O vast blogging audience, I seek your insights into a very strange situation I found myself in this evening.
Today as I was driving home, I was driving behind a Very Bad Driver. This person was having a lot of trouble keeping his car on the road. He would drive in a straight line, go over the white stripe on the right or the double yellow stripe on the left, and then jerk the steering wheel to get himself back into our lane, with the net effect of zig-zagging down the road.
I thought he was probably texting or using his cell phone or something. I thought about calling 911 or something, because his driving was seriously dangerous. I feared for the lives of the people riding their bikes on the shoulder. Luckily he was on the double-yellow portion of his zig-zag when we passed them. But I could not call 911 because I was on my workplace's reservation, not on a public road, so the 911 folks would not be able to get to us. I could have called the laboratory security people, except that would have required me to look at my badge to find their phone number and then type it into my phone while trying to drive and not get myself killed by this crazy driver.
So what I did instead was honk at him every time he crossed either of the lines. Then I gestured to my eyes and then to the road, trying to indicate that he should keep his eyes on the road. While trying to observe what the heck he was doing, I began to think he wasn't actually texting. I can't be sure, but he was probably not drunk, either, because there is no alcohol allowed at our workplace, and I think of drunk drivers as following more of a sinusoidal path rather than a zig-zag. (I readily admit that that could be a false assumption.) I think he did see me gesturing. It really didn't help, though. He kept zig-zagging, and at 55+ mph as he had been doing throughout this encounter.
Eventually we got to the stoplight where I would turn left and he would go straight. At this point I drove up next to him and gestured to my eyes and the road once more. He looked terrified of me and of the road in general, as if he must be a brand-new driver or something. But he did not behave as I (or presumably, most people) did as a brand-new driver: drive really slowly but stay on the road. It seems to me that you have to have a certain level of skill in order to pass your driver's test, and this guy appeared to have not yet acheived that level yet. If he was a novice driver, he didn't seem to be qualified to drive alone.
So, vast internet audience, I have two questions for you: 1, What was that guy's problem? and 2, What should I have done in that situation?