuffed, even though it may have people sitting in it also. There are naked baby dolls sprawled in the rear window, making for a very disconcerting view. They could not see another car if they had to and that other car is you. Get away as fast as you can.
7. Truckers- By and large, truckers are very good drivers. They obey the trucker expectations by staying on the right unless it becomes imperative for them to go around someone. If they have to pass, they give a lot of notice of their intentions and get back to the right immediately. They do not stand for any shenanigans and if you feel it is necessary to be a pain in the ass by weaving in and out and around them in your stupid little Fiat 500, they will squash you like a bug.
8. The Perfect Driver – You will know one when you see one. You will say to yourself “Now, that person isn’t at all annoying.” You may even find yourself effortlessly following their lead, making your drive very pleasant and agreeable.
Or not, as I am done driving for the summer. Either way best of luck to you!