My column on bad drivers that ran in last week’s News-Review and online this week elicited a wave of responses, both on Facebook, on RiverheadNewsReview.com and in my email inbox. I guess writing about the roads is like writing about the weather, it affects pretty much everybody.
The most common response to my “How to easily spot a bad driver” column was folks writing about their own driving pet peeves.
Here are some examples of what readers had to say about my top 5 moves by bad drivers, while including some of their own. (I left off names because most of these didn’t come in as actual “letters to the editor.”)
• The dart-out/slow down is the bane of my existence!! It seems to be some kind of phenomenon out here. It happens to me all the time and I am always complaining to my friends if this is some kind of North Fork insanity! I feel better that I am not alone in noticing this behavior.
• You missed my favorite: The speeders-to-nowhere. Those are the guys who are in traffic and fail to take account of the traffic in front of them. They all of a sudden dart out from behind you into the right lane (or left) and zoom past you only to run right into more traffic a mere 100 yards ahead. Meanwhile, the lane you are patiently waiting is moving faster than the one he just got into and you end up passing him. Then he gets behind you and makes same move a few seconds later and the same thing happens and you pass him again. I call it “Speeding to nowhere.” All that speeding up and slowing down and they never get anywhere because they didn’t plot their strategy.
• 1. You are at a light in the left turn lane behind another car. Opposite you are a number of cars with visible left turn indicators flashing; no one opposite you is in the lane to go straight or turn right . The light turns green, and the driver in front of you is unable to turn left while the line opposite you are all able to turn left because they have traffic sense; they are not sissydogs or sissytwits. They are capable drivers.
2. You are in a traffic circle behind someone who stops in the circle to let cars enter the circle. Either they don’t know the rules of traffic circles or they are too timid to use their legal right-of-way.
3. You are driving on Sunrise Highway, and you pass one or more cars stopped at the end of the short merging lane. Their lack of traffic sense prevents them from accelerating to highway speed and merging into traffic before reaching the end of the merging lane.
4. You are traveling at highway speeds in the left lane of a major highway and you come up to a dimwit who is a “left-lane Louie.” As soon as he gets on the highway, he goes directly to the left lane, where he drives at 10 mph or more below the speed of other cars.
• Since I drive mostly on two-lane local roads, my experience is a little different. The worst for me are the vineyard/yard sale surfers who turn with no warning or – even worse – just stop dead in the middle of the road because they’re considering pulling in somewhere. The other is the person who pulls as far as possible to the right when making a left hand turn so there’s no chance of getting around them. Ha ha!
• Usually when the dart out/slow down driver pulls out in front of me, they make the next turn. Really, you couldn’t wait another 20 seconds for me to pass? You are going one road over!
• How about the last 14 people that cut me off at the new 2 lane traffic circle on Route 58. It’s not that hard people: Yield to the traffic on your left and stay in your lane.
• I’ve encountered SO many of these this past summer/pumpkin season. Very funny/true article!
• You forgot about the ones who travel in the left lane of the North Road bypass at the same speed as the slowpoke in the right lane, leaving no room to pass; and is just a clueless of the cars behind them who wish to.