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Cars To Avoid On The Highway

Now that I have a car that virtually drives itself, it has made me more aware that the biggest threat to my car during my daily commute is the moron behind me. So I've put some thought and 40 years of driving experience and observation into how to decide what car I want behind me on the highway and which ones to let pass to harass someone else.

Cars I feel safe behind me:

My basic profile can be summed up in 3 words: New, expensive, boring.

Why new? Because newer cars are far more likely to have some sort of forward collision mitigation system.

Why expensive? People who buy expensive cars tend to care about them more than someone in a 30 year old rusted out Pontiac Sunbird and drive accordingly. Also, they are more likely to have jobs with flexible hours so not as much in a rush to get to work.

Why boring? Because people who drive 'drivers cars' tend to be more aggressive and frustrated by the fact that while their car can do 0-60 in 5 seconds and tops out at 190, they are still stuck in stop and go traffic like everyone else.

Now on to brands...

VW - Pretty much everything VW makes is a driver's car. There is probably no group of people with more of an unjustified sense of entitlement on the road than VW drivers. Not all of course, but there is certainly a high percentage of 25 year old, backwards baseball cap wearing, Lewis Hamilton wannabee's who tailgate, cut in and out of traffic, and will risk 10 points on their driver's license to move up 1 spot in traffic. I could write an entire book on stupid, dangerous things I've seen VW drivers do.

BMW - Again, these tend to be driver's cars with a few exceptions. These are VW drivers after they've reached a point in life where they can move up in class and price. The lowered number sedans are probably OK, but anything with an M anywhere in it's name is to be avoided like the plague.

Audi - Audi's are a mixed bag. But I find as long as they don't have an S, R or RS in their name, they tend to be more responsible.

Mercedes - Even safer than Audi. As long as you don't see AMG anywhere on the car.

Lexus - The gold standard for expensive and boring. No one buys a Lexus because they want to have fun behind the wheel. You can never go wrong with a Lexus behind you.

Volvo - You can't get much more expensive and boring than this. I'm never worried in front of any newer Volvo. If Lexus is the gold standard, Volvo is platinum.

Honda - Honda's are fine, unless it's the dreaded Civic. Civic drivers are just VW drivers who appreciate quality.

Toyota - These are also some of the best cars on the road to be in front of. Basically cheaper Lexuses but with great safety tech and absolutely no driving joy.

Mazda - Mazda's are fine. They aren't really expensive but people who drive them tend to love them and are careful.

Ford / GM / Chevy / Chrysler / Dodge / Hyundai / Kia and others - These tend to be more type specific than brand specific. Avoid ANY pickup truck. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing but pickup truck driver's tend to be pushy a-holes. And they can't stop quick. And they will crush you like a tin can. Also specifically avoid Chargers, Mustangs, Camaros, Stingers and anything else sporty except for the really high end ones like Corvette's and... well pretty much just them. Not only do they tend to be very careful since they probably bought a car they can't afford to fix, they can stop faster than just about anything on the road. And Jeep Wranglers. They have the stopping distance of a freight train.

Of course above any of this you need to look out for distracted drivers. ANYONE glancing down at their phone or presumably at a laptop on the passenger seat must be avoided like the plague.

I'm sure this post will piss off some and hopefully amuse others. But this is no joke. I haven't had an accident on the interstate in at least 20 years and I drive at least 20 miles each way in rush hour traffic everyday. And this is why.
 

RayK

Safety Score 90 (Was 96!)
Apr 5, 2016
3,161
3,301
San Jose, CA
Around here you would have to include the following makes/models:

Maserati: Ghiblis are not too common but I do see a number of them. Quattroportes are rare. I'd lump them in with BMW 7-series. Cruisers; not much to worry about them blasting around or into you. But again, like you say, avoid drivers who you see are texting or talking on their phones.

Alfa Romeo: 4C and Giulia. I see these as bought by people who can't afford a real Italian sports car (Lambo, Ferrari) and want to be different than the typical Bimmer 1, 2, 3 or 4-series crowd here in Silicon Valley. About as easy to prompt to race as 9xx Porsches so let them by.

