You ever notice that no matter where you go, people always say, "The drivers here are terrible"?
When it comes to their fellow motorists, people always have something to complain about. No one ever says, "Yeah, man, everyone around here is really courteous, cautious, and skilled enough to run in autocross. I'm really happy with the way everyone drives."
There's a very simple reason why this is the case: Most people are horrible drivers. They drive too fast, too slow, above their abilities, they give in to distractions, they don't know the law or choose to ignore it, and they just don't care that there are other people on the road.
You want flying cars like we were promised in Back to the Future Part II? It would be a horrendously bad idea. Most people suck at driving on the ground, let alone in the air.
But I have noticed that people in different places tend to pick up the same bad driving habits as their neighbors. Maybe they see one person get away with something, so they do it too, and it spreads from there. I don't know why.
When I lived in Austin, I'd say the biggest problem I saw was red-light running. Not speeding through a yellow, mind you, but blowing through the light after it changed. It was especially bad downtown and it drove me nuts.
I've only been in D.C. for a few weeks, but already I've noticed that people just kind of slow down at stop signs, rather than, you know, stop. I've even seen cops do it. This really pisses me off because I once had to deal with a (bullshit) ticket for that reason in Texas. Also, the pedestrians in the District seem to jaywalk like there's no tomorrow, and drivers just seem to let them get away with it. If you tried that in, say, New York, you'd be roadkill.
Your turn, Jalops — what to the bad drivers in your area do that drive you insane?
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