Are you a Clover?

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What’s a Clover? It’s a person who needs some help behind the wheel – but doesn’t realize it. To put a finer point on it, a Clover is a person who thinks you’re the one who needs the help.

Take this test to see whether you’re a Clover:

* Do you routinely find yourself at the head of a long line of cars?

Clovers don’t make the connection between the angry ribbon of vehicles attached to their bumper and the (slow) speed they’re doing – typically, because the Clover isn’t even aware they’re there, because Clovers only use their rear-view mirrors to help them pick out pieces of food stuck in their teeth. If they do happen to notice all the cars stacking up behind them, the Clover’s reaction is: They’re speeding; they shouldn’t be in such a hurry. The one thing a Clover will not do – the 190 proof essence of Cloverism – is pull off to the right to let all those other cars get past him. To the Clover, his speed is the right speed – for everyone.

* Slow for curves?

Not just slightly. A Clover is known for his (or her) fear of curves – a fear so great it causes the Clover to stab the brakes like OJ laying into Ron Goldman at the slightest hint of curvature. The most gentle sweeper will compel the Clover to drop speed from 55 to 40 – the conception of a Conga Line. Before long, there are six or seven cars stacked up behind the Clover – and a trip that should have taken 15 minutes is now a 30 minute form of vehicular waterboarding. The Clover is convinced he’s being “safe” – and that all those other drivers are “dangerous.” It never occurs to the Clover that maybe all those other drivers are just trying to get where they’re going sometime today – and that perhaps his slow-motion curve-taking is a clue that he’s got an issue with being overcautious (as well as inconsiderate; again, the Clover won’t just pull over – everyone else must travel at the Clover’s speed).

Here are some video examples of Cloverism:

* Ride your brakes?

Random braking for no good reason is another Signature Move of the Clover. He brakes for curves. He brakes for straightaways. He brakes when he sees another car coming in the opposite lane. He brakes all the time, without rhyme or reason. And he never brakes smoothly. Smoothness is a concept foreign to the Clover. Instead, the Clover does the herky-jerky. Braking suddenly and randomly - followed by just as sudden acceleration – followed up by another just as sudden and just as random slowdown. A key attribute of Cloverism is unpredictability. Other drivers can never anticipate what the Clover is going to do next.

Except, of course, pull over.

* Raise your speed when someone else tries to pass?

You know you’re in Clover Country when the clown up ahead that you’re trying to pass (because he’s been driving 5 MPH below the speed limit – slowing for the curves) accelerates as soon as he sees you’re trying to get around him. The Clover takes umbrage at you for wanting to get by. It’s not merely that he wants to drive like Mr. McGoo. He wants you to, too. The irony – lost on the Clover – is that to achieve his ends, he must speed - thereby becoming that which he claims to oppose. The one time a Clover might do some good by slowing down – in order to let you get past him faster (and therefore, more safely) he naturally speeds up. And just as naturally – for a Clover - he will slow right back down to 5 MPH below the speed limit the second he’s successfully thwarted your passing attempt.

* Try to drive in snow when it’s obvious you can’t?

Winter weather is especially attractive to the Clover – in the same way (and with the same result) that a bright light attracts moths at night. The typical Clover will see six inches of snow on the road and say to himself: I need to drive my 1979 Caprice Classic with rear wheel drive and almost bald whitewalls to the Mall. For other drivers who aren’t Clovers, having to deal with Clovers in the snow is a lot like having to deal with sharks in the water after your ship sinks in the Pacific Ocean. It’s not the snow (or the water) that’s gonna get you. Perhaps like sharks – creatures driven by instinct to do what they do like biological machines, without thought or mercy – the Clover is compelled to make it impossible for anyone else to get where they’re going when it snows.

* Think everyone else is crazy?