Speaking of which... Safe Porsches to follow you are basically anything that violates a true Porsche layout. That is to say, a front-engined or 4-door vehicle. Today those examples are: Macan, Panamera, Cayenne. Exception to this rule are fossils like the 924, 928, 944, if you happen to find yourself in front of one that is still running. But you said new...

Aston Martin: AKA British Maserati. Don't have to worry too much about these. Any of the late model DB series are expensive enough to qualify for two of your three rules.

Lotus. Or is that a Roadster behind me? Either way, that's a person who loves to drive their car. Never mind that you have to shoehorn your way into most of them, they want to be in front of everyone. Do your motoring duty and let them by ASAP.

And last...

ANY minivan/CUV/SUV being driven by the stereotypical "Soccer Mom" (or Dad; I shouldn't be sexist). Among the most distracted driver out there in the wild. More so than the morning commuter shaving, putting on makeup, reading the newspaper/magazine, eating breakfast, fighting with their passenger (i.e., throwing punches at each other) or the car with two front seat passenger-side occupants ... umm... how can I delicately put this? In the act of procreating??? Certainly they were practicing for it.
 
ANY minivan/CUV/SUV being driven by the stereotypical "Soccer Mom" (or Dad; I shouldn't be sexist). Among the most distracted driver out there in the wild.

Came in here literally to say this, feels like I can't go more than a day before seeing some parent yelling at their kid in the backseat, texting, or just generally struggling to drive their Soccer mom assault vehicle.
 

cucubits

Active Member
May 17, 2019
1,751
1,825
TX
...
Mazda - Mazda's are fine. They aren't really expensive but people who drive them tend to love them and are careful.
...

All true and this just warms me inside. I had a '14 Mazda 3 and a '16 Mazda 6 and it's completely true. Good cars, good tech, I loved taking care of it.

If Mazda would have made an EV with good driveraids similar to autopilot, I tell you, I wouldn't even have looked at Tesla :)
 

Saghost

Well-Known Member
Oct 9, 2013
8,224
7,102
Delaware
But...where do you rank Teslas??? :)

Well, the vast majority of those have collision warning and emergency braking to keep them from hitting you.

Of course, most of those cars aren't actually being driven by humans, and the human supervisors are busy checking out other cars and drivers while the NNs try to drive the car... :p
 
Now that I have a car that virtually drives itself, it has made me more aware that the biggest threat to my car during my daily commute is the moron behind me. So I've put some thought and 40 years of driving experience and observation into how to decide what car I want behind me on the highway and which ones to let pass to harass someone else.

Cars I feel safe behind me:

My basic profile can be summed up in 3 words: New, expensive, boring.

Why new? Because newer cars are far more likely to have some sort of forward collision mitigation system.

Why expensive? People who buy expensive cars tend to care about them more than someone in a 30 year old rusted out Pontiac Sunbird and drive accordingly. Also, they are more likely to have jobs with flexible hours so not as much in a rush to get to work.

Why boring? Because people who drive 'drivers cars' tend to be more aggressive and frustrated by the fact that while their car can do 0-60 in 5 seconds and tops out at 190, they are still stuck in stop and go traffic like everyone else.

Now on to brands...

VW - Pretty much everything VW makes is a driver's car. There is probably no group of people with more of an unjustified sense of entitlement on the road than VW drivers. Not all of course, but there is certainly a high percentage of 25 year old, backwards baseball cap wearing, Lewis Hamilton wannabee's who tailgate, cut in and out of traffic, and will risk 10 points on their driver's license to move up 1 spot in traffic. I could write an entire book on stupid, dangerous things I've seen VW drivers do.

BMW - Again, these tend to be driver's cars with a few exceptions. These are VW drivers after they've reached a point in life where they can move up in class and price. The lowered number sedans are probably OK, but anything with an M anywhere in it's name is to be avoided like the plague.

Audi - Audi's are a mixed bag. But I find as long as they don't have an S, R or RS in their name, they tend to be more responsible.

