Fast and Furious: Five Subtle Ways to Inspire Road Rage in Other Drivers

Categories: Whatever

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We all know Houston has a lot of traffic. We're a driver's city and we're (mostly) proud of it. We also happen to be a pretty polite lot, which makes driving here slightly less stressful than in other major cities, if only slightly. For the most part, we carry our Texan demeanor with us on the roadways, but there are definitely exceptions.

This doesn't even count the overt ways in which people wreak havoc on the highways -- cutting people off, tailgating, driving wildly while trying to talk on the phone, eat a burger and apply makeup (Don't laugh, I've actually seen this one on the West Loop!). Those are as obvious as they are infuriating.

But, there are slightly more subtle ways to piss off other drivers that are often less dangerous than the above, mostly legal, but still annoying as hell. Here are five of them.

5. Slow down when it isn't necessary.
As if driving around in your massive Hummer wasn't uncomfortable enough for the rest of us, you are the guy that slows down to a crawl when you go over a railroad crossing as if you are driving a low rider. We promise that those awful railroad tracks aren't going to damage the shiny undercarriage of your beautiful gas guzzler even if you are going faster than the speed you would go if I were pushing you, which I might do if you don't speed up.

4. Go straight from the right lane.
When there are four perfectly good lanes of traffic available, why would you choose the right lane if you don't plan on turning right? This may seem ridiculous, but if I would like to turn right on red at the light and you are in front of me...you get the picture. This is particularly frustrating when EVERY OTHER LANE IS EMPTY. You might be able to get away with it if you have to turn immediately after the light, but, if not, get over and keep us all from wanting to drive a spike through your engine block.

3. Drift.
Whenever I see a person drifting into my lane, my first thought is to pass him/her, not necessarily to avoid an accident, but to determine exactly what idiotic move they are making that would cause this driving neglect. A glassy-eyed driver trying desperately to type "OMFG! STFU!" on his smartphone is often the culprit. There is also the application of makeup, the consuming of food, fiddling with the radio, reading (I've seen this one) and the like. I actually drove past a woman on the West Loop who was talking (or singing), while trying to apply eyeliner with one hand and holding a burger in the other. She was driving with her knees.

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29 comments
Aggiemail
Aggiemail

I reside in Boston now and this is the norm here. But, can't blame it all on the driver's there are no lanes on the roads in the city.

TheTruth
TheTruth

Two huge pet peeves:

1) Anyone who doesn't understand that, while you're driving, that is your top priority.  There is no argument.  Driving is not merely what you do to pass the time while getting from place to place or something during which other things can be done to kill that time.  Examples include texting, eating, applying makeup, talking on the phone, etc.  No matter how important you think you are, none of those things are as important as driving safely.

2) Not going fast enough in the left lane.  If you want to drive more slowly than (at the very least) 65-70, why do you think you have any business being in the left lane?

Christopher
Christopher

The next cyclist I see on public roadways following all traffic rules will be the first!....please go find a sidewalk and get your overstressed flourescent spandex off the road!

Peggy
Peggy

Pet peeve: I routinely use the u-turn lane under the freeway on my commute. Often in the mornings traffic backs up and the queue can get quite long. There will then be drivers who go around the queue and, FROM THE LEFT TURN LANE, try to cut into the U-turn lane. Hello, morons, YOU'RE IN THE LEFT TURN LANE so instead of cutting into the u-turn lane, JUST MAKE 2  @#%(*#^%  LEFT TURNS!!

Hugh Jasdic
Hugh Jasdic

At a 4 way stop and no signal turned on. Then they turn in front of you as you cross.

Anse
Anse

Houstonians may not be the only drivers in the world who slow down on the freeway to look at accidents. But there is truly nothing more despicable than rubberneckers. I have sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic only to eventually discover that the accident was actually on the other side of the freeway. There is a special place in hell for people who do that crap.

Reeseman
Reeseman

Everyone thinks that "there are two kinds of drivers in the world: bad drivers, and me."

LT
LT

If you are about to miss your turn or exit, just go past it and turn around.  You don't get to come to a complete stop in your lane and wait until other lanes of traffic stop to let you over. 

Optimisticynic
Optimisticynic

Driving really slowly in any lane other than the right lane on a freeway.  I know the freeways can be scary, with people zipping by you on both sides.  That's because YOU ARE DRIVING REALLY REALLY SLOWLY.  If you're that nervous about driving, it's ok!  Just drive on a surface road!  More than likely you'll get to your destination in about the same amount of time, and you won't create a hazard as people driving the speed limit come up on you so quickly that it's hard to not hit you.  

PaulP
PaulP

Drivers who slow down to change lanes on the freeway! Not only does it take longer to make the change, it's dangerous for every driver in the vicinity.

If I'm the driver behind them, I'm annoyed. If I'm a driver in the lane targeted, I'm annoyed. And if I'm a passenger in the same car as the driver, it's all I can do to keep from crawling out of my skin.

