The lady’s name was Leigh and to that point, she was the worst driver I’d ever known. 

She’d follow other cars waaaay too closely, and you’d wear out your right foot slamming that imaginary brake to the floorboards. 

She’d take inexplicable left turns from right lanes, going absolutely deaf to the car horns that sounded around us like a homicidal symphony. 

Cruising the speed limit in the passing lane on the highway? Oh, yeah. If you happened to be in the passenger seat, the angry glares from drivers passing on the right would give you a sunburn. 

We’re talking about a lady who couldn’t be bothered to use a blinker because I mean, who has time to use the two arm muscles necessary to move their left hand a whole inch? 

Riding with Leigh even on short trips in town was a nightmare. Just drop me off here, ma’am. I’ll walk the remaining 12 miles to the destination. Much appreciated. 


The good news, back in those days, was that Leigh was the exception rather than the rule, at least in my social circle. These days? Drivers like Leigh seem to be the norm, to the point where even just short jaunts for a quart of milk feel like suicide runs. 

Ride a motorcycle and you’ll quickly get the sense that every other driver on the road is trying to kill you. They’ll come blasting out from side streets without even a glance in your direction. They’ll drift into your lane with no warning. They’ll ride right up your tailpipe at 55 mph or make sudden, unannounced turns in front of you. These horrid drivers are out to kill you, all right, and yet they don’t even know you’re there because they can’t be bothered to look up from their cellphones long enough to see that — well, would you look at that? There are actually other drivers on the road. 

Drivers in downtown Lewiston traffic have gotten so bad, one doesn’t even have time to yell at them all. 

“What are you doing, you dumb son of a …” 

“Hey! Didn’t you see the stop sign back …” 

“Holy smokes, look at this guy, driving in reverse the wrong way on a one-way street!” 


In downtown Lewiston, drivers will come to sudden stops right in the street when they spot someone they know on the sidewalk. Then they will just sit there yacking with that person, completely oblivious to the traffic piling up behind them. 

Which makes sense, I suppose, since the main problem with bad drivers these days seems to be complete indifference to others on the road. These weasels can’t be bothered to use their blinkers — like, ever — because that would involve using a hand that is presently engaged in holding a smoke, petting a dog or sending a text. 

They tailgate at all speeds, completely disregarding the three- and four-second rules drilled into their heads when they first learned to drive. Assuming, of course, that they ever were taught at all — some of these drivers are so bad, you feel there’s just no waaaaaay they ever passed a road test.

They speed through residential neighborhoods and school zones, music cranked, phone in hand.

Some say driving habits have gotten worse since the pandemic and I guess Walmart’s green pole would probably agree with that, but then, eggheads tend to blame COVID for EVERYTHING, so … grain of salt.

Other studies show that the safer vehicles become, with all their sensors and nags, alarms and warnings, the worse the drivers get. I mean, why check over your shoulder when you can just glance at the backup camera? Why pay attention to where you are in your lane when a handy alarm will buzz if you drift out of it? 


But I don’t need me to tell you any of this, do I? If you spend even just a little time on the road, you’ve seen it for yourself. I know this because I gently asked some of our readers what they’re seeing out there and it was like poking a constipated dragon with a sharp stick. 

Jessica: “Not using a blinker when your car is obviously equipped with one!” 

Dave: “Texters. Late teen, early 20-somethings who think they’re in an episode of ‘Fast and Furious.’ Tailgaters. I almost die on my bike every time I take it out because people are selfish, in a hurry and stupid.” 

AnneMarie: “Not stopping at a stop sign and then giving you the finger as they’re doing it!” 

Linda: “Driving in the passing lane while slowing down and speeding up without ever passing. Does driver’s education no longer teach what it means to pass and proceed back to the driving lane?” (Frankly, I think this one could use some exclamation points.)” 

Jimi: “Blatant disregard for pedestrians.” 


Judy: “Driving 5 to 10 miles UNDER the speed limit!”

There were more, but you get the gist. And don’t even get these folks started on bad parking: people who take up two spots without compunction. Folks who park in handicapped spots or fire lanes. Those oblivious fools who park on Lisbon Street leaving the butt ends of their massive SUVS sticking out into one of the lanes… 

Whoo! We could go on and on, but let’s not. As far as I know, Lead Foot Leigh* is still on the road and if she sees all this, she may want to take a ride over. I just don’t want to put all those innocent people in such jeopardy. 

*Leigh is not her real name. What, you think I’m crazy?

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