What’s the Deal with Volvo Drivers in the Bay Area?

Hey Volvo drivers of the Bay Area – what’s the deal? Why are some of you the way you are? For a description of the problem, let’s hear from famous writer Jon Carroll on the topic of le Vølvö:

It bullies, it meanders, it stops in the middle of the street so its occupant can have a long conversation with someone standing on the sidewalk. I have done my best to provide loving correction; I have been met only with denial.”

That’s a fair beef, and so are these. In fact, some in the U.K. actually want authorities to prosecute Volvo drivers.

Here’s a typical example – the driver here in Laurel Heights slowly intrudes into the crosswalk and then tentatively creeps forward past two red lights into cross traffic. Hello-ooo! The S40 (S60, S80?) can be seen here backing up in order to let southbound traffic through:

Click to expand.

Now of course, lately, Toyota Prius hybrid drivers have been going to great lengths to keep up with the bottom quintile of Volvo drivers. With these Priuseses around town, if they’re not provoking others, they’re getting Denver booted, and when they’re not getting pulled over, they’re being used for remedial driving lessons.

So yes, some Prius drivers have issues (specifically driving around at night with the lights off, no daytime running lights, no nothing, why Prius, why?) but Volvo drivers take the cake, because they keep coming up with new ways of disappointing you.

Like entering MUNI train tunnels and then driving along like there’s nothing wrong. There’s no video of that incident available but it must have looked something like this.  

So, read Jon Carroll’s columns above for nuance and then come to the conclusion that, on the streets of the San Francisco Bay Area, the refrain of motorists, cyclists and pedestrians alike is:

“It’s always a Volvo” (unless it’s a Prius).

Bank on it.

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3 Responses to “What’s the Deal with Volvo Drivers in the Bay Area?”

  1. Janet C says:

    Yeah, what’s up with Priuses and lack of lights? I went out of turn at an intersection yesterday, at dusk, thinking that Prius was parked. Hmmm.

  2. sfcitizen says:

    Part of it is the kind of person who is attracted to the Prius. I guess the dashboard is lit up like a Christmas tree all the time and people don’t have the darkened dashboard clue?

    There are lots of features a Camry has that the Prius doesn’t (like automatic headlights?), probably because Toyota wants to keep the cost of production low. Toyota used to lose thousands on each Prius sold because of high prodcution costs.

  3. michael says:

    I would vote the Subaru Outback as #2 in this list, above the Prius.