[OT] Hit and Run

Nicholas Leippe nick at leippe.com
Thu Aug 23 11:08:50 MDT 2007

On Thursday 23 August 2007, Corey Edwards wrote:
> On Thu, 2007-08-23 at 10:23 -0600, Joseph Hall wrote:
> > I've driven in several other states (I drove to New Hampshire 5 years
> > ago and then back to Utah 4 years ago). The easiest drivers to get
> > along with, by far, were California drivers. The absolute worst,
> > edging out even Utah, were Idaho drivers.
> What you say?!? The last time I drove from here (Idaho Falls) to Logan I
> notice a distinct negative difference. My main impression is the lack of
> courtesy. Everybody seems to be in such a hurry. Allowing somebody to
> merge in front of you would add precious seconds to your trip. Oh, the
> humanity!

It always makes me smirk when people put all sorts of hurried effort to gain 
one car length ahead, only to catch up with them at the next light.

Another favorite is when you signal to change lanes, and the car behind you in 
the lane you want speeds up to block you.

> Now driving south of BYU campus in Provo, that's a whole different
> world. I don't *ever* want to go there again.

Culture is definitely the largest issue imo. My father has travelled the world 
frequently as a pilot. I recall him mentioning once that in Japan, (Hong 
Kong), there is no sense of entitlement on the road. If someone squeezes in 
right in front of someone, their attitude is "he needed that space, ok."

Here, it feels like people think they 'own' the space in front of and around 
them while driving.  While for safety's sake, space is good, the sense of 
entitlement breeds frustration and sometimes rage when it is stepped on.

In California, at rush hour, it seems that everyone has gotten the idea that 
there just is no space, so deal with it.  I've been on 4-lane highways where 
all four lanes were literally half car lengths apart, all doing 75.  Just 
squeeze the packets in tighter and send them down the line.  Hover your brake 
constantly, because there are no 'outs'.

In Puerto Rico, it is yet an entirely different driving culture. as far as 
rating it, I'd say it could be considered 'worse' than Utah. But again, it's 
just different.  There, people use the democratic method--strength in 
numbers.  If there's a huge line of cars to turn left, they don't care what 
the light says. Once that train gets moving, they just keep it going 
(blatantly through red lights) until someone breaks the chain and the 
oncoming traffic or other direction can get started. (Note they only do this 
for left turns). Even better, is that when there are cars waiting in the left 
turn lane, other cars will come up along the right and dive in front of the 
line, sometimes creating a second line.

There are some other nuances that unless you know them will get you into a 
wreck very quickly.

It seems crazy the first time you see it, but once you learn how they behave 
you can predict what they'll do and drive accordingly. I imagine similar 
could be said of many driving cultures.

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