Are some people jerks just because they can be?

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  • #1
turbo
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Today, I had to make a trip to a nearby town. I found myself behind a conga-line of slow-moving vehicles that were applying their brakes again and again. A few vehicles managed to get out of that line and pass and as the line shortened I could ID the culprit. It was an older Ford van going from 5-10 mph under the speed limit with no rhyme nor reason to the speed variations. I was pretty much trapped, though, because in front of me was a compact car from PQ hauling a travel-trailer that was just a *bit* too large to allow real acceleration, so he couldn't pass. Eventually we got to a hill that featured a "slow traffic use right lane" widening. the jerk in the Ford van pulled into the right-hand lane, but kept speeding up so that the car from PQ had to work really hard to try to get by him. Then, the jerk pulled into the travel lane right in front of me without so much as a turn-signal. From then on into town (about 5 miles) there are no opportunities to pass, so I was stuck.

It was an older couple in the van, and every time I'd see the driver's baseball cap visor turn toward the person in the passenger seat, the van would drift right, at times substantially into the breakdown lane. Eventually, he'd look ahead again and head back to the center-line. This crap continued all the way into town at about 10mph under the speed limit. I found myself longing for James Bond's Aston-Martin - the one with the front-facing machine guns.

If that jerk had try pulling stunts like that on Route 128 (Edit: Boston drivers are NOT tolerant!) someone would have taught him a lesson.

I got stuck behind them at the first traffic light in town, and the back of the van was festooned with tea-party stickers, including one that read "I Don't Believe the Liberal Media". I was still ticked off, but thought "maybe that's why he keeps veering to the right." :devil:
 
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  • #2
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Some people are just assholes and there isnt anything anyone can do.
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
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To answer your thread question, yes, yes I am.
 
  • #4
Evo
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Phazers.
 
  • #5
DaveC426913
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It was an older couple in the van, and every time I'd see the driver's baseball cap visor turn toward the person in the passenger seat, the van would drift right, at times substantially into the breakdown lane. Eventually, he'd look ahead again and head back to the center-line. This crap continued all the way into town at about 10mph under the speed limit. I found myself longing for James Bond's Aston-Martin - the one with the front-facing machine guns.
An older couple, driving 10 mph under the speed limit, and erratically.

Sounds like he wasn't doing it deliberately. Sounds like he just has difficulty and is driving cautiously.

It sucks, but he does have the right to get around too. Though maybe with a bit more consideration for others...
 
  • #6
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http://www.jsonline.com/news/ozwash/125647693.html

A failed parking maneuver landed a Subaru Forester inside the Master Wholesale business in Jackson, police reported Friday.

The driver, an 84-year-old woman, escaped injury, but the vehicle was a total loss and the commercial building sustained significant damage in the mishap Wednesday evening.

According to the police information, the woman was practicing her parking skills but accelerated by mistake. The Forester jumped the sidewalk and smashed through a window of the building in the Northwest Industrial Park.
 
  • #7
turbo
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Phazers.
And not on "stun"!

I passed the guy at the next intersection, and he wasn't all that elderly. Looked to be mid-60s or a little older. Plus the increased speed and lane-cutting near the the top of the hill was quite deliberate. He was being a jerk and trying to keep the PQ driver from getting by him, then cut in front of me as soon as the Canadian managed to pass.
 
  • #8
Evo
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And not on "stun"!

I passed the guy at the next intersection, and he wasn't all that elderly. Looked to be mid-60s or a little older. Plus the increased speed and lane-cutting near the the top of the hill was quite deliberate. He was being a jerk and trying to keep the PQ driver from getting by him, then cut in front of me as soon as the Canadian managed to pass.
I usually just pretend to melt their tires.
 
  • #9
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I got stuck behind them at the first traffic light in town, and the back of the van was festooned with tea-party stickers, including one that read "I Don't Believe the Liberal Media". I was still ticked off, but thought "maybe that's why he keeps veering to the right." :devil:
Too old to drive, and too old old for democracy.
 
  • #10
turbo
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Too old to drive, and too old old for democracy.
Hell! My father is 85+ and he is a great driver. He uses the cruise control in his Forester so he won't get picked up for speeding. Since I was a kid, he owned a series of pretty peppy cars - GM was making some pretty hot stuff in the '50s and '60s. He should never have trusted me with that Impala SS when I got my license. :eek:
 
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  • #11
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And not on "stun"!

I passed the guy at the next intersection, and he wasn't all that elderly. Looked to be mid-60s or a little older. Plus the increased speed and lane-cutting near the the top of the hill was quite deliberate. He was being a jerk and trying to keep the PQ driver from getting by him, then cut in front of me as soon as the Canadian managed to pass.
I had a conversation with an older woman once who said she would gladly hold up traffic if everyone around her seemed to want to go faster than she was comfortable going. If she didn't feel they needed to be going that fast, she felt it was her prerogative to slow them all down. I was amazed.
 
  • #12
turbo
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I had a conversation with an older woman once who said she would gladly hold up traffic if everyone around her seemed to want to go faster than she was comfortable going. If she didn't feel they needed to be going that fast, she felt it was her prerogative to slow them all down. I was amazed.
I once had the misfortune of working with a guy who would deliberately clog traffic for his own amusement by driving 'way too slow. Luckily, we lived in opposite directions from the paper mill, so I wasn't treated to his idiocy too much. His nephew was my backtender on the paper machine, and when I asked him why his uncle engaged in such crappy behavior (possibly causing accidents due to people getting frustrated and passing in dangerous conditions to get around him) he just rolled his eyes and said "He loves parades and he always wants to lead them."

Such passive-aggressive driving (obstructionist) ought to be cracked down on. It's probably more dangerous to others than speeding ~5mph or so.
 
  • #13
dlgoff
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Around here if you go the speed limit +10 mph, you get tail-gated. That usually pisses me off.
 
  • #14
arildno
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My mother (just 70) has been extremely busy with moving out of her house, and into a really nice apartment more suitable for her needs (and within her old neighbourhood). In the beginning she drove back and forth with stuff, but one day as she was going from parked position to reverse, she accelerated and bumped into a parked car, which bumped into another parked car. Fortunately, her speed was very low, so the damages weren't great.
Because she had been particularly stressed that day, she didn't particularly worry (aside from being annoyed at herself having damaged the property of others, and relieved that she had managed to get hold of them quickly after the accident).

But, a couple of days later, when she was entirely relaxed, a repeat event happened with her garage door, where she suddenly couldn't remember what was the brake pedal and what was the gas pedal.

An insignificant bump occured, but more importantly, she decided then and there that she now is a traffic hazard and an ex-driver.

I agree with her decision, it doesn't matter that she has had a perfect driving record for the last 40 years previously.
 
  • #15
dlgoff
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... she decided then and there that she now is a traffic hazard and an ex-driver.

I agree with her decision, it doesn't matter that she has had a perfect driving record for the last 40 years previously.
She's a smart lady with a smart son. But you have to look out for the old folks that can't make that decision themselves.
 
  • #16
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Such passive-aggressive driving (obstructionist) ought to be cracked down on. It's probably more dangerous to others than speeding ~5mph or so.
Here in San Diego you will get pulled over for going too slow. The cop's first suspicion when they see this is that's it's a drunk driver over-compensating; trying especially hard not to speed.
 
  • #17
turbo
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Here in San Diego you will get pulled over for going too slow. The cop's first suspicion when they see this is that's it's a drunk driver over-compensating; trying especially hard not to speed.
This is a problem, though. When you are are endangering others by driving very slowly, can you be charged and fined? It doesn't happen here!
 
  • #18
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This is a problem, though. When you are are endangering others by driving very slowly, can you be charged and fined? It doesn't happen here!
A quick google found this:

Driving too slowly
In some states, including California, a dawdling motorist can be cited for driving too slowly. Police Officer Pete Kim of the California Highway Patrol says that while it's not common, you could get a ticket if, you're blocking traffic or creating a road hazard on the freeway. He mentions a couple reasons why someone would drive that slowly. The car could be suffering engine trouble or the driver could be impaired, for example. Both will likely attract the attention of a police officer.

