Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Since you asked:

SO...Florida drivers

Florida has been rated number six on the fifty state ranking of worst drivers by the insurance industry.  There are those who would dispute a ranking of less than number one.

Of course this is not to imply that Floridians are bad drivers.  Ask any native and you will be informed that the bad driving reputation is because of all the snowbirds arriving seasonally from the north.

When I first mentioned getting a car to keep in Florida, my brother advised me to be sure to get one that was configured so that I could not see over the steering wheel.  I don't know if it is true that old people start to shrink, but there does seem to be a tendency toward going for ever increasing size as one gets older.  I can only assume that maybe we are going for increased visibility?

Turn signals?  They tend to get disabled at the factory before shipping to Florida dealers.  Saves that constant annoying blink-blink-blinking.

Stop sign? Slow down if you are so inclined.  Red light? Hurry up before the stopped lane can get moving.  If someone is actually inclined to come to a full stop under either of these suggestions, honk your horn like crazy!  How dare anyone impede the flow?

And of course those people who go the speed limit, especially in the fast lane on the interstate highways--only asking for people to pass on the right and cut them off at every available opportunity.

I have actually seen a person I knew to be legally blind behind the wheel.  One time Mike saw a van that had "Two Blind Guys" on the side.  It took him until about five miles down the road when he started laughing and said, "Oh, window treatment business!"  I have seen the occasional turn onto the sidewalk--you know, where someone neglected to put a driveway.

I didn't make this up:
(Don't know if someone else did)
A 69 year old man in Stuart, Florida was out drinking with his wife the other night.  The couple got into a bit of an argument and he decided he was just going to leave.  He said he first noticed the banging on the roof and the screaming when he stopped at a light, but since he did not have a cell phone to call the police to report his wife for dogging him in this way, he just kept going.

But I suppose these things can happen anywhere.

BTW, I drive a little Ford Focus and so far I can still see over the steering wheel, but I do wish it had a backup camera.

11 comments:

  1. I was in Orlando in 1975 and in Miami in 2013 and didn't think traffic was a problem.
    Seoul, Korea is much worse, believe me. Worse than Honolulu, Hawaii.

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  2. I enjoyed your post... and my daughter had the audacity to stop at a red light during a foggy day in the hill country and was rear-ended. The driver that hit her was actually upset with her for stopping. But I would think that in general the big cities have more of a traffic problem (road rage, etc.) then the smaller towns...

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  3. I would so love to have a camera for backing up. That should be required on all new cars. Unfortunately, or fortunately, our 2003 Mazda mini-van has less than 100,000 miles on it and runs great. I would be reluctant to trade it in just to get a camera for backing up. Our daughter in Texas tells me the Oregon drivers are much nicer than the ones in Texas. I can't confirm that. If true, it's probably because Texas drivers are expressing their strong political rage while the Oregon liberals are more relaxed and not so stressed.

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  4. Florida driving is a challenge with tourists always looking for an address and making sudden stops or turns. We use to say that the drivers test in Okeechobee should require driving from the stoplight in town to the shopping center two miles away through town during peak season. If they could make the trip without an accident, they got their license.

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  5. Funny. I think the drivers here are pretty bad. We have the same problems you do in Florida. We wonder if everyone is driving stoned.

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  6. I think we get bigger cars as we get older because they are heavier and thus, in my opinion, safer in an accident. And, since the shrinking is true for most of us, I guess the manufacturers better start lowering the dash and windshield if they want seniors to keep buying. My little car that was totaled in the driveway was a Nissan Versa - built for small people. My resurrected old car - Nissan Sentra - is also comfortable for short drivers. Since my Sentra is 1996 and the Versa was 2011, the Sentra is heavier and thus I feel safer. However, any new car would be accepted and appreciated. LOL.

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  7. For a Florida driver you have a excellent sense of humor.

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  8. My uncle is 97 and might be a better driver than some others I see on the road. Hawaii is ranked super high for having bad drivers. We're constantly hearing of people getting run over, even in crosswalks.

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  9. It is true that we lose height as we age. Honestly!
    That's funny that you blame the Canadians!!!!
    Seriously, though, we have some amazing programs for senior drivers. The rules are fresher for me, since I taught my 3 kids to drive. Hubby's mom taught him (1965?), and he loathes driving. So did his mom. Thing is, he does forget some of the rules. It is sad, but he does slide through red lights, when turning.
    We have some great refresher courses. Then there are the adult children who should be taking responsibility for ill parents...
    The bad stories are true! In our former small town, one guy everyone knew had dementia (but no one told his lawyer-daughter who lives in another province) would turn onto our major highway without looking left or right. sigh.

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  10. My son who complains of my speeding sent me a cartoon the other day and ask me, "Is this why?". It was of an elderly woman gripping the steering wheel of her car saying, "I'm speeding because I have to get to where I'm going before I forget where I'm going."

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  11. There are certainly areas of southern California that are like that, towns where there are a lot of older drivers. And most of them Can't see over the steering wheel! I really do think when we get to be a certain age we should have to retake the driving (road) test every 5 years or so.

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I appreciate readers' comments so much. You don't even always have to agree with me.