Social Question

deni's avatar

How nervous does other people's driving make you?

Asked by deni (23042points) March 1st, 2010

That is, while you are the passenger with them.

This is prompted by a situation I was in last night…my boyfriend and I went to Telluride this weekend which is in the southwest corner of Colorado. So to get back to Boulder we obviously had to go through the mountains. The drive there was fine and the weather was good, but last night we got near Vail and the roads became horrible, it was dark out, his headlights were barely working unless they were on highbeam (and when your highbeams are on and its snowing you can’t see either), and we were both very tired. Normally, snowy situations don’t frazzle me, but last night I just couldnt take it. I refused to drive. I couldn’t keep my eyes open either. So he woke up and drove and the entire time I felt like I might die any second. Then we hit heavy fog and I was positive my life was going to end. It was a really bad experience. I’ve never been so scared in my life, and I am otherwise just about the farthest thing from a worry wart in the world.

So I just wonder, are you paranoid when other people are driving? To what degree? Does it depend on the situation? How long you’ve known the person? Or does it totally vary depending on the person? I’m curious.

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34 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I dread other peoples driving…you do not want me in the passenger seat! I will drive you insane!

Val123's avatar

I second @Cruiser‘s emotion. There have only been a couple of people in my life who I felt comfortable with when they’re driving.

bhec10's avatar

I hate how my best friend has to drift in every turn!

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I really feel more confident when I’m driving. I know what I’m doing & what I’m GOING to do.

CMaz's avatar

I don’t car. Unless they are form South Carolina.

Those people can’t drive to save their lives.

Val123's avatar

I hate it when the person driving doesn’t seem to notice stuff going on. Doesn’t react at all when a light turns red, gives no indication that they’ve seen it. Or doesn’t react to a car that’s pulled up to a stop sign, and is giving indications that they’re getting ready to go on through, even though your car is right there…..

deni's avatar

@Val123 ME TOO, I JUST DONT GET IT. Yesterday while my boyfriend was driving we kept passing those big digital overhead signs that say things like “CAUTION, RIGHT LANE CLOSED AHEAD” “ROCKS ON ROAD NEXT 15 MILES” and each time I would say to him “you did read that, right?”....and he never even noticed them! It baffles me.

Val123's avatar

@deni LOL! I don’t get it either. My husband NEVER reads his signs! One time we were in the far right lane of a three lane highway. Three signs went by that said this lane was ending and was now an exit only lane. He made a comment about something about having 40 miles to go and I said, “Well, you’re going to be exiting the highway in a minute…”
He says, “No I’m not!!!.... OH SHIT!!” And merged left at the last screaming second.
Happens constantly Drives me insane. I’m always making comments like, “You do know the speed limit is now 45 and not 65…..?” He’ll say, “What are you talking about??” Cause he doesn’t see the signs!!
Once I was riding with a co worker. We were on a two-lane highway. She pulled out to pass and I freaked a little because…well, suddenly BOOM! There was a car coming head on at us. The guy had the presence of mind to pull onto the shoulder to avoid a head on wreck. My coworker was freaking out, saying, “Did YOU see that car??”
I said, “No, but I did see the dip in the road that could hide a car….” which is exactly what happened, and why I freaked when she pulled out to pass….

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

My g/f never lets up on the gas when the driver in the car ahead steps on the brakes. Then at the last minutes she hits the brakes hard to avoid rearending the car ahead. Everytime. Drives me nuts. Then she brakes with her foot when she’s riding, when the closure rate is totally acceptable to me. The other car could be 150 or more feet ahead and I’m doing 30 mph and she freaks out? Also drives me nuts.

YoH's avatar

I had a similar situation happen a few years ago in the mountains between Va and Ind. The driver was my husband of 35 years and I trusted his smarts when it comes to navigation,but the conditions became extremely dangerous. It was night and the winding highway was icy, snow covered, horrible fog and no plows to be seen. Did I mention the drop off cliffs? Later we learned of a bulletin that banned travel, however the experience left me a wreck.

Val123's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe My husband does that exact same thing. No reaction until…well, I guess it all takes him by surprise.

The only time I get really upset is when we’re on a two lane, and there is a big line of cars piling up behind some slow driver, and no one is passing, and no one is leaving room between the cars for someone TO pass. In that situation I just say, “Oh well,” and drop back about a quarter mile and wait for something to happen. My husband, on the other hand, just jumps in line, cussing about it all, and you can’t see a damn thing in front of you except the back of the other car. He is getting better though, because I always comment. It’s dangerous.

UScitizen's avatar

I know two people that I absolutely will not get in the car if one of them is the driver. Other than that, I’m OK with the way most drivers handle the responsibility.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Very nervous. I refuse to drive with my sister, because I know her driving will be the death of me someday.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Such a nervous wreck that I wish all cars would be dual-control!!!!