This last one is the surest way to ID a Clover.  He (or she) will never in a million years stop to think that maybe it’s me. Maybe I do drive more slowly than most other drivers. Maybe I am a bit on the overcautious side. These thoughts never occur to a Clover. If they did, he (or she) would then not be a Clover. Because to have those thoughts is to have an epiphany: I should probably let that guy behind me pass; I will pull off to the side as soon as it’s safe. And: I see a car coming up behind me; I’ll put on my signal and move over to the right lane so he can get by. There is nothing shameful about driving at whatever pace you’re comfortable with, even if it’s slower than most of the cars around you. It’s not slow driving that makes a driver a Clover. It is a determination to make everyone else drive just as slowly, using your car to enforce your will.

If that’s you, then you’re a Clover.

How about pulling over. Just this once. It might even feel good. C’mon. What do you say?

Throw it in the Woods?

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  58 comments for “Are you a Clover?

  1. Lois-Ann Snyder
    May 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

    LOL, in the spring you can identify Clovers by the dust on their Buicks that have been stored in the barn all winter! I sold my Tundra with 120,000 miles and the original brakes.

  2. March 24, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Clovers sometimes *are* speeders. And they don’t know how to do it without endangering anyone.

    A tailgater is a clover.

    I don’t mind anyone speeding, as long as they don’t tailgate. Keep your distance, and within a few seconds I’ll complete my pass as planned and move back over to the right lane — where I am always found unless passing. And I pass often.

    I’m not going to mash the gas for you — but I *will* be out of your way within a few seconds.

    All I ask is that you have the courtesy to remain at a tolerable distance from my rear bumper while I’m taking care of my own business.

    If someone runs up behind me and tailgates, if he doesn’t accept the first warning flash of my hazard lights, the next thing is the undulating gas pedal: I alternately speed up slightly then slow down slightly. If they’re following too close, they have to brake. I don’t brake, I just get on-and-off the accelerator — until I complete my pass and move over. They *usually* get the message after a couple cycles and back off.

    But then there are the “True AssClovers”; the especially aggressive ones. They come up behind you at a very high rate of speed, and without giving you even a few seconds to complete your pass, they get so close you’re sure their bumper is up under yours.

    As they approach, they move all the way to the left edge of the road so as to make sure their enemy can see them plainly in the outside rearview mirror.

    These pricks deserve the tow hitch.

    They deserve the “ditch brake”: where you push on the brake pedal *hard*, so they have to panic brake so desperately they end up in the ditch.

    No one should be so clase that they’re vulnerable to that.

    • dom
      March 24, 2013 at 2:19 pm

      Absolutely right. I feel it’s my duty to run that very same cycle for the tailgaters. I pass with moderate speed too, I’m not racing.

  3. Dan in Nevada
    October 14, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    It’s really weird that the same people who ride their brakes while driving uphill (in the fast lane, naturally) are determined to not use their brakes to actually stop. Daily, I’m behind someone that coasts for half a mile at 5 mph while coming up to a stop sign, then rolls through the sign without ever stopping. Or, if they do stop, it’s in the middle of the intersection. Of course, it then takes a mile or more to get up to their top speed, which is 10-15 mph below the limit.

    Both on the way to work and on the way home, I have to make a turn at a major light that has a turn lane. Every single goddamned time, I cannot safely or legally get into the turn lane because the guy in front of the line in front of me is doing 5 mph with absolutely nobody in front of him/her for at least 500′. Even when the light is green and there’s no other traffic, these a-holes make sure that by the time I get into the turn lane, the formerly green light is now red and I’ve got to wait through an entire cycle. If the light happens to turn red in front of the guy/gal causing the problem, he/she will often roll through anyway, stranding everybody that was behind.

    I like to think of myself as a reasonably good driver, but now and then I screw up or start getting too aggressive. That embarrasses me and it bothers me that people sharing the road with me are thinking “what an idiot”, even though I don’t know them. These “clovers” don’t seem to have any sense of how others see them or care about it if they do.

