It was the beady eyes, and the erratic behavior that first got me thinking, but I now believe there's evidence to suggest an evolutionary link between the housefly, the squirrel and the bad driver. Somewhere in the ancestry of the two mammalian species there was a mutation that introduced the gene sequence responsible for the housefly's characteristic unpredictably.
If you've cycled for any length of time you'll recognize the startling similarities between squirrels and bad drivers that go far beyond the size of their brain pans. Both have motion tracking disorders and an inability to gauge speed. It reminds me of the old adage. "Why did the squirrel cross the road? To stop in the middle"
Freeze. Accelerate. Reverse direction. Never indicate which way you're going next. It's an all too familiar pattern for those with tails and tail lights.
Then there's their respective reactions to nuts. Offer a squirrel a nut and it's likely to run right up your leg to get it. Call a bad driver a nut and they're likely to run you over just to prove the point. Both species chase each other in traffic. The squirrel is obsessed with telephone wires, the bad driver is obsessed with cellphones. Both make the same chattering sounds over them.
Granted bad drivers are able to multi task in ways the squirrel cannot. Changing clothes as they change lanes, watching a DVD while parking, reading a map while entering a highway, these are just a few examples. Squirrels also don't shave, apply makeup, or floss during the week.
Some have labeled them all pests; houseflies spread disease and squirrels have been known to carry rabies, but it's the bad driver who poses the greatest threat to cycling life on this planet. It doesn't happen very often but every once in a while you'll see a bad driver trying to swat a housefly on the move. Little does he or she appreciate the profound bond they share. As the vehicle weaves from lane to lane you'd be wise to imitate a squirrel, get off your bike and climb the nearest tree.