Camping and hiking information
with tips for parents
Camping and hiking information
with tips for parents
Bad Drivers - Look out for them!
Some days on the highway
seem like a game of bumper pool or a familiar video game. There are a lot of bad drivers out there
so you need to be careful!
There are bad drivers all over the place but it seems to be tourists who are the worst offenders (yes, us camping travelers qualify all too often.) A few of the worst offenses I have seen, and yes, that I have commited myself are listed here. I know it's not nice to call names - but everyone deserves a title....
People who are too interested in the scenery to bother with the posted speed limit, the lines on the road, or other vehicles. I know the scenery is lovely and you don't want to miss anything. Find a place to pull over and take a few pictures or stretch your legs. Don't be a road hazard!
- Road Blockage:
People who choose to park in the road to get that perfect snap-shot. These people are looky-loo's, completely out of control. Hazard lights will not protect you from other tourists who aren't paying attention and will not save you from a large ticket if you get caught! Please park in the nearest turn-out and walk to your photo opportunity.
- Driver trainees:
These people are driving huge vehicles and/or are towing monstrocities. I have few objections to large motorhomes and the like, but please learn how to drive a vehicle that is two feet short of requiring a special license before taking it out on the road. I can't be the only person out there who changes lanes to get away from any camper with a rental sticker on it!
- Speed Racer:
These folks are running late - very late! If they don't get to the campground quick, quick, quick, they might miss getting a spot and are willing to pass everyone to make sure that doesn't happen! Unfortunately, most campgrounds are located on two lane blacktop winding roads that aren't designed for turbo. These driving antics really annoy the rest of the campers on the roads and absolutely infuriate the 'locals' who have to put up with these fools every day of the week. Slow down!
- The Clueless
This is the final sub-class of bad tourist driving techneques, and is by far the saddest in my opinion. These people forget where they are driving and make bad choices because of this.
Some people forget what side of the road they are supposed to be driving on while visiting the US - often resulting in horrendous crashes.
Other people forget that they are driving on the edge of a 200 foot cliff and swerve the car to avoid hitting a squirell.
Please, please be aware of differences in speed laws, driving conditions, and other safety factors that you don't have to deal with at home.
There are also plenty of driving offenders that you will find in their natural habitat (not tourists). I try not to generalize poor driving habits to certain regions or states, but after years of travelling- I must admit that certain states and regions seem to have an unusual proportion of bad drivers!
tips on how to
recognize and avoid really bad driver
If you know somebody
guilty of the offenses below,
(or you are the guilty party) please
clue them in!
This is all written with a sence of humor - but in my experience is more often than not accurate.
- Edgers (riding the edge)
These people are dangerous in an
incompetent sort of way. Edgers hit the brakes often - with no relevance
to the surrounding traffic situations. These people drive slowly in the
fast lane and are frightened of merging traffic. An edger may wait 10 minutes
to make a left turn across traffic - and then will almost cause an accident
doing this manuver. You can generally recognize an edger by the distance between this persons nose and their steering wheel. The closer the nose is to the wheel, the bigger the edger the driver is.
Edgers are unpredictable drivers.
Pass an edger leaving lots of space for errors on their part. Never follow
an edger closely as these people tend to panic and may slam on the brakes
at any time. Avoid driving near edgers.
- Distance Impairment
These people seem to be unable to
judge speed and distance. The distance impaired race up to red lights -
seemingly unaware that they will have to stop soon. These are also the
people who race up behind you and ride your bumper - even though the road
is blocked with slow moving cars for miles ahead of you.These people are not really dangerous unless you are prone to sudden stops,
but they are quite irritating. If you are driving in an area with stop
and go traffic you may want to make an effort to avoid these drivers to
prevent road rage (on your part).
- Speed Passers
These are the drivers who race ahead of you and then slow down - usually to a speed a few miles below your cruise control setting.
These people are quite irritating
and generally seem unaware of why their behavior is bothering you. Using
your horn or flashing your headlights is usually pointless as they don't
know what they did wrong. Avoid speed passers as they are common
causes of anger and frustration as well as higher gas milage as you reset your cruise control again and again.
- The Speed Unconscious
These folks are similar to speed
passers but the behavior is constant - not just done when passing. These
are the vehicles you remember on big road trips - because you see them
over and over again. These folks just can't seem to keep up a constant
speed manualy and refuse to use cruise control.
Look for the cell phone plugged into the driver's ear,
it's a dead giveaway. Not all cell phone owners are speed unconscious but
almost all of the speed unconscious are cell phone owners. Hmmmm....
These people are not dangerous -
but you may become weary of their company quickly.
- Lane SurfersThese people come in two different
styles, but both are easy to recognize.
Type A lane surfers weave in and
out of the lanes jockeying to get ahead. This can be quite dangerous and
these people are to be avoided at all costs. Type A lane surfers generally
exhibit more than one of the driving offenses listed here. Let them go
by and be happy they are gone.
Type B lane surfers generally stay
in one lane - but they use ALL of it. These people wander to the right
shoulder and throw up a little dust - then drift over to the line on their
left. Many of these people only do this
when no traffic is near them - but you can't be sure if you have a safety
concerned lane surfer or not - so give them plenty of room! Type B lane surfers are generally
not too dangerous. These folks are just too lackadaisical to make the effort
to stay in their lane. They just lack the concentration
to stay on the roads!
Give type B lane surfers plenty of
room and make sure they see you when you are trying to pass. A little tap
on your horn may wake these people enough to keep you both safe.
- Road Rage
Road rage is quite serious and people with
this problem should be given the right-of-way every time.
Many people assume that road rage is entirely the fault of the driver. It is my personal opinion that if there were fewer people committing the other offenses listed above - there would be fewer
cases of road rage.
Road Rage is easy to recognize.
If a driver is flashing his/her lights at you, is honking angrily, is yelling
or gesturing rudely, has cut in front of you and is slamming on his/her
brakes - chances are quite high that you are dealing with road rage.You may know what you have done to
enrage the other driver - and you may not have a clue. It doesn't matter and may not have a thing to do with you at all.
The most natural response is to get
angry yourself. Please don't! You are teaching your kids how to behave
appropriately - and aggression is not the safe bet in this situation!
Most instances of road rage end up
with hurt feelings. A few end up far uglier. Since you don't know who you are dealing
with - it is important that you consider the worst possibilities and plan
your actions accordingly.
Get away from the enraged driver.
If you know the area you are driving in, head straight for the nearest
law enforcement agency. If you are in an unfamiliar area, stay on main roads
and attempt to get away from the angry driver. If you have a cell phone
- use it!
Do not pull over to discuss this
with anyone! If you are confronted at a traffic signal, roll up your windows and lock your doors.
Keep in mind that everyone in your
car is at risk in a road rage situation.
There will shorty be a page added on auto accident scams and other tricky stuff to avoid when traveling.