About Me

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I'm a life-long New Englander, father of 4 challenging kids (I know: I'm supposed to say "wonderful", but while that'd be true, technically speaking, it'd also be misleading), and fortunate husband to my favorite wife of more than 20 years. I've got over 20 years experience breaking things as a test engineer, quality engineer, reliability engineer, and most recently (and most enjoyably) a Product Safety / EMC Compliance Engineer. In the photo, I'm on the left.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

I Get no Respect...in my Prius

Between my wife and me, we've got two Toyotas: a Prius, and a Tundra. The Tundra is ostensibly mine, and the Prius is ostensibly hers, but we've had to trade off with each other a number of times over the years, so we each find ourselves driving either one on any given day.

One of the things that I notice is that I get absolutely no respect on the road when I'm driving the Prius, though when I'm driving the Tundra, I tend to get a lot of respect. The Mrs. has noted very much the same thing.

I fancy myself a pretty laid-back driver; it doesn't matter to me, by and large, if someone is ahead of me or not. i tend to not cut people off, and I won't even "argue" with other folks to whom it seems so important to NOT let me onto the highway in front of them.

But good golly, there are multiple times in every commute in the Prius that other drivers cut me off and accelerate from my flank when my directional goes on - they don't want me to move over a lane and be in front of them.

I don't have this problem as much when I'm driving the Tundra though. All of a sudden, no one's cutting me off although it's clear that they don't want me in front of them on the highway, they're still not likely to accelerate so that I can't get in.

It's an interesting thing, and I'm not sure what goes into it, though it's been so prevalent (and the Mrs. observes it too) that there's got to be something to it. Am I more dangerous because I'm driving a pickup? Am I a tree-hugging peace-loving Milquetoast because I'm driving a Prius? Are other drivers just not worried about pissing off a Prius driver, but very wary of pissing off a pickup driver?

Or perhaps they're so stupid that they think that an accident with a Prius will 'work out well for them' while an accident with a pickup will work out not-so-well. From an engineering perspective, a 50MPH accident is going to suck no matter what caused it.

Of course, perhaps it's the thought that the Prius driver won't push it because they don't have very much protection, while a pickup driver might be able to drive right over you. So I, as an idiot driver can push the Prius driver around a little, secure in the knowledge that the Prius driver is more afraid of an accident than I am.

Maybe all I need to do is to mount a rifle rack in the back window of my Prius?

Do any of you have similar experiences driving large vs. small vehicles?


  1. I find in general that road manners have gone the way of the dinosaur. We have driven all sizes from a tiny Honda Civic to a Grand Voyager and now a mid size Chrysler 200....no difference..idiots are idiots no matter what you are driving. I have wondered lately though if it is our apparent age that causes these people to think they can drive all over us. Well, you picked the wrong old broad to try to push around buddy...vroom vroom...heads up.

    1. LOL! A great go-get-'em attitude. You're right though: I'm sure that there would be an idiot or two to challenge even an actual tank, but there's a lot less of them when I'm in my truck.

  2. Hubby gets a lot of people driving up his butt in our little Yaris. One guy even beeped at him to get out of the way. This really ticks hubby off. He slows right down (to the speed limit... 100km is SLOW on the 401, even if it is the speed limit, everyone does at least 120) just to annoy them. Nobody wants to be beaten by the little guy. It threatens their manhood. I used to see men get really annoyed when I passed them in my Austin Mini, back in England. They hated it! Small car AND a girl. It made me laugh. Course I killed my engine doing it, but it was worth it. :D

    1. I do very much the same: you drive on my bumper, I slow down to the speed limit, at least. I also guess I've got no manhood left, since I don't really care who passes me. :)

  3. Well, I drive a vehicle with more than a few dents on it. I find that people on the road fear me. My car tells people I use it as a weapon.

  4. I always thought it'd be a great idea to cover a car with old tires for just that purpose: send 'em a message!

  5. I really want to see a Prius with a gun rack.

  6. I couldn't agree more, its scary driving the Prius! People love to ride my tail and not allow me on the freeway... but I always get great gas mileage so I usually smile in the end.

  7. That's an interesting observation of how one's vehicle can get assessed in the road, no matter how shallow it is. It just proves that for some, a hybrid car is a pushover on the road. WRONG. It may have a slower acceleration than a normal aspirated car, but it is safe. And investing in a hybrid car lowers the cost of the owner's car maintenance. It's not a sports car, yes, but it can take you miles without overspending on gas.

    Spartan Toyota