Just behind war criminals but ahead of the creators of Barney, the second-worst humans in the world are people stuck in traffic. Jalopnik readers have picked the ten worst things that we do to fellow commuters on the roads.
Welcome back to Answers of the Day — our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day's Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It's by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
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Photo Credit: Chris1051
10.) Not coping with an ending lane
Suggested By: PanchoVilleneuve
Why it justifies homicide: Merging is hard, apparently, and when a sign tells you that your lane is ending and you should get into the next lane, it is quite difficult to know what to do. Reader PanchoVilleneuve explains.
Doo dee doo doo doo! What's that sign say? Lane ends in 1 mile, merge right? Well, I better stay in the lane until it ends, getting all huffy trying to force myself in!
Photo Credit: Cliffski
9.) Pulling in front, then slowing down
Suggested By: CobraJoe
Why it justifies homicide: We don't know why people cut in front of other drivers, only to slow right back down again. It might have something to do with ego, but then we should never rule out sheer stupidity and inattentiveness.
Photo Credit: eustatic
8.) Not using turn signals
Suggested By: dogisbadob
Why it justifies homicide: This one is easy to understand. If a driver has nearly missed his or her exit, it only makes sense that he or she should not signal before diving across three lanes of traffic to make it in.
Photo Credit: Eleventh Earl of Mar
7.) Braking all the time in a jam
Suggested By: DittoBox
Why it justifies homicide: When you're in your little metal box sitting on the highway, it's hard to think about the big picture. Your average speed is pitifully low, yet you're always speeding up in the hopes that somehow this time you'll magically accelerate out of the jam. If you just slowed down, maintained a fair distance with the next car, you'd get there just as fast as if you were riding their bumper for umpteen miles. If everyone did this, traffic would go much, much faster as a whole.
6.) Blocking emergency vehicles
Suggested By: BtheD19, Formula J treble World Champion
Why it justifies homicide: The hard shoulder is not for you. It is for emergency vehicles, and this little story from reader BtheD19 explains why you should stay out of it, especially if you have a record.
I have a friend who works part time driving a wrecker, and they work car accident scenes with law enforcement quite frequently. Obviously, the quicker they can recover the car and clean up the scene, the quick traffic can get moving again. Most people understand that and are more than happy to get out of the way to allow them through - the quicker they get there, the quicker you get moving again.
Well, one evening two wreckers were dispatched to a major accident clogging up I-65N into Birmingham. IE, a very busy highway, which by now had already shut down completely to the point that even the on-ramps were blocked. So the two wreckers, followed by an additional police officer, are coming up the on-ramp on the shoulder, proceeding towards the accident. They have their flashing lights on, of course, but some woman sees them coming and pulls into the shoulder to block them. The lead wrecker radios the officer two cars behind and tell him. The officer says "Just lay on the horn until she moves, then I'll pull her over." Which they did, and after what they said was a solid 5 minutes, she moved.
The officer pulled her over, and after the guys were done working the wreck, they found out the officer had actually arrested her because she had outstanding warrants.
That's pretty much the dumbest move in traffic I've ever heard of.
Photo Credit: digitalkatie
5.) Not speeding up before, during, or after merging
Suggested By: Marimvibe's curtain call
Why it justifies homicide: Guess what? Traffic on the highway goes faster than it does on regular roads. You will have to speed up on the on-ramp to merge. Failing that, at least speed up while you're on the highway, instead of taking a minute to pull from 15 miles an hour to 65.
Photo Credit: Washington State Dept of Transportation
4.) Cutting in line for the turn lane
Why it justifies homicide: If you think you've found some kind of cheat code that lets you unlock special speeds in traffic, you're wrong. We can guarantee that everyone else has thought of it, and you're just an asshole for trying it out.
Moves like cutting ahead in the turn lane makes us all slower as a whole, even if it saves you half a minute on your commute.
Photo Credit: awaken/Reddit
3.) Driving while doing things other than driving
Why it justifies homicide: Texting, applying makeup, eating, reading, talking on your phone, texting again because it deserves to be mentioned twice: these define ‘distracted driving.' We have a simple graphic explaining when it's appropriate.
What it means is that you're not paying attention to the road. Inevitably you'll drive either too fast or too slow, and you'll crash and die…
Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik
Suggested By: Ash78 is the same in a relative way, but you're older
Why it justifies homicide: And after you have crashed and died because you were texting, every other schmuck on the highway will slow down to three miles an hour to stare at your wreck. No one will help, and ten feet after they pass, they will accelerate gain in the totally empty road.
It is one of the worst things humans do, right up there with carpet bombing and producing network television.
Photo Credit: DrJohnBullas
1.) Driving slowly in the left lane
Suggested By: ckron247
Why it justifies homicide: The left lane for passing, lest we all have to pass on the right like idiots. Please refer to our helpful graphic on how to drive properly for more advice.
Photo Credit: Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik