Written by IainB
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Tags: Driving

Monday, 15 May 2017

image for Motorway drivers - which are you? Which kind of driver are you?

After twenty-five years of extensive research (commuting along the M60), the results of traffic analysis are finally ready to be revealed on the eleven types of drivers on motorways to watch out for...

The "It's Called the FAST Lane" driver
One of the more obvious types of drivers, usually in a German-made car, these drivers will immediately, upon entering a motorway, get into the outside lane of the motorway. They will attempt this regardless of traffic conditions or how long they have to be on the motorway. Extreme examples that have been noted: those that force their way into stationary traffic from three lanes of free flowing traffic, those that join the motorway for one junction, cross all the lanes, and return immediately, because they're coming off and those that do it on a completely empty motorway for no reason what so ever. Interrogation of these drivers results in the understanding that the outside lane is - in their heads at least - the Fast Lane. Repeating the phrase "Additional Overtaking Lane" can cure some, but most are inured to any kind of education.

The "It's the Safest Lane" driver
Similar to the FAST lane driver, these drivers, usually in a twenty year old Japanese-made car, will immediately, upon entering a motorway, enter the middle lane. Where there are four lanes, there is some confusion as to which lane constitutes the middle lane, with most of these drivers settling on the third of four lanes working on the assumption that the inside lane will eventually turn off. The only event that will cause these drivers to leave the middle lane is reaching the point where they need to leave the motorway. Some of this category has been known to sit in this lane even when it's closed due to an accident. They will speed up and slow down, but never overtake anybody, nor worry when traffic streams by on either side like a rock in a river. When queried, they will respond with the hypnotic mantra that this is the Safest Lane. The only cure for these drivers is stealing their tyres.

The "Gap Magnet" driver
There is no lane this category of driver will not use. If there's a gap on either side of them, they will go into it. They will move into gaps that they wouldn't consider trying to parallel park into. The usual culprit drives a Transit with faded out letters from a different company on the side. Conditions further up the motorway are irrelevant. All that matters is the gap. When queried, this type of driver honestly believes that they are getting there faster than the other thousands of people on the motorway, they consider themselves to be expert drivers; despite being one of the major causes of traffic jams as hundreds, in a snaking chain behind them, brake because there wasn't any room. Satellite tracking of cars in a typical jam through Stockport, shows that, despite what they believe, the Eddie Stobart lorry they were behind when they joined the motorway, is two cars in front when they leave. The only cure for these drivers is to prevent them watching the Fast and Furious movies.

The "Leave No Gap" driver
Although this category of driver will use any lane they are under the impression that in order to get to where they are going faster, they need to be as close as possible to the car in front; regardless of the speed that they are going. In congestion, this means being millimetres behind the car in front. Quite often, this category of driver will drive a hatchback with letters and/or numbers after the model. Any gap greater than a credit card width would allow a Gap Magnet to go in front, thus adding at least forty minutes to any journey. Additionally, if they are more than three quarters of a second behind the car in front, they might as well not bother with the journey, as it will take an interminable amount of time extra, and not, as maths would indicate, just over three quarters of a second longer. They seem blithely unaware that the time it takes to travel a car length is measured in seconds, and not, as they assume, days. Quite often they are at the back of a three car pileup, when behind a FAST lane driver and a Gap Magnet pulls between them.

The "Comfort Brake" driver
In general, this category of driver seems the most normal, but for one little quirk: they have to have at least one foot on a pedal at all times. This means that they are either pressing the accelerator or the brake. They are easily identifiable from behind as their brake lights will keep coming on, despite the car not slowing at all. It would appear that failure to be pressing a pedal for more than a fraction of a second will turn the car into a stationary metal skip. Handbrakes are for parking and coasting is a nice walk along a cliff edge. The only way to correct this aberration is drawing pins in the shoes of offenders.

The "Own Little Bubble" driver
This driver will use any lane, leaves reasonable gaps, and only overtakes when the car in front is going slower than them. However, if it's not at the end of the car bonnet, it doesn't exist. Vehicles on either side, behind them, joining from a slip road, or, indeed, anywhere other than immediately in front might as well not be there, because, for all intents and purposes, they cannot be seen by this category of driver. Usually, they accompany their driving by singing along to whatever song is blaring from the stereo and, sometimes, dancing. Almost this entire category drives mini hatchbacks. To cure this category of their affliction, take away their satnav so that they will circle endlessly around a ring road, unable to find their exit.

The "As Fast As I Can and then BRAKE!" driver
This category of driver is likely to toss a banana skin out of the window, as they appear to have learned to drive on Mario Kart. The quickest way from A-to-B is to accelerate as quickly and as long as possible. This should only not be the case when there is some kind of obstacle, such as another vehicle, a tight bend or a wall. At this point, the brakes come into play, pressed as hard as the accelerator was. Company cars appear to have this facility built in. It is, of course, counterintuitive, and this kind of driver will get through even slight congestion at the same speed as every other driver, but use five times as much fuel and have to replace the brake pads every other week.

The "I'm Controlling the Traffic" driver
This category of driver once heard the phrase "You cannot control the cars in front, but you can control the cars behind." They are under the impression that if they leave huge gaps this anti-traffic will destroy any congestion up ahead. These drivers, usually in MPVs, will hardly ever brake on the motorway and get ridiculously high miles per gallon both of which they will use as reasons why their driving is therefore perfectly rational, efficient and best; however, they don't get there any faster and are quite often the victim of a road-rage incident when a Fast As I Can driver cannot get past them and can see Gap Magnets going into the huge gap.

The "Anything but Driving" driver
If it is possible to do despite having a steering wheel in the way, this category of driver will do it. They will eat, smoke, drink, text, apply makeup, phone, use a laptop, fiddle with the radio, satnav and themselves and sometimes even change their entire outfit. They appear to have the belief that their car has driven the route so often that it now knows the way on its own and requires little, if any, interference from its occupant. They point to the evidence that they've never had a crash doing this, until they do. At which point they stop. The only way to cure this category of driver is to make a momentary gap in front of them as a Gap Magnet is passing.

The "Angry Gesticulating" driver
This category of driver is perfect in every way. They never make a mistake, have never failed to indicate correctly at a roundabout, they don't even know if they're horn works. At least, this is what they believe. They are, of course, like every other driver and are far from perfect. However, because they believe themselves to be perfect, they will keep up a constant running commentary on every other imperfect driver on the road, and will, upon seeing any kind of manoeuvre that requires the Angry Gesticulating driver to react in anyway, will shout angry obscenities and make 'wanker' gestures at the other driver. Unless there is a chance that the other driver will see or hear them, in which case the obscenities are muttered under the breath and gestures made below the level of the window. There is no cure for this category, but on the plus side, they invariable have a heart attack reading the Daily Mail.

The "Lassiez-faire" driver
There is no more laid back driver than the laissiez faire driver. They don't really care which lane they are in, and will sometimes move into the correct lane, but mostly not bother. They are courteous to the point of being stationary as they let half of Bolton onto the motorway at the junction causing the slip road to empty, but the motorway to back up to Trafford. They never seem overly concerned by congestion, and will patiently sit in their lane all the way through it, even if the other lane is moving freely. They never exceed the speed limit by remaining ten miles an hour under it at all times. Even if they see an Angry Gesticulating Driver making rude signs at them, they do not react. They usually drive a hybrid, and recycle properly. Everybody hates them. Including their pets.

The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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