We also noticed that some drivers leave very long distances between them and the car in front of them when parked at a red light or stop sign. I've seen cars that were parked two, three and even four car lengths behind the car in front of them. While this isn't normally a big deal, it does cause problems when some of the cars behind you are trying to make it to the turning lane but are blocked from it because one or two drivers are parked so far behind the car in front of them.
The other day, I was driving on 101. A male driver was merging from an entrance ramp. He was eating a breakfast sandwich when he almost hit me. I was driving in this lane because I was approaching my exit. Instead of being apologetic, the driver was noticeably angry (he shook his hand in the air -- still with food in it -- in anger) even though he was the one in the wrong by failing to merge safely or use a blinker.
Yesterday, I noticed a woman who took a left turn from a residential street onto Alma during heavy traffic. She didn't cut anyone off, but actually turned into the center turning lane and stopped there and waited for her chance to cut into traffic. The problem was that she was parked in the center turning lane and now blocked the two or three drivers from turning too. She wasn't merging into traffic even when she had the opportunity. One driver honked at her, but this only elicited a "crazy" response (shaking violently with both fists in the air). It seemed like she was oblivious to her own poor driving skills.
Anyone know what causes this? At first, I thought that this was a cultural issue (i.e., differences between driving laws in other countries and the U.S.). My husband cautioned me about driving stereotypes -- stereotypes that I didn't even know existed. It just seems that the state should do a better job reinforcing some good driving techniques.