What’s The Telltale Sign Of A Good Driver?

Illustration for article titled What’s The Telltale Sign Of A Good Driver?

Knowing someone has been to driving school or seeing that they drive a manual car is a pretty good indicator they'll be a decent driver. But how can you tell who's good when you're already on the road?

Spotting a good driver on the highway can be tough. Just because they've got a nice car doesn't mean they have any clue what they're doing.


There are some clues you can look for, though. The best is probably seeing an M5 badged as a 528i, or any other reverse-ostentation. But this is about as rare as a manual Camry, so we tend to look for cars with the badges removed. If you see a Panamera Turbo with the "Turbo" script removed from the back, that's a good sign the driver bought that car for what it can do rather than what other people will think of him.

What are other ways to tell if you've found a good driver?

(QOTD is your chance to address the day's most pressing automotive questions and to experience the opinions of the insightful insiders, practicing pundits, and gleeful gearheads that make up the Jalopnik commentariat. If you've got a suggestion for a good Question of the Day, send an email to tips at jalopnik dot com.)

Photo Credit: Porsche

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Ash78, voting early and often

How about someone who actually recognizes the need for a "buffer zone" in medium traffic — a person who understands how traffic compression waves work, and that by adjusting their following distance accordingly, they can reduce their stop/start headaches commensurately.

Unfortunately, these good drivers are usually f*cked over by the impatient jerks who see that long following distance and dart into it, creating an unnecessary stop for several cars behind.

This is a very subtle nuance of traffic and most people are just brake-gas-brake-gas drivers. Part of that is the fault of the automatic tranny, but almost everyone does it.