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THE 5 MOST ANNOYING DRIVER TYPES

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?

Happy Touring

Kalen

 

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Comments 73

    1. Peter Hanson

      Kalen, you have all these drivers pegged as it happens regularly on a daily basis, I wish the police would take note and fine these inconsiderate drivers especially in Queensland where I live with very little done to reduce the numbers of this type of driver. I have also noted this is not seen to the same degree on NSW roads where you always see more police presence on their roads. The sorry fact is that they are not a small minority and I believe increasing in numbers each year. I travel extensively for work all over Queensland and I find once away from the cities the standard of driving is much improved and generally more considerate to others on the road. I have a lot of respect most of the long distant truck drivers who often put up with some appalling car drivers but many truckies around the cities on local trips are cowboys often tailgating dangerously at all speeds and hogging the right lanes with other trucks in the left thereby blocking any chance of free flowing traffic. All this boils down to the policing or the lack of it and Queensland have very few patrolling our roads especially when compared with New South Wales. Keep up the good work. Regards Peter

    2. Steve - Capalaba

      YoYos’
      whilst on cruise control, maintaining a constant velocity you come up on slower traffic. If you try to overtake they will speed up so you return to your original lane only eventually coming up to them when they slow down again.
      I’m maintaining a constant velocity thru cruise control, the others are speeding up and slowing down- like a yo yo

    3. Ron Bellcha

      My pet hate is when driving on our country roads, you always get that person who is late getting to an appointment or work, and with overtaking lanes now in service on many of our roads, these people still have to race past you putting not only you both other road users in danger, when there is even a sign saying overtaking lane 300 metres away.
      They never fail to amuse me.

    4. Richard

      1. Not putting headlights on in poor light (No! Side lights are not the same).
      2. People merging before the dotted lines.
      3. People speeding up when overtaking opportunities (dual carriageways, straight sections) arise.
      3. People who slow down because there is a gentle bend or something else challenging in the road.
      4. Failure to pay attention. (Phone users/txting etc)
      5. Tailgaters with no intention to overtake (as described above)
      Grrrrr

  1. Mats

    There is also the “Lane Dancer” cuts in and out in heavy traffic just to get 2 cars ahead, and in doing so they are quite happy to change into your lane when the traffic comes to a hault. But what I find funny is that in this traffic when you stay in the right lane in flow with the rest of the traffic these people can’t read the traffic and actually left behind you!
    These idiots also don’t know how to merge in an ending lane and must also fly past another 3 – 4 cars after the lane ends. If only they knew that when merging 1 for 1 like a zipper it actually flows faster and safer!
    My pet hate is the “Closet Racer” on country roads, a group of about 5 cars sitting at about 95Km on a 100km road, come the over taking lane all of them do 130Km and at the end, back to 95Km, just so they can be in front!!!!!

  2. Leon

    I feel this one myself travelling 150km per day on rural single lane highway. Police need the power to penalise these poor behaviours which I believe contribute to accidents.

  3. Mike

    Yep the closet racer or as I call them “speeder upperers” are the most infuriating. It’s as if it’s a sign of weakness to them to be overtaken so they just can’t let it happen. Very insecure behaviour.

  4. Simon Evans

    Drivers who panic when an emergence vehicle comes up behind them with full bells & whistles going. Latest example for me happened on Easter Sunday. Heading down a highway to attend a bush fire started by an un-attended camp fire (thanks for that campers responsible) & we were stuck behind a car doing 90km/h & refusing to pull over. It’s not easy overtaking in a 13t truck that’s 30 years old.
    This isn’t a once off. It happens frequently & people kneed to know if an emergence vehicle is going at full noise, it’s because where every they’re going, it’s more important than what you’re doing & if you hold them up, some one could die.

    1. Bill Hill

      Simon, I wholeheartedly agree with you in regards to these types of drivers. If drivers did regular head and mirror checks they would be more aware of what is happening around them on the road. It also does not help if they have their radio belting out “doof-doof” music at nuclear levels, they may hear emergency vehicles approaching.
      I remember when I was growing up (1950’s -60’s) in country Victoria, that when drivers heard an emergency vehicle approaching, all drivers, on both sides of the road would slow down and pull off the road until the emergency vehicle passed. The drivers would then pull back onto the road and continue their trip. I still endeavour to do this today where I am able to when I detect an emergency vehicle coming up behind me to give them a clear path.

      1. Andrew

        Bill,
        it no longer the radio belting out doof doof – what I’m seeing more and more, in all age groups, are the noise cancelling ear buds and full headphones. And in newer vehicles likely to have bluetooth. They are in a complete world of their own.

  5. Glenn

    Another 2 are the driver who uses the brake pedal as a foot rest and the driver who races up to catch you only to sit in your blind spot so you can’t change lanes

  6. James

    One of my pet hate is those that knowingly speed above the speed limit and sit in the right hand lane and refuse to move left making it hard to overtake a vehicle in the left at the speed limit.

    In a counter to your No 2 type of driver. If nobody speeds above the speed limit, then it is less likely that people would need to overtake you if you are doing the max speed limit or to tailgate.

    I also hate drivers who refuse to put on their headlights when driving on the highways. It’s not so you can see but so people can see you. A dark vehicle on a dark coloured read is hard to see because of environmental conditions. These same drivers seem to need to use high beam or fog lights in built up areas…Go figure!

    I have had a HC open licence for 42 years and driven millions of Kms in 3 countries and never lost a point or received a fine, I guess I must be doing something right! 🙂

    1. Mitch

      James is obviously one of your 5 drivers? Read his comments and within the lines see he trying to justify why he is one of them. This is the exact thinking in the heads of the 5. So don’t expect things to change too quickly.

      1. James

        Mich, maybe you could enlighten us all by telling us which of the five driver types you believe I am and what you read between the lines?

        1. James

          Typing Correction, Should have been Mitch. I take it that you are a psychologist or perhaps a mind reader, to know what is in my mind. I stand by my previous statement, I have had my licence 42 years and not a single default, can you make the same statement Mitch?

      2. James

        Mitch, a final word from myself with regards to your reply comment. I have reread my post/comment and can’t find how you can can conclude that I am trying to justify anything. I am stating my position that if I am in the left hand lane doing the speed limit and I come behind a slow moving vehicle and need to change lanes to the right, it is difficult to do so if I have a speeding vehicle in the right hand lane preventing me from doing so safely. That’s not an excuse or trying to justify discontentment at speeding drivers.

        I’m still intrigued to know which type of above driver you believe I am and therefore trying to justify.

      3. Malcolm

        Mitch, nice “Straw Man” there in reply to James but I didn’t see anything that would indicate he was one of the 5 drivers or that he was trying to justify anything.

  7. Mark Holly

    Phone fiddling twit.
    About 30 min is added to my days work simply by the twits who sit at the lights stuffing around with their phones. Light goes green and NO movement from the car in front, finally someone beeps, then the car third in line doesn’t move, that twit is also blissfully unaware of it’s surroundings and on the phone. This one gets a beep then twit number two sails through an amber light leaving all of us sitting at the red light.
    This exact scenario happens to me every single day, phones really need to be made inoperable in the car.

    1. James

      I agree Mark, after all we are the smart country, surely someone can create a app or something to disable it whilst moving faster than walking speed. 🙂

  8. Carolyn

    I hate the drivers that can’t merge, those that won’t let you merge and those that cross over solid white lines. I think a large percentage of drivers not only don’t know how to merge, they also don’t know the rules around merging.

  9. Colin

    Ambulance chasers. You move over for emergency vehicles, you put your indicator on to move back (because you want to turn right at the next corner) but everybody is sitting on the tailgate of the Ambulance getting a free run, with the mind set of I am not letting you back in you will slow me down, I have been following this Ambulance for the last 3 kilometres.

  10. Sean Flanigan

    Some of my favourites to dislike include:

    the grey nomad caravan convoys, sticking to 80kph on national highways irrespective of the 100, 110 or 130(NT) speed limits, and so close together they present hundreds of metres of slow traffic unable to be passed safely as there are no spaces in between them to pass individually, which must be hell for heavy transport drivers…

    Again the grey nomads, hugging the centreline of the highway with their overloaded towing vehicle which inevitably results in their equally overloaded caravan running down the centreline of the road.

    Caravans being towed by drivers, that seem to think their right to stay on single lane bitumen roads is up there with 3 and 4 trailer road trains (who by the way are entitled to the bitumen all to themselves over cars and caravans) and refuse to share single lane bitumen with oncoming traffic.

