The spectrum of road users in Australia is undoubtedly a very broad one; from meek to plain malicious, there are certain traits every driver has that categorise him or her into one of the following groups. You are one of these drivers, even if you don’t know it — just ask one of the passengers on your next trip, but perhaps don’t rely on them for a truly honest answer, as nobody wants to be the bearer of bad news.
Cool, calm and collected, you could be forgiven for thinking that this driver was a regular straighty-one-eighty. However, when the slightest thing doesn’t go their way, that all hits the fan. Situations like someone cutting them off, or hogging the overtaking lane can cause a transformation that is often shocking to the passengers, and at times, even the driver themselves. You probably won’t recognise your cute old grandma or mild-mannered uncle when they are leaning out the window, honking the horn and yelling expletives at a fellow road user who has wronged them, — all you can do is sit quietly and watch as they go from zero to a million, in just a few seconds.
Seriously, what’s your deal? I’ve pulled over, I’m letting you pass, you are the inconvenience in this scenario, and you can’t even raise your hand to offer one of humankind’s oldest gestures? This should come right after checking your blind-spot in terms of important things to learn before you take to the road. If you are too high and mighty to wave, then you should probably just take your private jet or helicopter to the shops to pick up your milk.
The worst of the worst; this driver is somewhat of an anomaly. Are you unfamiliar with the law? Is there something wrong with your car? What sort of a goose are you? These are the kind of things that run through one’s head as we sit behind this joker who is probably cruising along, listening to a playlist titled ‘road trip hits’ without a thought for the twenty-odd cars piling up behind them. When they finally pull over, the floodgates open and cars whizz past to see he or she bopping their head along with the music, completely oblivious.
Thank you kind sir/madame. Thank you for letting us mere mortals witness the power of your souped-up (insert any car ever here). Much like the seemingly never ending movie franchise, this driver just won’t slow down, and it can be kinda’ scary. Hooning from one red light to the next, they are programmed to get to the most inconsequential of places the most unnecessarily fast way possible. Take note; an enlarged exhaust pipe is the first warning sign that you may potentially be getting into this driver’s car.
‘Umming’ and ‘ahhing’ their way into old age, you have encountered this driver more times than you know. You are probably in the car driving past the intersection that they have been stopped at for the last ten minutes, as they await their elusive perfect gap, despite there being any traffic on the road. You may also encounter this driver while catching an Uber or taxi — if the meter is running, that is.
Having never quite made it onto the radio, you often see this driver slapping the steering wheel as they deliver a rendition of Britney Spears’, ‘Toxic’, or Shannon Noll’s, ‘What About Me’, so horrendous, you’re glad that they have every window in the car wound up. Often completely ignorant to the world around them, if this driver focussed less on delivering an award-winning performance, and more on driving competently, the roads may just be a lot safer.
Forgetting all the basics, this driver needs all the help they can get — even if they don’t know it. You see them somehow struggling to keep steady on a straight road with no other hazards or traffic around them. What seems like fine conditions to us, is navigating a dangerous and mystifying minefield to them, and it makes you wonder what sort of bribe they came up with to get their licence to begin with.
This driver is capable of sharing a combination of traits with any of the other driver classifications on this list. Like a ticking time bomb, all you can do is wait for this driver to go off — you know it will be with a bang, you know it will be messy, and you definitely don’t want to be around to pick up the pieces. If you know this driver, do us all a favour and turn them in immediately.
For some people it’s not the destination, rather the journey that is important, and this driver thinks the same. It doesn’t matter where they are going, or if they are early or running late, the only way to get there is going from tail to tail of other cars. You see them applying pressure to anyone and everyone they come across, and it makes you want to shake them and calmly say ‘relax mate!’
Have you ever wondered how those radio stations that pump out bleery classical music, non-stop, stay in business? Well, it’s due to this driver. Cruising along listening to whatever 17th century banger was on Queen Elizabeth The First’s iPod is what put pensioners into a meditative lull that naturally diminishes their ability to drive at a normal pace, and increases the blood pressure of every other road user around them. You’ve had your time, please retire from driving and focus more on making off the cuff, tone deaf remarks about all that is going wrong in the world.
Ever walking to get into someone’s car and they skip a few steps ahead? You wonder why they are doing it at first, then you open the door and see them scrambling to erase the evidence from their breakfast/lunch/dinner/munchies. If you can deal with the crumpling of bags and the lingering smell, this driver makes for a handy companion, as they tend to know the location of every fast-food out outlet around, as well their operating hours, and the quickest route to get there. It’s like having your own personal shopper for junk food.
The old highway serpent; this driver thinks they are the smartest person on the road. Constantly swerving across lanes, forever in search of the ‘dream run’. When this clever cookie hears the words ‘you got here quick’, they feel as though their life is complete. After all, slicing about thirty seconds off your trip is surely worth driving like a maniac and infuriating every other driver you come across, right?