H_e_x
H_e_x

People who don't follow the zipper when entering or exiting a highway. One car in, one car out, it works so well when people follow it. Makes things less stressful.

Kevin
Kevin

I used to merge onto 45 South from Allen Parkway on my way to work. That entrance has no merge lane, so I'd occasionally encounter my all time favorite: people who stop while trying to merge onto a busy freeway. Yes, I know it's a little scary, but stopping is the LAST thing you wanna do, especially during rush hour. It actually makes it a lot harder, not to mention more dangerous; as it then requires you AND everyone stuck behind you to accelerate to 60+ mph, from a dead stop, in a distance of about 50 feet, with cars flying right by you. Slow down a little if you have to, that's fine, but please do not stop! They even teach you not to do this in driver's ed and defensive driving class.

Wmc3840
Wmc3840

I drive home on the 610 loop and then exit south onto the Gulf Freeway. 610 starts backing up around that exit around 5pm and I can sit there for 20 minutes. There is always, always some impatient types who wait until the last minute to get into the exit lane and will either cut me other drivers off. The weird part is many nice people will gladly let them in. And more often than not, believe it or not, the impatient driver will wave - and the not middle hand salute. Like "I know I cut you off and I know I should have not waited until the last minute but maybe if I wave and smile it will make you less mad."  Houston drivers can drive incredibly stupid and reckless but oddly kind of friendly.  

Corey
Corey

How about discovering that enigma to the left of your steering wheel called a turn signal? I swear luxury cars must not come equipped with these, (BMW's drivers are the worst for this). For $%&'s sake use your turn signal......

Dan
Dan

If you really want to piss off Houston drivers, become a bike commuter that follows all road laws.

Jim C
Jim C

"But, turning into a random middle lane that is the only one with an oncoming vehicle, what is that?"

Especially since, UNLESS YOU ARE COMING OFF AN EXIT RAMP, you only get one lane.  Not the whole damn street.  Turn into the far right lane, then change lanes (signaling each time, of course) ONE AT A TIME until you get into the one you need to be in.

People seem to believe once they've passed the driving test when they're a teenager, the rules of the road don't apply to them anymore.  Jeesh.

Blueballs03
Blueballs03

I hate it when you are sitting in the left turn lane at a red light and someone pulls up in the next lane over, throws on their left hand turn signal, and then starts pointing to the left hand lane indicating "I'm going to jump in front of you because I didn't have the presence of mind to get in line like everyone else."   Another favorite of mine is someone crossing a street or turning in front of me, without adequate time to do so, when there are no cars behind me.  Is it really that much of an inconvenience to wait until I pass then turn into traffic or cross the street safely?

Fat Bass Turd
Fat Bass Turd

Slower, lower life-forms KEEP RIGHT.  The left lane is for passing, fuctards!  This is the law. Here's the Lee Iacocca/Andrew Dice Clay mash-up ... "Lead, follow or GET THE F_CK OUTTA THE WAY!"

Max
Max

I kid you not.  On the Beltway feeded there is a single lane overpass between Mykaa and Telephone road.  I was stuck behind a helmetless, little motorcycle rider going about 25.  He was texting.  Cell phones have virtually erased the progress in vehicle safety made over th last 50 years.

smoke faster than you can roll
smoke faster than you can roll

Going straight from the right lane is my all time pisser, how fucking stupid and or inconsiderate can you be ? Case in point west bound feeder toll road @ Fallbrook

Kevin
Kevin

1) I will shamefully admit to texting while driving. I've gotten better about it, by waiting until I'm stopped at a red light before texting, for example. Even so, it's a very bad, distracting, and dangerous habit.

2) I hate slowpokes, especially left-lane slowpokes! Reminds me of a favorite video of mine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Somebody give that cop a promotion!

amy
amy

Oh, yes, the Allen Parkway death ramp. I'm amazed that not more accidents happen there. Terrible design and wish the city would redesign it or close it.. It might be okay weekday mornings when there's gridlock and people are going 5mph per hour but I wouldn't try it at any other time.

Jeff
Jeff

I HATE HATE HATE the stopping mergers. Really good one.

Kevin
Kevin

Big pet peeve of mine. People like that end up contributing to the back up. I make a point of not letting them in front of me. Get in line like everyone else, you dick!

Discgolfer22
Discgolfer22

Lexus drivers are the worst in my experience driving around town. Your car isn't even that nice why do you think you own the road??!!

H_e_x
H_e_x

God damn yes. And you can always tell when they are about to do it to. Just take the extra half second to flip that switch. 

H_e_x
H_e_x

Sadly, such a specimen has never been found in its natural environment.

Max
Max

The corollary:  People that turn right from the middle because they don't have the time, patience or to queue up...  especially when the right lane is not turn only. 

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