Idiot drivers and a vision of utopia

No, I don’t mean software drivers. I mean the kind moving the vroom vrooms.

I live in Minnesota, a state that has two seasons; winter, and road repair.

That being the case, you would THINK, having 6 months of driving experience on ice and snow-slick roads, that these people would be among the best drivers on the planet in poor weather.

This is one of the most common fallacies you see among RPG game designers; they assign skill points based on assumptions like “If they drive in snow and ice all they time, then they must KNOW how to drive in snow and ice PROPERLY and SAFELY.”

That, my friends, is a nearly perfect example of reason and logic having no relation to the actual world as observed by anyone driving in it for 5 bloody minutes.

The fact is, these people, when taken as a group, are bloody idiots.

A few drops of water on the ground ends up with 50% of the drivers doing 25 mph, and 10% doing 120mph in a frothy mouthed rage, weaving back and forth from lane to lane without any lane change signals, frantically trying to find that magic lane that moves 5 mph faster than the other… and of course, since they are too good for signalling a lane change, and think that if they can get the nose of their car into a half a car length in the other lane, then the person they are cutting off will give them room. What does that result in, boys and girls and children of all ages? Why, a mile length of cars with their brakes slammed on so they don’t rear end the moron, stopping all traffic in that lane dead. And then the idiot sees that his lane is now 5 mph slower than the lane he was in, the old lane that has moved one car length past him, and he slams back in the lane he came from… repeating the brake slamming process.

The other 40%, are, with me, stuck in the brake lights 5 miles behind the idiot weaving in and out of lanes. And trying to get past the assclown doing 25 mph with the cell phone welded to their ear… and their turn signal that’s been on since they left the Krispy Kreme 45 minutes before and got on the highway.

I hope and pray that the idiots doing all this are doing it intentionally, that they WANT to bring all traffic to a standstill with their assclown antics. The thought that, in this day and age, there are still that many drivers that cannot leap the gap from effect…. to cause… to STOPPING IT so maybe I can get to work or home for a change would make me freaking weep. 

Seriously, it’s rain. It’s not even snow. Give me a break, you idiots.

While spending an hour driving to work this morning (a drive that is normally only 20 minutes, but hey… it was raining. Lightly. So whatever.), I had ample time to listen to sports radio recapping the Vikings/Packers game last night.

After hearing for the 5th time how awesome Brett Favre is and how he single-handedly won the game to put his old team in it’s place, I thereafter had about 55 minutes to ride in to work accompanied by my thoughts, and blessed, blessed silence.

I need to burn a new driving CD.

While driving along, I was possessed by a vision of the divine. It was as if I were visited by the dream of a beautiful angel that had come to show me the way to the holy land. 

I said it was a VISION. Extreme caffeine deprivation had nothing to do with it.

This vision captivated me, transported me to another realm, and when I returned I felt that I had become transformed.

I want to share that vision with all of you.

I had a vision of a country where people went periodically to take driving tests in order to get a license to allow them to drive on the public roads.

And in that country, within those driver’s license bureaus, there was an option for various categories of license.

In this country of my vision, you could be authorized to drive a car, or a truck, or even a tractor-trailor combination, depending on the written and practical tests you complete.

But there was an awareness, a social maturity that allowed the people who provided these licenses to understand that, just because someone could complete a written test and could pass a 5 minute drive among some cones on the ground, that didn’t mean that everyone granted a license would drive with responsibility and good sense.

So in this country of my blessed vision, there was one more option.

The Designator Driver.

The best of the best could apply to take a battery of tests. Your judgment would be tested. Your skills. Your sense of responsibility. Duty to country. Patriotism. And above all else, your understanding of safe driving and the contributing factors of vehicular traffic flow.

And if you were to pass, you would gain that most precious of licenses… the license of the Designator Driver.

Possession of this license would authorize you to mount an AN/PED-1 Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder on your vehicle.

When the Designator Driver would see a complete assclown moron prick driving on the road, the Designator Driver would be required to follow his or her sense of duty, and illuminate it with their laser designator…

Swiftly followed by the launching of a Paveway II laser-guided bomb from the constantly patrolling aircraft in the sky, a Paveway II in the 500 lb range to descend like a hawk after a rabbit, swiftly and efficiently removing the offending assclown from existence.

This vision, this dream… this filled me with such a sense of peace… can you hold that vision in your mind?

Do you share it?

I think the increased cost of road repair, while initially very, very, VERY high, would quickly settle out.

And regardless… it would be a small price to pay for a truly utopian society. 

Join with me as we return the mind to the body, and contemplate this wisdom with us, class.


48 thoughts on “Idiot drivers and a vision of utopia

  1. I’m with you BBB as a fellow minnesotan, it always amazes me how people forget how to drive during the first snow fall of the season.


  2. @trazer that sounds like the driver’s education we get here, but that doesn’t mean people remember any of it…. hell snow doesn’t bother me because whenever i had to drive in Drivers Ed it was either snowing, or had been, so i learned to be real careful with a teacher in the car lol, i don’t mind driving in the snow, its the other asshats that scare me, if i still had my dodge ram, even they wouldn’t scare me in my Death Sled.


  3. Too many people think that having a driving license is a right and not a privilage which is wrong. Bad driving in bad weather is common everywhere ( even in China where there aren’t many roads or cars) . I think that everyone should do a complete written and practial test every 5 years. It could be volentary but if you took the test and got a very good mark maybe insurance companies would give you a premium discount. But that is all a fantasy.


  4. First thing that came to mind on this was a complete fail PUG at Flame Leviathan.

    On topic, moving around the country (military btw) I have found that anywhere I go I seem to find these people that can’t drive. Last summer I was in Southern Arizona. So, that means no rain or snow. I am on the interstate (2 lanes each direction) in a government owned (read marginally well maintained) 15 passenger van doing about 80 mph (Speed Limit 75) with hardly any traffic around. It was just about sunrise so I was obviously driving with my headlights on. I am paying attention to the road and see the sports car (also with lights on) coming up to pass me and don’t care about it. All of a sudden I see another car in front of me doing 40-50 mph without headlights or taillights. I hit the brakes as hard as I can to allow the sports car to get past me and not hit our wonderful idiot in front of me before I can move over to pass him. Was really unhappy that morning.

    Hopefully the drivers around Ft. Drum, NY have some clue how to drive in snow since it has about the same seasons BBB was talking about.


  5. “When the Designator Driver would see a complete assclown moron prick driving on the road, the Designator Driver would be required to follow his or her sense of duty, and illuminate it with their laser designator…

    Swiftly followed by the launching of a Paveway II laser-guided bomb from the constantly patrolling aircraft in the sky, a Paveway II in the 500 lb range to descend like a hawk after a rabbit, swiftly and efficiently removing the offending assclown from existence.”

    So shall be written! So shall be done!


  6. Here in south Louisiana we get icy driving conditions once every 6-8 years and when we do WOOT! My very favorite manuver is when you are at a stop and it is time to go, you should spin your tires as fast as possible. You ask ‘why in God’s name would you do that on an icy road?” Well the Louisiana reasoning is that the heat produced by the friction will melt the ice and you get traction, but you bolt ahead like a top fuel drag racer. If only there was a manuver to stop after such a manuver all would be well. It is funny to watch.


  7. Ever since the old D&D days I have dreamt of Magic Missles to cause engine failure, flat tires or the like to sideline the road idiots. Or an Unseen Servant to disable the vehichle. In this day and age a small EelctroMagnetic Pulse gun would be wonderful. Make all the electronics in their vehichle die.
    Worst I have seen is on the interstate a guy driving, talking on the Cell Phone, eating and watching a DVD.


  8. Funny, BBB. When I first started reading though, I thought the idiot driver was an allegory of WoW players. Since that’s exactly how I feel when I play.. and you’re doing something surprisingly simple yet completely reliant on situational awareness such as Hodir. Things are moving along at a good pace, then suddenly BAM there’s a traffic jam. People are dying, the healers are shouting.. and your bear butt is the last to hit the ground..


  9. I’m originally from Maine, now living in Missouri, and honestly I’m in sheer terror for when winter comes. I’ve heard they rarely get snow here, and drivers in Maine are so damn dangerous in snow when we drive in it like 8 (ok 5) months of the year, how crazy is it going to be here with people who drive in snow only two days of the year? I’m staying home!

    Sure, *I* can drive in snow… I spent half of 06 doing an hour long commute over unpaved roads which were quite often also unplowed roads (thank god for snow tires and four wheel drive), but nobody’s safe when even one person can’t. And here, I might be the only one person who can!!