    Some of the earlier comments deride “speeders” in the winter time. I guess they mean people who are comfortable going faster than they are. There’s a reason us natives hit the bottom of an upgrade a little faster than you do. We make it to the top of the grade without spinning even once while you’re sliding around halfway up the hill. Conversely, I’m going way slower than even you at the top of the downgrade and getting into a lower gear so I can watch you slam on your brakes on the black ice farther down and spin in circles all the way through the light at the bottom of th hill. And no, the safest place to be on slick roads is NOT right next to me.

    Finally, use your signal light when you want to change lanes. Unlike you, I’ll actually slow down and give you plenty of room to get in front of me, even when it’s obvious you’re going to slow us both down to way below the limit. Lurching over 1′ in front of me when there’s a 10 or 15 mph speed differential explains the huge dents you’ve got all over your car.

    Must have got upset writing this – somehow I managed to shift from third-person to second-person. Anyway, great article.

  4. JaimeInTexas
    October 12, 2012 at 2:07 pm

    Here, in Texas, the law requires that cars slow down if there is an official vehicle (cop, EMS, fire, etc) when their lights are on. The problem is that most people (Covers only?) fail to to remember is that the laws to slow down applies only to the ADJACENT lane.

    Not only do you have to now deal with, for example, left lane hogs, but now you have to deal with slower cars slowing on the right lane (assume cop with lights on right, emergency lane) forcing their way to the left lane. And, to top it all, now you see cops parked on the right emergency lane with their lights on for no apparent good reason.

    If you think the above is bad, now change the scenario to cop with lights on on left emergency lane.

    I better quit, my pulse is starting to go up …. I need to go fishing.

  5. October 12, 2012 at 5:23 am

    Oh, now I get what you mean by “clover”. I don’t drive so it’s easy for me to keep to the right and let you motorists pass.

    But the clover is a sort of vigilanty bureaucrat. Their public school “education” manifest on the road.

    Hmm…I’ll bear that in mind next time I see motorist-on-motorist road rage. A sometimes puzzling phenomena from the cyclist perspective…

    The Bikemessenger

  6. Neil Mietz
    August 7, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I love the one who is doing the speed limit or less and when he/she sees a police car on the other side of the road with a stopped vehicle, hits the brakes and slows down.
    Like this officer is going to leave his perp and chase them. This happens a lot on multi-lane divided highways. Interstates, GSP, and the NJTP. Cars are already passing him/her on both the left and right and they think the cop is going to chase them. He is busy with someone else. Wake up and drive.

    • March 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

      You should know that about 30 years ago I was speeding down Highway 17 through San Jose to Santa Cruz and a CHP I passed along the way, who I saw had someone pulled over by the side of the ride so I ignored him, ended up leaving that guy and coming after ME!!!

      I was hauling ass pretty good, though. I was amazed that he caught me so easily. HE must have been flying to catch me!!!

  7. Al Sledge
    August 4, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Between the mainland and the Florida Keys is a road known to locals as the “18 mile stretch”. It is frequented by YOUR Clovers, known locally as “Tourons” (a conjunction of tourist and moron). This road has a concrete barrier between lanes and has two passing zones about 1 mile in length each. They travel at 40 in a 55, but speed up to 70+ in the passing zones when I try to pass. Little wonder the drug use is so high in the Keys!

    BTW thanks for explaining what that middle pedal is. Now I understand why my old Ford 150 has 235K miles, and factory brakes.

  8. DonDiego
    July 8, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Ryan describes the Clover concisely and simply: “Clovers are always going the PERFECT speed, neither too fast nor too slow and they should NEVER need to adjust their speed up OR down for other drivers.” Describes a clover exactly….clover to the T.

  9. Mumshik
    July 7, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    There’s a kind of drive my wife and I call a “push me, pull you” from “Dr. Doolittle”. This driver goes 5 – 10mph below the speed limit. When you find a place to pass safely and start to pass the other driver accelerates. When you pull back into your lane the ex-slow driver hugs your bumper for the next 20 miles as you go five mph OVER the speed limit.

    • July 7, 2012 at 9:03 pm

      I encounter that all the time! A sure sign of the presence of Cloverism!

