10 vehicles you don’t want to get stuck behind

November 11, 2013

The road is meant to be shared, but that doesn’t mean you’ve got to bring up the rear of a disaster-in-waiting. If you see any of these vehicles on the road, take the next detour, switch lanes, or hit “reroute” on your GPS…

10. Horse trailers

Horses in trailer

Courtesy bugeaters.

The smell, the speed, the steed…  If you see a horse trailer approaching, switch lanes. Sure, the horses are cute. But you rarely get a frontal view, and that trailer is full of passengers whose aromas you don’t want to inhale in a standstill traffic jam.

9. Garbage trucks


Speaking of lethal combinations of jaw-dropping odor and hair-pulling speed (or lack thereof), there’s not much worse than a prime seat for a slow-moving, stewing garbage truck’s daily routine. Unless, that is, you also enjoy watching paint dry or water boil. Didn’t think so.

8. Dangerous trucks

Any truck that looks stitched together with a few pieces of duct tape and some ill-gotten plywood is likely not the safest option to be caught behind. Ditto for trucks packed to the brim with drivers’ overflowing hoards — or, as in the pictured case, in-transit appliances.

7. Horse-drawn carriages, trolleys, and other tourist traps

Trolley on hill in San Francisco

From kevygee.

Maybe that historic method of transportation, running its route since 1500-whatever, first helped you fall in love with your charmingly decrepit city. When you’re late to work and trapped behind a 5-mph wooden contraption overflowing with fanny-packed tourists and booming local “fun facts” on the loudspeaker for the umpteenth time, however, the appeal tends to fade.

6. Leaf-peeping retirees


A scenic drive past the changing foliage is not only an ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon relaxing — depending on your perspective, it’s also a prime time for cursing the snail-like leaf-peepers doing 30 mph in a 50 mph lane in the vehicle in front of yours.

5. Cement mixers

Three cement mixers in a line

Image via Daniel Parks.

Ah, cement mixers: An object of fascination for pre-schoolers worldwide and an eternal bane of urban and suburban drivers. Find yourself behind one of these filthy churning machines and prepare to slow your own roll.

4. RVs in precarious places

RVs in general are a pain to – pardon the pun – trail behind. But add a mountain, dilapidated highway, or mudslide into the mix, and you’ve got yourself a stress-inducing combination. Do yourself and your passengers a favor and merge away from RVs in precarious places.

3. Hummers, limos and party buses

Comprising the ultimate trifecta of driverly annoyances, Hummers, limos and party buses provide a steering wheel-pounding combination of slower speeds, ridiculously amplified sizes and sounds, and unwanted window and/or sunroof displays of disorderly, drunken passengers’ body parts.

2. Ford Pinto


souped-up ford pinto at car show

Image of what it looks like to have more time/money than sense courtesy stevelyon.

Long heralded as one of the worst cars in history, the Ford Pinto, which was produced until 1980, is also widely known for catching fire and exploding upon impact. No further comment needed.

1.  Mobile art projects

Intricately decorated Indian truck

From PeretzP.

Exercise special care when driving through stretches of highway that resemble mobile art exhibitions. Vehicles that could pass for a piece from Picasso’s Rose Period rather than a passable mode of modern transportation will inevitably be shepherded by drivers with egos as big as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It’s never a good idea to sacrifice your vehicle’s ability to stay upright for aesthetics, either.


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Category: Driving, Humor Traffic Signs

About the Author ()

Katy is a writer, reporter and editor who, in addition to writing for RoadTrafficSigns, has worked with the United Nations Development Programme, Hamptons magazine, Hearst Corporation, The Daily Mail, People Magazine, and a variety of other publications and nonprofits. After graduating with honors from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 2011, and distinctions on her thesis and in the consumer journalism seminar, she moved to Milan, Italy. In Italy, she worked as a writer and consultant for an international magazine, editing and translating text and reporting on such events as the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the annual design fair. A born and raised New Yorker, she has lived in three of five boroughs, relying quite a bit on public transport until getting her driver's license at the admittedly belated age of 21.

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