Something that has always been interesting to me is the vast differences when driving in other states. Sure, we all live in the same country, we all get fat at McDonald's together, and we all cheer for the Red Sox (at least those of us with good taste, anyway). But when it comes to getting behind the wheel of our cars, we become something else entirely.
So, I thought I'd take this chilly fall day and share my thoughts on local drivers in the states we've lived in. Hopefully, it will help you, if you ever find yourself in any of these places.
In Utah, if you want to change lanes, don't put your blinker on. For, you see, a blinker doesn't signal your desire to change lanes. It actually means the vehicle in the next lane over should immediately speed up, in order to prevent you from getting in front of him. Do not be surprised when you see lots of middle fingers pointed your direction in Utah.
But take heart, for when you arrive at your destination (likely the church Halloween party), you will discover the other driver is actually in your ward. You can thank him personally for the nice, friendly greeting he sent you on I-15.
Minnesotans brag about being "Minnesota Nice." That definitely doesn't apply to driving. What you most need to be wary of is the chain smoking, coffee chugging, big haired old lady. She WILL run you down in her pink Mary Kay Cadillac. These are hearty people used to living in an inhospitable frozen tundra eight months out of the year. They know how to drive on a sheet of ice without fear. There is no mercy on the road in Minnesota.
Boston is a scary place to drive. The drivers there have decided that the vehicle trying to make a left-hand turn onto a busy street actually has the right of way. There's no law that says this, but they have declared it so, and everyone does it.
And if have the gall to NOT stop your vehicle in the middle of the street to let them turn left (you know, because that seems like the safest thing to do when going 40 mph), they will pull out anyway. They will ram your car, yell at YOU, and miraculously not pronounce the letter "R" once.
Seattle drivers were a wee bit obsessed with the carpool lane. So much so, that it was a pretty frequent occurrence to see a single driver in that lane, with a blow-up doll in the front seat. I was actually pulled over once for driving in that lane, but not given a ticket because I had my two small children with me, who were not visible in their car seats. When driving in Seattle, beware any old clunker plastered with Kurt Cobain stickers. The driver is undoubtedly hopped up on Starbucks, has not showered in a week, and would probably ram your car if he saw you using a styrofoam cup.
Oy. California. Your best bet is to go 40 miles per hour OVER the speed limit, and drive defensively to avoid any accidents. Because chances are, you'll be the one to hit the Bentley, and they've definitely got more money to sue you with. Trust me when I tell you, the last place you want to be is between a giant pimped out Hummer, driven by a hungry anorexic woman, and her Botox appointment. She will crush you. And she will not care.
Missouri drivers are unlike ANY I have seen anywhere else. They don't actually go the speed limit here, they go S-L-O-W-E-R. It is SO ANNOYING. I am no speeder, but when I'm the fastest one on the freeway, you know something is wrong. The people here drive like every day is a leisurely Sunday drive. They look, this way and that, slow their car down to check out the homes, trees, dogs, and sky. I am doomed to be forever behind a slow car here.
So, internets, what are the drivers like where you live?