    • Brad Smith
      July 7, 2012 at 9:38 pm

      Right on! The other one that gets me is the people who creep around a semi on the expressway and then stay in the fast lane. forcing you to pass on the right. They also have no idea that trucks go faster downhill than up. So they pass trucks going up hill, barely, then if they do get over they are slowing them down on the down slope. Honestly make up your mind. either drive fast enough for the left lane or creep along in the right and let people in when they merge. Jimmy Crickets I had that figured out by the time I was 14.

      One more thing. On a two lane highway. People who tailgate yet will not pass. This forces anyone who wants to pass to go around at least two vehicles and sometimes many more. If you are not going to pass at least back up so the guy behind you can pass one car and not the whole bunch. furthermore, there is no excuse for tailgating on a two lane. You can see much better and pass much easier if you stay back.

      Sadly it seems that passing is a lost art.

  10. anthone
    June 4, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    came across this site and have read at least 20 of your post, good stuff! I can say, with complete confidence, that I am no clover. It’s nice to know im not the only one going crazy on the road.

  11. dom
    July 21, 2011 at 1:54 am

    OMG..

    I was driving home (down 66 in Northern Virginia) this evening and there was about 20 amphibious military vehicles complete with personnel on the right side of the highway (off the roadside). Some fucking jackass decided it was a good moment to slam on the brakes and investigate (aka rubberneck). My man caused and instant clover patch. Cars were shooting of the sides of the road all over the place. I saw my life pass before my eyes and was in disbelief this was how it would end. Almost lost my life tonight boys. Shit is ridiculous..

    • mithrandir
      July 21, 2011 at 3:53 am

      Rubbernecking is a complete waste of time.

      Rubberneckers make me think they looking for someone they know or waiting to step in to help.

      My cousin told me a tale of traffic on the GSP during the summer.
      He did not know why there was slow moving traffic for over 10 miles until he arrived at the cause.

      There was no accident. A lady’s car broke down along the side of the rode. She decided this was the right time to catch some rays and work on her tan. She was in her bikini on the side of the rode and people were slowing down to get a better view.

      He was aggravated about the cause of the delay as he drove away.

      • July 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm

        People will gawk – and gawking is ok… if it doesn’t affect your driving. Just like sail fawns. Just like having a beer. Some can handle it – some can’t.

        I wish the system would go after the people who show – by their driving – that they can’t. Instead, we lazily target broad swaths of people, assuming everyone can’t. You don’t have to have actually done anything, either. Your driving can be perfect – it doesn’t matter. If you have a sail fawn in your hand (or a beer in your system) and a cop targets you, you’re toast.

        • mithrandir
          July 21, 2011 at 2:04 pm

          It is one thing to gawk. It is another thing to slow down from 65+ mph to 40 mph to get a better view with the traffic behind you needing to (avoid you / slow down). On busy roads traffic can back up very quickly from momentary slow downs. It is a cascading effect.

      • RebelKnightCSA
        August 18, 2011 at 6:00 pm

        Well, in some states (Virginia) you have to slow down whilst passing broken down cars by the side of the road. This applies to police, EMS, and fire trucks. Dunno about broken down civilian cars, but slow down anyway – chances are little drooling Johnny is going to run out into traffic whilst Daddy is changing the tyre or whatever.

        • August 18, 2011 at 6:36 pm

          This is another “common sense” item that really ought not to require a law. Each situation is different; not every broken down car needs to be slowed down for – while there are other cases where it’s prudent to do so. A competent driver can tell the difference and respond accordingly. A Clover will brake for no reason (itself a dangerous act) and then creep by the scene slowly, gawking. A competent driver will either slow down if necessary or continue at his pace, being watchful for any reason to slow down.

          • dom
            August 18, 2011 at 6:57 pm

            A co-worker here got a ticket last year for not changing lanes (moving out of the slow lane) where there was a cop on the side of the road making a traffic stop. My co-worker didn’t have a choice to move over and also it was her exit. She ended up getting a lawyer and still got a pretty big fine. Better than getting the original felony charge that was on the ticket! I’ll ask her about it later and get the exact name of the charge.

