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Q: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless? ( No Answer,   9 Comments )
Subject: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
Category: Sports and Recreation > Automotive
Asked by: theomegawolf-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 06 Aug 2005 01:00 PDT
Expires: 05 Sep 2005 01:00 PDT
Question ID: 552347
Google Answers,

I live and drive in the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, the freeways
and streets here are filled with selfish, rude, and thoughtless
drivers. It's not at all uncommon to be cut off, blocked, passed, or
nearly hit by these dangerous drivers.

My informal observations indicate that the great majority of these
"bad drivers" drive BMW brand automobiles. This appears to be true
from Santa Barbara all the way down to Orange County.

Can you track down some objective evidence to support this
observation? Are BMWs proportionally involved in more accidents than
other makes? Are BMW drivers proportionally sited for moving
violations more often than drivers of other brands of car? Do police
departments keep track of complaints about dangerous drivers, and if
so, how do BMWs fare? Have insurance companies compiled any data that
can help substantiate this observation?

And, if this observation is true, why? Are selfish, rude, and
thoughtless drivers attracted to BMW brand automobiles? If so, why? Or
is it something about the cars themselves? Or, do ?normal? drivers
somehow become selfish, rude, and thoughtless drivers once they begin
driving a BMW? Does it have anything to do with income levels or the
driver?s need to ?impress? by buying a car of this type? Or does it
have something to do with the personality of these drivers? What are
the demographics of BMW owners? What is the profile of a typical BMW

Thank you in advance for helping with this question. A successful
answer will include succinct data in an easy to read format, eg:

?BMW drivers in the greater Los Angeles area were cited for moving
violations proportionally more than any other make according to
California Highway Patrol data from 2004. During the period of record,
3,456 cars were cited, and BMWs constituted 13.4% of these citations,
where as Mercedes only constituted 11.3% of the citations. ?

Again, many thanks,

- Sam Palahnuk
There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: myoarin-ga on 07 Aug 2005 08:29 PDT
I cannot give you statistics, but I can confirm your impression from
my own experience  - mostly driving in Germany, which at least
demonstrates that aggressive BMW drivers are not LA hotheads.
About 35 years ago, BMW came out of the doldrums with new models and
re-imaging with advertising that emphasized the sportier quality of
the new line.  The campaign was very successful and appealed to buyers
who wanted to drive like that.  The image has hung on, maybe more now
among younger drivers if they can pay the price.
On the freeways here, there was a consensus that if a car was
approaching fast it was probably a BMW, maybe blinking its headlights
to signal that it wanted to pass (which is considered illegal).  I
once drove a BMW and indeed, at the sight of the car in rearview
mirrors, others got out of the passing lane long before I was that
So what does this say to your question:  
That BMW has an image as being a sporting vehicle, appealing to those
who want to drive that way, who having made the investment feel
committed to do so.

The statistics you ask for would be very interesting.
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: theomegawolf-ga on 07 Aug 2005 23:32 PDT

Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your non-LA perspective and
your confirmation of my observation!

Let me tell you a short true-story. About two years ago a friend asked
me to perform a brief errand for him. I had driven my motorcycle, so I
couldn't carry the materials he wanted me to pick up. So, he offered
to let me drive his BMW.

Upon completing the errand I returned his keys and I said to him "Here
are your keys. Just so that you know, I cut off every car I could, I
tailgated the car in front of me the entire trip, I never used my
turn-signals and I ran an old woman off the freeway into a ditch --
just to maintain your car's reputation" (of course, I was kidding as I
would never do such things). He rolled his eyes as if to say, "Yeah, I
guess that's our reputation.

Thanks again Myoarin,

- Sam

- Sam
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: myoarin-ga on 08 Aug 2005 08:50 PDT
I can well imagine ....    I was just pleased that the BMW was a
couple of steps up on my old Opel combi.

