There are things people do when they’re driving that boggle my mind and don’t make a lick of sense.

I realize that nobody who’s reading this ever does any of these things, but from my experience it’s apparent a significant number of other people do. In no particular order, here are some of my driving pet peeves.

•OK, I lied. This one is definitely No. 1 on my list.  I absolutely can’t stand it when I go to pass someone and they speed up – often way, way up. It mainly applies to traveling on two-lane roadways and can manifest in one of two ways:

1. On a curvy or hilly section of a two-lane highway with a double-yellow line down the middle, a vehicle directly in front of me is traveling at about five miles per hour under the speed limit. As we reach a straight or flat area where there’s a broken yellow line, I prepare to pass, but suddenly the vehicle in front is going 10 or 15 miles per hour over the speed limit.

I now have two choices: Go really, really fast in an attempt to pass, in hopes that the creep in front doesn’t speed up even more as I pull into the oncoming lane, or just stay behind. Of course, if I stay behind, the vehicle in front inevitably slows back down to a sub-speed limit level when the double-yellow line reappears.

2. In a similar vein, I’m on a two-lane highway behind a slow car and the highway changes to three lanes with two on our side.

I move to the left lane to go past the slowpoke, and suddenly I’m driving next to Kevin Harvick. Obviously, I’m left with the same choice as above.

Either way, it’s so, so, so, aggravating – and just plain ridiculous.

•I find it exceedingly weird (and illogical) when I pull up to a stoplight and the front vehicle in a group or cars in the adjacent lane is stopped about 15 feet back from the stop line.

Not that is harms anything, but it’s just bizarre to pull up to the line and have a giant empty space next to me.

The same goes for when someone in the middle of a group leaves about 12 feet between their vehicle and the one in front of them. Why?

I don’t get it. Close the dang gap!

•Why do so many people who have vehicles equipped with fog lights constantly leave them on?

It’s not much different than having high beams on. It’s distracting and it’s certainly not necessary unless – wait for it – it’s foggy out!

And news flash: It’s not “cool” looking.

•This doesn’t happen much in Texas County, but it does in any big city where there’s a freeway and on on-ramp.

I despise it when I’m in a situation of merging onto a three or four lane freeway and there’s some clown in the far right lane who either speeds up or slows down in just the right manner to make my task difficult.

I always somehow manage to intrude my way to where I’m trying to go, but I’m always amazed by the purposeful rudeness being displayed in these circumstances. I sort of envision a guy or gal with scraggly hair and a short cigarette butt dangling from their lower lip sinisterly laughing like a mad scientist who just perfected an invisible spray that makes everyone hand over all the money they have with them.

Anyway, I can’t help but wonder why people act in the ways they sometimes do when they’re behind the wheel. What do they do when they get home, make prank phone calls, key neighbors’ cars and place dead rats in their mailboxes? Probably not, but while they might be Dr. Jekyll most of the time, they’re Mr. Hyde on the road.

Like I said, I’m sure no one who reads this has ever done any of the things I’ve referred to here. For that, I say “thank you.”

As if.

Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald.


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