Mercedes - Even safer than Audi. As long as you don't see AMG anywhere on the car.

Lexus - The gold standard for expensive and boring. No one buys a Lexus because they want to have fun behind the wheel. You can never go wrong with a Lexus behind you.

Volvo - You can't get much more expensive and boring than this. I'm never worried in front of any newer Volvo. If Lexus is the gold standard, Volvo is platinum.

Honda - Honda's are fine, unless it's the dreaded Civic. Civic drivers are just VW drivers who appreciate quality.

Toyota - These are also some of the best cars on the road to be in front of. Basically cheaper Lexuses but with great safety tech and absolutely no driving joy.

Mazda - Mazda's are fine. They aren't really expensive but people who drive them tend to love them and are careful.

Ford / GM / Chevy / Chrysler / Dodge / Hyundai / Kia and others - These tend to be more type specific than brand specific. Avoid ANY pickup truck. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing but pickup truck driver's tend to be pushy a-holes. And they can't stop quick. And they will crush you like a tin can. Also specifically avoid Chargers, Mustangs, Camaros, Stingers and anything else sporty except for the really high end ones like Corvette's and... well pretty much just them. Not only do they tend to be very careful since they probably bought a car they can't afford to fix, they can stop faster than just about anything on the road. And Jeep Wranglers. They have the stopping distance of a freight train.

Of course above any of this you need to look out for distracted drivers. ANYONE glancing down at their phone or presumably at a laptop on the passenger seat must be avoided like the plague.

I'm sure this post will piss off some and hopefully amuse others. But this is no joke. I haven't had an accident on the interstate in at least 20 years and I drive at least 20 miles each way in rush hour traffic everyday. And this is why.
By you definition we don’t want Teslas behind us...sporty, fast, etc, lol. Prius would be okay.
 
Now that I have a car that virtually drives itself, it has made me more aware that the biggest threat to my car during my daily commute is the moron behind me. So I've put some thought and 40 years of driving experience and observation into how to decide what car I want behind me on the highway and which ones to let pass to harass someone else.

Cars I feel safe behind me:

My basic profile can be summed up in 3 words: New, expensive, boring.

Why new? Because newer cars are far more likely to have some sort of forward collision mitigation system.

Why expensive? People who buy expensive cars tend to care about them more than someone in a 30 year old rusted out Pontiac Sunbird and drive accordingly. Also, they are more likely to have jobs with flexible hours so not as much in a rush to get to work.

Why boring? Because people who drive 'drivers cars' tend to be more aggressive and frustrated by the fact that while their car can do 0-60 in 5 seconds and tops out at 190, they are still stuck in stop and go traffic like everyone else.

Now on to brands...

VW - Pretty much everything VW makes is a driver's car. There is probably no group of people with more of an unjustified sense of entitlement on the road than VW drivers. Not all of course, but there is certainly a high percentage of 25 year old, backwards baseball cap wearing, Lewis Hamilton wannabee's who tailgate, cut in and out of traffic, and will risk 10 points on their driver's license to move up 1 spot in traffic. I could write an entire book on stupid, dangerous things I've seen VW drivers do.

BMW - Again, these tend to be driver's cars with a few exceptions. These are VW drivers after they've reached a point in life where they can move up in class and price. The lowered number sedans are probably OK, but anything with an M anywhere in it's name is to be avoided like the plague.

Audi - Audi's are a mixed bag. But I find as long as they don't have an S, R or RS in their name, they tend to be more responsible.

Mercedes - Even safer than Audi. As long as you don't see AMG anywhere on the car.

Lexus - The gold standard for expensive and boring. No one buys a Lexus because they want to have fun behind the wheel. You can never go wrong with a Lexus behind you.

Volvo - You can't get much more expensive and boring than this. I'm never worried in front of any newer Volvo. If Lexus is the gold standard, Volvo is platinum.

Honda - Honda's are fine, unless it's the dreaded Civic. Civic drivers are just VW drivers who appreciate quality.