    1. Allan Marshall

      As i am 80 plus years young and have travelled these Australian roads for 60 years, i feel compelled to defend ‘some grey nomads’ I am a member of a 4 W.D. club from Melb and our club has about 150 vehicles who travel the length and breadth of the country every year. We travel in groups of 5 to 8 vehicles but use a few simple rules to assist the commercial road users. In our convoys we have a tail end charlie and a trip leader and the convoy communicates on U. H. F. Semi trucks/road trains that catch up with us are contacted and advised of the channel we are operating on which gives them the opportunity to talk to any vehicles in the group. We also use our headlights to indicate to them in their mirrors when the back end of their vehicle is safely passed our vehicle. Oncoming road trains (particularly on dusty back roads) are alerted to the convoy by the lead vehicle and each vehicle pulls well over and comes to a complete stop until the dust has settled. The one thing we try NOT TO DO is to change your speed or drive line whilst being overtaken by commercial vehicles. We understand they are the ‘professionals’ and will do their own calculations regarding over taking without any perceived assistance from us.

  11. Rodney

    All very annoying habits. Unfortunately they are getting worse, people are not taught or understand the road rules they just learn enough to get a licence., and because of this lack of knowledge/understanding of the road rules it now appears “the right is the new left”. But I would like to know if the person driving in the right hand lane is doing the speed limit (as you indicate) why should it matter, legally you cannot pass them or you would be braking the speed limit. Would this amount to aiding a crime?

    1. James

      I agree Rodney, hence my statement about “If nobody speeds above the speed limit, then it is less likely that people would need to overtake you if you are doing the max speed limit or to tailgate.”, it’s not rocket science.

      1. Daryl

        The problem I see with that is how does someone know if they are doing the maximum speed limit? There’s so much variation in vehicle speedo’s. You can set cruise at 100kph and really be doing anywhere from 92 up to 98. In the three vehicles I currently drive, the speedo’s are between 8 and 3 kph out when tested against a GPS at 100kph.

  12. phil horsfall

    One of my pet hates are the illegal new cheap LED light replacements with no low beam regulation
    They would receive a penalty in the UK for such an infringement
    Why don’t the police start looking into these horrid dangerous devices when they pull over a que of traffic as well as alcohol and drug testing.
    Don’t get me wrong I like lighting the way but some of these devices are so horribly out of focus and so bright as to be very dangerous to other road users

  13. Ox

    The constant speeder, they sit on 80kph either in the 110 zone or the 60 zone. On long distance drives if find my self constantly passing and being passed by these types as the speed limits change. it is fr4ustrating to be passed by these people in the slower zones and then being held up by them when the limit increases.

  14. Jim Abbott

    I’ve experienced all of the above. I’m not perfect, not by any means, but I think phone users and right-lane hoggers are the worst of the bunch. I can put up with closet racer type provided they’re close to the limit (if appropriate) but the others really make my blood boil. Many cars today allow for hands-free use of your phone, particularly for calls, but a lot also allow for hands-free messaging. if your car doesn’t, put the phone away. No text message/Facebook post is worth dying for.

  15. Denis Crossman

    Kalen , you have missed the “Pole Vaulter” ie, those whom upon completion of their overtaking manover insist upon brushing the fron bumper of your vehicle as they pull back into the left hand lane.

  16. Richard

    The One Speed Wonder

    Has only one speed.

    Usually sit at 80 in a 100 zone thinking they are driving safely, but then plows through towns at the same speed – regardless of the speed limit.

  17. Peter

    As a heavy vehicle driver the ones that get on my goat are the ones that have to be in front of the big vehicle right or wrong usually pushing in as a approaching vehicle is ever so close, putting themselves and my vehicle in danger. Giving them a warning blast ends with the bird indicating to me that they are never in the wrong and it’ was my fault for being on the road and getting in their way.

  18. wilhelmus kruize

    The worst I have had was a caravan come out of a camp area onto the road without looking or stopping, then to top it of 1 km up the road puts on the left blinker and does a u turn directly in front of me . Luckily I do not tail gate and leave a lot of room however I still had to throw out the anchor because of the stupidity.

  19. James Jones

    The Law is Keep left except when overtaking. You are one of these people I expect, please think I may have a car with new tyres so my 110 kim’s are faster then your 5 year old tyres, on your car so check your actual speed is correct and not your speedo which is 2-3% slower than actual speed so keep left and allow others to pass. What is the first rule of the road?
    Don’t know!!