    When my parents lived in California for a year, my dad forbid my mom to drive in snow for that very reason. He didn’t want to risk her around all the non-snow-savvy drivers in LA County.


  10. I feel for you Bear. Heck, I live in an area of Michigan where most idiot drivers can’t even put the registration sticker into the right spot on the license plate. Instead you’ll see 3 or 4 of them random attached to the plate. And it’s not like there aren’t instructions that come with, AND on the license plate, too.

    When it rains… ugh. Snow.. even worse.


  11. IDK about blowing up the bad drivers- it’d just make huge potholes and than we’d have to wait for someone to fix the road, leading to more traffic…


  12. Snow? This is south Florida. I know not of this word except in a single context, snow…bird. This is a strange migratory species that seems able to fly [I use this term loosely as it’s amazing how they could possibly manage 1500 miles at 25 miles per hour] south every winter then proceed to destroy any logic to local traffic patterns. Picture you this: Cadillac DeVille (feel free to substitute Lincoln Town Car or Ford Crown Vic), six-lane highway with 45 mile per hour limit. Said vehicle of choice in center lane at 25 miles per hour, left turn signal…left turn signal…left turn signal… , for 5 freaking miles. The most fearful view that any resident driver can experience is being behind one of the aforementioned vehicles and the only thing you are able to view through the back window is a shock of blue hair and eight knuckles with a death grip on the steering wheel.

    Oh, and regarding traffic control devices, they are but mild suggestions. Yield signs, totally irrelevant. Stop signs, please slow to 25 miles per hour. Stop lights? I never navigate local roadways without thinking of the film Starman. Green – Go. Yellow – Go Fast. Red – Go VERY Fast.

    Ahh, I feel much better now. But then, I’m not on our roadways at the moment.


  13. Have to relate this small story, since I know BBB likes stories:

    My mother and I were visiting relatives in our home town, now about 45 miles away near Chicago about 10 years ago (has it really been that long??). It was in the beginning of the winter season, but there was no snow as yet. The home town is very close to Lake Michigan and winter weather can come across the lake and be severe very rapidly. Such was the case this day. We were driving my mother’s RX-7 (sports car) and when the first few flakes came, we decided it would be a good idea to head for home before it got too bad. I drove and by the time we reached the interstate (the 80/90 toll rd for those of you in the area) it was snowing very hard. People were losing their minds!

    Now, being in a sports car with an automatic transmission as it is approaching a flash blizzard can be very nerve racking. Add to that being on a highway that has a high number if commuters (read – asshats) didn’t help.

    I was tooling along with the snow getting worse by the second. I think I was doing around 35MPH, which was about the same as most other people. This snow was severe. I think we got 6-7 inches the first hour. Generally, people were going slow and careful and traffic moved along nicely. The passing lane had the occasional idiot in a 4 x 4 that thought they could do the speed limit and we saw them later on in the median, sometimes upside down.

    Along comes this guy (Illinois plates, which we loathe here as it normally means they’re an idiot from Chicago) in a Porche 944. He is in the passing lane (now with around 3-4 inches of fresh snow blowing around) and just as he gets abreast of me his lane slows down. He puts on his signal and immediately turns into me. I had to take evasive moves to avoid getting hit, but managed it. Just as things settled, the other land starts moving faster again and he cuts someone else off to get back in, almost causing another accident. He’s fishtailing all over the place and generally being dangerous. He moves on and I figure we’ve seen the last of him.

    No, that wouldn’t make a good story, now would it?

    About 5 minutes later (and another inch) traffic thins and we’re moving well. Now any faster, but steadily. Suddenly I see headlights off in the ditch. Being the good samaritan, I pull over to make sure no one is hurt. Guess who it is? Mr. Porche. He is out of the car, in a blizzard, wearing shirtsleeves and no coat, looking at his sports car. He apparently was taking advantage of the clearing traffic and kicked it in the butt a bit. Slid off the road in a hail of snow, sideways by the marks, slid down the embankment, and into a ditch. Oh, the icing? The rear wheel caught something under the snow, no idea what, and snapped off sideways. It was now under the car.

    I asked him if he was injured. He was not. I asked if the car was able to run. It was. Did the heater works? Yes it did. Was his driving worth the accident, loss of time and expense? Well, it wasn’t, but now he was getting angry at me. I also asked him if it was worth the tickets. Now almost furious, he asked what the hell I was talking about. I told him the reckless driving tickets and the one for failure to maintain control of a motor vehicle. Again he asked me what tickets. There were no tickets. He was livid at this point. I told him the ones the state police trooper would be giving him when he arrived after I called him. Then I showed him my badge and went back to my car to make a phone call and wait.


  14. I live in Michigan, and I totally feel your pain on this one. Now that our Road Repair season is winding to a close, I’m getting more and more depressed about my commute. It takes me about 20 minutes right now, due to a detour. In the winter, it can take twice that, and I don’t even have to drive on the highway. There are a few pretty steep hills, and someone always seems to think that because they have an SUV or giant pickup truck that they don’t have to drive carefully. News flash people, having a bigger car just means a bigger repair bill when you skid off the road or across it into oncoming traffic.

    I wish I didn’t have to drive anywhere, to be honest. There are asshats on the road no matter what season it is. I had some jerk whip around me and cut me off on a space of road that was maybe ten car-lengths long yesterday morning, just because I was driving the speed limit. Pardon me for allowing myself enough time to get where I’m going and still obey traffic laws.

    .-= Asara´s last blog ..Wednesday already? =-.


  15. oommmmmmm

    Asshats are frequently on the road in Sweden as well, and like you said Bear, with 6 months of snow one would think they learn..but no…the capital is at a grid-lock at the first snow. Every. Year. sigh…

    Speaking of which, I should get my winter gear on soon, minus degrees every morning this week, don’t wanna start sliding.


  16. I am on the other side of the sea – Europe, more specifically Denmark.

    Here you DO have to take classes for a couple of months, you need to have a minimum of 20 hours of driving with a licensed teacher, you have to take a course where you learn to drive when it the roads are wet and snowy.
    So, when you have done all this, you ought to know the rules, you ought to be able to handle a car, and you should even be able to fathom the consequences of your actions in traffic.

    Yet .. despite all those good intentions … as soon as the road is damp, traffic comes to a stop …

    So, here is my plea to all of you who are not comfortable with driving under certain circumstances: Don’t!
    Please just stay at home, get someone else to drive, take a cap.
    Driving slow and unpredictable puts us all in danger.

    *disclaimer: yes, driving like a madman is also hazardous, so don’t do that either.


  17. i have the unfortunate luck to live in bullhead city az and when these snowbirds start to arrive its like a freaking tourist attraction when they drive down the highway that is clearly posted at 45 mph but the just cruise along at 25-30 mph if im lucky. and always in the fast lane. sheesh get a clue from the guy riding your ass and get a move on =|


  18. @Minos

    As somebody who drives for a living in the Denver area, I can assuredly say that merging like a total asshat is universal. Since I spend about 30-40 hours every week driving around town, I have pretty much seen it all on the road. Hoods just flipping up on cars, vehicles getting sucked under semis, radioactive waste being hauled to the dump in Pueblo, people drinking, eating, shaving, even having sexual encounters on the freeway. All I can hope is that someday people are required to requalify for their licenses, because the little old lady making the interstate go 15 miles per hour under the speed limit is the worst. Or that they put in a lane just for commercial vehicles.


  19. Assclowns are everywhere even on the otherside of the world to you. In this case Australia.

    I would recommend the CROWS for removal of assclowns, you able to fit the system to variety weapons + munitions but the best part is you can engage multiple assclowns at the same time.


  20. I’m still trying to get my wife to design a focused, directorial EMP device. ZZZAP, target vehicle ceases to function, cellphone dies in a hail of sparks…beautiful thought


  21. @Savvy-Savvage: I had a nerd moment. I read your post and thought to myself driving cooldown? What driving cooldown? Sheeesh.


  22. After the first snow storm round here, I’m careful to count to 10 or 15 before going through a fresh green light. It’s gives the assclowns a chance to slide sideways through the intersection without interference.


  23. Hey Morphy—I live in Tempe, AZ. You forgot to mention the snowbirds that drive about 15mph on the freeways and the ones that come in their motorhomes and RV’s pulling the family car, boat, UHaul trailer, offroad vehicles, and portable putting green.


  24. I need to burn a new driving CD.


    Anyone besides me have to slap yourself because you immediately began to expect some metaphor of a WoW trinkett or ability?


  25. What a beautiful idea! Every day my commute helps me discover more idiotic things that people can do while driving. I’m amazed there aren’t more accidents.

    @Minos: I’ve been trying that without knowing it. I was in an accident this spring where an 85-year old man pushed me into the 3 cars in front of me, totalling my car. Ever since then I’ve been extremely wary of the car behind me, and have attempted to smooth out the traffic by leaving a large gap in front, to reduce the chance that I’ll have to hit my brakes. This works great most of the time – but I have run into a few incredible assholes who will dart around me in traffic just so they can be ONE car ahead.


  26. I had one zealous high school civics teacher try to keep her class in doors during a light snow. I was like, “Um, just be glad I”m going out the door and not the window.” We all ran outside.


  27. @ savvy-savvage: I live in Texas and we do the same thing when it snows. Last year when it started snowing, they even gave us an extra 5 minute break to just look at the snow.

    I’ve gotta say, the only thing worse than people that can’t drive are the people that tailgate ambulances. Even in stopped traffic, people move for ambulances, which leads to a large string of ass hats tailgating the ambulance so they can skip the masses of traffic us mere mortals are trapped in.


  28. Amen. I live in coastal Louisiana so um.. if it snows we all just go outside and stand in stunned silence like it’s the rapture or something. I think the real question in here is this driving CD. Give a listen to some Clutch, I’m thinking Drink to the Dead or Whiskey and Rhye. If you aint in the piratical hillbilly funk metal drunk rock but you always thought Ziggy Stardust would be cool with less androgyny and more metal macabre, Agents of Oblivion. Slave Riot first!


  29. Yeah, I’ve always been aggravated by our fellow Twin Cities residents that can’t deal with weather on the road. And now that it’s been raining for about 6 days straight, you’d think that people would start to get it figured out, like after the first week of snow hitting the roads. I spent most of last year commuting on the bus and train, which was a blessed relief from the stress of traffic.

    @ Minos: I’ve done that during the morning traffic down MN-100 through St. Loius Park, and while it doesn’t get you through it faster, it is a lot easier on the brakes and stress level.


  30. Lol, this made my day BBB. I live in AZ where we suffer from the infamous “snow birds.” Summer time is no big deal other than being bloody hot, but winter time is a whole new ball game. It’s not uncommon to see these winter visitors cross 3 lanes of traffic inside the intersection just so they don’t miss their turn . . . and quite a few have Michigan and Minnesota plates. hehe


  31. More than once, I’ve told friends that my dream vehicle is a Hummer with a nice quad rack of surface-to-air missiles. I’d have to modify it a bit, but some careful controls and gadgetry could make it a most useful highway vehicle. Impractical, perhaps, but oh, so satisfying.
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..In the Cold =-.


  32. The one that gets me, year-round and fair weather or foul, is people’s total inability to merge. Any time a lane ends, expect a major backup because most people can’t figure out the zipper merge. A few of my favorite failures:
    * People who don’t plan their merge until their lane is gone, instead of when they saw the sign warning them.
    * People riding close behind the car in front of them trying to force 2 cars into the 1-car space in front of me
    * People who attempt to pass in the lane that’s ending.

    I’ve never driven in any other urban areas, but I’d like to know if this is a universal or uniquely Minnesotan deficiency.

    Interestingly, there is something you can do to combat slowdowns. When I was commuting from Arden Hills to Eden Prairie, I tried practicing this. It didn’t seem to affect my commute time, but on all but the worst days I was working my brakes far less than I used to, generally making the drive less stressful.

    Public radio seems to be the only place to find music on the radio in the morning around here, if you find jazz or indie acceptable.


  33. Hm, I wonder if something smaller would be sufficient. Maybe a LONGBOW or a AGM Hellfire? That’d cut down on the road repair costs, the cost of munitions and still hopefully get the job done!


  34. It was a pretty somber day here in Wisconsin.

    We all know, at some level, that moving on with the team, giving it to Aaron Rodgers, is the right thing to do. Rodgers is a good enough QB that we don’t have to let Favre jerk our chain. We can let him go, let our new, younger QB develop while Brett goes out quietly or in a blaze of glory or however he wants to. But we all know he is going out.


    But man. He’s still a good QB. It’s tough to watch him rip apart the team, and by extension the fans, that rooted for him, supported him, hung posters of him on our walls. And there he was on the field this time in purple. PURPLE!!!.


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