Thursday, March 09, 2017

How to deal with idiot drivers

Hey, I know that guy.
I have it on good authority that psychiatrists train Idiot Drivers (IDs) and set them loose on the byways to generate business.

Jack Baruth, who blogs about cars, posits the Zombia Theory of IDs:
I'm not saying that road rage and aggressive driving isn't a problem in the United States—it obviously is—but much of the bizarre behavior you see out there on the road is simply due to the fact that the average driver puts no more thought into his choices behind the wheel than I do into selecting toilet paper at the supermarket.
They aren't trying to offend you or "beat" you. They're just kind of stroking along on instinct and the dimly remembered lessons of high-school driver's ed.
Well, Jack, you're welcome to your opinion. After all, a lot of people voted for Hillary.

I'm going to counter posit my own idea, and I'm pretty sure I'm right: These people are criminally insane, psychotic serial killers from another planet.

However, since Jack blogs about cars, and I blog about Hillary, I'll defer to him on the solution. Here we go.
The most prevalent, and most annoying, unconscious behavior I see on the roads is "herding." We're all social animals at heart, so a lot of people are reassured at some level when they are near other cars. That's ridiculous and stupid, of course—the most dangerous thing on the road is the car or truck next to you—but our unconscious minds were designed in a time before the GMC Yukon Denali XL.
Note how Jack slips in a slick reference to some car I've never heard of. I'm pretty sure that's a form of humble bragging. Fine. Whatever.
Herding manifests itself in the following behaviors:
  • Driving next to you on an otherwise empty freeway
  • Hanging out in your blind spot
  • Passing you then slowing to match your speed a car length or two ahead
  • Tailgating you for no reason, with lanes open on either side
  • Speeding up to match you when you pass them
So what do you do with the herders? Jack sez:
Instead of getting angry with this behavior, consider ways to break it by playing on the driver's unconscious motivations. If a driver is next to you and adjusts to match your speed, consider braking sharply (if there's nothing behind you) or accelerating sharply (if there's nothing ahead) for just a second or so. When you get far enough away from them, their herd instinct will diminish and they may leave you alone.
That's nice, Jack. Let me counter posit this suggestion: A Glock 19 with a 15-round magazine.

I'm beginning to like the word posit. (Humble Brag Warning (HBW)!) Note that I just made up counter posit. I'm clever like that because I'm a writer. Which means I'm neurotic. I'll worry all afternoon about whether counter posit should be hyphenated.

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