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What Are the Worst Drivers on the Road? Our Picks

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Some drivers, it seems, deserve a permanent placard reading “Warning, I drive like I have a car full of bees” on their bumper. No matter the reason why, our roadways are filled with people who daily toe the line between “driver” and “road rage recipient.”

These, in our opinion, are the worst.

North Carolina Highway

Odds are the red SUV is going just under the speed limit

Kyle Johnson

Kyle Johnson

If I had to choose one, I’d go with the perpetual left-lane dawdler.

I can’t stand when drivers seem to think that they are owed the left lane like it’s some kind of birthright and just stay there at all times irrespective of their speed or the speed of others. Because it is their obligation to be in the left lane at all times, they refuse to be moved even as a queue of once-faster-moving vehicles begins to accumulate behind them–those drivers are merely visiting, but the left lane is the dawdler’s domain.

Perhaps they see themselves as kind of sentinel dictating the flow of traffic–stupid Gandalf in an old Elantra, slamming his crooked staff into the asphalt and barking up at the approaching Balrog that is other drivers attempting to maintain a reasonable speed.

When the driver in question is juuuuust going the speed limit or, god help me, below it, amplify the frustration by about 50 percent and expect a few choice words to be muttered into the steering wheel. And when that driver refuses to get over despite having a clear lane to get over into, forcing you instead to make the move to pass them from the right, you begin to wonder about the futility of existence and whether the planet would just be better off if humankind returned to dust.

To me, a driver who is not attentive enough to see that they need to let someone pass is a driver whose inattentiveness is liable to cause an accident. They get passed as quickly and safely as possible, and you return to a reasonably apt speed for the fast lane. You glance up at your rearview mirror and see that, true to their nature, the perpetual left-lane dawdler has not taken note of what has occurred and is maintaining their slow, petulant command of the lane to which they are entitled.

And there you leave them–in the rear view, an obstinate dot rapidly dwindling into the vanishing point, swallowed up by its own stupidity.

Texting and Driving

Meg Thomson

Meg Thomson

Let’s talk about texting and driving.

Honestly, the “It Can Wait” campaign said it best: it can really wait. Are you seriously putting not only your own life in danger, but the lives of literally everyone around you for a text message? Is that really the story you want to go with?

You know, tech and auto companies make things like Siri and hands-free capabilities for a reason.

If you’re really desperate to reply to your best friend’s crushing debate about whether or not she wants Chinese food or pizza for dinner, pull over or use a hands-free device.

Otherwise, just wait until you get home. Capiche?

Whitney Burch

Whitney Burch

One of the most frustrating driving scenarios is when I encounter drivers that are merging onto the highway or a multiple-lane road and pull out in front of me, going anywhere from 5-15 mph under the speed limit. Or, a similar scenario…I’m in the speed lane and someone pulls in front of me going 5-15 mph slower than the traffic flow.

This is frustrating on a few different levels. For instance, in driving school, one of the most important “safe driving” rules is to yield to oncoming traffic—not the other way around. It’s a bit presumptuous (and even dangerous) to think that if you’re merging onto a lane or highway that the cars already there are going to yield to YOU. Another essential tenet of driving school basics is “drive with the flow of traffic.” This will help prevent accidents due to cars traveling at drastically different speeds.

Lastly, the speed lane is set off to the side of the highway for a reason—it’s for those who wish to go at least as fast as the speed limit and/or flow of traffic or a bit faster. In fact, many states have issued laws declaring that it’s illegal to stay in the speed lane if you’re driving slower than normal traffic. Some states have weak laws or no laws at all—Ohio, being one of them. I think it would be wise for these remnant states to join the majority and issue their own laws to help enforce slower drivers staying out of the speed lane. This would help drivers everywhere to stay safer and experience less road rage from a driving scenario that could be minimized with the help of proper legislation to back up the policy.

Turn Off Your Turn Signal

Photo: Quick Meme

Daniel Susco

Daniel Susco

My most hated kind of driver is something that seems especially bad in our home state of Ohio: that of the clueless drifter.

This driver, perhaps navigating the highway system around Dayton for the first time (or any highway, really), is wholly engrossed by the saga of turn-by-turn being patiently pushed out of their navigation system, and so drifts aimlessly along in the current of highway traffic like a jellyfish, blind to all that surrounds them (including forgetting what signs like “Yield” or “Exit” mean) but definitely getting in the way of all of the forward-looking throngs around them until they are sucked, inevitably across multiple (occupied) lanes of traffic, into their electronically-chosen exit at the last moment.

Also those people who stamp on the gas to shoot in front of you when they are in the left-turn lane and you are going straight, because they for some reason can’t wait another moment to make it to that next red light. Screw those guys.