Outta my way, or under my wheels!
May 23, 2002 7:30 AM   Subscribe

Outta my way, or under my wheels! According to this survey from the American Iron and Steel institute, Miami has the rudest drivers in the country. I live in Miami, and it's true. If you disagree with me, you're a slack-jawed moron.
posted by groundhog (21 comments total)
Chicago drivers are in the top five for rudeness...I believe it. But at least we are safely rude!
posted by SisterHavana at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2002

Boston was #2 on the list. Next year we'll cut you off at the intersection to get to be first!
posted by briank at 7:52 AM on May 23, 2002

I would be curious to see foreign cities/countries so ranked.
posted by Postroad at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2002

Miami has a very volatile mix. Recent immigrants with no US driving experience, hotshit boy racers in souped up Civics, tiny old people squinting over the dashboard of their Cadillacs, overmedicated yuppie matrons in Ford Excursions, and arrogant BMW/Benz drivers - any or all of which is likely to have a cell phones wedged in their ear, and a pistol in the glove compartment.

Oh, and I think about half of them have no insurance.
posted by groundhog at 7:59 AM on May 23, 2002

I find it pretty hard to believe where Seattle scored on the list...

I think road rage is still a relatively new enough phenomenon here that it doesn't show up in these results...but if our traffic continues to worsen at the rate it has in the past few years, we'll topple down the charts quick fast.
posted by vito90 at 8:00 AM on May 23, 2002

I would be curious to see foreign cities/countries so ranked

Asian cities are in a different league (although I'd guess some South Americans could give them a run for their money) - I once watched a Kuala Lumpur traffic jam refuse to make space for an 'on-call' ambulance.
posted by niceness at 8:04 AM on May 23, 2002

I find it pretty hard to believe where Seattle scored on the list...

Heh - I remember driving up I-5 when I lived in Oregon. My NY/NJ-honed driving "skills" were more than enough to frighten most Northwesterners. With an east coast friend in the passenger seat, I told him to "watch this" and proceeded to sway ever so slightly in my lane. People near me literally dove for cover in far away lanes, a few even jumped off the exit (from my left!). Ahh, the fun we had. But even before I moved some 9 years ago, traffic was increasing mightily, and I'd imagine you're correct, vito. And as a current Boston resident, I can vouch for our #2 ranking.

And niceness is right, we're all creampuffs compared to many parts of the world.
posted by jalexei at 8:15 AM on May 23, 2002

The thing that gets me here in Boston is drivers think they can park in the middle of the street, beven blocking rush hour traffic, as long as their hazard lights are on. It's easy to spot a liquor store because it usually surrounded by cars-with-hazards parked two or three cars deep.
posted by plaino at 8:19 AM on May 23, 2002

These lists highlight an interesting aspect of human behavior -- everyone complains when they're not the worst traffic (or in this case, the least polite) as if bad numbers are something to cheer.

I've lived/driven up and down both coasts, and my feeling is that Seattle drivers are pretty damn polite and non-aggressive when you compare them to, say, NYC or DC. Or Boston. Or the Bay Area. Or LA. Or, or, or.

Not that I trust these lists entirely, because apparently Seattle is rated #2 in the much-quoted "worst traffic" list. I don't voice mydisagreement very loudly anymore, because apparently Seattleites want to feel like they have it worse than anyone in the country. It makes me wonder -- if it's really that bad, why not move?
posted by jragon at 8:39 AM on May 23, 2002

I was once on a six-lane street in Manila, with three lanes going each direction. Or so my American sensibilities interpreted it. I quickly found out that such customs were interpreted very loosely there: what began as three lanes going each direction soon spontaneously turned into four going one way and two the other...and then five going one way and one the other. Then it reversed. Fascinating madness.
posted by rushmc at 8:43 AM on May 23, 2002

I've heard that driving in Mexico is a nightmare. I've never been, but that's what I hear.

I lived in Chile when I was a kid, and I swear that they are the worst drivers that I've ever seen. They create their own lanes on the road when they drive, they jump curbs to avoid stoplights, etc. Unbeleivable.

Naples Italy has got to ge another one. They don't pay attention to stop lights at all.

