Here’s video of what makes a Clover a Clover. It is not timid or slow or even bad driving, per se.
It is gratuitous, intentional inconsideration for other drivers.
Observe this Clover . . .
I (and 4-5 others) were caught behind this one for about 10 miles. The Clover was driving so slowly that he had acquired a tail – all those cars stacked up behind him. It was obvious he was holding them up and also obvious he was driving well below the posted speed limit.
The latter thing is no sin.
Some people are very cautious drivers; they fear driving at more than a snail’s pace. Maybe they are impaired in some way – or perhaps their car is. None of those things amounts to a moral failing. I do not fault an old person with bad knees who takes 5 minutes to descend a flight of stairs I can go down in 15 seconds.
I do fault the old person who – noticing someone is waiting behind them – doesn’t ease over and say, “you go ahead.”
If you notice that cars are stacked up behind you – and you are the lead car – it is time to move over and let them pass. This Clover had several opportunities to do so. There are almost always shoulders, driveways – etc.
A good driver – even if he is not a high-skilled driver – does this before he acquires a tail of backed-up cars hanging off his bumper
A good driver scans his mirrors – and his car’s gauges.
Scanning mirrors prevents the acquisition of a tail by yielding before it has time to grow. The good – the considerate – driver sees another car gaining on him in his rearview mirror; he glances at his speedometer and knows he is traveling well below not only the speed limit for the road he’s on but also well below the speed at which most traffic is flowing on the road he’s on – because he is well aware (because we are all well-aware) that most speed limits are set at least 5 and often 10 or more MPH below the prevailing speed of traffic.
The road is not the place to argue the merit of the speed limit – or the speed of other cars. These things are secondary to the most important thing, which is courteous and considerate driving.
A driver who does not scan his mirrors and so doesn’t notice he’s acquired a tail and who isn’t aware that he is traveling well below the posted speed is not merely oblivious. A person has every right to be oblivious on their own time, when their obliviousness does not impose upon others.
But obliviousness behind the wheel is both hugely inconsiderate as well as dangerous. The Clover who impedes the flow of traffic has created a safety hazard. He has created a stressful driving situation. It is possible, too, that the Clover is keeping someone who has a pressing need to get somewhere ASAP from losing possibly vital minutes; a mother about to give birth, someone injured in an accident and losing lots of blood.
And even if it’s not an emergency, it isn’t for the Clover to waste other people’s irreplaceable time.
Some Clovers are much worse than merely oblivious and dangerous. They are malicious. These are the Clovers who have looked in their mirror and do see the tail of cars growing longer and longer in their wake. These are the Clovers who are quite conscious of the fact that they are driving much more slowly than both the law and custom provide.
These are the Clovers who get a sick kick out of blocking others with their car. Who purposefully use their vehicle in exactly the same way an equally malicious person on foot might just stand in the way of people trying to descend or ascend a flight of stairs, even to the extent of moving so as to prevent anyone from easing by them.
The genesis of this vile behavior is either a poltroonish (such people would never dare stand on a staircase and try to block people with their bodies; they know they’d get pushed out of the way – or even punched in the face, justifiably so) lust to irritate others without risking consequences or an even more vile desire to impose themselves on others.
You can confirm the identity of this type of Clover by his reaction when you finally get the opportunity to pass him. If he speeds up when he sees you making your move – or honks his horn/flashes his lights/shakes his fist at you after you’ve successfully made your move, you know it was that kind of Clover.
But it’s easy to not be either kind of Clover – or a Clover of any kind at all. You don’t have to drive faster than you feel comfortable driving. All you have to do to avoid being a Clover is use your mirrors, be aware of the other cars in your orbit and yield to faster-moving traffic, regardless of the speed limit.
Ideally, before a tail forms on your bumper.
. . .
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