Most Hated Types of Drivers You Unfortunately Have to Put Up With

Cars queue in line at the Croatian border with Slovenia in Bregana, near Zagreb on April 14, 2017 as new checks aimed at stopping suspected Islamist fighters from Iraq and Syria, produced traffic chaos on the border, a key bottleneck on the so-called Balkan migrant trail shut down last year.

Every driver hates traffic and other delays, but the worst thing is obnoxious drivers who know better. | AFP/Getty Images

Have you cursed at anyone recently while driving? If so, you’re not alone. Anyone who has driven for any length of time has likely boiled over in anger about something a fellow driver did on the road. There’s something about driving in America that just brings out the worst in some people. (The statistics on driver deaths certainly don’t help.)

You might say it’s human nature — sure, people are selfish — but frankly we expect more from our fellow travelers on the road. We’re not saying we need you to wave us ahead at every intersection with a smile, but we can do better than hold up traffic or aggravate everyone on the same street or highway.

We won’t attempt to answer the riddle of why people act like jerks in their cars. However, we can point out the most hated drivers on U.S. roads. If you’re one of them, please stop. As for the rest of you responsible drivers, please continue being yourself. We need every one we can get.

1. Tailgaters

AMESBURY, ENGLAND - APRIL 20: Traffic passes along the busy A303 that currently runs besides the ancient neolithic monument of Stonehenge near Amesbury on April 20, 2017 in Wiltshire, England. Plans proposed by the government to build a 1.8 mile (2.9 km) tunnel past the prehistoric UNESCO World Heritage site, which is believed to have been constructed in 3000BC, have proved controversial, with archaeologists warning that the plans could cause irreversible damage and a decision by the National Audit Office as to whether the scheme offers value for money is yet to made.

Tailgating will make other drivers hate you. | Matt Cardy/Getty Images

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being followed on the road? If you run into enough tailgaters, you know how irritating it can be. Look, we understand if there are only two lanes and someone is going slow in the passing lane, but that’s about it. When you have people right on your bumper in a 25 mph zone and a bunch of cars in front of you, there is no excuse. Tailgaters simply raise your stress level without any good reason.

2. Honkers

Protesters block traffic as an angry driver honks during an anti-police brutality march in Oakland on January 17, 2015. About hundred protesters disrupted traffic and chanted as they made their way to Oakland Police Station where at least five people were arrested.

You can honk, but you won’t change the situation. | Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

No one likes being stuck in traffic. The only thing that makes it worse is when someone starts honking their horn like the apocalypse is near. We understand the frustration of sitting without moving, but horn honkers don’t make traffic move faster by beeping. On top of that, honkers who do their beeping in residential areas really grate on people’s nerves. If you want to provoke road rage in the nearest driver, just start honking.

3. Texters

Driver texts behind the wheel on April 30, 2016 in New York, New York.

That text or Facebook post can probably wait. | Getty Images

Maybe they’re texting, maybe they’re tweeting. Or maybe they just had to “like” something on Instagram before going back to watching the road. Whatever they’re doing on their phone, it creates danger for what’s probably the least important thing on the planet. Imagine getting into a crash and becoming paralyzed because someone wanted to add “lol” to someone’s Facebook post. Yes, we do believe there is a special place in hell for those who drive and socialize on a phone.

4. Drunks

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 14: Washington Metropolitan Police conduct a sobriety check point associated with a news conference on drunk driving, on August 14, 2012 in Washington, DC. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) held a news conference to discuss the national anti-drunk driving campaign and law enforcement crackdown.

Drunk drivers have no fans. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Hopefully you’ll never have to deal with a drunk driver on the highway, as your encounter might turn fatal. However, you can probably tell when there’s someone who’s had too many when driving through residential neighborhoods. You see them swerve a little, stop for too long at stop-signs, and otherwise behave like someone who’s a little slow. Because of the danger they represent to the community and themselves, drunk drivers are among the most hated.

