Take yourself way, way back in time — a couple of months, maybe — to an era when a morning like this, during which the roads would likely be icy and treacherous because of a quick but consequential snowstorm, was a big deal. Remember how you would feel knowing how many minutes the conditions would add to your already too-long commute, and how you would have to be on alert for dolts behind the wheel capable of making things even worse?
That's the way it was for drivers in Denver and beyond before COVID-19 struck Colorado full force, resulting in stay-at-home orders that have de-populated the roadways in such a way that the few folks left making their regular commute can leave late and still arrive early.
With that in mind, we offer the following — a nostalgic look back to a period not so long ago, when we had far more ephemeral reasons to be pissed off than a global pandemic.
Before we had more than an inkling about the possible effects of the novel coronavirus on our city and state, we published a post about idiots' biggest driving mistakes in the Colorado mountains during this time of year. Afterward, we asked those of you who follow Westword's Facebook and Twitter accounts for your biggest winter driving pet peeves — and you had a lot to share.
Some of the observations echoed those made by Skyler McKinley, director of public affairs for AAA Colorado, as well as a person with a keen eye for subpar driving behavior. But others went off in unexpected directions. For instance, we received multiple complaints about the driving skills of people who own Audis and BMWs. Who knew?
Today, of course, traffic volume will be so light that if you do encounter a motorized moron, you can let him blow by you without giving him more than a passing thought and continue on your merry way. But we think you'll find it instructive, perhaps even comforting, to look back on the kinds of things that used to make you angry back when it was business as usual.
Number 20: Biggest winter driving pet peeve is simple: Drivers who go way too fast during poor road conditions and drive as if it's a dry, sunny day — and expect everyone else to do the same.
Number 19: "Idiots who don't understand the importance of brushing off their BACK WINDOW and lights!!!! If people don't know if you're trying to turn, it's bound to cause problems."
Number 18: "No road awareness. You should be able to tell when you are across the yellow lines, or not lined up at an intersection. If you lack spacial awareness, stay home."
Number 17: "&$$hole tailgaters in Audi's. As a BMW driver I know a douchebag when I see one."
Number 16: "Not turning on your headlights."
Number 15: "4/AWD doesn’t help you stop."
Number 14: "People who want to go 75 in a 55 when there is snow on the road."
Number 13: "CO has at least an equal share as TX of 4WDers who think their big trucks can go fast on ice."
Number 12: "People who slow to a crawl or stop while driving uphill in a heavily snowed in neighborhood. Two m.p.h. ain't gonna cut it."
Number 11: "Just took my sons out to the high school parking lot and gave them ice-driving lessons. Always winter tires. Practice, practice, practice."
Number 10: "Standing at the bus stop and getting sloshed from assholes who don't slow down. Crossing a wet/icy street and getting honked at INFURIATES me."
Number 9: "People driving on summer-only tires in the snow. BMW drivers firmly believing that they are the ONLY people on the road."
Number 8: "Pedestrians walking in front of my car without stopping to check if A) I see them and B) I am able to stop my car in time because of the snow/ice."
Number 7: "#Audiholes."
Number 6: "People who don't give you enough room to stop if it's on ice."
Number 5: "Stay out of the left lane. Stay out of the left lane. Slow down."
Number 4: "People with FWD or RWD trying to go up a hill from a full stop. It ain't happening, dude!"
Number 3: "People that are too lazy to brush off all the snow from on top of their car. Your laziness could cause an accident behind you."
Number 2: "The Last Mile Pass, passing & cutting within the last mile of an exit. Everyone ends up at the same turn lane anyway but my windshield gets another ding."
Number 1: "#1 Pet Peeve hands-down is people who think all-season tires (or the stock tires that came with their car/SUV) are adequate for driving mountain snow. #2 is 4WD or SUV means you know how to drive in the snow. Yeah, not."