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View Diary: Be a Better Driver: Thinking About Driving (31 comments)

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  •  I am still thankful that I learned to (9+ / 0-)

    drive in the Los Angeles area; I'm convinced it made me a better driver since I learned to drive defensively.  And, I totally agree with your analysis. Distraction kills, and there are far too many distractions interfering with drivers today.

    Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

    by Ellen Columbo on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 06:24:17 PM PDT

    •  I have driven all over the country and I think LA (4+ / 0-)

      has the absolutely worst drivers in the country.  Red lights are a suggestion, cars in LA do not have turn signals, cutting in and out of lanes at 80 mph is a sport, you must be one the few defensive drivers because everyone else here is on the offensive which is a dangerous situation for everyone.

      •   That may be the case now but when (7+ / 0-)

        I lived in LA (moved back to Oregon in 1978), it was one of the best & most courteous places to drive because everyone was in the same boat, so to speak.  If you needed to change lanes, all you had to do was turn your signal on and cars would slow down to let you get over because they wanted the same courtesy when they needed to change lanes.  There was always the odd exception but, as a rule, you could count on courtesy and cooperation from other drivers on the road.

        I worked in an office w/two other women, one from England and one from Argentina, both of whom said they would rather drive in LA than anywhere else in the world where they had driven previously.

        I think attitudes in general have changed a lot in the past 30 years; people have gotten a lot busier, angrier, and less tolerant of others.  That surely would spill over into the driving public.  I don't think I had ever heard the term "road rage" until several years after I moved back to Oregon.

        Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you. H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

        by Ellen Columbo on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 08:41:16 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  totally true! (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          greengemini, TheOrchid, foresterbob, kurt

          I learned to drive in San Diego, but REALLY learned to drive in LA in the summer of 82 when I commuted to Long Beach several days a week to a volunteer job. The Olympics were going on and traffic was really bad all the time, but somehow everyone (most everyone anyways) got where they needed to go through a combination of skill, efficiency, tolerance, and everyone working off the same set of rules (not laws: this is "drivers etiquette").

          Examples: everyone is driving at 70mph with not much spacing between cars (drivers from other areas cringe at this but that's how it has to be on the 405 at 8am), and a driver needs to change lanes. They find a gap, put on their turn signal and slip into the gap. The car behind does not have a cow, slam on his brakes, honk his horn, or speed up to prevent the lane change. Instead he simply slows down to let the other driver in without any of the drama I see every time I drive in Portland OR traffic (talk about awful drivers!).

          History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce - Karl Marx

          by quill on Sun Jun 16, 2013 at 10:57:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  It has completely changed, drivers here are rude (0+ / 0-)

          or at the very least oblivious to everything around them.  There is a reason that traffic is so bad, it is because people just do not know how to drive, they make no preparation for exits, they wait until the last minute and then cut others off. They make extremely dangerous driving moves all the time, driving on the shoulder, driving on and off exits to get ahead of traffic, turning from the wrong lanes, running red lights on a regular basis, speeding(and I mean speeding) through parking lots.  I have seen more boneheaded driving moves down here than I have seen in my entire driving life.  I agree it was not always so, I used to travel to LA all the time about 20 or so years ago and it was no problem but something has changed dramatically.  

        •  Thats (0+ / 0-)

          been my experience in LA back in the early 00's when I drove in LA a few times.  Try 95 between Richmond and Boston (the real crazy end) for some aggressive driving.

      •  not really (0+ / 0-)
        Red lights are a suggestion
        Most people pay attention to red lights, since otherwise you're likely to end up somewhere you didn't intend to go.

        (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

        by PJEvans on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 07:20:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The 405 is definitely sink or swim territory. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      foresterbob

      LA will definitely teach you to keep on your toes.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Mon Jun 17, 2013 at 06:13:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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