States here in the U.S. love to distinguish themselves from one another. Each has its own nickname, motto, flower, bird, flag, and stance on whether trans people deserve human rights (they do). But one other notable difference sets each state of this union apart: Their drivers.
We’ve talked about which states are easiest to get a driver’s license in, and one could likely trace a pretty clear line between that difficulty rating and the average state driver skill. But there’s another factor to making each state a new adventure for road-tripping drivers, and it has to do with what people do behind the wheel. Specifically, all those fun region-specific techniques scattered between sea and shining sea.
The Atlantic seaboard gives us the beauty that is the Jersey Slide — four lanes, no turn signals, and a total lack of care (if not active contempt) for any other driver on the road. It’s the classic “oh god wait is that my exit I gotta move over because if I miss this exit the highway comes to an abrupt end like a Wiley E. Coyote cartoon and I will plummet to Earth and my doom and I can not be late for crossfit again” move, but done with such frequency and indifference that it’s earned a name.
The Pacific gives us a maneuver of lower speed, lower urgency, and overall chiller vibes: The California Stop. It’s a misnomer in that its identifying characteristic is that no actual stop is ever performed — you simply approach a stop sign and, seeing no one else around, merely slow down before continuing. What’s the purpose of a rule, anyway, if neither following it nor breaking it affects those around you?
But those are just two examples. We’ve got 48 states left to hit, and a trove of readers from across the U.S. who can help us fill in the map. What’s your state’s unique driving move, and what’s it called?