Let’s begin with the definition of the word douchebaggery. Urbandictionary.com always offers nice explanations for words in our current terminology:
Presenting one’s self in a manner that inspires those around you to wish death and/or serious injury upon you.
That’s basically what this is about. Drivers of automobiles that move their vehicles in such a way that inspire me to wish them greatest bodily harm.
I don’t know if you know about German roads, but I’m just going to explain a little. “Bundesstraßen” (lit. federal highways) are usually 1 lane per direction of travel and have a max speed limit of 100 km/h (62mph), sometimes (being near to human settlements) 80km/h (50mph). Then we have the world-famous “Autobahnen“, which start at two lanes per direction, some Autobahnen even have 3 to 4 lanes. There are no general speed limits, although the recommended speed is 130km/h (80mph).
Gender equality aside, there are certain things that mostly men do.. and then there are behavioral patters that are attributed to female drivers. Let’s start with the men.
1. Speed Exit
Situation can occur on any type of street, most common though on Autobahnen. A predominately male driver chases other drivers off the fast lane, because apparently driving 150km/h isn’t fast enough for him. So he swooshes past you. Only to change to the next exit lane, break really hard and exit the Autobahn. This happens A LOT. And I keep asking myself – why? This behaviour is dangerous for other drivers and not exactly fuel preserving.
2. Miniature Tanks
Women rarely drive standard sized cars anymore. Either they drive something small (VW Polo or Up, Opel/Vauxhall Corsa.. that kind of size), or something big, like an SUV. But it doesn’t really matter, because said females behave like they’re driving a tank. That’s how they park it (maybe the cars’ ego is so much bigger than its chassis?), that’s how they do a three-point turn (more like six-point).. because you know, they drive a tank. And tanks are known for their lousy turn radius.
I know that if you drive a car that is new for you, being cautions about parking and turning pays off. You don’t know the exact dimensions of the car, maybe the side mirrors don’t show enough or you haven’t adjusted them properly. I give leeway to you. But if you’ve been driving that same car for YEARS, you should be able to drive your car without behaving like you’ve just received your learners permit. (Frankly, that’s just embarrassing for everyone watching)
3. Flashing Headlights
So you’re male and feel really great in your tuned BMW. Evidently, adhering to the speed limit on a Bundesstraße is not one of your priorities, so you try flashing your headlights (and reduce your distance to my rear bumper, tailgating me) to force me to drive faster. Oncoming traffic prevents you from simply passing my car (lucky me), so you’ve decided that coercing me into acceleration is the way to go. Know what this kind of behavior results in? Me STRICTLY adhering to the speed limit, not driving my usual 2-5 km/h faster. You’re welcome.
4. Sunday Driving
It actually is a weekend phenomenon. Suddenly people don’t drive 100km/h on Bundesstraßen, they drop their speed to 80km/h. Without any actual reason, like bad weather or high traffic volume. Really annoying. Because even though 100km/h is the speed limit, police say you really should not drive any slower, if the traffic allows for it.
Every damn time someone crosses lanes without using his/her indicators. Or exits a roundabout without doing so. Is it really that hard?!
I’ve lived in Erlangen, Germany for about a year. In terms of general size it’s similar to Würzburg, although there is one huge difference: The city loves their cyclists. There are designated bikeways EVERYWHERE. That’s great, because in Erlangen the people riding their bikes actually use those bikeways. Major downside: Those bikeways encourage riding bicycles. Therefore the risk of being run over by bikes (when you’re a mere pedestrian) multiplies. Or running over a bike (when you foolishly thought you could just drive out of the parking garage without risking damage to your paintwork) that seemingly appears out of nowhere. After a while I got used to the bicycles. Then I moved back to Lower Franconia. The city of Würzburg has bikeways too. Rarely anyone used them, though. So you have to deal with agonizingly slow cyclists that drive in the middle of the street, instead of the bikeway right next to it. And there’s nothing you can do. (And you’re not permitted to just run them over. )
Are there any driving habits that really annoy you? Let me know!