Greenwood: You are what you drive, BMW owners

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News
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Car joke: How can you tell if someone drives a BMW?

Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

Far be it from me to generalize or stereotype, but a recent study has confirmed what I (and I imagine many others) have long suspected: many drivers of BMWs really are arrogant jerks.

A study from the Institute of Personality and Social Research at the University of California Berkeley says it’s true that driving a nice car doesn’t mean you’re a nice person.

In their study researchers observed how drivers acted at stop-and-go intersections where they had to deal with pedestrians.

Eighty percent of drivers in cars ranging from beaters to your average grocery carrier stopped and waited for pedestrians.

But swells driving luxury cars — especially BMWs and Mercedes Benzes — were much more likely to adopt a “me Louis XVI, you peasant pedestrian” attitude.

“Fancy cars were less likely to stop,” said researcher Paul K. Piff. “BMW drivers were the worst.”

On a personal note, I had the joy of running into two BMW tools in a very crowded parking lot of a grocery store on Tuesday.

Parking was at a premium because of last-minute Thanksgiving shopping, so traffic wasn’t moving very fast. I was trying to make a left turn at a T-bone intersection in the parking lot.

A dude in a black BMW was making a right turn and would have passed me in the opposite direction. Except he stopped in mid-turn, causing traffic to halt behind him.

Mr. Wonderful had the wheel in one hand and the other, of course, was holding a cellphone to his ear, which was adorned with a silver earring.

Then he decided to back up, which really pleased the drivers behind him. Finally he pulled forward and drove on in his quest for a primo parking spot.

Then it became a double bimmer bro day for Tom when another twit (also on his cellphone) motored past me. Between the two of them I’ll bet they took up six parking spots.

Later I encountered the first BMW driver in the store. He had wandered away from the cart he had parked in the middle of the corridor, completely blocking access to the aisle.

But at least he wasn’t on his cellphone.

(313) 222-2023

I-75: In Detroit, the EB and WB service drives are closed between Woodward and Clifford for bridge work. The drives will reopen in January 2016.

I-94/69: The business loop will be closed from Griswold to Bard from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. today for a special event.

I-94: In Detroit, the John R ramp to WB I-94 is closed for bridge work. The ramp should reopen Dec. 1.

I-275: In Livonia, NB shoulder is closed at Eight Mile for utility work until Dec. 3.

Lahser: In Beverly Hills, the road is being resurfaced from 13 Mile to 14 Mile. Traffic is permitted. This project will end in late November.

Fish Lake Road: In Holly Township, the road is closed between Mitchell and Kurt for the replacement of a culvert. The reopening is to be announced.

Cedar Island Road: In White Lake Township, the road is closed between Oxbow and Bogie Lake Road for a culvert replacement. This project ends in early 2016.

Archer Drive: In Harrison Township, the bridge over the channel to Lake St. Clair is closed for replacement. It is scheduled to be reopened in mid-December.

27 Mile: The bridge across Stony Creek east of Hayes is closed. It will be remain closed pending replacement in spring/summer 2016.

31 Mile: In Washington Township, the bridge across Stony Creek is closed east of Mt. Vernon. It is slated for replacement and will reopen in spring/summer 2016.

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