08 September 2006

The Seven Highly Annoying Habits of the New York Drivers

I work Saturdays so I have a day during the week off. Recently, I switched that day to Friday, so today is one of those days that I'm off from work on a weekday. Sundays are errand days with the wife and others, Fridays are errand days with Mother. Today, I drove Mother to the Chinese supermarket, to the Vietnamese bakery, and to Toys R' Us to get some plush toys for my nephews in distant Taiwan. So today was the first day back from the Canadian trip that I came into more contacts with New York drivers, warts and all. It didn't take long for me to be reminded why I hate driving in New York. Here are the Seven Highly Annoying Habits of New York Drivers:

  1. "Gee, someone double-park on the other side of the two-way road, I need to double-park on my side of the road, I guess I'll just double-park not too far from the other guy." Either out of stupidity or insensitivity to other drivers, these drivers double-park on the opposite side of the road, where on the other side someone already double-parked. I am sure they double-park where it's most convenient to them, probably right in front of their house. They either don't know or don't care that with the two double-parked cars, the road suddenly becomes an obstacle course. Cars traveling in opposite direction would have to take turn passing through the narrow valley the two double-parked vehicles have created. Would it really kill them if they just park a few feet away from the other already double-parked cars?
  2. "The light just turned green, better let the driver in front of me know by honking." Do they really have to press the horn the INSTANT the light turns green? Even when the driver in front of me doesn't move when the light turns green because he was busy doing something other than driving, I would count out loud from one to ten before nudging him on with the horn. Too many drivers have no such patience.
  3. In front of my house, between the driveway's entrance and the fire hydrant, there are two parking spaces. There's also a huge tree near the driveway's entrance. Many times people don't want to park close to the tree, probably fearing banging the door against the tree when they get in and out, and would park half-way between the hydrant and the driveway, thereby eating up both parking spaces. My driveway doesn't really accommodate my car so I need to park on the street all the time. These people taking up two spots out of laziness really tick me off. If they don't want to be close to the big tree, then back up a bit and leave the front space for someone else. No, they have to just leave the vehicle eating up two precious spaces. In Downtown Montreal, the parking spaces are actually marked to indicate where cars should fit within. We can sure use such guidance around my neighborhood, assuming people actually heed the call.
  4. "Hey, it's Joe from high school, traveling in my direction, let's park in the middle road and chat." You have a two-way street, one lane each way. Two drivers traveling in opposite directions recognize each other. They stop, in the middle of the road, to chitchat, while others behind them queue up. Since when did the own the road? Adding insult to injury, sometimes it's two police patrol cars. Should you or should you not honk at the nice policemen?
  5. Speaking of the police, do they have a normal horn in their cars or is the only way to audibly attract attention is by honking their powerful siren? I think most policemen cannot resist the urge to abuse their power and do so at every opportunity. That dumb bloke in front of them probably respond quicker to get out of their way if the siren is used, so why not use it? In my mind, that's power abuse and I hate it dearly.
  6. "That dumb pedestrian standing near the Stop sign must be waiting for someone, I'll ignore him and sail through the Stop sign." I learned from driving school that at Stop sign, drivers are supposed to yield to any pedestrian near the intersection. Many drivers I come across have no knowledge of such rule. They would drive up to the intersection, look out for other cars, then if none was seen, sail right through the intersection, pedestrians nearby or not.
  7. "Curse you, pedestrian! Why did you get in my way as I made my rightful right turn on red?" To be fair, this is something I find mostly in New Jersey drivers. I live in Brooklyn but work in NJ and most of times when I cross the big boulevard outside my office, I could have been run over by these Jersey drivers who turn right on red regardless if there are walkers in the walkway. It is OK to turn right on red IF there are no cars going that direction AND no pedestrian crossing your way, stupid!
There are probably more than seven annoying habits of New York drivers. Not necessarily New York drivers, for that matter. I think people change drastically when they get behind the steering wheel. Out of my way, you fools! Driving is a serious privilege but too many people think it's a great way to have fun at others' expense.


  1. Haha! This is so funny! There's a good poll here about the worst parking habits! And taking up two spaces is in there!

  2. Glad you like it, Robyn. This was written so long ago, in cyberspace time anyway, that I totally forgot about it. Sadly, not much has changed.