I think that I’m a good driver. I’ve never really had an accident except for the time my husband left the garbage can in the middle of our driveway and I backed into it.
Of course he argues that it was off to the side, but I’m fairly confident that it wasn’t because, obviously, how else could I have hit it?
He also points out that if I had backed over a pedestrian instead, it wouldn’t matter whether they were in the middle of the road or not, it would still be my fault.
Though I don’t exactly follow the logic, for the sake of diplomacy I’ve agreed to disagree on who, exactly, is to blame for his negligence.
Besides, I don’t really think that my husband, after reversing out of the garage a couple of years ago and plowing directly into a car parked in our driveway, can use the whole Pedestrian vs. Garbage Can theory anymore, anyway.
Minor mishaps aside, we hardly compare to a lot of other people on the road.
Sometimes, when I contemplate how many unqualified drivers have been given legal permission to operate a motor vehicle, it makes me question everything I’m certain of in this world, including gravity, God and another season of “Dancing with the Stars.”
Fortunately, I’ve developed a primer to help classify them into a few, easy categories, beginning with The Multitasker.
Texting, eating, putting on makeup, rock polishing; there’s nothing The Multitasker can’t do while operating heavy machinery at 75 miles an hour.
Way too busy to set aside even a few extra minutes to accomplish normal tasks at home, the Multitasker takes them on the road where things like looking out the windshield, merging and vehicular homicide are merely afterthoughts.
Fortunately, they are usually easy to spot as they swerve all over the road, attempting to pull on pantyhose and steer at the same time.
With no plausible explanation, The Left-Laner clogs up the passing lane, guaranteeing that every single driver stuck behind them is obliged to maintain whatever speed they have deemed appropriate for that particular stretch of highway, hence forth.
Skillful motorists, Left-Laners are practiced at sustaining the exact same speed as the car next to them in the travel lane, preventing any sort of sneaky, right-lane, passing maneuvers attempting to break ranks. There’s little hope for escape once The Left-Laner has arrived on the scene, and no one is getting home early.
It’s important not to confuse The Left-Laner with The No-Laner, someone who struggles with commitment issues.
Your lane, their lane, the shoulder; doesn’t really matter. No-Laners drift all over the road, nearly sideswiping you, before idly heading back over to their side or riding it out on the center line for a while, before eventually gliding back into a lane again, leaving you in a cold sweat trying to guess which side of the road they’ll end up on next.
The Pass-Competer cruises at normal speed in the right lane; until you try and get around them.
Pass-Competers consider this an aggressive move on your part and will not allow you to initiate passing without first applying a heavy foot to the gas to ensure that it doesn’t come easy, if at all.
Even if you succeed, you haven’t seen the last of them. Threatened that you’ve taken the lead, The Pass-Competer inevitably floors it to get around you and once safely back out front, they immediately slow back down, starting the entire process all over again.
When the grill of the car behind me is no longer visible in my rearview mirror, I know that I’m being followed by The Proctologist; someone who is one brake tap away from performing my next colonoscopy.
The Proctologist has no regard for personal space and could care less if you are leaving a trail of fire or sonic boom in your wake, it still isn’t fast enough. Unfortunately, there’s not much that can be done about The Proctologist except to ask them if they mind checking for polyps the next time they’re riding your license plate.
Finally there’s The VIP.
Typically found behind the wheel of a Taj Mahburben with a cellphone attached to their head, VIPs largely consider traffic laws as beneath them and do not acknowledge other motorists on road.
The only course of action when The VIP approaches is to quickly move out of the way or risk certain death as they drive over your car on their way to the gym.
And, as I already explained, I’m The Perfect Driver. Enough said.