Quad City Drivers I Try To Avoid–Springtime Edition
Nobody loves the promise of Spring more than drivers. I mean people who LOVE driving. We greet clear streets and sunny days more enthusiastically than most. It's a disease, I know.
Most folks are happy to just get where they started out going. But for drivers like me--the destination is just an interruption of the driving.
I've done some rough calculating, and between all the cars I've driven, over all the years, I am closing in on 1 million miles driven. A milestone with only a few regrets--most of them from right here in the Quad Cities. Some of you know who you are, and some will see themselves on the following list. Here's to seeing you all on the road! And to you seeing me!
I've got maybe 5 types to look out for as the roads get crowded. Because if you don't know these peeps, you'll soon meet them after they've run into you!
First, anybody who thinks they can pay attention to their phone and drive. You are the worst kind of driver. That herky jerk redirect back into your lane is a telltale sign. Or looking down as the stoplight changes. Get around and away from these drivers as soon as possible. Busy, bored, or trying to multi-task, any time your eyes are not on the road is sand through the accident hourglass. You can get away with it maybe 100 times out of 101--but the 101st time might come out of turn, and at great expense. Put your phone away, and make yourself twice the driver you are.
Then there's the "Left too late" driver. We all try to get on the road with enough time to get where we're going. But when you don't you're dangerous. First thing you know is you're tailgating, putting yourself and every driver around you at higher risk when you have to react with too little time to do it safely. Just last month I watched this person try to avoid a left lane left-turning vehicle without the time to slow down or stop, so, into the right lane they went. Ran another car right into the curb, and barricade. If you find yourself weaving in between lanes of traffic, braking, and then changing again to get around multiple cars going too slow--more often than not it's you. Leave earlier. Relax. But don't relax too much--then you'll be at the end of this list!
"Too Much Junk In My Trunk," is the driver who is the most fun to watch, despite being a hazard to all of the rest of us. Wether it's Christmas tree on the roof guy, moving a mattress guy, or guy who's one day from the scrap yard guy, these rolling junkyards that cut off vision are a distraction. Extra points if the back end is struggling against the weight of the cargo. We did a gallery on 2dorks called "Too Much Cargo, Not Enough Car." Funny but sad at the same time. If you recognize the Flintstones Rack of ribs at the drive-in, it's too late for you.
The next category aren't a danger, but I avoid them just the same. The Vape Mafia. Damn--when your car looks like The van Spicoli exits in 'Fast Times At Ridgemont High' you're spending too much time NOT driving. It is funny though. You're just sitting at a light, and all of a sudden a giant billow of vapor floats out of the crack of a window of the car next to you. I'm always smiling when I see that. Like, "Right on, Mon--Cool Runnings."
If the car itself gets an "F" the driver is failing also. Keep it maintained to stay safe. If your door is taped into place--even after you just finished taping it you can't possibly feel like you've done anything of value. You just used 3 dollars worth of Dollar Store tape on a vehicle. Change your priorities. Guess what trash bags are good for? Carrying trash. Not so much for making a window. If you tie any part of the car closed, you are making a statement about yourself that you don't intend to make. And you're just giving Jeff Foxworthy more material. I know, I've been there. But all that extra effort to make the car road worthy can't be doing much for your concentration. I feel like a one-lane buffer is pretty safe.
I've found the very worst drivers to encounter are the Blue Tagged Blue Hairs. These are the worst kind of combo driver: You're old enough to have driven Henry's first Ford, and you've got The Disability parking sticker hanging from the mirror. Now, the blue tag alone just means special spaces in a parking lot. But when you combine that tag with say, the octogenarian, something happens. they think ALL roads are parking lots where they have special spaces. Left lane, right lane, turn lane, makes no difference--they'll take one and a half of those lanes, and drive half the speed, just before an unannounced turn at the last minute. If I was that age, and had a disability, I'd be driving twice as fast, just to squeeze the most life out of those last few ticks. But that's me. Happy driving!