Drivers on city or rural roads are not exempt, says Police Officer Kim. He adds, Just about anywhere, if you're in the middle of an intersection or on a regular two-lane street and the speed limit is 45 [mph] and you're doing 10 [mph] for no good reason, you can be cited for impeding traffic.

Slow driving laws are enforced in most states, including Florida, Nevada, Alaska and Hawaii, where tourists can be most at risk from the police scanner. You should also beware of rubbernecking accidents or police lights, which, while non-ticketable in most cases, doesn't particularly help traffic cops do their jobs.
http://www.chicagoathome.com/detail.aspx?dct=54&id=8423&mid=1027&loc=rss
 
  • #19
Drakkith
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Speaking of old people...I was at Burger King here on base about a year ago waiting for my meal when from the kitchen area I heard a lound crashing sound. I thought it was someone opening up a big cabinet full of pots and pans, but one of the employees came running from the back gonig "OMG someone just crashed into the building!" So we go outside and there is an old guy backing up from the ruined wall of Burger King back into a parking spot. We make sure he's ok and call the cops and all that, and it turns out that he "missed" the break and hit the accelerator instead right as he was trying to park. Sigh...
 
  • #20
DaveC426913
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Speaking of old people...I was at Burger King here on base about a year ago waiting for my meal when from the kitchen area I heard a lound crashing sound. I thought it was someone opening up a big cabinet full of pots and pans, but one of the employees came running from the back gonig "OMG someone just crashed into the building!" So we go outside and there is an old guy backing up from the ruined wall of Burger King back into a parking spot. We make sure he's ok and call the cops and all that, and it turns out that he "missed" the break and hit the accelerator instead right as he was trying to park. Sigh...
Happened last year where I worked on the 2nd floor. Happened right underneath the window.

It was a parking attendant, moving someone's SUV. I recall hearing an engine rev loud and high, like in neutral, just before the crash.

He was removed from parking duty...
 
  • #21
My grandmother is a bad driver. Its not that she can't drive properly or she is compensating for some physical condition, she just doesn't pay attention to what she's doing. She has tapped multiple cars at traffic lights because she starts fiddling with something and doesn't realize that her foot has eased off slightly from the brake. Fortunately she does not drive very often or very far anymore.
 
  • #22
Borg
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the jerk in the Ford van pulled into the right-hand lane, but kept speeding up so that the car from PQ had to work really hard to try to get by him.
When I see someone pacing me to create a moving roadblock, I speed up, slow down or otherwise create a gap for other traffic to get through. It doesn't sound like it was a very long passing lane. The car with the trailer should have also moved over and let everyone else go ahead rather than selfishly being the only one to get by.
 
  • #23
cristo
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Eventually we got to a hill that featured a "slow traffic use right lane" widening. the jerk in the Ford van pulled into the right-hand lane, but kept speeding up so that the car from PQ had to work really hard to try to get by him. Then, the jerk pulled into the travel lane right in front of me without so much as a turn-signal. From then on into town (about 5 miles) there are no opportunities to pass, so I was stuck.
To be honest, it would be the guy towing a trailer that I'd be annoyed at. If you know your vehicle has decreased acceleration, why try and overtake going uphill? I also don't see why someone cannot travel at 5 mph under the speed limit. Note that the speed limit is a maximum speed, not a suggested minimum.
 
  • #24
Borg
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Around here if you go the speed limit +10 mph, you get tail-gated. That usually pisses me off.
Use your winshield wiper spray to clean your windows. The overspray will land on the car behind you and they will go tailgate someone else 90% of the time. Of course, they usually think that I'm a jerk for doing it. :wink:
 
  • #25
arildno
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I believe that most drivers guilty of serious accidents have a HISTORY of what they dismiss to themselves as "minor mishaps", "moments of inattention" and so on, prior to the big accident.

A shift towards a "zero tolerance"-line, with heavier fines and a lower threshold to annul the driver's license might have very positive results.
Besides, elderly people should be required to frequent medical controls since deterioration of driving skills can happen very quickly.
(In Norway, drivers above 70 must go to annual controls, the frequency increasing in individual cases as they get older/have certain medical conditions).
 

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