Toyota - These are also some of the best cars on the road to be in front of. Basically cheaper Lexuses but with great safety tech and absolutely no driving joy.

Mazda - Mazda's are fine. They aren't really expensive but people who drive them tend to love them and are careful.

Ford / GM / Chevy / Chrysler / Dodge / Hyundai / Kia and others - These tend to be more type specific than brand specific. Avoid ANY pickup truck. Maybe it's a Minnesota thing but pickup truck driver's tend to be pushy a-holes. And they can't stop quick. And they will crush you like a tin can. Also specifically avoid Chargers, Mustangs, Camaros, Stingers and anything else sporty except for the really high end ones like Corvette's and... well pretty much just them. Not only do they tend to be very careful since they probably bought a car they can't afford to fix, they can stop faster than just about anything on the road. And Jeep Wranglers. They have the stopping distance of a freight train.

Of course above any of this you need to look out for distracted drivers. ANYONE glancing down at their phone or presumably at a laptop on the passenger seat must be avoided like the plague.

I'm sure this post will piss off some and hopefully amuse others. But this is no joke. I haven't had an accident on the interstate in at least 20 years and I drive at least 20 miles each way in rush hour traffic everyday. And this is why.

I was hit by a Toyota Corolla on the freeway. I had already been stopped for 10 seconds when it came up on me. Sometimes there's just no avoiding getting rear ended. One thing I did do was jinx myself on this forum about how I don't get in accidents, about three days before I got hit. Good luck.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: logan and DavidB
I'd avoid me in my Tesla X running NoA without lane confirmations. Half the time I've needed to cancel the lane change, but the turn signal is already on. Then I try to cancel the turn signal but hit it too hard and signal the other direction sometimes. Or decide too late to cancel and just have to steer it back into the original lane after faking out anyone behind me. Or just have NoA be a jerk by signalling so long that a now faster car is pretty close behind right when NoA makes its move. Kind of like back in early 2017 when AP was like a drunk driver.
 
  • Funny
Reactions: SD_Engnr

KenC

Active Member
Sep 4, 2018
4,867
4,638
Maine
Kinda hard to manage whom is behind you, if you have alot of traffic on your commute. Rather, I always look for an escape path. That is, on a divided highway, I avoid middle lanes, and prefer left or right ones. I give the vehicle ahead plenty of room, so if I or the car has to brake, it has plenty of room. When it does slow, I check my rear-view mirror to see if the car behind is slowing as well. If not, I'm prepared to swing into the breakdown lane.

Why? I got rear-ended by a rental car with a rubber-necking driver, who never hit the brakes on the Eisenhower Expressway in Chicago. I was stopped, exiting the expressway, but backed up onto the right exit lane. I saw the rental driver at the last second and tried to pull to the right, but didn't have enough time. In my Tesla, the instant torque could have made a difference in getting out of the way.
 
  • Love
Reactions: Krugerrand
Now that I have a car that virtually drives itself, it has made me more aware that the biggest threat to my car during my daily commute is the moron behind me.

I'm sorry I don't follow ---- you're driving a quick car, why are you worried about who is behind you? Why does your car's ability to "virtually drive itself" make you more vulnerable to morons behind you?

I'm genuinely curious, as there are many people who post on this forum about rear-end accidents....
 
Haha. I moved up to my Model 3 from a 2007 GTI (heavily modified). Was about to step up to a BMW M-something, or Audi RS-something. I hit the trifecta on your list.

Sold it to some 20-something kid who would appreciate the upkeep on the mods. All it took was one test drive for me to make the leap to Tesla.
 
Maserati: Ghiblis are not too common but I do see a number of them.

Every Ghibli owned I've interacted with at car meets has been driven by someone who actually thinks they're driving a $150,000 700hp sedan and appears to be offended by Doug DeMuro's (rightfully) negative video on them. They buy them for the badge that is impressive to non-car folk and aren't aware of the terrible quality and driving dynamics. I've been cut off a number of times by Ghiblis trying to "show off" :rolleyes:. Definitely wouldn't want one behind me.

_____

Basically I just don't want anyone on my ass.
 

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