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Sunday And Other Drivers

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On: Wed, Aug 31, 2011 at 12:43PM | By: Peter C Sessler

Sunday And Other Drivers

There are certain drivers out there who have an annoying way of driving. Probably, the best way to summarize their behavior is to say they are somewhat more self-absorbed than most of us, and so they fail to notice the effects of their driving on others. I think I could tolerate them if they drove just on Sundays, but, unfortunately, they are out there every day.

The stereotypical Sunday Driver is one who drives a bit (quite a bit, at times) more slowly than everyone else. "Look Martha, at all the nice trees and leaves." Meanwhile, of course, you’re trying to make it to the bank before the drive-up window closes.

Some of these drivers must suffer from a debilitating fog that affects their brains. I’ve been behind some of them, and eventually, they’ll make a right turn into a side street. As they turn, they’ll suddenly become overpowered by an additional burst of lethargy so they make the turn extra slowly (you could walk faster) and I’ve even seen them stop just after they’ve made the turn in the middle of the road!

The best ones, of course, are those who are there to help the police in enforcing the speed limit. They take pride in driving even slower than the limit and, in so doing, holding up traffic. My younger brother knew how to deal with them. He would eventually pass them, get right in front of them, and drive for several miles at an even slower speed.

On the other hand, there are courteous drivers who may feel uncomfortable driving as fast as everyone else and quite often they’ll pull over and let everyone else pass. I’ve even done that myself.

Sometimes you may get behind a car whose driver and passenger are so involved in their conversation they forget what they’re doing. A few weeks back I was stuck behind such a car. The driver would slow down and speed up without any rhyme or reason while maintaining an animated conversation with the passenger, or would slow down when they should have been accelerating, and vice versa.

A type of driver that never fails to annoy is the one who really should wait for you to pass by before turning onto the road. But no, they accelerate suddenly, manage to get in front of you while you barely avoid hitting them, and then what? They proceed to drive on at a very leisurely pace. And if you give them a dirty look as you pass by, they won’t understand why.

Another annoyance happens during the winter months. There are times when you need all the speed you can get to make it up a snow-covered hill. Slowing down is not the way to go, but, again, there are drivers who slow down just as they start climbing the hill—pity you if you get behind one of these.

Getting stuck behind a car that isn’t tuned is also unpleasant. You can tell by the sulfury exhaust smell. It means that the catalytic converter is no longer converting. Driving behind an out-of-tune diesel engine is probably worse. They spew out clouds of noxious fumes. Naturally, it usually is a fully loaded dump truck driving very slowly with no room for you to pass.

At night, there’s the oncoming car with a badly aimed headlight—always right in your eyes. Or the car that refuses to turn off its high beams until it is just 20 feet from you. It’s during those times that I swear I’ll definitely order those retina-burner bulbs from the J.C. Whitney catalog this time.

These are just some of the situations that one faces behind the wheel. I suppose the best way to deal with all of them is not to let them bother you and take them philosophically, especially when you can’t do anything about it. No matter how well you think you handle such situations in the country, I suggest you take a drive to New York City for a true test. I was there a few weeks back—I guess I still have some way to go.


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