On a recent trip into central NSW with the family I was reminded of the frustrating things that people do on the road. It shouldn’t really be a surprise – I do travel upwards of 120 kilometres to and from the office each day, much of it on motorways. I guess there must be something about being in a holiday mindset, or the periodically arguing youngsters strapped into the back seats that exacerbate the issues.
Here’s a list of a few driver types you will come across and how to survive the experience!
1) The “Tailgater” – we all know the ones; regardless of whether you’re sitting on the limit or above it, this guy or gal has the right foot pegged, both hands on the wheel and sitting within 3 meters of your rear wheel carrier like a homing missile. Completely ignoring the free lane to the right, or the opportunity to take advantage of changing markings in the centre line giving the chance to overtake. The “Tailgater” sticks to their mission to breath your exhaust fumes with the tenacity of a bulldog . These drivers are especially perilous to those who don’t check the rear view or side mirrors often – easily resulting in a rear-ender or resulting in them screaming past with all fingers and lungs blazing in abuse.
2) The “Right-Lane Hog” – There are Facebook pages with hundreds of thousands of likes devoted to this member of the license-holding fraternity. Sitting behind this driver can be akin to pulling out one’s own teeth with a mallet and chisel. No matter how much encouragement, the right lane hog will maintain the speed limit in a futile attempt to overtake the motorist in the left lane also doing the speed limit. Completely unaware of anything around them or the Keep Left Unless Overtaking sign they just drove past at exactly 110km/h – “Right-Lane Hog” is a favourite of anyone needing to get anywhere in the next month.
3) The “Indicator-Free Lane Changer” – Able to change lanes in one fell-swoop, the “Indicator-Free Lane Changer” often uses the indicator stalk as a holder for air fresheners and other service station-bought trinkets. How do you prevent becoming prey for this highway-regular? Don’t hide in their blind-spot and always watch for head movements indicating an imminent and lightning-fast merge into your lane – otherwise you could find yourself executing a perfect pit move on them at 110km/h!
4) The “Closet Racer” – Happy to sit at 10% below the speed limit in any lane, only to drop two gears and end up 25% above the speed limit at the next overtaking lane – the “Closet Racer” is perhaps the most premeditated offender in this list. Flexing all the muscle of the family SUV, economy hatch, or as we experienced – A ZD30 GU Patrol (gulp) at the worst possible time, these drivers usually travel the long highways of Australia solitarily – looking for unsuspecting, responsible over-takers to toy with.
5) The “Reactor” – The ever unpredictable “Reactor” is often found standing on the brake pedal at the first sign of any red or blue lights. So conditioned and anxious of any interaction with the local constabulary, they will drop 25% of their speed even when they spot a Highway Patrol on the other side of a Freeway with concrete barriers. Often displaying some tendencies of the “Closet Racer”, even when travelling below the sign-posted speed limit they will get on the brakes like a race-car driver at a hairpin bend. If you have been diagnosed as a “Tailgater” – you better hope your braking system is up to the task when following this type of driver.
What other driver types have you seen on our roads and how do you cope?