Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Seattle Drivers or How to Get Nowhere Fast

Now that I am driving again, I feel it my duty to rant about drivers in Seattle and it's environs. 
I will preface this by saying that I learned to drive in Toronto. Toronto drivers are well known for their aggressiveness. In addition, I was born and raised, during my formative years, in Montreal, which might account for an inborn sense of considering the road MINE when I am driving upon it.

The first thing I noticed upon moving here, is that most drivers are extraordinarily courteous. For example, when 4 cars are stopped at a 4 way stop, you could be there for 5 minutes while each driver insists that you go, no you go, no you. Now normally, I look at it as the first driver to stop is the first to go, or it's the first driver who puts his foot on the gas and starts through the intersection whilst giving you the finger. I do play the game as long as a) I am feeling particularly patient that day, b) I didn't sleep the night before, so a short nap is not unwelcome or c) I cut someone off on the highway the day before and feel the need to atone.

In defense of myself, or at least my driving, I do not normally cut people off on the highway. I do, however, have a problem with the way people here enter onto a highway. When entering a highway where cars are going 70mph, (the speed limit,) then those loooooong entrance ramps are meant for you to accelerate up to speed so that you can merge into traffic safely. But nooooooooo, the ramps here are perceived as a means to increase your speed to about 45, maybe 50, if you're a real daredevil, and then jump in with various possible consequences, including the person driving the speed limit having a massive heart attack when you merge in front of him/her going 50. 

One more rant. When at an intersection waiting to turn left, please move into the intersection. Do not wait at the line. You see, I am behind you and the traffic is heavy and there's a bazillion cars behind me and if you wait for an invitation delivered to you on a silver platter, we shall all expire from carbon monoxide poisoning. Pull into the intersection and when there is a break in traffic or the light turns orange, MOVE! Do not move however if the asshole coming from the opposite direction decides to run the light. No...that is not a good thing.


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