  20. Ross England

    It’s called driving people!! My Mum, now not with us gave me the best piece of advice which has worked so far. She said to treat everyone on the road as “mugs” and if they also did the same to you we would all be on the same page. I would like to think that I am a driver and not a “steerer” but in reality we all drop the bundle occasionally. Think about it!!

  21. Robert

    A bit of exaggeration there pal…SOME might but MOST don’t. There is huge respect for those rigs and understand that their balance and stability is paramount.

  22. Steve

    How about these:

    Fog Light Fanatic – the driver that uses their fog lights when there is no fog. Often found dazzling oncoming traffic in built up areas

    High Beam Hero – the oncoming vehicle that continually flashes oncoming vehicles to inform you
    1. Your lights are in fact on
    2. Your headlights are brighter than they expected on the open road and therefore high beam must be engaged by default
    3. There may or may not be a speed trap ahead but they believe you are in excess of the speed limit and you should consider slowing down.

    Mr Impatience – the driver that leans on the horn mere milliseconds after the lights have changed from red to green as if they are running late for an important appointment and you are going to cost them precious minutes from their local pub ‘happy hour’.

  23. Danny R Desmond

    And not to be left out is the driver who drives at 80 on single lanes but at an overtaking lane drives at 120. Preventing all from overtaking.

  24. Eddie

    What I find very frustrating, are drivers that do not use their indicators at roundabouts. No consideration for other drivers….shame on you!

  25. Richard Jamonts

    Not saying they should be there but I f the only right lane hog is doing the speed limit how could anyone legally want to go faster?

  26. Jim

    After driving in Hawaii and New Zealand various times over recent years I find Aussie drivers bloody terrible. Especially Hawaii, courteous, patient and forever stopping to wave pedestrians across the road with a smile. Wake up Australia!! Chill out!!!

  27. Ross

    This is not what people do, but instead do not do, and that is to check their brake and tail lights regularly. Never a day goes by where I don’t see at least one, and usually several, vehicles with a brake light or tail light not operating. All it needs is for the second one to stop operating and you have a very dangerous situation. This is also an illegal, fineable, situation. I believe this should be at least part of every vehicle service, and also more regular random checks by the owner. Sadly it’s “out of sight, out of mind”, as the tail lights are at the rear of the vehicle. I can also but agree with most comments by others, but as a caravan owner, I sit on 90 kph, but am very conscious of other vehicles and try to let others pass as soon as safe and possible.

  28. Jamie

    Drive in Newcastle and you will come across every one of these types wrapped up in a single driver. It makes me miss living in Sydney and I come from Newcastle! They are the worse drivers in Australia.

  29. Winston

    The slow merger. Tries to enter freeway traffic from the on ramp 20-30km/h below the speed of the vehicles they are trying to merge into.

    The single lane slowpoke that sits on 80 in 100 zones when it’s a single lane road, but speeds up to 105 as soon as there are 2 lanes. It’s like they’re scared they’re going to fall off the edge of the road.

  30. Rhett

    The Clingon. Often i find someone that seems to attach themself, they hang around in my vicinity. I use cruise control a lot, but even if i speed up or slow down they are still there. Its dangerous.

    The mediocre. The people that in a 110km/h zone set their cruise control so their passenger vehicle will travel at a true 100 or 101 or 102km/h, exactly the speed of a truck, and will travel right near a truck that is sitting on its speed limiter for tens of kilometres.

  31. Steve

    My pet hate is the drivers that have their right foot resting against the brake. when behind them ether their brake lights keep flicking on and off or stay on. You have absolutely no idea that they are actually braking until you suddenly catch up.!
    The other one is the idiot that could pull in behind you but chooses to squeeze in between you and the car in front only to brake and take the exit.

  32. Ela Ashkenazi

    Im sorry but I’ve never noticed any issues with Fog lights on other vehicles. They are practical & useful in my experience.
    I believe they’re “not permitted” but there’s no sensible basis for that which is why it’s not policed. So I (& obviously millions of others) use them because they help illuminate down in the periphery around my vehicle at night not up . Ive never found anyone else’s use of manufacturer-installed foglights to be an interference or impediment. Nor have other drivers ever indicated (verbally or visually) to me or publicly, that mine or anyone else’s foglights (or are an issue.
    But…..we are a nation of whingers.

  33. Ian

    The ‘Pole Sitter’ – MUST be in front at the lights (or any intersection really) and isn’t frightened to sharply pull in front of that B-Double to prove it!

