Crazy Freakin Drivers

MaxPower May 20th, 2008

Just now recovering from the first long-weekend road trip which took us from Calgary to Vancouver and back. The scenery was great as usual, wildlife abounded (deer, elk, mountain goats, two black bears) and with the inevitable crowds on the road came some crazy freakin drivers.

I have three contenders for “the Craziest Driver MaxPower Saw on the Road” award.

1. Middle Aged Lady driving a mini-van alone. Just past the Rogers Pass on the Trans Canada highway heading west, the road goes to 1 lane each way for about 100 km with very few passing lanes. This lady comes ripping up behind me (and like always I’m cruising at 15 – 20 km over the speed limit, which seems like magic number as I went through 6 speed traps with nary a cop’s eyebrow raised) and she comes with inches (i.e. less than a foot) of my back bumper. I am not exaggerating. I could not see the grill of her mini-van, I could clearly tell she wasn’t wearing sun glasses (in spite of driving into a glaring setting sun) and she had on a brown pull-over top. I’d suggest she would have been late 40’s. So after about 10 mins of extreme tailgating, there is a passing lane, I pull over to let her go by (there was a line of about 50 cars, all trying to pass) and she only gains one position. I then witness her unmercifully tailgating the guy in front of me for the next 10 mins until he too pulls over to let her by. She then repeats and repeats. I figure she doesn’t know how to drive when not tailgating, I had someone say to me, maybe she learned how to drive being pulled tied to the back of a truck on a farm (I wouldn’t put it past that). Best moment came when in Sicamous and there is a light. She had the opportunity to take off free and clear at the front of the pack, but no, she allows a car in front of her, so she can tailgate him unmercifully too. She was the early favourite for the award until:

2. Middle Aged Guy in a Jeep Commander with his wife and three teenaged kids. This guy was driving a beige Jeep Commander, Alberta plates, comes up behind me just after Sicamous. Driving pretty regularly until in a passing lane opportunity, he decides everyone is not driving fast enough and so he takes off on the right hand side, alternatively passing on the shoulder and on the right lane. Until he comes up right beside me, the passing lane ends and he just comes over fast enough that I have to do emergency breaking just to avoid his drivers door meeting my right front tire. The honk and flash (by me) gives no discernable signal that he knows what he just did. Then we come to another passing lane about 5 mins later. He pulls into the right hand lane and slows down. I proceed in the left lane to pass. He then decides to do EXACTLY the same thing and drifts into the left hand lane, making me repeat the emergency breaking. At this point, I figure the guy is tired or drunk so I back way off and let him go up ahead. Two mins later he pulls out to pass (1 lane each way) on a stretch and barely makes it in front of one car ahead of him as a truck is blasting his horn coming head on. Came within a few feet of killing all 5 passengers. Turns off to go to Vernon for his long weekend of beer guzzling. He was the winner until the return trip:

3. Older Lady in a black Honda Accord (with a racing exhaust?) driving alone. Just got to the Rogers Pass on the way back to Calgary when I see his car do a fairly aggressive legal pass a few cars behind me. Don’t think much of it until I then see the same car, swerve over and pass two cars on the right shoulder. No passing lane, no attempt to pass on the left, just a casual move to the shoulder. She then comes up behind me, grafts herself onto my bumper as I watch her in my rear view. Looks like a normal 50+ woman. As I am thinking about that, we start going into a sequence of tunnels. To be clear, I am right behind someone, who is right behind someone. We’re talking gridlock traffic all moving at 110 – 120 kph. This lady then decides she wants to pass me on the left, over a double yellow line, as we are going around a corner INTO A TUNNEL. She pops out, guns it, makes it halfway up my drivers side, sees that she is going to RUN INTO THE WALL OF THE TUNNEL and then stops, comes in behind me again. Outside that tunnel, she tries it again, tries to pass on the double yellow. To get where? 10 feet further ahead. I blast the horn to warn her off, she swerves back in behind me. Then there is a passing lane, so I let her go by giving her the finger, she pulls up, mouths a couple swears to me, then cuts me off, pumps her breaks 5 times in a row so I need to slow down then guns it into the left lane. Funny enough, about 10 mins later, everyone comes to a stop. A mud-slide closed the TransCanada for all day Sunday and half of the day Monday. So after taking both her life and the lives of those around her into her crazy middle aged hands, she waits along with the rest of us for 2 hours stopped on the #1 highway.

Funny enough, just outside Banff about 4 hours later who comes screaming up behind me and then passes on the right shoulder? Crazy old Honda woman. How did I get in front of her? Apparently she must have stopped to get something to eat in Banff or Golden. I was glad to see she was in enough of a rush to grab some McDonalds. She wins the craziest person award hands down. I almost died twice in a period of 5 mins thanks to her obscenely dangerous driving. I would have called the cops from the road but in the Rogers Pass there is no cell phone coverage and when I saw her outside of Banff she passed on the right so fast I couldn’t grab the last 3 digits of the plate. But if you see an older woman, driving a black late model Honda Accord with a custom spoiler (not a racing one, just a black one) and a big fart-cannon exhaust, watch out. She’ll try to kill you.

  • Hey MaxPower! Just found your blog whilst searching for photos of the aforementioned mudslide in Rogers Pass. We had planned to hang out in 3 Valley Gap Sunday and Monday night anyway and just made the drive back over #1 highway today (Tuesday). I found your descriptions of some of the lesser lights of the road very entertaining and remarkably similar to our own adventures today.

    There was one driver in particular driving a black Ford Escape. It had logos on it for some outfit called “Aspen Office Interiors” or something like that. This guy(?) was really in a hurry to get back to work judging by the number of times he passed on double yellow and in the face of oncoming traffic. He couldn’t hold a candle to beige chrysler mini-van guy and his wife though. Now, I’m one of those who push it maybe a little more than you do, even, with speeds in the 120 range (in a 90), so I was surprised when this guy came screaming up behind me and passed me. I was catching up to a green Honda Ridgeline at the time. We were just getting to the new Kickinghorse pass bridge and there were street sweepers out. Going up the mountain, neither mini-van guy nor the Ridgeline could keep up with my V8 and I passed them both. But once over the mountain, mini-van guy was back in my rearview with a vengeance, and then he was gone. I watched his antics up the road a ways and fully expected to find him in the ditch, slammed into a rock wall or in the midst of a maelstrom collision later on, but no such luck. BTW, when he passed me I was ambling along at a respectable 130. Just how fast does one need to go on the mountain roads.

    Sure am glad I didn’t run into crazy Honda woman.

    Glad you made it back safely too!

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