Growing up in New York I became pretty accustomed to hearing the term “New York Driver ” flung about in pretty an accusatory way. Driving on New York streets and highways most of my life, I pretty much assumed that the accusation was accurate and the rest of the country had us pegged right.
Not until I moved to Houston, Texas did I realize just how wrong the accusations were!
I have lived in quite a few different states and, for the most part, I didn’t see too many differences in driving style and ability.Sure New Yorkers are aggressive drivers, but no more so than those in Washington, DC, for instance. Yes, New York drivers will, at times, offer you various “hand signals” to express their displeasure, but no more so than those in Baltimore.
It was when I moved to Oklahoma that I thought I have found the promised land. In general, these were the most courteous drivers I had ever encountered. You could spend an entire evening at a four-way stop sign because other drivers were always signaling the other guy to go first. I was amazed.
It gets better: people would actually wave at you in parking lots and on neighborhood streets.The first time someone waved at me in a parking lot, I automatically assumed I being shot the bird because that’s what I was used to. Just shoot it back and everyone was happy. I believe I may have scarred that kind Okie for life.
Thus, when I found out I was being transferred to Houston, Texas, my expectations were sky high!
I was going to Texas! If they were so nice in Oklahoma, Texas had to be the real “promised land” right?
Way, way wrong.
Don’t get me wrong here, there is a LOT I love about Texas… but the drivers in the Houston and Dallas areas? Not so much.
I will speak specifically to Houston for a moment, as this is where I live. In a nutshell; they make New York Drivers look courteous and kind and loving.
I have not encountered more unfriendly, rude, reckless and dangerous drivers than I have here. It seems that people become demon possessed when they get behind the wheel of their vehicle In this town. Houston has a huge geography with dozens of major highways and beltways making it one large game of “demolition derby”.
In Houston, using a turn signal to merge or change lanes means absolutely nothing. Wait, I take that back. What it does mean is that the vehicles around you take that as their sign to speed up or change lanes quickly, ensuring that you do not get to merge or change lanes.
Entering a highway from a feeder road is Russian Roulette. Those already on the highway have no intention of letting you on. They will speed up, even if that means almost running into the back of the car in front of them to make certain that you are foiled in your attempt to merge. As for the car behind you in the merge lane? They will whip around you to make sure they gain that all so valuable extra .05 seconds that will make or break the rest of their day.
As for speed limits? Don’t make me laugh. Just try doing the limit, or even 5-7 miles over the limit. They will run you over, whip around you and then give you a “look” as if you had just slapped their mother. What really is humorous is to see the fool speed around you to gain that ever vital extra few seconds… only to have you pull up next to them at the next light. That’s when I give them a big smile. Then they race off, doing 0 to 60 in a few seconds…. in order to get to the next light ahead of you. Idiots.
Then there are the morons who simply must text and drive. I realize that this problem is not exclusive to Houston, but it sure is prevalent!
It seems as though every third car in inhabited by an imbecile that simply “must” text about what they are having for lunch or how tough their day has been. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to swerve off the road to avoid an idiot who had drifted into my lane because that text was so vital.At least Texas has finally made it illegal to text and drive. It’s about time.
However, the worst, by far, are the “red light runners”, and there are a lot of them. I have never encountered as many as I have in the Houston area and they infuriate me because it is so deadly. As with texting while driving, running red lights is inexcusable.So many have been killed or injured! What really pisses me off is that the morons run the light blatantly. I am not speaking of the situation of being caught in “no mans land” when a light suddenly turns yellow… I’m speaking of running a clear, unmistakable red light. I see it daily and I want to chase the moron down and take the law into my own hands. Of course, if I did that, THEN a cop would show up.
Houston actually installed red light cameras to catch red light runners, but the outcry was so loud, they were removed. It seems as though installing the camera’s was an “infringement” of our rights. What? So if I install security cameras at my home or business I am infringing on the rights of the criminals who want to break in? Where’s the logic here? I’m sure it was all political with money exchanging hands, which is typical of politics and in politics logic has no place.
So anyway… the point of all this ranting is to say New York Drivers are model citizens when compared to the drivers in Houston, Texas.
How about you? Do you live in a place where you feel they are worse?