5 Common Types of Drivers in the Inner-Mountain West

Saturday, July 09, 2011
On The Belt Route
In the past two months, I've been on the road a great deal. Between driving to Pocatello no less than 3 times, Salt Lake City or Park City 5 times, Denver once, Laramie twice, and a bit of backtracking in all cases, I've covered no less than 3,000 miles in this relatively small spot of the country. During these travels, I've noted a few things about drivers in the region. As a quick note to all of you who may be out there who miss the point, I'm merely speaking of the annoying and obvious minority who are the ones you are most likely to pay attention to, and not everyone. Good, with that out of the way, let's make some wild generalizations!

1: The Eternal Passer: Some people wake up in the morning before needing to drive on the freeway and say to themselves in there mirror: "You know what, I call the passing lane today. I refuse to drive in any other lane for the rest of the day!" At least, I have to assume they tell themselves that at some point, because true enough, they will NEVER LEAVE THE PASSING LANE. It is theirs by right, and by God they will move for no man! Are you going faster than the Eternal Passer? Well too bad, he's not moving. Wait til it's three lanes or pass him on the inside. Most often, the Eternal Passer is in some kind of SUV. There are many variants of the Eternal Passer, of course, all of them dependent on speed. Sometimes, you'll be lucky and the Eternal Passer will become the "There Goes My Ticket Guy" who never falls below 90 mph. If you're unlucky, they combine with our next type of driver...

2: The Congestor: While the highway does tend to breed more leaden footed people than slow, in-courteous people, the slow ones sometimes become the most annoying. Sure, I'll grant that most slow drivers cause little trouble and stay to the inside and let you pass them. But sometimes... sometimes they are a breed of the Eternal Passer, and stay in the passing lane even though they're going 15 miles under the speed limit which everyone else is braking. Or other times, they try to pass a Semi or another slow driver, in which they become Congestors. Congestors will bring highway traffic to a slow drag in a hurry, and can sometimes create a queue ten or more cars deep. Whenever you see an old Buick or a Geo Metro, expect a Congestor in the making. Semi-trucks will often become Congestors themselves, when trying to pass another Semi while going uphill. Between Congestors and Eternal Passers, an arguably more dangerous driver becomes evident...

3: The Speedy Weaver: This guy... this guy is in the biggest hurry in the world. Most of the time, he is in either an expensive-looking sedan or some kind of penal compensating Jeep or Hummer. This guy will do absolutely anything to get ahead of others. The highway is a race, and God DAMMIT he NEEDS to win! When you see the Speedy Weaver, you'll almost always think to yourself "Man, that guy is going to cause an accident", because he will quite literally weave between lanes, passing people quickly and merging into small spaces in a desperate attempt to beat everyone else. The greatest sorrow is that the Speedy Weaver will never, ever actually get into a wreck, nor will he be pulled over. Because there is no justice, and pricks are given some kind of strange, incomprehensible invulnerability to these things. Perhaps from Satan. The point is, this guy is a jerk who will act dangerously and rudely and live to do so another day. He is the eternal enemy of another kind of aggravating driver...

4: The Chatty Chauffeur: Also known as the Distracted, this brand of driver is almost never alone, nor is he actually ever paying attention to the road. He will be in either a mini-van or some other kind of roomy and "economical" (see: cheap) vehicle that is packed with either children or enough crap that you can no longer look into the rear windscreen. He will struggle to stay in the lines of one lane, pass without thinking, never, EVER drive at a consistent speed, and when you pass him, he'll either be yelling at someone else in the car, on the phone, or in what must be the most interesting conversation ever with the person next to him. He is the eternal enemy of the Speedy Weaver because he will force the Speedy Weaver to heighten his jerky awareness, and may even, Heaven forbid, slightly inconvenience the Speedy Weaver. This will make the Speedy Weaver more aggressive, which, if you think about it, is pretty impressive. Of course, the Chatty Chauffeur inconveniences everyone, but not nearly as much as the most annoying, teeth gnashingly douchey driver you will ever meet in this region...

5: The Most Important Person On The Road: This guy. This (expletive deleted) guy. Usually, he will have a Utah license plate, but other than that, there is no warning as to where he'll appear or who he'll be. Courtesy, common sense, logic, even traffic laws mean nothing the The Most Important Person On The Road. He is above the rules. Beyond them, if you will. While on the road, all other cars cease to exist, traffic and merger signs disappear into the AEther, and the only rule is that he is above all on the road. He is usually beyond oblivious; it's not that he doesn't care about other people on the road, its just that he is more important. Unlike the others on this list, the irritation caused by this driver is not limited to the highway. In town, yield signs lose all meaning, stop signs become yield signs, yellow lights mean "Speed Up", and turning into traffic is not a problem, because hey, they'll probably brake. They have to. Because he is the Most Important Person On The Road.

You know, I'm pretty sure Claude was this guy.

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