In this country, my worst driving experience has been in NYC. I've driven through Manhattan, Brooklin and Queens, and wanted to kill somebody by the time I was on the freeway.
posted by tiger yang at 8:50 AM on May 23, 2002

yeah, traffic in Chile sounds like traffic in Egypt from what I hear. I've heard stories about cab drivers swerving into outdoor coffee shops crashing through tables and chairs just to get ahead of the car in front of them. I've only experienced overseas driving in asia but that's pretty bad too. I tend to think driving in america's pretty tame compared to driving overseas.
posted by jojo at 9:08 AM on May 23, 2002

2-lane highway in Guatemala--we're passing a "chicken bus" on a blind curve when someone decides to pass US. The on-coming cars must've anticipated this, as they were already driving on the shoulder as we approached. This is, apparently, common practice. I was far too timid to drive there, and I'm one of those aggressive DC drivers.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:13 AM on May 23, 2002

Try Malta.

I won't explain. Just believe me.
posted by robzster1977 at 9:17 AM on May 23, 2002

So is this really a measure of which cities have the worst drivers, or is it a measure of which cities have the most whiners?
posted by straight at 9:24 AM on May 23, 2002

Drivers in Mexico are scary. I wouldn't even think about getting behind the wheel there. Even my dad, who is one of the most fearless drivers there is, won't do it. Being a pedestrian in Acapulco is not fun. I haven't had a fear of crossing the street since I was a little kid. I can cross busy streets in Chicago and NYC, no problem at all. Yet each time I had to cross the street in Acapulco I was absolutely terrified.

The state with the worst drivers is Indiana. I went to school there for five years so I can say that. I cringe any time I am behind an Indiana driver on the road.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:28 AM on May 23, 2002

jragon - w/r/t Seattle traffic

The reason we are so vociferous in our complaints about our traffic here is because there is no strategy in place to alleviate it.

Boston traffic sucks...but the Big Dig is part way complete and there is the vision of things getting better. Chicago, New York, if you think traffic sucks you can sell your car and not be adversely affected.

In Seattle, traffic is bad, which will make drivers more aggresive. And it will get worse before it gets better.

And its not bad enough to move. The complaining about traffic is actually a testament to how good we have it here. If we had something more serious to complain about, we would.
posted by vito90 at 9:58 AM on May 23, 2002

I believe it. Miami is also the worst airport to travel through. And South Beach is a filthy place crawling with crooks, bums and perverts.
posted by HTuttle at 11:04 AM on May 23, 2002

"'This survey confirms that Americans, including Chicago drivers, feel much safer driving a car that has been made with safety in mind and that means one built with steel.'"
Nice to see them drumming up business now that protectionism is in place.

Snarkiness aside, this statement doesn't really apply to Boston. Drivers may be rude and aggressive and the traffic may suck, but the accident rate is pretty low. I don't feel unsafe in the tiny piece of plastic I drive around in.

I don't know if it's the same in other cities, but a lot of Boston's problems have to do with ill-timed traffic lights as well as traffic cops who insist on directing traffic at intersections with still-functioning signals. I know it's their job and they'd probably rather not be there, but the Trans. Dept. should either get them out or shut down the lights. Otherwise you end up stuck with a green light, the cop telling you to stop, the car behind you honking and the car next to you trying to cut you off to make a left from the right-hand lane.
posted by espada at 11:21 AM on May 23, 2002

Atlanta, my current hometown, would be #1 if the traffic actually allowed you to move at an average speed above 10 mph.

But the craziest traffic I've ever seen by far was in Saigon. No traffic lights. No signals. Trucks and motorcycles and bicycles and pedestrians and cyclos all in one big mess. But, crossing the street was awesome. Just step off the curb, don't slacken your pace, and people will compensate and go around you. If you get spooked and stop, you're dead -- people won't know how to react. Once I figured that out, I crossed streets just for the hell of it.

(Boy, do I know how to have fun on my vacations or what?)
posted by Vidiot at 10:08 PM on May 23, 2002

Of course, in my home state, the drivers treat turn signals as just another option, like air conditioning...

And, I am officially disagreeing, just to have someone call me a slack-jawed moron (although I'm more partial to mouth-breathing microcephalic)...
posted by Samizdata at 1:56 AM on May 24, 2002

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