Timid drivers

This is in line with the earlier post about the drivers who don't know where they are going. Timid drivers bug me. These are the people who stop at green lights to let someone make a left in front of them because they are afraid of being cut-off. These are the people on the highway doing 50 in the right lane with both white-knuckled hands on the steering wheel.

Just today I had someone say to me, "I have my husband drive me here, because I don't drive in Boston. It's just too crazy."

Of course I laughed to myself because I know the concept all too well. Boston's drivers are indeed crazy. But they are nothing to be afraid of. Any driver with the good sense to pay attention can make it in Boston. Sure, he or she will be cut off, honked at, given the finger and more. But all of that is harmless. It's nothing to be afraid of, like thunder.

For my part, I usually end up behind a timid driver who sits at a four-way stop and waves all the traffic through in all directions until the queues are empty.

But the worst is when I am sandwiched between a timid driver in front and an aggressive driver behind. I wish I had one of those little electronic signs in my rear window that, with the press of a button would display a number of messages, and in this case would read, "Hey! I can only go as fast as the car in front of me. So, Back off!"

I have patience when I ride in the car with a timid driver, but I make a note not to ride with that person too often. And when I have a timid driver in the car, I say "Close your eyes and hold on. I am in control."

My theory about the timid driver is that all possible scenarios (rational or irrational) occlude this person's driving acumen. That any number of things that could go wrong are swimming around in the driver's mind so they cannot make proper driving decisions. That adds to his or her frustration about driving and it leads to further unsafe driving conditions.

Now, I'm not making a case for timid drivers to get off the road, and I am actually quite grateful to the people who have the sense to admit to their timid driving and ask someone else for a ride. But for those who won't or can't do that, at least make sure you're keeping up with traffic, and if you do get lost, pull over safely and in a safe spot.


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