Western Washington has GOT to be home to the world's worst drivers.
I can say this without fear of contradiction, because anybody who's ever lived here knows exactly how bad it really is.
I've lived in the San Francisco Bay area -- where the 45-minute drive home turned into 3 hours when it rained; in San Antonio, Texas -- where I was run off the road twice in the first week because I couldn't drive fast enough; and in Ankara, Turkey -- where they sometimes drive on the sidewalks.
They don't drive on the sidewalks here yet, but it's getting close.
Drivers in the Seattle area are the most distracted, most stressed-out, most careless, rudest, scariest folks to ever take to the roads.
They're out of control.
Every week there's another story in the media about someone driving the wrong direction on the freeway, causing massive accidents. Only occasionally are these folks suicidal or drunk.
Late last year we had three ugly car wrecks in the same WEEK out in front of the store where I work. In all three cases, the drivers refused to slow down even though it was raining, they didn't watch where they were going, were completely oblivious of other drivers. Miraculously, everybody walked away from the crashes. But five cars were totaled.
These people scare me.
Drivers here are constantly blabbing on their cellphones while behind the wheel -- even though it's a $125 fine if they get caught.
They change lanes suddenly, without warning, almost always without using their turn signals, shoe-horning their way into the slightest gap between cars. One guy I saw on the freeway last week bounced all over from lane to lane, refused to choose one lane and stay in it, never used his turn signals once, & was long gone before I could focus on his license-plate number.
They think speed limits are a joke: 35 miles per hour really means 40, 40 means 50, 50 means 65 -- & 60 means whatever you can get away with.
And they don't slow down when it rains -- which is basically 9 months of the year.
Some of them forget to turn on their headlights when it's pitch dark.
This state is lucky I'm not a cop, because I could easily write a couple hundred tickets each day. (Of course that'd keep the revenue coming in!)
Last week on the way to work I glanced at the driver behind me in my rear-view mirror. She was talking on her cellphone with one hand, brushing her hair with the other, and must have been handling the steering wheel with her knees.
Another guy a few days back got SO CLOSE to the back end of my car at a stop light that all I could see in my rear-view mirror was the very top of his head. And his head was bent down so I assume he was texting. There's a fine for that, too....
A few years back, one of our Regulars blew through our parking lot at about 50, tried to make the corner at the other end, and rolled and totaled his pickup. He wasn't seriously injured, but he's slowed down quite a bit since then.
Maybe it's true that people never slow down until they're in a crash. If so, all I can say is Full Speed Ahead, Folks! There's a wreck out there with your name all over it!
Think this is nothing? Think maybe your area has even scarier drivers? As a public service, please feel free to submit your frightening evidence below....