Monday, August 06, 2007

Street Wise

Good news. They've found a cure for road rage.

There's now a place where you rant, rave and expose before the world that
idiot who cut you off on the freeway last night.

A website called LA Can't Drive pulls no punches when it comes to
assessing our driving habits.

"Los Angeles drivers can't drive. Plain and simple. Basic traffic laws and
driving etiquette clearly do not apply in a town where the people seem to
operate in their own little bubble, completely unaware or dismissive of
others on the road.

"Call it what you will: self-entitlement, negligence, malaise, ignorance.
My goal? To have mandatory driving tests randomly issued where drivers are
eligible for selection after 6 years. Consider this jury duty for the road."

While a web site might not provide the raw animal satisfaction of laying
on the horn, drilling some jerk with your high beams or flashing the
one-finger salute, at least you can vent without getting involved in a
shooting war.

LA Can't Drive is the brainchild of a blogger who calls himself I-95,
U-405 and says he is "a true bicoastalite who has driven all around the
United States and has found that L.A. drivers are second only to New Jersey
as to the worst drivers in this country."

Sample post:

"So anyone who commutes west going home from work in the early evening
knows how hard it can be to see anything on the road with the sun blazing in
your face, even with sunglasses on. Everything from oncoming cars, crossing
pedestrians, etc. are often reduced to glowing dark shadows.

"So what did this blonde bimbo in this Toyota 4Runner choose to do? Speed,
tailgate, weave erratically between lanes, not signal, and yap emphatically
in her cell phone. Apparently, holding on to her cell phone was more
important than signaling, and clearly she saw nothing wrong with driving
haphazardly with one hand, speeding into the sunset. In the short drive from
Highland to Fairfax, she nearly rear-ended three other vehicles because of
her tailgating and (what I guess to be) her inability to see the brake lights
ahead of her because of the garrish setting sun.

"You would think one near miss would be a clear enough signal for her to
start concentrating on driving more carefully. But, alas, to no avail as
another oblivious driver roams our city streets. And the average IQ of Los
Angeles drops another yet another few points...."

Other posts, complete with photos, ridicule senior citizens, Mustang
drivers and lane-splitting motorcycle riders, worthy targets all.

But, alas, LA Can't Drive has got it all wrong.

Los Angeles motorists are not the worst in the U.S.

That distinction goes to the good folks of Columbia, S.C., where bad
drivers careen down 18th century streets. Columbia is followed by St. Louis,
Mo., Greensboro, N.C., Jackson, Miss., and Cheyenne, Wyo. where equestrian
mishaps must factor into the equation. Of 100 cities, according to a
well-researched survey of the nation's worst drivers, Los Angeles was only
number 39.

On a statewide level, drivers in Rhode Island, Massachusettes, New Jersey,
New York, Washington, D.C. and Maryland rank worse than their California
counterparts, according to another survey.

It must be something akin to bumper cars in Rhode Island since the entire
state could fit into West Covina.

More than 5,000 licensed drivers between the ages of 16 and 65 were
administered a 20-question written test designed to measure basic knowledge
about traffic laws and safety. They were also surveyed about their general
driving habits.

That's not to say California drivers ranked at the top. The best drivers
live in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Iowa, three places where the weather is
so bad most people would rather stay home.

And yet another survey ranked the accident rate by occupation.

Not surprisingly, students ranked first followed by doctors, lawyers and

I'm not sure what that means. But if you see a doctor cruising down a
street in Columbia, S.C., get the hell out of the way.

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