5 Types of Bad Drivers

Remember when you were a kid and your parents would tell you to watch out for cars swerving onto the sidewalk? Well, that’s because people are terrible drivers. But there are some players in this game who know how to play it safe and they’re going far in life. These folks have mastered driving skills like no others! Let’s take a look at five types of bad drivers.-

Sportsmanlike driving book cover.

Note from the Editor: Sportsmanlike Driving, a popular driver’s education textbook published by the American Automobile Association in the 1950s, was utilized in high schools throughout the country. It’s a treasure of a book, and what makes it stand out from today’s guides is the way it describes driving conduct not only in terms of what’s legal and desirable, but also in terms of character attributes. “The Motor Age Citizen must assume the moral duty of appropriately operating the power devices he has invented,” the guidebook states.

The following passages describe the “mental make-up” of several sorts of bad drivers, who should preferably be pulled “off the road until their flaws are remedied.” A “top-notch” driver’s characteristics are also highlighted. And the concepts in both situations go well beyond the highway!

Vintage emotions of driving a car illustration.

In today’s traffic, driving expertly and safely is no “walk in the park.”

The mechanical activities are not difficult to learn for the majority of individuals. Automobiles with automatic transmissions have made things easier than ever before. Other than technical abilities, there are at least five important variables that make skilled driving of a vehicle a difficult job:

  1. The car’s capabilities and limitations.
  2. The physical characteristics of highways and streets.
  3. The actions of other road users.
  4. Light and weather conditions change.
  5. The driver’s personal make-up.

The most significant component in preventing driving from becoming a “cinch” is the driver. The car’s engineering might make it easier to drive. Highway and traffic engineering might make roads and streets safer to travel on. In the event of inclement weather, safety equipment and ingenious technologies may assist to mitigate the risks. Regardless of such advancements, top-notch driving will always need the driver’s adopting sportsmanlike attitudes.

A driver’s mental makeup is often more essential than his competence. It dictates what he will do once he is in control.

As Drivers, Bad Risks

The Egotist is a fictional character. Normally, all newborns are self-centered. They haven’t figured out how to be selfless. They haven’t yet figured out how to share. They are excellent examples of the ideal egotist.

People realize as they grow out of babyhood that they are not the center of the world. If they grow properly, they become more sociable; that is, their interests extend out and away from themselves, and they begin to understand things in terms of the greater good. They acquire up social habits.

The infant would be the worst conceivable driver if he had his normal psychological make-up. He would just think about himself and his immediate goals.

For the same reason, the babyish adult makes a bad driver. His childish egotism has never left him. He may have received the type of childhood instruction that causes adults to behave like children.

Vintage man in suit driving car illustration.

This arrogant, babyish sort of guy reveals himself on the roadway by doing things like:

  • Getting out of line, to to the chagrin of others.
  • Stopping or turning without first signaling.
  • Making turns from the wrong side of the road.
  • After passing, I cut in too close.
  • He was not keeping in his own lane or on his own side of the road.
  • Taking pride in breaching traffic rules.
  • Acting as though accidents only happen to other people.
  • Out of turn, “Chiseling in.”
  • The right-of-way is being demanded.
  • Using “pull” and influence to solve tickets.
  • For his own convenience, he double-parked.
  • He parked his automobile in such a way that it takes up almost two parking spots.
  • Pulling out from the curb without first indicating or checking for oncoming traffic.

In the traffic image, the egotists are a psychological mismatch. He’s easy to spot. He isn’t well-liked. It is possible that your tendency of thinking about others will prevent you from becoming one.


The Showcase. The show-off, like the egotist, admits that he has never really matured. He has never been able to get both feet on the ground and perceive himself in his appropriate position among other men and women, regardless of his age. He’s like the kid that likes hanging his lollypop in the faces of other kids! He is a braggart and a competitor. He often suffers from a feeling of inadequacy, which he masks by attempting to look superior. He isn’t aware of how foolish he seems to others.

Vintage car driving manual illustration.

