The Guild of Douchey Drivers

Driving can be a challenge. It’s compounded when you have some bad-mannered drivers on the road. For lack of a better name, I’ve decided to call them “The Guild of Douchey Drivers.”
And, man, the guild was out in force over the weekend in the ‘mento. Two drivers got impatient and leaned on their horns. In another incident, one driver left the scene of a property damage accident without leaving his information — although there were two witnesses.
Twice Saturday, I was stopped at a light waiting to turn right. Both times, some male driver behind me impatiently honked his horn raising my ire.
The first time, I shrugged my arms at the guy and he gesticulated back. I was a little angry, but I tried to keep cool as I finished my turning motion. I was slightly amused to see where the gentleman was in a tremendous hurry to reach — Super Wal-Mart.
It happened again later in the afternoon. Stopped at a light, trying to keep an eye on the traffic lights and vehicles before making my move. Again, some young man decided that honking his horn would magically clear the way. When he didn’t get the desired result, he honked his horn another two or three times.
I definitely kept my cool this time. I just waited until traffic cleared and the light changed. The guy kept honking even as the oncoming traffic was turning left. Sorry, man. I’m not willing to drive into oncoming traffic for you.
First of all, I don’t understand what the horn-honking is meant to accomplish, especially because it’s a non-emergency situation. I’m always going to come to a complete stop and wait for the intersection to be clear before moving forward. I’m not going to short-circuit that approach and risk my safety for the driver behind me.
In fact, the horn-honking is going to make me drive more safely. From a safety standpoint, I have to look behind me when a horn goes off to see what’s going on. It’s a distraction I have to account for.
Additionally, the driver’s impatience tees me off. My first thought is to do the opposite of what this boorish man wants. I don’t want him to think that such an inconsiderate tactic actually works. I also don’t want to give the satisfaction of him pushing me (and others) around.
Although I try to avoid it, I may have been a member of the Guild during my driving career. I can only control my driving so I resolved to not let these drivers get under my skin. It’s still a sad statement that these types of drivers are on the road.
Here’s the kicker. I walking from a parking lot in Davis Friday night when I hear a loud crunching noise. It turns out that an older SUV pulling out of a space backed into a nice, newer Volkswagen, leaving a nice big dent in the left rear bumper. The SUV driver got out and inspected the damage as a witness and I headed back toward the scene.
The SUV driver asks the female witness if the damaged car was hers. It wasn’t — well, sorta. Her vehicle, just to the left of the damaged car, was slightly scratched.
The woman asks the driver if he needed paper to write down his insurance information. He doesn’t seem to reply before he walks casually back to his vehicle and gets in. I didn’t quite know what to expect — was he grabbing some paper or was he going to park his car so he could better handle the situation?
He does neither. The SUV gently backs up and pulls out of the parking lot.
I’m flabbergasted. I ask the woman if she was doing what I was doing — writing down the SUV’s license plate number. Yep, we both got it.
Who leaves such a relatively innocent accident scene when there are two witnesses? All one needs to do is leave insurance and contact information.
Turns out the woman is a retired cop and she calls the police. We both give statements to the officer who arrives on the scene.
While we’re recalling what happened, other officers pull two vehicles in separate, unrelated incidents. That was part of five pull-overs I saw during my first hour in Davis Friday night. Three of the pull-overs seemed to be because the vehicles didn’t have their lights on.
It looks like Guild membership is increasing.