1. Windshield wipers and visibility
Squeeeeeeeek! You cringe a little. Squeeeeeeeeek! Jeez, that’s annoying. Squeeeeeeeek! HOLY COW! HOW CAN YOU STAND THAT?!
When someone else is driving and the windshield wipers make any noise other than the low hum and deep flick of rubber turning over on glass it’s like nails on a chalkboard. You never really notice this while you are driving and if you do, thinking about the cost of replacing the wipers will totally distract you from just how obnoxious the whole ordeal is.
But what’s worse is when it’s raining and the person driving shows what you’d consider too little concern for how poor visibility is getting before he or she finally lets those wipers fly. For some reason, when you are driving, allowing the windshield to get a little obscured doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you are riding shot gun and have little else to do besides take in the scenery it seems like the driver must have a death-wish to let the rain get away with that for so long.
2. Radio control
I swear every time I get in the car with my roommate he thinks to himself “now what would be the most annoying thing to play out of my radio?” and then promptly turns on overrated pop sensation cover band, Glee.
Or how about that guy who you are stuck in the car with and don’t know so well to just start flipping stations. What’s he going to listen for for 2+ hours? Sports talk radio. Talk about making an awkward situation worse. “I want to listen to people talk…so long as it isn’t you and I.”
The driver gets the option of completely checking out of the situation to focus more on things such as not sending us all to a high velocity early grave, yet she insists on having control over the radio (and also adjusting it so often that I’m seriously concerned about that early grave).
Just let me do it. You focus on not killing us.
3. Rate and frequency of slowing and stopping
In Driver’s Ed we had these special built cars that had brake pedals on the passenger side so the instructor could slam on the brakes if necessary. I guess teens, despite what they think, are more likely to crash into stuff for no reason other than they don’t have much road experience. I remember my first time riding along on one of these driving trips and the instructor DID have to use that pedal to prevent my classmate from blowing through a red light (she was probably adjusting the radio).
Fast forward to any other time riding shot gun and notice how you wish you had that second brake pedal. When you ride with other people one of two things occur to you. 1. They don’t apply the brakes soon enough, ever, and it makes you feel like you are going to rear end every other vehicle dumb enough to in front of your car.
2. The driver never takes his foot off the brake or brakes at every little thing and you wonder if there is a different driving class that he (and all the ‘old people’) took that you somehow managed to avoid which teaches a person how to make every one angry while behind a steering wheel.
4. Window control
It’s simple really. When you are driving and you want wind, you put the window down and silently tell everyone else to suck it. When you don’t want the wind, you roll up the windows crank the air conditioning knobs and exclaim ‘the air is on’ as if nobody else understands what’s going on.
But those of us in the back seat with the wind blasting us in the face, drying out our eyes, must just sit there and take it because you have the windows on child lock and it’s not like we can control the front windows anyway. So instead we lean this way and that, trying to find the perfect spot where we don’t feel like we’re actually on a roller coaster.
Let me paint a picture for you. You and a friend are getting in the car and your are driving. You get in the driver’s seat, unlock the doors, and just as your friend begins to sit down you notice some trash or loose items on the passenger seat and/or floor. You say “oops. Sorry about the mess.” (but you aren’t really sorry) You quickly reach over and grab stuff and toss it in the back.
You and a friend are getting in the car and your friend is driving. After she unlocks the door you open it to find the seat occupied by GARBAGE! You think to yourself, “this is sooooo gross, how can you STAND to have your car this messy.” Sure I’ll just toss it all in back on top of you accumulating refuse. Seriously, are we stopping by the city dump? This isn’t a great way to save money on garbage collection.
Oh, and don’t make a trash can for your car. It makes it look like you enjoy sitting by garbage so much that made a little spot just for it. Nearly every place you drive to has a garbage can. I promise. Empty that thing out!