I am not surprised to read that Florida cities took 3 of the 4 top slots for the worst drivers, including the area where we live.
Listen, everyone thinks “their” drivers are the worst. You’re wrong. I’ve driven in a lot of places, including some most Americans have no experience with – such as Egypt. (You don’t know driving until you’re screaming down a four-lane highway seven cars abreast with pedestrians weaving between the non-existent lanes.)
But anyway, I’ve driven in a lot of places. Never have I seen the heinous and insane shit that I’ve seen here in Florida. Never – not in Egypt. Not in Uzbekistan. Not in any US city. It’s not that those things never happen elsewhere. Of course they do. Here, you see it every moment. In other places, you see it rarely. And that’s the crucial difference.
When I lived in Seattle, I got into one near-accident or close call maybe once even couple of months.
Here, some days I get in 2-3 near-accidents when I go to work and 2-3 when I drive home. No exaggeration at all, not in the least.
Nearly every person I know at work has been in a car accident in the last few months. Just last week, a woman I work with got in a car accident less than 50 feet from the building. We all saw it right outside the window. (And not the first one we’ve seen from the window, either.) Another woman I work with has been in three car accidents in the last year, none of them her fault (rear-ended each time).
Thank FSM I have quick reactions and am hyper-vigilant, or I’d’ve almost certainly suffered the same fate already.
On the way home today for instance, someone decided they were going to do a U-turn and get into my lane with me less than 80 feet away and traveling 50MPH. I swerved by them, missing their car by 2-3 feet. If I’d been just the tiniest bit slower, that would’ve been an accident.
I am quite sure they never even saw me, nor did they care that a car could’ve been there.
This happens all the time. That was absolutely normal. Sometimes things like that happen every few hundred feet in Florida. Sometimes you avoid one accident here and then literally two seconds later you avoid another one. You can never rest.
Why is it like this here?
A few guesses. A large percentage of the population here is elderly. Probably 80% of them really shouldn’t be driving. They are completely oblivious and often drive absurdly slowly. Second, this area still has bleedover from the South and all the aggressive masculinity that entails. Third, there is a mix of people here (many Northerners and Canadians) who all bring very different and contradictory driving styles.
Throw all this together, and you have urban fucking chaos.
When I drive to work tomorrow, I can nearly guarantee I’ll almost get into at least one car accident. And most likely one on the way home, too.
It’s part of living here. And it is truly no fun.