I did try to look for a German auto insurance site that might show
something, but I was unsuccessful, but that doesn't mean the
information is not there somewhere, also in California.  Or maybe AAA
has some statistics.
 Drive safely, Myoarin
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: feuerbach-ga on 26 Aug 2005 07:56 PDT
Here is what I guarantee.  I guarantee there are just as many rude
drivers driving other cars, but you have an easily recognizable
personal bias against people who drive BMWs.  You don't see more rude
driving BMWs, it's just that you recognize them more.
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: myoarin-ga on 26 Aug 2005 09:37 PDT
You have a very good point.  There probably are more drivers like that
in various other makes of cars, maybe with the common feature of a few
dents and cracked tail lights, and one lumps them into a couple of
different categories by the look of the car, a subjective impression
of what kind of macho type one sees or imagines behind the wheel, etc.
Now stomp it.  ;)
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: lot-ga on 02 Sep 2005 12:21 PDT
Mercedes, Jaguar and Lexus drivers generally drive around slowly in my
parts, Audi drivers are somewhere inbetween the two groups. A major
factor why some people think BMW drivers are more rude is because of
the BMW car styling. The flamboyant headlamps, very aggressive front
end styling, deep hard creases down the flanks. - If a timid person
was driving one of these machines slightly faster than normal they
could be perceived to be rude and selfish simply by the cut of metal
they are 'wearing'.

To me, Mercedes is 'I've made it', Audi is 'thoughtful', BMW is
upwardly mobile and appeals to those assertive high achiever types
which I guess naturally translates into the driving style, that mated
to the sports car marketing, with arguably better handling/crisp
steering/taut suspension and an engine that begs to be revved, and you
have some sort of receipe for more aggressive driving.
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: richard-ga on 02 Sep 2005 13:22 PDT
A change from years past, when selfish, rude, and thoughtless drivers
mostly drove Cadillacs.
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: soetsme-ga on 19 Jan 2006 11:24 PST
Statics change yearly, but observed reality does not. I agree with the
individual who said it used to be Cadillac owners who needed a good
attitude adjustment. The BMW phenomena has a couple of things going
on. First, one thing that very few people have connected is that it's
very easy to buy one. It's a good, reliable popular German car. As a
result, it has a very high lease residual value. With a high residual
value, the payments aren't very high, so it's within the reach of just
about anybody. They also last a long time so there's a big preowned
market. And it's considered upscale.

This makes it the perfect choice for someone who's always wanted to be
"somebody" but doesn't have the juice. They think that having a hot
car will take the edge off being a loser. Now, what happens when a
bullied kid gets around smaller kids -- is he sympathetic because he
knows what it's like, or does he become the bully? The abused become
abusers, and the insignificant want to treat others like they're

The similar analogy is the cell phone. Remember when they were analog
and expensive to use? Then they came out with digital and now anyone
can afford them. So you have every twit on the planet droning on and
on in public. Anything that is perceived as for the elite, but is
within the reach of the rabble, is subject to this kind of abuse.

The way I deal with them is to burst the bimmer balloon. If they come
up behind me, I hit the brakes, and if they look, I laugh at them.
People with low self-esteem hate to be laughed at. I'll make comments
like, "Hey, does driving like that really help take the edge off being
a wuss?"
Subject: Re: BMW drivers: Selfish, Rude, and Thoughtless?
From: qzhjds-ga on 01 Jun 2006 07:30 PDT
Just sold a nice Toyota MR2 (2 seater) and bought a BMW 3 Series Coupe
(4 seater) here in the UK. Reason behind this is that I'm getting
married next month and need some back seats to enjoy evenings out with
other friends etc... Thought long and hard about what to buy. I love
driving sports cars, not to break any laws by speeding wrecklessly but
to enjoy the mundane experience of travelling from A to B (mostly to
work and home) in a nice car. The BMW has a reputation of being a fine
build quality, reliable and sporty. Great, I'll get one of them. Two
days into driving it around town, you feel that you are public enemy
#1. No-one lets you out of junctions, everyone wants to get past you.
Even indicating at every possible turn, you still get angry looks and
blasts on the horn. I don't consider myself a bad driver, don't
tailgate, don't mean to annoy other motorists, just want to drive a
comfortable, reliable car. No other car like a BMW annoys other
motorists. Jealosy perhaps? Maybe. If every driver drove a BMW they
would understand how easy and relaxing the whole driving experience
can be. Same goes for Audi, VW and Mercedes. Just great cars. (I spent
6000GBP on a used BMW with 27k miles, mint condition and looks the
business - great affordable motoring) Why should I be treated
differently because I like to drive a nice car?

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