As a driver, the show-off is a dangerous risk because of activities like these:

  • For the circumstances, I was driving too quickly.
  • The wider his audience, the more he drives dangerously.
  • Creating near-emergencies to demonstrate his ability to escape them.
  • He boasted about his car’s speed and power, as well as his own ability.
  • He brags about the amount of time he spends traveling between locations.
  • Acting for the sake of entertainment rather than sportsmanship.
  • Passing other automobiles in high-risk areas and boasting about his good fortune.
  • He decorated his automobile with “bright” colors and witty quips, or he plastered it with stickers.
  • Being prepared to demonstrate his ability to “stop on a dime.”
  • Being willing to risk it all or “try anything once.”
  • Willingness to convert a roadway into a racetrack.
  • He boasts about being able to drive just as well after a few drinks.
  • I’m always up for a challenge.
  • Passing stop signs and red lights with a sense of boldness.
  • He’s attempting to convey the idea that he drives like “a guy who’s seen a lot.”

The “smart-aleck,” who is appreciated by no one, is inclined to believe he is adored by everyone.

Driving manual vintage illustration instruction.

The Excessively Emotional. Another indicator of immaturity is uncontrollable emotions. A newborn does not struggle to suppress his feelings; instead, he expresses them. As you become older, your ability to regulate emotions and stay cool under pressure should improve. By the time you reach your late teens, you should have developed emotional control thanks to adequate training and a desire to grow.

However, some people are never more than adult-sized infants when it comes to their emotions. They take even the tiniest criticism personally. They complain, pout, and get irritated. They consider little details to be significant. They “create mountains out of molehills,” as we say. Their emotional growth has been hampered. They’ve never really matured. We term them “unstable” because they are unpredictable.

People who have had their emotional development stunted have certain driving flaws. They may be identified by psychological troubleshooters because they:

  • In an emergency, there is a lack of mental presence.
  • Get irritated about little matters or get apprehensive in strange settings.
  • They lose their cool and, as a result, their judgment.
  • Express your rage by driving erratically.
  • In traffic congestion, get impatient and start crazy horn-blowing.
  • Oncoming drivers will see their lights flashing in their eyes.
  • Use obscenities or speak loudly.
  • Call traffic cops derogatory names.
  • Rely on obnoxious crowds and shoving people out of their lanes.
  • Are readily diverted from their primary task of driving.

Car accident man yelling vintage illustration.

Many traffic issues and accidents are caused by children giving in to their emotions. People exhibiting immature emotional conduct, regardless of age, are not eligible for driver’s licenses.


The Rationalizer is a fictional character. Then there’s the one who never learns to confront reality front on. It’s simple for him to view things the way he wants to see them rather than the way they are. He refuses to acknowledge his own flaws. If he gets in an accident, he blames the other driver, the traffic laws, the road, a “backseat” driver, his own vehicle — everyone and anything except himself. He lacks the fortitude to acknowledge his own flaws.

Such a person is skilled at inventing plausible-sounding justifications for everything, even when they are blatantly false. He’s known as the “rationalizer.” In sportsmanlike driving, he fails spectacularly.

The Defeated. Some people go to extremes to compensate for or make up for failure.

Man has a tremendous urge to be masterful, to accomplish something, to establish and demonstrate his strength. If circumstances make it impossible for him to demonstrate mastery in one scenario, he seeks to do so in another. The guy who doesn’t add to much at work or in the shop and hence attempts to rule over everyone at home is a common example.

The insignificant individual seeks an opportunity to seem strong. The really significant guy does not need to seek for artificial outlets since his natural drives for mastery and self-expression are met.

Vintage man compensates for power with car illustration.

