Bad Drivers

1) The Volvo Driver:

Volvo 240Drives: A volvoloid box. See Volvo photos.

Behavior: See: Volvo Drivers

Mitigating Factors: Your girlfriend is unlikely to run off with him.

Prognosis: When the kids leave home, he’ll buy a Renault Megane and become much harder to spot.

1a) The Volvo T5 Driver

Volvo T5Drives: Second rate Swedish rip-off of an 80s Audi. Except the Audi had 4WD, and could therefore negotiate roundabouts in the rain.

Behavior: Reacts constructively to adverse opinion. Drag races GTIs in the sincere belief that this proves something. T5 drivers have a lot in common with 5’6” prats who learn a bit of karate and pick fights in pubs.

Mitigating Factors: Absolutely, positively, does not tow caravans.

Prognosis: One day will race a Beetle with a 911 engine or similar trick car. Will then go home and sulk for the rest of his life.

2) BMW Man:

Drives: 320i. Got the one with a tape deck, cloth seats and no AC so he could afford the sports body kit. Has been known to break down and weep if overtaken by someone in a 320½i or something.

Behavior: Subconsciously believes that overtaking you will help him sell more photocopiers than the bloke at the next desk. (He would cut off his left leg with the edge of a memo from HR to achieve this.) Schmoozes hot commercial and/or romantic prospects on the mobile while tailgating at 100mph and three inches.

Mitigating Factors: Reasonably skilled driver, so not too likely to kill you even with the max testosterone style. Will soon have carved his way past and be out of your life forever.

Prognosis: The lucky few make it to senior management 540i nirvana, and learn how to cruise. The rest descend to middle-aged Renault Scenic Hell wherein their sins will receive more than adequate punishment.

3) School Run Mum:

BMW X5Drives: New, dented, luxury 4X4 so gargantuan as to be classified by the DVLA as a main battle tank.

Behavior: Multitasks like a schizophrenic on Benzedrine. Preoccupations include, but are not limited to:

  • Teaching Evil Short Person #1 that 7 X 8 = 42
  • Lecturing Evil Short Person #2 on the ethics of interpersonal relationships, as related to the avoidance of playground behavior likely to enrage children whose parents have a better lawyer than daddy’s.
  • Preventing Evil Short Persons #3 to #5 inclusive from maiming Evil Short Person #6
  • Arranging play dates, birthday parties, lifts to school and extracurricular activities with other School Run Mums over the mobile. (The diplomatic wrangling necessary to affect agreement on these matters makes the Doha round of the WTO Talks look like a squabble over a restaurant bill.)
  • Firetrap GnomeComposing letters to The Daily Mail about cable television companies digging up half the roads in North London.
  • Turning right in fifth gear from the left hand lane into the wrong end of a one-way street while indicating left, if at all.
  • Applying a bull-bar to the forehead of any child pedestrian who might otherwise grow up to out-compete Evil Short Person #1 in the job market.

Mitigating Factors: Back home by 9:30 am. Loads up on Prozac. Doesn’t bother anyone until 3:00.

Prognosis: The 2010s will see the emergence of School Run Granny. Be very afraid.

4) The Old Guy in The Hat

Rover 200Drives: A carefully polished original model Rover 200 with a retro-fitted chrome grille.

Behavior: The last object he saw in the rear-view mirror had a starting handle. May wander up to two lanes adrift of his intended position. Has great difficulty with toll-booths, car park ticket machines etc.

Mitigating Factors: Covers 15 miles per year, so you’re unlikely to get the same one twice. Hasn’t had an accident since they disbanded the Home Guard.

Prognosis: Subject to continuing theological debate.

5) The Second Wife

Mercedes CLKDrives: Mercedes CLK

Behavior: Has reached a position in life where lane discipline, giving way to the right at roundabouts and accurate parking are beneath her. In truth, the roundabout problem may be a side-effect of her last face-lift, which has left her unable to rotate her head by more than 5 degrees.

Mitigating Factors: Will write you a 5 figure cheque on the spot rather than bother giving you her insurance details.

Prognosis: Histrionic triumph as the downtrodden victim in a nasty divorce case.

6) Scooby-Doo

Mitsubishi Evo VIIIDrives: Mitsubishi Evo 8.11 release 9a (beta)

Behavior: Lives with parents at age 30 to afford this car. Practices very defensive driving. Is occasionally overtaken by old ladies in Metros. Knows what Nigel Mansell had for breakfast on the morning of the ’86 Adelaide Grand Prix. Attends track days where he gets lapped by reps in V6 Vectras.

Mitigating Factors: Great guy to buy a second hand nutter car from.

Prognosis: Write-off after collision with company car driver. Years of therapy.

7) The 17 Year-Old

Vauxhall NovaDrives: Knackered Nova or Fiesta of no more than 1.3 litres.

Behavior: Erratic. Prone to single-vehicle accidents resulting from misguided attempts to impress girls. More skillful 17 year-olds may be able to keep the car in one piece long enough to lower the suspension, fit remolds on 20 inch three-spoke alloys, and install wonky primer-coloured front and rear spoilers. These modifications are almost as expensive as wrecking the car, and only slightly more successful with the ladies.

Mitigating Factors: Those were the days…

Prognosis: All of the above.

8) The Power-Dresser

Honda S2000Drives: Audi RS4, Honda S2000, Porsche Boxster S

Behavior: Wears pinstripe miniskirt. Excellent driver. Always concentrates on driving. Annihilates white vans, Ferraris and police helicopters. Flashes lights at drivers who hog the fast lane. Embarrasses macho colleagues by easily winning corporate team-building karting events.

Mitigating Factors: Being overtaken at speed by a fit girl in a hot car totally works for me. Also the only thing on the road that BMW Man is afraid of.

Prognosis: School Run Mum. Pointing this out will get you killed.

9) The Unlicensed Minicab

MinicabDrives: Obscure Japanese/Korean saloon.

Behavior: Arrived in the UK yesterday. Determines the function of the major controls by trial-and-error during your journey. Hazy on road signs, lane discipline and right turns, but has already memorized the frequencies of his preferred radio stations.

Mitigating Factors: Will venture South of the river, if only in pursuit of a quiet spot in which to rob you.

Prognosis: Fifteen quid, minimum, at this time of night.

10) The Born-Again Biker

Rides: Whichever Honda/Yamaha/Suzuki/Kawasaki 1000cc sports bike was infinitesimally better than the others on the week he bought it. Previous bike was a BSA or Norton.

Yamaha R1Behavior: Goes on a “run” to the nearest seaside town every May and August Bank Holiday. This route is so heavily policed, he never dares exceed 60 mph. Spends the day drinking takeaway coffee with other middle-aged men in sweaty leathers and swapping tips on outwitting speed cameras.

Mitigating Factors: If he gets it badly wrong, he’ll die. You won’t.

Prognosis: Broken Leg. Bike sold by wife during convalescence.

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