I don't do so many miles these days, but a few years ago I had to commute by car into London - 1hr each way.
During that time, I can say with certainty: of the drivers that drew attention to themselves through arrogance, aggressiveness, rudeness, idiocy and outright dangerous driving... 70% were driving BMWs. It was my little game, to accumulate this statistic.
The stupid thing was, due to the stop/start nature of London rush hour traffic, I would catch up after one or two sets of lights or queues... and the aforementioned BMW drivers who overtook me would rarely be more than 3 or 4 cars ahead by the time I turned off near my destination. The risks they took, to save what... ultimately about 10 seconds? Madness. But perhaps it's not about the time? Perhaps it's people who have something to prove?
I counted a fair few Audi's back then, but they weren't nearly as numerous as BMW. And Mercedes drivers were a different breed altogether. They did stupid things... but not knowingly and maliciously like BMW/Audi drivers. They just seemed oblivious, clueless.
London is of course a special case. Being basically a Northerner, London drivers were a genuine and severe culture shock to me. The large number of dented cars was testament to the rudeness and aggressiveness that is rife there. I used to live in Newcastle, a large and busy city by any standards - yet you could pretty much start from anywhere, and drive to anywhere else in Newcastle... within about 20 minutes tops.
In London, you're lucky if you can get out of your own drive in 20 minutes. And even then - only if you become a London driver yourself: Nobody will let you out of a junction, they will drive to within an inch of the car in front to prevent this. You have to force your way out, or you'll be there all day - with horns blaring behind you. Once you've barged your way out, you will of course endure blaring horns anyway, from people aggrieved at you breaking out of their stockade. Oh well.
There is also clearly a different Highway Code in operation in London. For example, You May Drive Through A Red Light as long as you stay within 12 inches of the car in front of you (that also drove through the red light). Also, You Must Drive With One Hand At All Times (the other hand must be either holding a mobile phone, applying makeup, making a rude gesture, or of course - operating the horn) etc etc
Anyway, it's a shame because BMW, Audi and Mercedes all make some fine cars. I could afford to buy one if I wanted to... but I wouldn't be seen dead in any of them, for fear that I will become one of the stereotypes I have created in my head... or that people will think I have.
Last edited by Hatstand
on Tue 29 Nov 2011, 3:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.