Val123's avatar

I don’t understand why we put more effort and money into getting people paranoid about germs, yet just ignore the driving issues….They need to create a simulator that reacts to how the person drives, and throws out all kinds of stuff that could happen in response. Like, if the person is a tailgater, in the simulator the car in front of them will suddenly slam on the brakes! And make it manditoy that people have to spend an hour in a simulator every 5 years, and teen drivers have to spend an hour in one every year.

neverawake's avatar

On the contrary, it doesn’t make me nervous at all. I’m the most insane driver around :)

thriftymaid's avatar

There are several people that I just will not ride with—period.

filmfann's avatar

I am a very nervous passenger. Almost without exception, I cannot relax in the passenger seat with anyone I know driving.

OpryLeigh's avatar

I’m not usually worried when I am a passenger to someones driving. I trust them until they do something that scares me. The only time I am nervous of other peoples driving is if I know my boyfriend is oout on his motorbike.

deni's avatar

I’m surprised to see how many people are nervous passengers. I thought it was fairly uncommon and people who were worriers in general were more likely to of course worry about the drivers driving. S’pose I was wrong. Very interesting!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Val123 It makes me crazy. Okay, the brakes are on, they’re no longer accelerating, why are you still on the gas? And the tailgating. I have to travel on the NYS Thruway occassionally, and I cannot believe the people that get within 3 to 5 feet behind a tractor trailer and stay there. The only thing they can see is their future coffin.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@deni A little trick for driving in heavy snow at night, when the lights come back at you: try turning them off. You’ll be surprised at how much better you can see with no headlights versus light reflecting back at you. Just turn them on if you see another car.

Val123's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe X2. I think I’d be OK driving with you just because you’re aware of this stuff! One time I was riding with two other co-workers, a male and a female. The male was driving and he got right behind this truck that was fully loaded with scrap stuff that wasn’t tied down. My female co-worker said, “Man…this is so dangerous!
The dude says, “Nothin’s gonna happen because I used to be a race-car driver!”....WTH??? (Race car drivers seem to be the worst on city streets and highways….They can’t let go of that race mentality, which requires drafting and blocking and stuff that is completely inappropriate for civilian life.)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Val123 It was a race car driver that gave me the best driving tip I ever heard. Darrell Waltrip said one time“Why would anyone drive alongside a tractor trailer? What good thing is going to happen to you there?” I use that all the time. If the situation only has downside potential, get out of there.

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe I hate driving on the NYS thruway for that very reason. Playing chicken with trucks is not going to end well.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Thats so true. It’s amazing we don’t see more bad outcomes. Have you ever heard of Kamikaze Curve, where 81, 88, and 17 intersect?

Dr_Dredd's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Is that by Binghamton? I haven’t had the pleasure of driving there myself, but my Dad usually uses 17 when he comes to visit me. He doesn’t enjoy driving around Binghamton. :-)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dr_Dredd Thats the one. That is some of the worst driving I have ever encountered.

Val123's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Excellent advice. “If the situation only has downside potential, get out of there.” Trouble with most people, IMO, is that they aren’t thinking ahead. They are simply in the moment and their car is moving and they’re keeping it on the road. Good ‘nuff for them, I guess.

deni's avatar

And isn’t it amazing that most horrible drivers don’t even realize that they’re horrible? MIndblowing stuff there.

Val123's avatar

@deni I know. The coworker above, the one who almost got us into a head on collison? Well, after that she started blathering about how she had “made a decision and stuck with it! I like to be out in front!” (I guess she was referring to passing cars.) Not three minutes after she said that we came up on another car and she got right up on his bumper….I mean, there couldn’t have been more than 2 feet separating us. I have never been so close to another car unless it involved a wreck! And….she didn’t pass, didn’t pass, didn’t even try to pass. So much for “staying out front.” I was so nervous and scared I finally said, “Um, I don’t think you can get much closer to him….” She looks over at me in surprise and said, “Am I scaring you?” “Um…YEAH!” You’re right. They don’t even know. Best of all, when their stupidity causes a problem they always blame the other guy…..if the other guy hadn’t been there when he wanted to pull out into traffic there wouldn’t have been a wreck. All the other guy’s fault. See.

deni's avatar

@Val123 HAHA YES! amazing. i have a friend who has the worst road rage. he’ll pull out right in front of someone and then start cursing at THEM. I want to scream and jump out the window!

Val123's avatar

@deni Mebee you oughta really do it some time! I had an A-type uncle once. My daughter was visiting him in Seattle, a place she knew nothing about. They were on the freeway. The car in front of my Uncle exited the freeway. Without thinking, he just followed the guy onto the exit….then yelled at my daughter for not stopping him from exiting because they were no where near their eventual exit! She was 14. Sheesh.

christos99's avatar

not sure who’s worse my mom or my brother. But my mom is a speed demon. She actually got pulled over for speeding on the way to court to fight a speeding ticket.. true story. Cop let her go cause he didn’t know how to react lol

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