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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

The Illustrated Catalog of Common Driving Patterns

Over the last 20 years I have had many opportunities to observe my fellow motorists (especially since I started commuting 35 miles or to work everyday). During this time, I have noticed some very common patterns on the road. These patterns are often annoying and sometimes dangerous (though I'm sure we're all occasionally guilty of some of them).


Driving Patterns

Bounce This is perhaps the most commonly used pattern on the road. A "bounce" occurs when you pass a driver, they speed up and pass you, and then slow down to their original speed within a short period of time. Bounce
Freeway Phobia This driver enters the freeway at a significantly slower rate then traffic. Some of the scariest experiences behind the wheel is trying to enter the freeway behind one of these drivers. FreewayPhobia
Frogger frogger The name Frogger comes from the old arcade classic. In this pattern, the driver is attempting to beat traffic by seeking out the fastest lane. Of course heavy traffic can be difficult to predict and in the long run, you usually get the satisfaction of passing them several times. Opportunist
Pace Car Drives slowly in the fast lane. Enough said. PaceCar
Scout Scouts go on ahead to make sure there are no speed traps waiting for the rest of us. Scout
Stalker The stalker can be identified by their uncanny ability to stay in your blind spot. Even when you speed up or slow down, they stay right where they are. This can be especially frustrating when you need to merge into their lane. Stalker
Tailgating This is a well known pattern where a driver follows very closely to the car ahead. The general rule of thumb is to leave 2 seconds of space between you and the car you are following. Tailgater
Road Lord When another driver appears to be attempting to change lanes in front of them, this driver will speed up to prevent them. RoadLord

So next time you are stuck in traffic, try to spot as many patterns as you can. If you know of any patterns that I missed or have a better name for one of my patterns, leave a comment.

The illustrations in this post are courtesy of the GT Challenge arcade game and my wicked Paint.Net skillz :).

Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac? - George Carlin

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