            • August 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

              A felony?

              Just when I think I’ve seen/heard it all….

      • Boothe
        August 18, 2011 at 8:58 pm

        The public will gawk at anything: About 20 years ago I was heading to Hopewell, Va on Rt. 10 (2 lanes) in Prince Geo. Co. As I came around the curve and had to slam on brakes, there are cars up backed up probably 9 deep. As we creep by the field to the right, there’s a whitetail buck doing the big nasty with a doe and this whole line of rubber neckers gawking. Do people like this have any interesting aspects to their own lives?

    • July 21, 2011 at 12:34 pm

      NoVa is unendurable. I keep wondering how long you’re gonna last!

      • dom
        July 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm

        Until I find an alternative!

    • dom
      July 21, 2011 at 4:36 pm

      Added later, I forgot to mention I was on a motorcycle.

  12. Romanreb
    July 8, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    Excellent article. Everything I’ve read on this site has been wonderful. I confess however, that there is one situation in which I am a clover. You know those merge things when you’ve got to get two lanes down to one, and it works if everybody gradually merges together, but you’ve always got one or two jerks who ride the shoulder at 70 mph until they get to the point where there is no more room then slam on the breaks and try to “chicken” their way into line? Honey, you ain’t gettin’ past MY big ‘burban butt! And when you shove your way in right BEHIND me? Please ride your little ‘spensive sports car right up my fat fanny to show me how mad you are, because that’s what that big trailer hitch is for. If you get stuck on there, I will be a good Samaritan and tow you to the nearest dealer so you can get your radiator replaced. Bottom line, buddy: I pay lots for gas on my truck and suburban. I wave to oncoming traffic and move over onto the shoulder for the folks behind me. I keep on eye on who wants to do what and try to make sure I’m not in their way. But don’t think that makes me a pussy.

    • July 8, 2011 at 6:32 pm

      Thanks!

      And: People who do that (cut in line) are rude dicks and it’s not Cloverish to say so (or to block them).

      • dom
        July 8, 2011 at 6:35 pm

        I love when the tractor trailers parallel up and make a moving road block to keep the assholes at bay. People doing that quick fly up and cut in front slow everyone down.

  13. dom
    February 18, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    The title is “Are you a Clover?” not “Safe driving tips and tricks.” There are a few hundred or so articles on this site discussing the very things you mentioned, just not this one.

    Update: Dammit, Eric deleted my man’s post. I’ll leave my post here for you “Driver.”

  14. Moon Unit
    February 15, 2011 at 6:33 am

    So you wrote an article punking out the most idiotic commentor, I love it! And from reading his posts, I see why. I really didn’t know people like him existed, those who are not only unqualified to drive but are also stupidly arrogant about it.

    • February 15, 2011 at 10:42 am

      Clover is truly short bus material. Unfortunately, he votes. So do millions of others, just like him. We’ve created a social-political environment that’s a hothouse for Cloverism. And once Clovers take root, getting rid of them is next-to-impossible. Bad money pushes out good; it just takes one spoonful of shit to ruin a gallon of ice cream. Etc.

    • dom
      February 15, 2011 at 3:28 pm

      You haven’t seen anything! The extremely stupid comments have been trashed (maybe over 100 of them). I think he is just a troller (looking to disagree and cause arguments). I like to think this because it’s hard to believe anyone could process information so poorly.

      • Mithrandir
        February 15, 2011 at 7:22 pm

        To Paraphrase George Carlin.

        Think how dumb the average person is.

        Realize that half of all people are even dumber than the average person.

  15. jack
    January 13, 2011 at 1:58 am

    this clover fellow posts everything to the contrary so frequently that I’m tempted to suspect he’s doing it just for fun, trolling in other words… It’s rare for someone to be that stereotypically stupid about driving in every sense of the word.

    • January 13, 2011 at 12:42 pm

      Check out some of his latest! He’s (sadly) for real… and he’s not alone, either.

