California Drivers

I’ve lived in San Diego since 1993, and I can tell you first hand that there are a lot of things to love about California.  For example, the weather. Come hell or high water, 300 days a year it’s clear blue skies, no humidity, and the temperature is in the mid-seventies. That’s pretty hard to beat. Right now as I write this post, it’s sunny and a chilly 60 degrees. Compare this to the Midwest and Northeast. They’re getting hammered with one of the worst winter storms in years. No thanks. 

Another thing great about California is that you can surf, snow ski, scuba dive, and climb a mountain all in the same day. If you have kids, we’ve got Disney Land, Magic Mountain, Lego Land, Knotts Berry Farms, and California Adventure. And although a few Texans might argue this point, we have the best Mexican food in the country. You haven’t lived until you’ve devoured two or three fish tacos! 

Yes, there are many things to like about California, but California drivers aren’t one of them. I hate to generalize, but to be frank, they must be among the worst drivers in the world. 

First off, about 90% of all California drivers speed. And I’m not talking about a few miles per hour over the speed limit. On our freeways, where the speed limit is 65, most folks are buzzing along between 80 and 85. On city streets—populated city streets—drivers are cruising 50 or 60 MPH. 

Few people know that the little lever on the left hand side of the steering column is NOT a decoration. News flash: It’s a turn signal, nitwit! Get this. I have never seen so many people eating while driving. Yes, eating. To be clear, I’m not talking about munching on some Mickey D’s French fries. I’ve watched drivers devour a four-pound burrito while behind the wheel. You can look in your rear-view mirror and watch someone holding a Subway sandwich with BOTH hands and stuffing it in their faces. How, pray tell, do they steer the car, with their legs? 

Every STOP sign in California should be changed to ROLL signs. Why? Because nobody stops. They literally roll through intersections. If you happen to have the right of way at a two-way stop and exercise that legal right, best prepare yourself for either a one-finger salute, or if you’re really unfortunate, getting T-boned. 

And of course, no bitch session about CA drivers would be complete if I didn’t mention cell phones. Our law prohibiting cell phone use (unless it’s hand’s free) while driving is completely ineffective. Nobody pays attention to it. You could stand on a street corner watching traffic whiz by, and 1 out of every 5 drivers has a cell phone pressed to their ear. 

So if you are considering relocating to California for the beautiful weather, just make sure you’ve completed a course in defensive driving. You’re going to need it.


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