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Man using personal digital assistant while driving (Getty Images)
Man using personal digital assistant while driving (Getty Images)

Car Curmudgeon

Car curmudgeon: Eight drivers who make your commute a living... Add to ...

They’re out there. Every day of the work week. Drivers who make your commute a living … well, you know. We all have plenty of time to observe their antics. Shall we consider some of the more blatant examples?

The Turn Confirmator

This individual has yet to grasp the significance of that stalk on the left side of every steering wheel. It’s called a turn indicator because it’s designed to signal a driver’s intention to turn. Instead, the Confirmator waits until the light turns green to flick the indicator on and … Of course, it’s never at a signal with an advance green. The result: you sit through an entire traffic light cycle, going nowhere, fast.

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The Lap Dog

Instantly identifiable in stop-and-go traffic by their antics – jack-rabbit starts, sudden stops, veering suddenly to the left and right as they inch forward. The reason why is as clear as a glance at their visage in their rear-view mirror. Instead of looking ahead, they’re gazing at their lap. Yes, they’re driving while texting. Bad dog.

The Laggard

Not to be confused with the dreaded Left Lane Laggard, another headache-inducer. Most often found in the slowest of a multilane highway, the Laggard allows too many car lengths to open up between them and the vehicle ahead. Since nature abhors a vacuum, cars from the adjoining lane pour into the empty space. And you sit behind the Laggard and grind your teeth.

The Darter

The Darter clearly subscribes to the “grass is always greener” theory – because Darters are never happy in whatever lane they might find themselves. Your reflexes will get a good workout trying to avoid the Darter when he or she suddenly – and I do mean suddenly – zips into your lane, millimetres from your front bumper. Don’t waste time flicking the high beams, honking your horn or offering a gesticulation because the Darter is already slicing into yet another lane.

The Tapper

Ever wonder why rush-hour traffic bunches up, starts to move, and then bunches up again? The Tapper, that’s why. The Tapper is found glued to the bumper of the car ahead in slow-moving traffic – and is constantly tapping the brake pedal. The result? A cascading application of car brakes behind the Tapper, creating that delightful concertina effect.

The Zipper Merge Fail

This scourge simply doesn’t get how a zipper merge works. Instead of driving up to the merge point to seamlessly blend with traffic in the parallel lane, they come to a full stop as soon as they emerge from the on-ramp. Of course, no one will let them in, and since you’re behind them, you both go nowhere, fast. Massive fail.

The Sun Visor Challenged

The logical response to being blinded by early morning/late afternoon sun is to pull down the visor. Not in the ranks of the Challenged. They just put on a pair of sunglasses and – squinting – hope for the best. Since they’re usually right behind you, brace for that inevitable rear-ender.

The Creeper

Incapable of coming to a single complete stop at a traffic light, the Creeper instead stops, inches forward, stops again, and creeps some more – all the while forcing you to follow suit to keep the car next to you from suddenly zipping into your lane. Yes, our old friend the Darter.

If you have questions about driving or car maintenance, please contact our experts at globedrive@globeandmail.com.

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