But keep an eye on the frustrated guy as he gets into a vehicle. Here is where he can wield power! What is he going to do with it? He’ll be found by the psychological troubleshooter:

  • The right-of-way is being insisted upon.
  • Continually debating a traffic point.
  • Having a “huge” conversation with traffic cops and other drivers.
  • The egotist’s road habits are shown.
  • Other drivers and pedestrians are being bullied.
  • Smaller or older automobiles are “getting his dust.”
  • Getting close enough to rob someone of a parking spot.
  • Pedestrians are being forced to flee for their lives.
  • When another motorist signs that he wishes to pass, he does not move over.
  • Passing drivers are “getting even” with him.

He is always attempting to artificially enhance his low self-esteem.

Of course, he portrays himself as a minor character who is relying on his automobile for a sense of personal strength. However, his blundering may result in catastrophic or costly accidents. It’s unpleasant to be with “rationalizers.” It’s much worse when you discover you’re one. Developing the practice of confronting facts, even if they are unpleasant, stops you from becoming one.

A Top-Notch Driver’s Mental Make-Up

A top-notch driver has not just physical competence, but also equilibrium and self-control from a psychological standpoint. He has a pleasant demeanor in social situations. He has a high level of maturity and adaptability. These features may be seen in his evidence:

  • Acceptance of personal accountability
  • Self-control
  • Sportsmanship is important.
  • Forethought
  • Attention that is kept in check
  • Excellent judgment
  • Excellent sense of humour

Vintage horsepower illustration driving manual.

Sportsmanship and responsibility The line between good sportsmanship and a feeling of duty is difficult to draw.

Fairness, civility, and rationality are all characteristics of good sportsmanship. Such characteristics stem from a desire for equitable distribution of resources. This want is a sign of social maturity. It implies that the driver perceives the traffic situation not only from his own perspective, but also from the perspective of other highway users. His driving habits are diametrically opposed to those of the babyish, egocentric, overly emotional, unstable troublemakers we’ve been studying. On the roadway, he, too, is clearly identified. His mature mental and emotional maturity is reflected in his positive attitude and excellent deeds. This kind of driver is made possible by good driving training.


Judgment. Some individuals believe that good judgment is a mysterious “gift.” It stems, in large part, from a solid foundation of family and school upbringing.

You think more clearly about topics you know a lot about. The business of driving a car in traffic is no different. The cornerstone for sound driving judgment is a background in driver education. Good building blocks are experiences in well-supervised practice driving. They aid in the development of both competence and sound attitudes in the top-tier driver.

A skilled driver continually assesses the traffic conditions so that they are not caught off guard. He’s honed his traffic intuition and imagination. He takes judgments and reacts in such a way that the traffic patterns remain rational and safe.

Attention. Controlled attention is a feature that shows itself in the driver of mature psychological make-up. A driver who is unable to regulate his own attention is unable to operate a motor vehicle. Imagine a guy piloting a fast-moving item on a shared roadway with the focus of a toddler, vulnerable to any unexpected events! The focus of attention must be drawn to a certain location and maintained there.

The mentally well driver can focus on his or her work. His line of work is the overall traffic pattern. He “moves forward.” That is, he is aware of anything that occurs in his whole field of view that may have an impact on the driving image. His concentration is continually focused on the course that his automobile should follow, taking into account all of the other variables in the circumstance.

Vintage car accident driving manaul illustration.It is true that you have a strong inclination to gravitate toward the location to which you go. Your body’s muscles tend to adapt to the focus of your attention. You’ve probably seen a cyclist spin his wheel toward the location where he’s looking without even realizing it. A motorist with poor attention control who shifts his head toward distractions is likely to instinctively move his automobile in the same way.

John Doe has a childlike, uncontrollable attention span. His dog created a ruckus in the rear of his vehicle as he was traveling. It drew John Doe’s quick notice. He cast a glance over his right shoulder, his gaze shifting away from the road. His automobile had collided with a telephone pole on the right side of the road in a split second.

Vintage old woman driving on lawn illustration.

Mrs. Doe reasoned that she could drive along a city street while keeping an eye out for an oblique home number on the left. She collided with a vehicle in the left lane after inadvertently steering in that direction.