      • dom
        January 13, 2011 at 4:08 pm

        Invincible ignorance is on tap in America!

  16. Drain 52
    December 30, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Now that we know what a Clover is, will you tell us where the name comes from?

    • December 30, 2010 at 7:47 am

      Sure! See some of the previous posts; there’s a guy here who inspired the name…

    • dom
      December 30, 2010 at 4:16 pm

      Read posts above and the author’s name!

  17. Swamprat
    December 30, 2010 at 3:43 am

    The fact is, the safest drivers on the road are traveling what is known as the 85th percentile. The 85th percentile corresponds with the lowest accident involvement rate in terms of 100 million vehicle miles traveled. Generally that number ranges between 5 and 15 mph above the average travel speed for a particular stretch of road. That said, is driving 5 to 15 mph safe for everyone? No. People should be free to select the speed they feel comfortable driving. Leave traffic enforcement to the cops. They should be on the lookout for dangerous drivers, not just those who exceed an arbitrary speed limit. Sometimes, I drive like a clover myself. When I do see a faster car approaching from behind, I move over. Its common courtesy.

    • clover
      December 30, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      Swamprat, you are missing something. When you quote that the 85th percentile is the safest speed that comes from statisics when the 85th percentile is the average speed within 5 mph. If you say that the 85th perctile is 15 mph above the average speed then that does not lead to lower accident rates. Your quoted facts are off.

      I also do not understand your statement that you move over when faster cars are coming from behind. If you are driving slow then you should already be moved over that is if there are more than one lane unless you mean that you are driving under the speed limit and pull off of the road in a safe way to let others by. If there are two lanes and you are passing another vehicle or two then your have every right to be in that lane no matter how fast someone else wants to drive over the speed limit. That is why you quote the 85th percentile as being safer because if you are passing other vehicles then you already are more than likely traveling at least the 85th percentile speed.

      • Ryan
        February 15, 2011 at 4:40 pm

        Clover,

        When driving on the freeway, it is not uncommon for me to be traveling faster than those in the right lane. If someone comes up behind me, and gets close on my tail, I will slow down and pull to the right so he can get past and then move back over and accelerate to my previous speed. It’s a relative speed issue. Clovers are always going the PERFECT speed, neither too fast nor too slow and they should NEVER need to adjust their speed up OR down for other drivers. The author is contrasting clovers with regular drivers: those who generally travel at or slightly above the flow of traffic. Not the idiot who has to drive 15mph faster than other drivers (contra Swamprat).

        Swamprat, the 85th percentile is often (but not always) 5 to 15mph faster than the posted speed limit. If you are traveling 15mph faster than the average flow of traffic, then you are the opposite but equally dangerous fast analog to the clover.

        • Scott
          October 15, 2012 at 3:50 am

          Ryan that actually made sense. I had a lot of trouble parsing the last comment by Clover.

          Most statistics I’ve read suggest a difference in relative speed of 15mph causes trouble. On the other hand, if that were true wouldn’t we have seen a dramatic (or at least statistically significant) increase in accidents on freeways after they had commuter lanes installed?

          I wonder if anyone’s ever looked?

  18. dom
    December 29, 2010 at 5:27 pm

    How can you be so sure that clovers only cause one minute extra to travel time?

    “it only cost an extra minute of travel time”

    And even if it is a minute, people do not have the right to steal time from others.


    If someone were walking in front of me and kept blocking my way, or sticking their arm out to obstruct my movement they would be hospitalized.

    If someone believes they have the right to steal time from others that person is a imbecile in my book.

    Clovers will never do this stuff on foot!

    • clover
      December 29, 2010 at 11:00 pm

      Dom you seem to forget that the fast drivers that need to pass on double yellow lines or drive aggressively on snowy/icy roads and dozens of other so called speedy driver characteristics kill people and not just put them in the hospital. It was just in the local news here that a driver lost control in such condtions and the semi took care of him for good. Many of you so called fast drivers kill and injure people daily. Yes the driver in the video should not have been driving that slow if it was not a staged event but you either live with it or make some kind of law so the police will do something about it. Other than that, you are the problem because it affects your driving negatively and it should not because you can not relax and live with it.