  34. keith s

    i despise the dickheads who sit on my mudflaps for 20km then just as an exit is nearing they overtake, cut in, and take the exit

  35. Henry C

    The “I don’t need mirrors” tourer with the wide caravan but no need to risk the cars aesthetics with touring mirrors.
    Anything happening behind them is by definition unimportant, “I’ve already been there”.

  36. Norm Eather

    I used to wonder when driving in Queensland why hardly anyone used their indicators, then I got work in Qld and spent 13yrs there and found out why, not even the Police use their indicators !, so no-one ever gets booked for not using them !.

  37. Rhett

    Overpowered low beams and fog lights.

    Low beams are of a certain intensity because otherwise they are too bright for oncoming vehicles. We could always have made them brighter, but we didnt because its not sensible.

    Fog lights are typically suitable for white outs, where you need to manouvre at very low speeds and your low beam creates too much glare. Fog lights are not driving lights, and fog lights shine into the eyes of oncoming drivers so they should be dipped.

  38. Ex cop

    All of you here check your speedo when overtaking to not break limit! Right lane should be only for overtaking if sign says so whether you’re going 60kmh or 160kmh.

  39. felix

    Just turn them off, they are called fog lights for a reason.
    Maybe you think you are not causing any problems using them.
    Well guess what, you are!

  40. Carl Magrath

    I was driving parallel to the railway tracks on my left in a single lane of roadworks, over the other side of the two-lane road, was the STOP & SLOW man with his sign telling the drivers facing him to SLOW down, unfortunately, I was behind an idiot who saw the other side of his sign which said STOP and so he did

    I nearly rear-ended him because the S & S man was on the other side directing traffic on his side of the road, and this idiot thought the STOP was for him, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry that ppl like this are allowed to breed

  41. Nick

    Let’s not forget those drivers that Left Foot Brake, and ride the brake never allowing the brake lights to turn off…. even when accelerating from the lights. You have to check constantly whether the distance between you and them is reducing to know if they are slowing down or not as there is no warning.

  42. Steelo

    Not sure what you would call these (Red Light Stoppers) The light have changed to red everyone in front is stopping, then with 20m to go you are passed, brakes come on, car nose dives, stops, then rock backward, as you slowly pull up along side and look at the idiot inside.

    Then only known to a phycologist. You are the only two car on the road one in each lane. The lights turn red and the car in front changes lane to be in front of you. Why you ask yourself did they need to change? I change lanes to and if I’m lucky the light go green for me and I pass them and change back and think F***in wanker.

    Another one that gets me. You are stopped in traffic, and the female in front or next to you start to scratch their head and keep flicking their hair time and time again, (can someone please explain this phenomenon for this mere male).

  43. Yorrick

    I tend to agree with so many of the comments that it’s hard to add a new one.
    A pet hate is the bumper scraper who has to get back into your lane asp. Are they taught this by driving schools.
    If Everyone stuck to the indicated/posted speed limit according to their speedo readout, the government would need to get their revenue elsewhere.
    I was taught by my dad, nearly 50 years ago, to expect the unexpected.
    I find myself amused frequently by the incompetent irrational behaviour of “drivers”
    Just keep looking further ahead and anticipate!

  44. Directory Columbus

    I’m sorry to have upset all those good drivers who don’t brake a road rule because I have, like stopping at a giveaway sign on a merging lane because I didn’t want to push my way into the other lane. Getting close to the car in front because I’m going to overtake him because I can see a brake in the oncoming traffic coming up because he not doing the speed limit. Also I keep left on the road to because people hug the white line and the people coming the other way do the same and I have seen what has happened.. There are other things like looking past the bonnet and watching what’s around me and anticipate what could happen ,, if someone is eating breakfast ,drinking, on the phone and other stupid things . So all you good drivers can put me on the bad list and complain about me because I know what a give way sign is on a merging lane and why I keep left.

  45. Directory Columbus

    It is an Australia wide policy, you get them in all states and as for policing, it’s a Government policy to employ more police 👮‍♀️ , if they want to spend the money on policing or look after their own entitlement which must comes first to politicians

  46. Directory Columbus

    I agree totally in what you said because you don’t know what they are going to do because I learnt the hard way by crashing into a car who was parked on the side of the road and as I was just about to pass the car , they decided to do a u turn over double lines.

  47. Rach

    I can’t stand the right lane hogs! Even worse when they are not doing the speed limit and are actually slower than everyone else and refuse to budge from that lane

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