Makin' Money

Seven annoying habits of L.A. drivers

Sandy Ganz May 12, 2011

Driving and being stuck in traffic day after day either makes you crazy or an observer of the many annoying driving habits people have. I often drive to work here in Los Angeles super early in the morning and can’t help but catalog the numerous things other driver do to annoy me.

Just for fun, and because my therapist says writing it down will be cathartic, here’s my list in no particular order, or irritant factor, that will make your driving experience in Los Angeles a little bleaker.

The Freeway Stitcher
This is a class of people that are often late and in a hurry. The typical scenario is while you’re driving you see the driver stitching the car through traffic like he has the magic pathway to get him to work before his boss notices him being late. Imagine a zig zag stitching pattern and you now have seen ‘The Stitcher’ in action. The most often outcome of all of this is I’ll be right behind him at the off ramp where the great equalizer, the traffic signal comes into play.

Granny Lane Speeders
The “Granny Lane Speeder” is the driver that finds it necessary to drive fast in the slow lane. Normally not a problem, but it can contribute to the confusion of merging traffic and cause a big slow down as the orchestra and rhythm of merging is often highly disruptive.

The Zipper Effect
Think of your car as teeth on a zipper, when all in order and all the teeth interleaving as designed, smooth as silk. One broken tooth, and all hell breaks loose. This is most commonly seen on freeway on-ramps. Either a squeamish driver fails to speed up to the speed of traffic or as the result of a ‘Granny Lane Speeder’. The net effect of ‘The Zipper’ is freeway and on ramp traffic snarls.

Technology Trouble
We love our smart phones, we love to chat and to feel connected, but when you are a poor multi-tasker, like so many drivers are, they just don’t mix. I would hazard a guess that the amount of accidents related to use of a ‘device’ surpasses all others. And you can see the idiocy all around, drivers texting, watching videos, and my favorite is the cell phone users that hold the phone at arms length thinking they are not violating the law since the phone is not touching their ear. Note to these drivers: if you’re going to break the law, just make your call, it seems safer to just drive with the phone to your ear then waving a cell phone in your face.

The Left-Right Turn
This is very common. Watch people that can’t quite figure out how to get a right turn off without swinging way left before they make that right. It’s odd because you can make a right turn and end up in the same place without the odd and often unexpected “swing wide left” before making the right.

Off Sides, 5 Yard Penalty
This is a pretty commonly seen at the intersections where you have a green arrow. Arrow goes green, and you see a couple of cars jump the gun. This is pretty benign unless they are behind you.

Sandy Ganz, aka “The Professor,” is co-host of CarCast with Adam Carolla. You can follow him on Twitter @sandyganz

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