Situations that may threaten to divert a driver’s unrestrained attention include:

  • An accident has occurred.
  • Along the way, there are some interesting things to see.
  • Beautiful vistas.
  • In or out of the automobile, a person of the opposing sex.
  • A passenger in the backseat.
  • In the automobile, a bee or wasp.
  • The program on the radio.
  • Things on the seat rolling about, or a cap blowing off.
  • Reflections of light that are very sharp.
  • In the vehicle with pets and children.
  • And a thousand more things.

Control, whether of emotions, attitudes, or attention, is a psychologically mature person’s distinctive feature.


Vintage driving hazards from driving manual illustration.


Foresight. The greatest drivers have a high level of foresight and traffic imagination. They perceive and plan ahead of time. They maintain control and avert difficulties by seeing potential problems.

Along the road, schoolchildren are strolling or playing. One is on the verge of catching a ball. I’m guessing he doesn’t notice. Will he chase it down the road? The motorist who anticipates this scenario may be able to save the child’s life.

Smoke is emerging from the exhaust of a parked automobile some distance ahead. Is it about to do a U-turn into oncoming traffic?

An impatient motorist is noseing around a truck ahead of you. As you approach, he is misjudging your speed. He’ll be obliged to make a quick cut. You avert a disaster by anticipating the scenario.

A person is about to cross the roadway. Will he make a mistake, get confused, or alter his thoughts and course? The foresighted driver is well-prepared.

You notice a little movement at a parked car’s left front door. Someone is ready to take a wrong turn without realizing your automobile is coming. This might be a recipe for disaster.

You’re following an unstable driver. His pace isn’t consistent. He dashes forward, slowing down at unexpected spots without signaling. He does not maintain his position on his side of the center line. You’ve decided not to take any chances with him.

A strip of slippery road, a patch of wet pavement, and a huge pool of water are seen a short way ahead. You imagine what might happen if you were forced to use your brakes unexpectedly at that location.

The road emerges through a deep cut on the hillside. You know it’s going to be a windy day, and there’ll be a strong cross-wind near the cut’s edge. Because of the wind, your automobile may experience a strong sideward shove. Your forethought has prepared you for it, and you will not be caught off guard at the wheel.

You’re on a freeway or a street with a lot of through traffic. You’ll come to a junction with a “stop” sign ahead of you. On the crossroads, you see a vehicle speeding up to the “stop” sign. Will the driver be able to come to a complete stop where he needs to? Is he even aware of the sign? You’re aware of what’s going on. You’re ready for whatever the other driver does. You’ve shown forethought.

 The Exhilaration of Power

The majority of people are drawn to strong, powerful objects and energies. The enormous oceans and majestic mountains appeal to them. They are enthralled by dazzling flames and thunderous waterfalls, as well as powerful men and technology. They identify with powerful objects and get a rush of reflected power. This is a common human characteristic.

It’s hardly strange, however, that the automobile’s power provides a rush. You may identify with this machine, enter it, drive it yourself, and seem to “step-up” your strength. Indeed, here is a chance for glorified self-expression through borrowed authority!

When a man wields power, however, he must keep two things in mind:


  1. Only when power is in your hands can it be used for good. It is harmful when it gets out of control.
  2. The way a person wields power reveals a lot about who he is and how mature he is.

When the force he is meant to be directing gets away with him, man is reduced to a weak and foolish-looking creature. With the fission and thermonuclear weapons he has constructed, he now confronts this reality. Either he has control over the power or it has control over him. He could face the calamity of obliteration rather than the delight of supremacy. Man doesn’t just seek power; he wants power that he can manage.

Every driver gains a sensation of control. Only the best drivers develop a feeling of controllable power.

Any kind of power — money, position, political clout, or a nice automobile – makes a fool appear even more dumb and a smart man look even wiser.

What you do incorrectly as a pedestrian may be subtle enough to fool yourself and others, but once you get behind the wheel of a powerful vehicle, every personal trait you possess, good or bad, is amplified. The power in your hands reveals the true you!