Florida driving should be considered a contact sport. But upon further examination, I can see why we are among the worst drivers in America.
After looking at it from the other point of view, I understand why you don’t stop at stop signs. The California roll is much easier and affords less undue stress to your body, in lieu of the prescribed full stop and three second wait.
And I realize that you don’t want to use turn signals to merely indicator the drivers behind you where you are going. It’s none of their business.
To those who follow so close they are practically in my backseat, I believe you are insatiably curious about what’s going on in my car or maybe you like to look at the color or style of my car and need an up close look. And you can’t let any gaps in traffic or people will sneak in and you will be one car behind. That’s anarchy. They need to wait their turn.
I forgive the drivers who are in such a hurry that they must weave in and out of drivers at high speed. It is a daily test of your driving prowess, and you must practice it, avoiding cars like orange cones on a test course.
And speaking of those in a hurry, I don’t blame you for driving recklessly fast and slamming on your brakes in traffic. You have places to go and people to see. Especially if you’re retired, your time is valuable. The few seconds you save will definitely reap dividends in the long run. There’s no chance that you will get in an accident and will spend numerous hours filling out police reports and insurance claims, plus the inconvenience of dealing with fixing a broken car in the body shop. Don’t worry, your insurance rates won’t go up. That’s just what they say.
It’s understandable to race through the left turn on a yellow arrow. You have waited in that cue for a few minutes and you deserve your chance to turn as soon as possible, regardless of the light’s duration or if you have enough time to get through the intersection.
I know you can’t possibly wait until you’re at your destination or even pull over to look at the text or the funny meme that someone sent you with a cat riding a motorcycle. That takes precedence over anything else that you’re doing, like operating a vehicle. Besides, you can easily multitask driving and looking. It’s not rocket science.
To the seniors who have been driving for most of their lives, perhaps even seeing the evolution of cars, I understand that if you are too small to see over the steering wheel – that’s not your fault. Go ahead and drive anyway. And if the brake and the gas seem interchangeable to you. No problem. Keep driving, no matter what anyone else says. It’s your right.
And the tourists who feel the insatiable need to stick your toes in the sand as soon as humanly possible when you arrive in our town. We acknowledge it’s beautiful here and you want to look around. So, if you feel the need to go too slow or violate any other rules, I’m fine with that.
Considering these new rules of the road, I give up. You will find me bubble wrapping my car and wearing a football helmet when I drive because you people are crazy. My mantra for driving in Florida is break early, break often. Stay safe out there.
(c) Suzanne Rudd Hamilton, 2022