      • cloversbegone
        November 18, 2012 at 6:59 pm

        There is “some kind of law” to deal with this. It used to be that drivers were periodically taken out for a short ride by the motor vehicle departments, and their skill was evaluated. Timid, weak, unassertive, frail, and incompetent drivers thus were weeded out and deprived of their licenses. How can you possibly believe that I am the problem because you choose to affect me negatively by your driving? Sounds to me like you are desperately trying to rationalize your own deficiencies rather than admit you’re a pain in the neck to everyone else.

  19. Graves Clayton
    December 28, 2010 at 2:54 am

    Definitely a pet peeve of mine as well. Brake, brake ,brake. EXCEPT at a yellow light turning red. Then it is apparently time to aggressively shove their way through regardless of having no right-of-way. Otherwise, these jerks are right on that brake no-matter-what. I frequently see this type with the brake lights on as they are pulling away uphill. Yes, uphill! I notice that I generally have let off my gas about 15-20 seconds, and as much as an 1/8th mile before I even think about braking. Most drivers I observe, are on the brakes anytime they are not holding the gas, and, as aforementioned, some use both simultaneously.

    People come to my shop, with great frequency, needing brakes far too often. Most of the brake-riders make their first visit with under 40K miles on the car, and the front brakes worn to the metal.
    While I am grateful for the business, and eager to make the vehicle safe to operate, I take great pains to educate the owner/operator on the finer points of physics. 90% of all brake wear is a direct result of the intensity and frequency of use.

    Enough physics. This problem defies physics, or any rationality.

    These people have just never learned how to drive. Push-to-go, push-to-stop is all that seems to stick in these pea-brains out there. Unfortunately, the auto industry caters to this non-driver mentality with ABS, SRS, Run-Flat, Sensor monitored tires, etc, etc.
    Do they really believe that people can’t learn how, so we just make the car idiot-proof? One word..IMPOSSIBLE! Bottom line? Give all the non-drivers a false sense of security with tons of gimmicks, and take their money ten times over, to boot!

    LOL! I have to apologize to Eric here; I could start my own rant right here on his pages! In fact, at times, I have :)

    My gift of car technology will be forcefields…then we can just play kinetic bumper-cars out on the highway. Just “nudge” the bugger out of the way, get where you need to go, and no harm done, eh?

    • December 28, 2010 at 12:05 pm

      Rants as excellent as this are always welcome here! But, beware. Clover is watching…

    • dom
      December 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

      Amen, and nicely put.

      Your rant reminds me of my father.

      My father, sad to say, is a clover. He purchased a brand new Silverado SS Intimidator model truck. He was able to completely fry the brakes in one trip (around 2,000 miles). He drove from Virginia to Texas and it was time for brakes. Back when my mother was still around and would ride with him she would put a neck brace on because he was either accelerating or braking (no coasting, or cruising). It was beyond annoying! I would get the biggest headaches from riding with him, even short distances. To this day I’ve never ridden with a more annoying driver.

      • Tomas
        July 6, 2012 at 1:14 pm

        Too funny. A family friend was at a meeting, so I was driving his wife and my mom around in his ford winstar van. There was this odd depression in the steering wheel. Turns out I’ve never actually been a passenger in a car driven by this friend before. His wife and my mom explained he was the worst driver, sudden stops and starts, motion sickness for all, etc… All things described in the article and comments. The depression in the steering wheel was him gripping for dear life on his drives. How hard do you have to brake (repeatedly) to put a divot in the steering wheel where you grip it?

        • July 6, 2012 at 2:19 pm

          Thanks, Tomas!

          Good to have you with us -

    • clover
      December 29, 2010 at 1:36 am

      Maybe the cars should also have a stupidity sensor for some drivers. You know, the drivers that drive drunk, the drivers that pass on double yellow lines where they risk killing others, drive excessivly fast just because they enjoy it or do not allow an extra 30 seconds to allow for anything that might slow them down.

