2009 BMW M3: Nine Observations on other Drivers
November 12, 2009
Guess where we went yesterday? Sadly, the M3 didn't see any track time -- but another long-termer did. You'll have to wait for the whole surprising story later.
But on my drive back, I found myself categorizing my fellow motorists and I came up with 9 to start. I promise it'll be fun--jump with me...
Careful Calvin: Characterized by a) leaving a minimum of 10 car-lengths between himself and the vehicle directly in front of him, regardless of traffic conditions and seemingly oblivious to the line of cars behind him--or to the steady stream of cars diving in front of him that often causes him to; b) apply brakes randomly and at irregular intervals that sometimes coincide with brake lights in his own lane, but more often with brake lights from lanes other than his own. Related: Hybrid Harvey; Opposite: Tommy Tailgater.
Hybrid Harvey: Characterized by his desire to inconvenience and frustrate all the other conspicuous consumers on highways and byways across the country by refusing to maintain any semblance of traffic rhythm or pace in an effort to gather as many "you're bitchin'" economy indicators on his LCD display thereby reaffirming his already self-affirmed sense of smugness and caring more about the planet than everybody else. Note: he is completely unaware that the car for which he has overpaid is less cost-effective and has a more negative impact on the environment the long run than a traditionally powered new vehicle. Also, he believes his farts are odorless.
Bobby Flat-Biller: Characterized by driving a heavy-duty pickup truck with a lift-kit, roaring mud tires mounted on black and chrome 22s, dangling truck nutz, and proudly displaying stickers on the back window making reference to a) Glamis, b) Mud, c) West Coast Choppers, d) your sister, e) all of the above. Usually seen wearing a branded baseball-style hat with the bill as straight as a Tennessee State Trooper's hat, tattoos, and "just try me" attitude. Opposite: Hybrid Harvey.
Billy Brightson: Characterized by his apparent lack of photoreceptor rod cells within his retinas causing him to drive with his high-beam lights on regardless of traffic and/or road conditions. May be observed a) from two-miles ahead of you in opposing traffic lanes; b) in your rear view mirror on almost any drive home at night. His anatomical condition leaves him impervious to quick flashes of your own high-beams (or sustained washer-fluid blasts) to demonstrate your lack of comfort with his chosen lighting array.
Tommy Tailgater: Characterized by his lack of respect for the laws of physics which suggests that a car-length of distance between your rear bumper and his front bumper would not be a sufficient amount if you were to slow at a rate any greater than 0.1g. Often accompanied by Bobby Flat-Biller and Billy Brightson.
Dexter Darter: Characterized by his obsession with the patch of real estate between two cars in a lane adjacent to his own (on either side) where he apparently finds solace from his own pathetic lane of traffic which is apparently in his way. Often seen in state of perpetual frustration as he a) ends up going backwards in traffic, and b) is apparently late for an important engagement unlike you unmotivated novices.
Lucy the Lurker: Characterized by by her complete lack of will wherein she cannot drive at a pace of her own choosing and must rely on your progress to select a speed. She is often found in your vehicle's blind spot or directly next to you as you attempt to either speed up or slow down for a lane necessary to a) merge or b) exit the freeway. Related: Passive Aggressive D-bag whose description is a) unnecessary and b) NSFW.
Betty Brakington: Characterized by her lack of ability to determine what is appropriate amount of pressure to apply on the brake pedal for any given circumstance causing her to either under- or over-estimate the amount of slowing that is needed to avoid a traffic hazard. Any vehicle bearing the slightest resemblance to one that is driven by law enforcement (either in motion or parked on the side of the road) will cause her to jump on the brake pedal regardless of her proximity to posted speed limits. Note: she may be a physically challenged American who possesses only one eye thus rendering depth perception impossible and only a best guess. Or maybe she's just a bad driver.
So those are 9 that come to mind right now. I'm sure you've got more. Let's see what you can come up with. I dare ya.
Oh, and the M3 is still the best all-around sport sedan extant on the planet and it got stellar fuel economy on my drive home. I saw 25 mpg right before I got the camera out for this photo.
Chief Road Test Editor, Chris Walton @ 11,695 miles (as of this morning)