5. Frantic lane changers

Shot of the 110 freeway on February 21, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Changing lanes in traffic gets you nowhere. | Getty Images

If you drive in Southern California often — and our condolences if you do — you surely know the species of driver we’ll call the frantic lane-changer. One second, they are behind you and move to your left to pass you. The next moment, they see an opening in front of you and switch back to your lane. After multiple maneuvers, they’ve gained maybe one car length. Next, you might see them try the right lane. These people somehow make heavy traffic even worse.

6. Turn signal abusers

A police officer controls the traffic in Times Square, downtown Manhattan, on July 1, 2017 In New York.

Try signaling before you turn. Other drivers appreciate the head’s up. | Getty Images

You can handle turn signals three ways:

  1. Signal before turning
  2. Signal but never turn
  3. Never signal but turn anyway

Those who do anything but “1” on this list will incur the wrath of drivers everywhere. Seriously, how hard is it to signal before turning? We also don’t understand how someone can drive for miles on the highway without realizing their signal is still going. It freaks out everyone behind them. Fortunately, car makers have come up with smarter turn signals that go off on their own. They weren’t necessary, but here we are.

7. ‘I’m blocking the road because I drive for Uber.’

Chevy Suburban stops in the middle of an intersection while pedestrians try to cross on March 30, 2017 in New York City.

Why are Uber drivers always blocking traffic? | Getty Images

You know what’s cool about an Uber driver blocking traffic while he waits for his customer? Nothing. Drivers in most big cities became familiar with this species in recent years, and we don’t blame you if you think it’s a step back in the evolution of humanity. Ride-hail drivers need to figure out a way to meet their customers without blocking traffic or otherwise inconveniencing the rest of the world. If New York City traffic is any indication, cabbies are way better than their peers at this.

8. Extreme defensive drivers

BERLIN, GERMANY - APRIL 27: Cars stop at a stoplight on Kurfuerstendamm avenue on April 27, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. Kurfuerstendamm, known locally as Ku'damm and which is the shopping and cultural heart of west Berlin, is turning 125 years old this year. City authorities are planning a series of events and exhibitions to mark the annivrsary starting in May. The the avenue has existed as a thoroughfare since the 17th century, though its pavement was first completed in 1886. During World War II many of the buildings along its route were destroyed by Allied bombing, resulting in an architectural mix today that blends pre-war and post-war, especially 1960s and 1970s, architecture.

Drive defensively, but don’t go over the top. | Sean Gallup/Getty Images

We applaud defensive drivers. They do not pretend to be speed demons or claim ownership of the road under any circumstances. Instead, they proceed with caution and let the crazies fly past them. All this is good until they take the defense to the extreme. You know the type we’re talking about, like the driver who slows down on a green light in case some psycho is running a red light. These people take defensive driving so far they create an alternate form of danger. Green is only for go.

9. Lane cutters

DENVER, CO - OCTOBER 02: Traffic drives on the segement of Interstate 25 near the venue for the first presidential debate on October 2, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Interstate will be closed from 5 PM until 10 PM when Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will square off against U.S. President Barack Obama in the first of three debates on October 3.

There are no shortcuts in heavy traffic. | Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Everyone is waiting to make a turn or exit so there’s a slowdown. Courteous drivers wait their turn and proceed when they can. The rest simply disregard shame and take a free lane so they can cut inside and reduce their wait time. Most people have become used to this obnoxious style of driving and don’t do anything about it (i.e., honk, give the finger, or attempt to cut them off). But they’ll still hate the driver who pretends they don’t follow the same rules.

10. Anyone who stops next to an open parking spot

Uber car stopped in the street on July 20, 2015 in New York City.

Parking spots are for stopping; streets are for driving. | Getty Images

Since we have seen this type of obnoxious driver for generations, we can’t pin it on Uber. Sometimes, you wonder why traffic has stopped as there seems to be no answer. When you make your way past the point of gridlock, you’ll see someone stopped next to an empty parking spot. Maybe it’s the UPS guy dropping off a package, but too often it is a driver who is too lazy to parallel park. While they do whatever they’re doing, the world will anxiously await their next move.

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