The 5 Types of Drivers Who Make Traffic Much Worse Than It Should Be

By on April 20, 2013

Drivers Who Make Traffic Much Worse Than It Should Be

Drive onto the on-ramp, accelerate to highway speed, merge with traffic, maintain a constant speed until your exit approaches, change lanes into the right lane, change again into the exit lane, then exit. Then wake up because the car in front of you just moved four feet and you need to close the gap; save the day-dreaming for after you get to work.

If you've driven on the highway, you've either wondered (and raged about) why the aforementioned scenario is one of fantasy, or are under the impression that bumper-to-bumper traffic is an inevitability of the highway system. Turns out, both are true, and for the same reason: people. The same kind-hearted person who held the elevator for you this morning- in all likelihood- becomes a complete moron once they get behind the wheel of a car. See that guy over there? Horrible driver. See that next person you see? Even worse.

But since expecting every driver on the highway to be able to accelerate, merge, and not bring traffic to a screeching halt is unrealistic, all one can do is categorize the worst offenders, bring their foibles to light, and mock them until they realize they're a part of the problem- which will never happen because they're amazing drivers, it's everyone else who's the problem.

Regardless, no one can argue that the highways wouldn't be a better place if these 5 types of drivers took the bus.

#5) The HIT-THE-BRAKErs!!!

Someone's merging from two lanes over into the lane next to me! Ahhhh hit the brakes! Someone 100 yard in front of me tapped their brakes! Ahhhh hit the brakes! Someone's passing me because I'm driving way too slowly! Ahhhh slam the friggin' brakes for the love of God!!

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Mr and Ms (but mostly Ms) Hit-the-Brakers like to simplify driving. They believe that no matter what happens, there's only one logical reaction: hit the brakes. Sure, one could argue that if a car is merging into your lane, speeding up and being gone before they have a chance to hit you could potentially allow you to avoid their hitting you, but hitting the brakes is slower and could cause more problems to the drivers behind you; Hit-the-Brakers call that a "win-win." And okay, if a car is several lanes over, or even accelerating on an on-ramp to merge, you could maintain your current speed and continue driving, but there'd be something missing- the soft feel of that brake pedal against the bottom of your shoe, and the knowledge that you're contributing to a ripple of even more brake lights that'll travel miles down the highway. Knowing you've affected the lives of thousands of others is the third greatest feeling in the world.

Non-sarcastic truth: these drivers need to learn how to appropriately react to different situations. But they won't. Omigod!! That car got within 40 feet of us! Ahhhhh!!!

#4) THE RIGHT-LANErs

Many people fear change. And for good reason; it messes with their routine. And when a routine is altered, a slight amount of extra effort must be applied to make an adjustment- another terrifying concept for which today's schools simply don't prepare students. So if you're going to be exiting the highway eventually, why should you change from the right lane only to have to re-enter it down the road? After all, when your exit approaches in 12 miles you're going to need to be in the right lane, right? So why wouldn't you just sta-- hey jackass! Learn how to merge!! Ever heard of a blinker?! stay in the right lane? Who needs change?? Those other 2-4 lanes, those are for the drivers who are never going to exit the highway, so they're fine over there.

Non-sarcastic truth: these drivers are either scared to change lanes or think changing lanes is the equivalent of weaving in and out of traffic. Granted, if other drivers knew how to accelerate and merge properly, these right-laners wouldn't be such a big problem. But they don't so they are.

#3) THE LEFT-LANErs

To many drivers, those "slow traffic keep right" signs don't make any sense. They never have any trouble driving slowly in the left lane, so why would a sign tell them to keep right? If there's a question on the driving test about the left lane being for passing and faster traffic, you certainly don't need to get it right to pass- or rather, stay left so no one else can pass.

The Left-Laners don't care that they're ignorant and completely oblivious to their surroundings. In fact, many Left-Laners have vision problems that cause them to not notice the constant barrage of flashing lights behind them, as well as hearing problems for when those flashing lights turn into a very odd horn-sounding sound.

Non-sarcastic truth: these people are either dumb or selfish, there's no third option. They either don't know that it's the passing lane and they need to get the hell out, or they don't care. The former can almost be forgiven, the latter can't.

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#2) THE GAWKERS

A recent fabricated study found that 99.99% of drivers suffer from RPS., or Residual Pinhead Slowing. RPS occurs when something you've seen a hundred times is taking place on the side of the road, and after 20 minutes of yelling at the idiots in front of you to move their collective butts, you slow down to see what the fuss was about. Oooo! An ambulance! Look at those EMTs standing around because no one was hurt and they're there as a precaution! Stop honking, jerk! I'm looking at the car that lost its bumper! Oooo, look! Someone's getting a ticket!! That's the most incredible thing I've ever seen ever!! It's like when I got my ticket, except it's not me, it's someone else!

Non-sarcastic truth: once in awhile the thing to gawk at is worth a glance, but 99 times out of 100, it's a regular ol' traffic accident, and it's not exciting enough to justify you and everyone else bringing traffic to a halt for thousands of people who are also going to gawk at the same thing and cause even more traffic. This problem will never go away.

#1) THE MERGER-HELPER

Oh look! That driver is trying to merge onto the highway with us! I'd better slow down and let them in, otherwise the on-ramp will end and they'll keep going into a tree and their newborn baby will go through the windshield because they strapped the carseat in wrong. Is expecting a driver to properly merge at highway speeds worth the life of that newborn baby?! Probably not.

Merging incompetence is the number one cause of traffic. City governments have gone out of their way to compensate for said stupidity, but city government is government, and the word "government" is latin for incompetent. Their main solution: stoplights that control how many cars enter the highway at a time. See, if only a few cars enter at a time, the Merger-Helpers won't get overloaded and turn into Right-Laner-Hit-the-Brakers. Problem is- yes they will. The other problem is, if drivers don't know how to accelerate to merge in the first place, is bringing them to a complete stop before attempting said acceleration really the best idea? If the on-ramp were 13 miles long then perhaps they'd have time to get up to 55 miles per hour. But on-ramps come about 12.8 miles short of being 13 miles long, and most cars simply can't do 0 to 60 in less than 5 minutes. That's just science.

Non-Sarcastic truth: these people are worse than the idiots trying to merge at 35 mph. Those idiots failing to accelerate to highway speeds must not understand how the highway works, but they'll figure it out after they merge and get honked at by people having to swerve around them. Or they won't and- God willing- they'll stay the hell off the highway. Of course, common sense should tell drivers that if every car on the road is going 55 mph, perhaps they should be going 55 mph, as well... but common sense and driving simply don't mix.

Not all hope is lost! Last year, Honda began working with the University of Tokyo (that's in Tokyo) to develop a technology that helps ease traffic congestion by helping drivers to drive more smoothly and avoid slamming on the brakes (which causes a ripple effect).


 
Nicholas Plagman
Nicholas Plagman
Contributing Writer at ExcelLiving.com
Nicholas Plagman is a comedy writer/director from Atlanta and lives in Hollywood. He has a Bachelor's in Biology/pre-med from Birmingham-Southern College and a Master's in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Georgia; he currently uses neither.

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