It happens every morning and after 5 p.m. The commute to work is riddled with bad drivers – many of which should not have driver licenses.
I take the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) to and from work between Burlington and Mississauga, Ontario. It’s not the dreaded Highway 401 across Toronto, considered to be one of the worst highways for traffic in North America. Nevertheless, the Queen Elizabeth Way can be hellish during rush hour drives.
Add the new High Occupancy Vehicle lanes to the mix, and you have many cases of bad driving.
I admit that I’m not “Margarita Andretti.” I follow the rules of the road and sometimes revert to more assertive driving to make sure I get to work at a decent time. What makes me head into the territory of road rage is the blatant bending of the rules of the road, the lack of respect for other drivers and just plain bad habits that we are increasingly seeing on the roads in the Greater Toronto Area and Southern Ontario.
This post isn’t about pointing fingers at any specific demographic or ethnicity as bad drivers. I’ve seen them all – men and women, young and old. Visible minorities and the other half.
What I want to share with you are my bad driver pet peeves, and perhaps you will nod in agreement with some of these:
- People who are too impatient to wait in the morning conga line to turn onto the ramp to get on the highway. You know these people as those who will bypass everybody in the adjacent lane and then squeeze themselves in front of you, holding you up and causing you to brake. These are the people who impede the flow of traffic and CAUSE the slow conga line to grow longer.
- Drivers who have merged with the highway traffic, but want to be ahead of the slow trucks/cars, so they move right into the merge lane and pretend to have not merged yet, speed up and head up front. This blatant use of the merging lane as a passing lane can be extremely dangerous to cars trying to merge and just plain discourteous.
- A pet peeve of many – the car/SUV that’s sitting in the left passing lane doing 105 km/hour maximum and blocking others who legitimately want to go fast and pass cars. During rush hour traffic it’s still a passing lane, so go fast, pass cars and merge into the middle lane once you’ve done so.
- Drivers thinking that the passing lane next to the HOV lane is actually the middle lane.
- Illegal crossovers from the passing lane into the HOV lane and vice versa when the signs on the road indicate you shouldn’t cross. This can cause huge accidents when drivers who follow the rules get an unexpected car cutting them off.
- Drivers using the HOV lane without the extra passengers in their car. If we’re stuck in traffic, it doesn’t matter if you have a Cadillac with tinted windows, you are driving there illegally if you are the sole occupant!
- Drivers using their cell phones and going below the speed limit.
- Tailgaters who continue to tailgate, even if they see that you have nowhere to go as you have a car right in front in you, less than two car lengths away. I won’t go faster just because you are sitting on my car’s butt!
- The driver who is going so slow in rush hour traffic that they have more than six car lengths in front of them. You are impeding traffic. If you are sleepy/tired or daydreaming, get off the road! Worse yet, if you are afraid of traffic or claustrophobic with so many other cars around, don’t get the highway.
- Drivers who don’t bother to merge when they have an opening but will get to the end of the merge lane, ram themselves in front of your car and don’t bother to wave “thank you”. Be nice – I could have not let you in at all!
I’ve seen many interesting activities during rush hour traffic. One that “amused” me was the guy in the car in front of me holding two drumsticks, playing them against his steering wheel while going super slow (creating that six -plus car lengths in front of him). I guess he was practicing his drum solo. But it was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Another case was driving on Highway 427 back from a client meeting – my colleague and I saw a woman driving with one hand while at the same time holding a cooking pot in it, and using the other to scoop up what looked like Kraft Dinner. All of this while doing about 100 km/hour. I think she was a great candidate for the Darwin Award.
I’m sure there are other pet peeves that people have when it comes to bad drivers. I found BadDriving.ca – a website that has videos of some awful drivers across Canada.
What are your bad driver pet peeves? What is the craziest thing you’ve seen on the roads of the GTA or your area?