I have been driving a Jetta since 1999 and at times I have been the biggest [posterior anatomical orifice] on the road. It took me awhile to figure out why, and I have since begun to curtail my less than neighborly driving. Here is my explanation.

Every time I drove someplace through the mountains in my old Ford Ranger, I always had to have my foot on the floor for half the trip and I grew quite sick of it.

I saw the Jetta with V6 178 HP motor as my savior. But to my surprise I quickly became one of those drivers I despised--simply because I could. To this day, I still slip and am tempted to race off the stoplight.

Mark

 

As a forensic psychiatrist, I too have studied the erraticdriving of many Jetta owners. It is outrageous.

I have a theory. I suspect that Jetta drivers are convinced (perhaps by salesmen) that a Jetta is the full equivalent of a Beamer. While in their hearts they know this is not true, they have something to prove to themselves and others. I suspect that this erratic driving is meant to "prove," in its lame fashion, that a Jetta is as good as a Beamer.

Jim

As a doctoral student in social psychology, I feel like it is my responsibility to share some research with you that I think may explain your mistaken impression.

Something called the "Base-Rate Fallacy," says that people are prone to creating general impressions based on vivid, isolated experiences. These impressions then persist because people are more likely to notice and remember instances that confirm these impressions, and ignore instances that discount them.

So my recommendation is that you start looking for responsible Jetta drivers (I'd be happy to come up to Boston and drive back and forth in front of your shop ;-), and you will likely find a slew of them.

Jennifer

 
 

While Tommy was half way through his worst driver rant, I turned to my wife and told her it would be the VW Jetta. No kidding. I have observed this for nearly a year — quite seriously (in eastern PA, NJ, DE, MD).

Only I don't think you hit on the real reason.

I think the real reason is targeted advertising. I think that the specific demographic that VW has chosen to target via radio, magazine, TV, etc., is this very "nut crowd," who shouldn't be behind the wheel in the first place. Proof-positive that targeted advertising actually works!

Clay

Your comment struck a LOUD chord with me. I've noticed this phenomenon in Seattle for at least 20 years! Before the Jetta, these guys — and women — drove VW GTIs.

In fact, I had exactly two dates with a GTI driver before fear for my life due to his maniacal driving put an end to my desireto ever see him again. I noticed he was not the only GTI driver that behaved that way behind the wheel. Not long after that, a non-scientific, chat room survey nominated the GTI as the first choice of nutso drivers.

The Jetta seems to have replaced the GTI asthat choice. Jetta drivers clearly have an excess of endocrinefluid to burn off.

Cheryl

 
 

Volkswagen Jettas are so consistently driven by the worst drivers on the road that attempting to purchase one should result in summary license revocation.

I live in western Washington and these nasty little cars aredriven badly by all kinds of people, not just young ones. Being tailgated by one of these morons is so incredibly commonplace that I actually can recognize them by their headlights in my mirror in the dark.

It is hard for me to fathom the behavior of my fellow motorist, least of all the "drivers" of the evil Jetta, but perhaps some of the behavior is explained by some kind of longing for the autobahn? If so, take your mentally challenged posterior to Montana, Jetta maniacs!

Eric

Annoying, speeding Jettas

I am 25-years-old, and having owned a Jetta a few years ago, I absolutely concur with Tom's assessment that Jettas are always the cars that pass at Mach speeds. I have since repented of said recklessness and sold the Jetta and now drive at semi-safe speeds in my Subaru Legacy. But having been one of those obnoxious speedsters, I can attest to the veracity of that observation.

David

 
 

I was scrubbing pots and pans when I was galvanized by Tom's query, "What type of car is driven by the guy who passes you on the inside or cuts you off?"

I started yelling out my answer, "A Jetta!" in exactly 35 milliseconds.

It's worth noting that the "rude driver car" changes over the years. In the mid-80s, it was the Saab Turbo.

But my experiences over the last 12 months, and over 30,000 miles, confirm Tom's opinion: It's the Jetta, hands down.

John

I will forever believe you. I was listening to your show yesterday while returning to Casper, Wyoming, from Denver, when you put forth the theory that the vehicle mostlikely to zip in and out of traffic is the VW Jetta.

My first reaction was that your theory, while interesting, was unlikely. Perhaps, I thought, after identifying the Jetta as your target vehicle, you selectively noticed them, and created a pattern of observation that would reinforce your theory.

However, I was interrupted mid-thought when a black Jetta 1.8T sped past me, and merged quickly into my lane only to exit the interstate less than a mile later. It was literally the first car to pass me after you announced your hypothesis -- and was support for the theory.

Eric

 
 

When I heard Tom's rant about VW Jetta drivers, I immediately started yelling and ran upstairs to alert my wife, badly stubbing my toe on a doorway.

For years, I have been complaining to my wife about Jetta drivers. I am convinced that if I die in a car accident, it will bebecause of the recklessness of a Jetta driver. In fact, every time I avoid getting sideswiped or rear-ended by one of thesemorons, I say to myself, "Nice try, Jetta," or "Not today, Jetta!"

Imad

In my experience, Jetta owners are freshly graduated MBA types that feel their new status deserves at least a BMW, but not being able to even afford the Audi, have had to settle for an over-priced Volkswagen! Since you would not otherwise notice them in the crowd of other vehicles on the roads, they must do their level best to stand out. I'm sure they take all the horn honks sent in their direction as a big thumbs up!

Snuffy

 
 

As soon as Tommy posed the question, I immediately yelled out "VW Jetta," which I have coined the "Bratmobile" because nine times out of 10 a Jetta is being driven by a reckless guy under 30 years old.

I commute to work 35 miles one way everyday, and at least once a week I witness a random punk making a high speed, dangerous maneuver in his Bratmobile. If there's an half foot of daylight between you and the car in front of you, the Bratmobile will cut you off and squeeze in. Another favorite move for the Bratmobile is riding the left lane, and waiting until they're up to the exit ramp then cutting across three lanes of traffic to make their exit.

Young punky, males long to drive BMWs but can't afford them and since VWs are German, Jettas are the next best thing.

Sam

Over the past five years I have conducted my own in-depthstudy in the Bay area of the most unpredictable, erratic and generally discourteous drivers — and the Jetta drivers win hands down!

I totally agree with you. They are young, reckless and think they are cooler than anyone else on the road.

Maureen

 
 

VW Jetta drivers are the aggressive ones. And I would know -- I am married to one! And you were even more right about how it all happens. This was my husband's first new car, when he got his first real job, back when he was in his late twenties.

Last time we got pulled over for speeding, we were pulled over with another Jetta. Maybe be the traffic police are make-and-model profiling?

Radost