Many motorists have cars they hate to interact with on the highway. They count on the drivers of these cars to drive in annoying, erratic, or unpredictable ways. With at least a half million miles of highway travel under my belt, here are eight of the cars I find most annoying on the road today:
1. Volvo. Any Volvo. You can generally count on a Volvo driver to drive five to ten miles below the posted speed limit. When they have to merge onto a freeway, they will accelerate to the posted speed limit a leisurely pace and merge in front of an oncoming cement truck in a safe fashion. Unfortunately, if you are behind them on the on ramp you will be left with the option of merging into the side of the truck or slamming on your brakes at the end of the ramp. In their defense, I suspect most Volvo drivers are paramedics, chiropractors, and doctors who treat car accident victims all day and drive in a perpetual state of fear.
2. Subaru Forester. Subaru drivers are just like Volvo drivers, but they drive a slightly hipper, more contemporary, package. Still, Subaru drivers are generally more concerned with hiking or bicycling at their destination than driving in the here and now. The only exception may be Subaru WRX drivers who drive like old school Mitsubishi Eclipse owners.
3. Nissan Versa . Some cars are just slow and the Versa must be one of them. Nissan Versa drivers typically drive five to ten miles below the posted limit because the gerbils under their hoods are just plain tired and can’t run any faster on their cage wheels.
4. Toyota Prius . Americans waste more gas accelerating and passing Toyota Prius owners than this hybrid success story ever saved. Since the Prius has lots of onboard instruments telling drivers how to save gas, you can count on Prius owners to drive slow, accelerate slow, and camp out in the passing lane in order to avoid wasteful variations in speed.
5. Mitsubishi Eclipse. Of course, the pokey puppies aren’t the only annoying drivers on the road. You can count on Mitsubishi Eclipse drivers to tailgate in any driving scenario. They typically follow you at a quarter car length distance per 30 miles per hour. Yet, when a passing opportunity presents itself they dare not pass for fear of getting a ticket. This sort of behavior is simply dangerous and unmanly.
6. Lexus RX. Drivers of the Lexus RX350 drive well enough in most situations, but seem to have trouble at four way stops. Instead of waiting their turn, they assume that the most expensive car goes first at the intersection. It’s an amateurish nouveau riche driving mistake and it’s annoying.
7. Honda Civic (Rice-Rocket Edition). Most Honda Civics are respectable, economical, vice free cars. However, a subset of Honda Civic drivers enjoys transforming their otherwise mundane car into a rice rocket. You recognize these modified cars by large, buzzy, tin can mufflers, expensive rims, low profile tires, aftermarket fiberglass trim, and a wing or fin on the trunk. These cars are annoying because they often pack powerful stereos that can rattle your teeth and pound your eardrums from several car lengths away.
8. Dodge Ram Pickup Trucks. Chrysler took the pickup truck and made it a work of art with the Dodge Ram pickup. It exudes raw power and has a hoodline that evokes voth historic trucks and modern big rigs. Then, they added powerful hemi V-8 engines and optional diesel power-plants. There is only one problem. The Dodge Ram looks huge in your rear view mirror and many drivers use these trucks to intimidate others on the highway. When these trucks tailgate you, they blot out the sun.
Of course, it isn’t fair to blame cars for the foibles of their drivers. I just wish some of the Volvo drivers would press the accelerator when the light turns green.