I recently solicited motorists' pet peeves about other motorists [Dr. Gridlock, Aug. 14]. Not surprisingly, there are plenty of bad habits that drive people bonkers. Here are some:

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

You asked for annoying driving habits:

* Failure to signal, particularly when making an abnormal turn (for example, turning right from the center lane), or when changing lanes at higher speeds. Signaling helps other drivers know what you are doing and therefore reduces your chances of having an accident.

* Talking on cell phones while driving in traffic. Illegal or not, it happens all the time, with costs to both attention and control.

* Aggressive driving and speeding on Interstate 395 (Shirley Highway). It gets worse every day with trucks, vans and cars swerving in and out of traffic. State police and other law enforcement officers apparently pay little attention. No wonder there are so many accidents on that highway.

* Speeding on Rock Creek Parkway by the Kennedy Center. If I drive there on cruise control at 30 mph (in a 25 mph zone), I am passed by everybody else, including District police officers. Some drivers yell at me or make obscene gestures. Why is the speed limit 25 mph if nobody observes it and nobody enforces it?

Allan Cameron


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

I am a daily walker, and my pet peeve is drivers who fully block a crosswalk when stopping their car at an intersection. That habit is not only exasperating, but also dangerous when the stopped cars essentially force pedestrians to walk in a busy street to get around them.

Lacey Wootton-Don


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Among my pet peeves are:

* Drivers who flick their cigarette ashes or butts out of their window instead of using the ashtray. Convertible drivers are rewarded with ashes or worse flying into their cars.

* Drivers who take nap time at a traffic light, particularly in "turn only" lanes.

* Pokey "left-laners." At first I thought all these people were British, since they head for the left lane as soon as they turn onto a roadway!

* "Swingers" who make a wide swing in the opposite direction when turning.

* Those who apply makeup or write when driving.

David Wase


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Among my pet peeves are drivers who make a right turn on red without even a pause. As a pedestrian, I am frequently nearly hit by drivers, usually in SUVs, who whip right through a turn without even a glance at the crosswalk.

Catherine Lee

Crystal City

Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My pet peeve is drivers in the left lane who, when a traffic light turns green, stay behind the stop line and fail to move up into the intersection and/or turn until the last moment.

I have even seen some of these folks -- who are always ahead of me, of course -- stay behind the stop line through the complete green light cycle until the light turns red again.

Robert Van Epps


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

My pet peeves are:

* Rolling stops. Stop signs and red lights are there for a reason. Living in a community with direct access to Interstate 395, I can't count how many times I have witnessed drivers barely slowing down for the stop signs. That is not only dangerous; it's idiotic.

* Constant speeding, especially on George Washington Memorial Parkway. The parkway is not an interstate. Stay within the speed limit (40 mph for a long stretch in the vicinity of the airport and 50 mph on other parts). I routinely am passed by vehicles driving in excess of 50, even 60 mph.

* Combining driving with other activities such as reading, eating, smoking, talking on a non-hands-free cell phone or watching a TV or video screen.

Robert Johnson


Dear Dr. Gridlock:

Two letter writers mentioned pet peeves that involve backing out of parking spaces [Dr. Gridlock, Sept. 11]. That brought up one of my ongoing puzzlements: Why do drivers pull front first into spaces in parking lots so they then have to back out blindly and awkwardly into traffic in the lot?

Unless there is a notice requiring otherwise (front-end-in only, to preserve shrubbery, for instance), I have always backed into a chosen spot. That means backing into a dedicated, defined space without traffic or pedestrians.

When leaving the space, there is no craning to see over your shoulder, no nearly blind attempt to check for pedestrians or vehicles (especially if an SUV has parked beside you, effectively cutting off almost all side visibility), and no jockeying around one or more vehicles cruising to take over your space.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. It's easy in, easy out.

Nancy Ruth Davis


Transportation researcher Diane Mattingly contributed to this column.

Dr. Gridlock appears Thursdays in Extra and Sundays in the Metro section. You can write to Dr. Gridlock at 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. He prefers to receive e-mail, at drgridlock@washpost.com, or faxes, at 703-352-3908. Include your full name, town, county and day and evening telephone numbers.