I would describe myself as an alert, considerate driver. Sometimes I can be a little too aggressive, but in Missoula traffic, it’s almost a requirement. I have driven cross country numerous times, and have had my fair share of big city commuting. I can handle hustle and bustle, and I can deal with bumper to bumper traffic. What I cannot stand, however, are selfish drivers who acts like they own the road. Here are my top 5 driving pet peeves.


No thank yous

Remember me saying I was a considerate driver? I really am. In fact, even if I am in a hurry to get somewhere, if I’m coming up to a yellow or red light, and someone is trying to turn into traffic from a side road, I will always slow down and let them pull in front of me. Sometimes, I get a wave, and that is nice, but most times I get nothing, nada, zilch. How rude! Just yesterday while I was looking for a parking spot at Costco, two people in front of me started backing out of their parking spots at the same time. It appeared neither of them noticed the other car, so I honked to get their attention. I know for a fact that I saved them from an embarrassing fender bender. What did I get? Not one gesture of thanks from either driver!

Oops-I-almost-missed-my-exit guy

You're driving down the highway and you catch a blur that goes from your left to your right. It's not a bird or a plane. It's an "oops-I-almost-missed-my-exit" guy. This is a daydreaming driver who catches a glimpse of his highway exit at the last possible moment and — instead of pulling off the highway at the next exit — makes a mad dash for it. This one is a classic.

Stop Lines

When you approach a stop sign or a stop light, do you see that wide, white line painted on the pavement? That's called a stop line. You're supposed to stop before any part of your car crosses the line. It's not a suggestion! STOP before you cross the line! Most of the time, it's before a marked crosswalk. Pay attention! Also, if you're on a multi-lane road, sometimes the stop line is painted in different places for each lane. It's usually painted like that because either the intersecting street is at an angle, or turning traffic could hit the traffic on your road if the stop line wasn't painted further away from the intersection. Oh, and if you're one of those drivers that stops three car lengths before the stop line, could you at least crawl your lazy butt up to the line?

Going before your turn at a 4-Way stop

Look, we all know the rules. Whoever gets there first, proceeds through the intersection first. Trying to sneak through on the tail of the car in front of you, as if we don’t see you trying to create a train through the intersection, is a recipe for intersection accidents. Besides that, it’s a selfish and arrogant thing to do. This is the adult version of “line jumping” in elementary school. Where do you have to go that is so urgent that you can’t wait an additional 15 seconds? Settle down and wait your turn.

Driving below the speed limit in the fast lane

This is probably the biggest cause of tailgating and/or road rage out there today, so let’s see if we can solve this problem right now. The right-hand lane is for slower drivers. If you aren’t going at least 5 miles over the speed limit on the highway, you are a slower driver; stay to the right. This will significantly cut down on the number of people whose dashboards are in your back window and who shout bad words at you as they drive past.


So, there you have it. If you are guilty of any of these on the list, shape up your driving a bit. If not for your own safety, at least for everyone else’s sake that has to share the road with you!

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