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How To Really Annoy Other Drivers: The 10 Worst Driving Habits

OK, everybody, gather round. Mama’s going to teach you how to be a terrible driver*. You know the one: that driver, the one who everybody hates and who nobody wants to ride with. In fact, I’m going to tell you about all the bad habits that you simply must acquire if you want to lose friends and irritate people.

*For the sake of any non-human robots reading this, this article is an example of the ancient art of sarcasm and irony.

Of course, there are plenty of bad habits when it comes to driving, but these are some of the most annoying. They aren’t stupidly dangerous, like running red lights or driving on the wrong side of the road, but they are still somewhat dangerous all the same.

#1: Incorrect Indicators

Those amber lights on the side of your car front and back are designed to let your fellow drivers know if you are about to change lane or turn a corner. But other people should be able to read your mind, right? After all, you should be able to go where you want to when you want to, and why should you be bothered taking time to use those indicators, even though the lever for applying them is right by your hand (assuming you’ve got both hands on your steering wheel, that is). Failure to use them will really make the blood of other drivers boil quite satisfactorily.

However, this isn’t the only way to annoy your fellow drivers with your poor indicator habits. A safer way to mis-indicate is to turn on your indicators far too early and keep everybody guessing as to whether you’re turning the corner or turning into a driveway. At least the people behind you will slow down so they don’t bang into your rear end, and you can hold them up for ages and then (extra bonus points) accuse them of Annoying Driving Habit #2.

#2: Tailgating

Yes, you’ve heard of the two second rule, but that’s for wimps, right? After all, that person in front of you has had his or her indicators on for the last minute, so you can hardly be blamed for driving a scant metre from their rear bumper. Besides, why did they put bumper stickers on the rear of their car if they didn’t expect you to read them? Never mind that you’re driving so close that the driver in front of you doesn’t dare to slow down one iota to avoid you rear-ending them. That’s a way of ensuring that everybody keeps up to the right speed, right?

Even if you’re a little further away and are able to stop in time if the driver in front of you does finally decide to turn into a driveway or if they have to stop for something insignificant, like a dog running into the road, you can still annoy and intimidate them. After all, you’re only sticking close to them waiting for a chance to overtake, and they’re guilty of Annoying Driving Habit #3.

#3: Channelling Your Inner Gandalf

Every time someone comes up close behind you, you need to get your battered grey hat and wizard’s staff on and shout “You shall not pass!” However, if you’re unable to make the road crack at their feet, sending them plunging like a balrog into the chasm beneath the Bridge of Khazad-Dum, there’s a simpler way to stop the people behind you from overtaking and annoy them at the same time. If you’re really lucky, they may let out a suitable enraged roar.

All you need to do is to keep your speed really slow during all the bits of road that are windy, filled with oncoming traffic or painted with pretty yellow lines down the middle. Once these useful areas have shifted to open, empty straight roads with passing lanes, speed up to the full speed limit so that the driver in the car either doesn’t pass you or is forced to break the speed limit to get past you. Bonus points if you can bait them into doing so going past a speed trap or when there’s a cop hiding behind a bush.

This surefire way to annoy all your fellow drivers is best combined with Annoying Driving Habits #4 and #5.

#4: Not Pulling Over

OK, so there’s a queue of traffic piling up behind you like you’re leading them to freedom. At long last, you’ve come to part of the road with a wide shoulder, or possibly even a slow vehicle bay. To get the satisfaction of completely ticking off every single one of those drivers and their passengers, don’t pull over. Just keep on driving and staying in your lane.

#5: Living In The Fast Lane

Finally, to ensure that your fellow drivers start shouting dubious things about your ancestry and your love life, get into the fast lane or the passing lane (in Australia, that’s the one on the right that doesn’t have the oncoming traffic). And stay there. Don’t go at speeds that get used when overtaking. Don’t even go at the open road speed. Go just below it.

After all, you can’t let anybody pass you, as they may be guilty of Annoying Driving Habit #6.

