There are some behaviors on the road that drive me crazy.
And clearly I am not alone.
I read a report recently by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health that cited the results of a random telephone survey of more than 2,400 licensed drivers that asked them about road rage.
The results from the 2004 survey showed that 17 percent of respondents reported they made obscene gestures at other drivers, 9 percent said they aggressively followed other drivers and 3.5 percent admitted to doing both.
I read those numbers and could only shake my head because, based on my experience, they felt way, way too low.
Here are some of the characters behind the wheel you may recognize, almost all of them guaranteed to provoke road rage:
Betty Bumper: This driver appears to have a magnet in the front of her car that is drawn to be connected with your rear fender. She’s driving so close you could help her with the eyeliner she’s applying as she crawls up your tailpipe.
Speed Racer: You can spot this driver from a half mile away just from the speed at which the headlights are zooming toward you. You can just tell he’s going to zip right up to you before he bobs and weaves between cars with just thismuch room to spare.
Shifty: This no-lane-is-good-enough driver reminds me of an entry in a book that I once had called “How To Drive Like A Crazy Bastard.” The first rule was: Do not signal. It’s nobody’s business where you are going.
Lefty the Lost: I understand if you don’t want to speed to go with the flow of traffic. I get it. But for crying out loud, that’s what the right lane is for. Get out of the left lane before you cause a crash.
Shortstop: If you have ever felt what it is like for your heart to stop for a second, you no doubt have encountered one of these drivers. You are on a main road and there is a road off to your right or left that connects at a T with a stop sign at the corner.
You can see a car zooming toward the intersection and you swear you are not really sure if the person is going to stop.
Harry Headlights: This driver might be my all-time most detested. He’s either got a grill full of lights by which you could land a 747 or thinks nothing of riding with his high beams on behind you or coming at you in the opposite lane.
Distracted Debbie: You can see this driver ahead of you, arms flailing, hands gesturing or a cellphone glued to her ear. She’s so animated in conversation with her passenger or with the person on the other end of the phone, you’re not sure she’s knows she’s supposed to be driving.
Perfectionist Pete: This is the guy who thinks his driving is without sin and who is quick to criticize everyone else and…Hey! Wait a minute!