      I looked at the video. The only problem is we do not know if it was a staged event in the first video and even if it was true, it only cost an extra minute of travel time. If you do not allow for an extra minute or two driving to an appointment then you deserve to be late when you pull up to a light that turns red when you get to it or some kind of a traffic problem no matter what it is. The second video looks like it was a person that was stopped looking at the trees and the water. I did not see anything the other vehicle did to try to get the car to move even if it really had to. It looked like there was a lot of space on the road to pass.

      I want to know the point of Eric’s intollerance of other drivers? What does he want done? I would say if you can not slow down for a short period of time for another driver then you do not have enough patience to be a driver yourself.

      • cloversbegone
        November 18, 2012 at 6:50 pm

        Your arguments, if I can charitably characterize them as such, are strewn with irrelevancy, inaccuracy and gaping defects in logic. Your picture should accompany this article.

        Drunk drivers, reckless drivers, speeders are not the subject of this article. It is about inconsiderate, clueless and timid drivers whose shortcomings as drivers cause major headaches for all those around them.

        “It only cost an extra minute of travel time.” Try telling that to someone who’s trying to cross a lengthy stretch of two-lane highway.

        “…you deserve to be late…” In other words, your lack of driving skill is not the problem. I ought to start out for work at 5:00am because it’s possible that I’ll encounter someone who will inexplicably make my commute much longer than it needs to be. I’m expected to burn my valuable time to compensate for your failures as a driver and as a person. Again, your attitude typifies the self-absorbed, righteous world-view of clovers everywhere.

        “…Eric’s intollerance (sic.) of other drivers.” I believe you have the shoe on the wrong foot. If you are a driver holding up a long string of cars because you ignorantly feel your speed should override that of the rest, it is you who are being intolerant – not to mention clearly wrong in driving so slowly. By not pulling over and letting them all pass, you have arrogated yourself to the role of enforcing a policy which by definition is at variance with common sense and the orderly flow of traffic. This makes you a nuisance.

        Your final comment is so fatuous that it beggars explanation. Which is to say, unless I cheerfully accept the fact that there exist a bothersome, stubborn, underskilled subset of licensed drivers (who probably haven’t taken a physical test of their ability for decades), that I should not be allowed to drive. Mediocrity for all! (I wonder for whom you voted for president, but that’s another matter.)

        There is one thing with which I agree amongst the general skatole of your post: there ought to be a stupidity sensor for some drivers. Since you came up with this brilliant concept, I suggest you volunteer to be the first so equipped.

    • clover
      December 29, 2010 at 10:42 pm

      Funny that my brakes seem to last well past 100,000 miles. Ask Eric how long his brakes last. Many of the so called fast drivers like him have to hit the gas and then hit the brakes hard and then hit the gas. I seem to look ahead at the traffic and do not tailgate. If I see cars slowing ahead or a light far ahead just turning red then I let up on the gas rather than speeding up and hitting the brakes hard like many of the so called fast drivers. I often pass such drivers at stop lights when there is more than one lane because I am still moving when the light turns green because I drive smart. I do not follow someone up a steep icy hill closely either.

      • UncleSim
        February 15, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        So, you’re not a brake-rider. Good for you. But you still sound like an inconsiderate driver.

        Its about scope. Eric isn’t complaining that it took him an extra minute or two to get somewhere, once in a while.

        I play poker. Most players can learn to play their hand correctly. An experienced player will play the table, and the other players hands, based on information he/she gets during play.

        When experienced drivers are driving, they are keeping an eye on all traffic and other obstacles around them. They can tell when another driver wants to pass, or is content to follow them at a speed both find reasonable.

        The Clover can’t seem to make these distinctions.

        Thanks for another great article, Eric.

        • dom
          February 16, 2011 at 3:44 am

          Very well said! Your poker analogy is perfect and simple to understand, but something tells me it will read like gibberish to a Clover.

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