#6: Scantily Clad Loads

If you have a ute or if you’re towing a trailer, it makes sense to tie down anything large like tables and chairs. You don’t want the inconvenience of losing that. However, if you’re taking a load of garbage to the dump or if you have a lot of things in the back that you don’t mind losing, such as leaves, grass clippings or stones. So to ensure that you enrage your fellow drivers, don’t bother covering this load. Leave it naked, even. That way, some will blow back as you drive, right into the windscreen of whoever’s behind you (see Annoying Driving Habit #2). If your load involved stones or gravel, then you may be lucky enough to chip their windscreen. Extra bonus points if the person behind you is getting about on a motorbike or bicycle– those peasants who don’t have as many wheels as you deserve a load of old barbecue ash in the face, right?

If you don’t have a trailer or a ute, you can get a similar effect by applying Annoying Driving Habit #7.

#7: Litterbugs

Your car is your castle, and you don’t want to clutter up your precious car with old coffee cups, uneaten fast food meals and packages, etc. You could merely keep these in a bag and dispose of them at the end of your journey, but why squander the opportunity to irritate not just other drivers but pedestrians, home owners, town councils and environmentalists? Out the window with it!

Throwing an apple core or peach pit out into the grass in the middle of the countryside is for amateurs. If you do this when nobody is in sight, this won’t annoy anybody. However, for maximum effect, dispose of plastic, paper or glass that you can’t be bothered with any longer, and do it in a built-up area.

However, a still-burning cigarette butt (here, I’m assuming that the way you drive isn’t your only bad habit) might be a bit too far. After all, you could hit a cyclist in the face with hot ash or, during drought season, start a fire. And the person behind you might be indulging in Annoying Driving Habit #8, meaning that they’ll be able to squeal to the authorities and get you into hot water.

#8: Staying Glued To Your Phone

You spend a lot of time in your car and you’ve got a busy life, so of course you NEED to stay on your phone. There are calls to take, and you’re pretty sure that you saw a text message or Snapchat or maybe it was a notification on Messenger from your boss or maybe it was your boyfriend or possibly it was your mother, but you’d better check, and then even if it came from the person in the group chat from the book club commenting on the latest bit of chick lit you’re working through at the moment, well you have to read it then and there because it would be rude to ghost them and just leave them with a Seen message without even a like or an emoji, right**? You have to consider the people in your life who are there only virtually ahead of the drivers around you! Besides, if checking your phone leads you to miss a light changing, make manoeuvres at the last minute (see Annoying Driving Habit #1) or swerve in front of people, you’ll annoy them to perfection.

Moreover, if you want to indulge in Annoying Driving Habit #9, you have to curate the right Spotify list.

#9: Wannabe DJs

You might not have the world’s most expensive car but you certainly have a very good sound system with very powerful speakers. If you’ve gone to all that effort, you have to flaunt it, right? Wind that speaker up, put your windows down and let that music play! Now, doing this with middle of the road music might only mildly annoy people. But to really grind people’s gears, select something that is loved by only a select few, preferably with dodgy lyrics of the sort that would have seen your grandfather getting his mouth washed out with soap by great-grandma.

If you’re a fan of this particular habit, then you probably regret the fact that Elon Musk chickened out on having some varieties of Tesla making fart noises when travelling at slow speeds. You’d have had a lot of fun with that – think of how many people you could tick off with an EV with a loud stereo and farting noises, especially if you drove past where they’re coming out of a funeral or something along those lines. However, that would probably mean that you’d drain your battery fairly quickly and have to drag yourself to the nearest supermarket with a charging station (see Annoying Driving Habits #4 and #5) and hope that someone else hasn’t decided to try in Annoying Driving Habit #10.

#10: Entitled Parking

It’s raining, so you want to park close to the doors of the mall or the supermarket or K-Mart or your other retail destination of choice. Otherwise, you might have to WALK (Gasp! The horror!). So park wherever you like. You’ll have the satisfaction of getting people’s goat and getting their knickers in a twist if you park your car somewhere clearly designated for something special (who do they think they are, right?). Put your 4×4 in the disabled parking spot or in the mothers with babies parks (your 4×4 will probably blend in with the others in the parents-only carparks anyway as long as nobody sees that you don’t have baby seats cluttering up your back seat). Or to become everybody’s least favourite person, park your 5-litre petrol or diesel in the EV charging spaces.

Now, have I missed any?  Who wants to suggest a few more annoying habits guaranteed to irritate?

**100 words in one sentence – I think that’s my personal best. Tell me, are you not annoyed?