I try and learn from my mistakes behind the wheel so I become a better driver. This usually ends up with me crashing a lot. I also try and learn from what my friends do while they're driving, and that's actually quite helpful.
When I'm driving, I don't notice all the little things I always do wrong, the little distractions and ticks and whatever. When my friends are driving and I'm riding along, everything is so, so, so noticeable. That's what J. Walter Weatherman found out (as he said in my post on ten ways to become a more considerate driver) when he broke his leg and had to ride shotgun for a while.
I currently can't drive because of a broken leg, thus have had to get rides from friends and family for the last month and a half, which has given me plenty of opportunity to critique all of their driving (silently, of course, I'm not going to be a backseat driver while relying on their help to get me around while I am injured).
The #1 thing that I have noticed them doing that drives me crazy is entering the wrong lane when turning onto a multiple-lane road. When turning on to a multiple-lane road, you should always turn into the closest lane to you (i.e., if you are turning left onto the road, you should enter the left-most lane, and if turning right, you should enter the right most lane). It is absolutely shocking to me to see how many of the people do the exact opposite, virtually every time they make a turn, and cut across all of the lanes on the road they are turning onto, and enter the lane furthest away from them. Unless you are driving a semi, you should have no problem turning into the closest lane. Plus, turning into the closest lane keeps the other lanes open for other cars to turn from the opposite direction (i.e., if two cars are approaching an intersection from opposite directions, and one is turning left and the other right, and the road they are turning onto is two lanes, both cars should be able to make the turn at the same time). If, after the turn, you need to get over to the opposite lane, then you can put your turn signal on and change lanes like you do any other time.
So that makes me wonder — what bad driving habit did you only notice because you had to ride in your friend's car?
Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove