Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Commuting Delights

With a 30 minute commute to work each morning and a 30 minute commute back home at night, I quickly came to discover some differences between California drivers and Southern drivers.

1) Faster driving: the speed limit is only 65 mph on the highways in CA but for some reason cars go much faster than that on an average basis. ;-)

2) Lane changing: this can happen either very quickly or very slowly. There are apparently only these two options for lane shifting.

The slow version goes something like this:
"I am a driver in the far left fast lane of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in  a quarter mile or less. Oh no, how can I ever get to my exit in time with all these cars? I know, I will stop in the fast lane and wait for a space in the right lanes to open up not caring that there are lots of cars behind me that I am now holding up with my complete stop." 

Or, you have the fast version:
"I am a driver in the far left fast lane of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in a quarter mile or less. No worries, I will zoom across all five lanes of traffic without signaling or looking over my shoulder in order to catch the exit."

Which option do I choose? The safe, Southern lane changing option:
"I am a Southern driver in the far left fast lane (for some reason) of a crowded five lane highway. I see my exit is coming up in less than 2 miles. I begin my lane changing process by signaling, looking over my shoulder, and changing lanes one at a time when it is safe to do so, keeping in mind that there are other people around me."

Hehehe...well....I do confess....This is my normal way of changing lanes and it happens about 98% of the time I change lines. However, I have in that scare 2% not covered above, tried the fast version and the slow version.....Whenever I tried to be a "Californian lane changer" though it was way too nerve wracking for me and I prefer the the option much better.

3) Motorcycles: there are no rules for motorcycles as far as I can tell. If you have a motorcycle, you can zip and zoom and weave through traffic at your choice. You can ride on the white lane divider lines. You can drive in the carpool lane. You can park anywhere your heart desires. And, the worse part yet, you can pass cars in the same lane as you. In fact, you expect car drivers to move over a little on to the shoulder of the road so you can pass them in their lane. *shudder* I am still not use to the reckless abandon that motorcyclists can drive with. Although, on some days when traffic is at a standstill on the way home I often wish I had a motorcycle so I too could zip and zoom home. 

Those are the main differences that I have experienced after being a Southern driver in Northern California. I am slowly making adjustments but I don't think I will ever become a true Californian driver. 

1 comment:

  1. Did Maryland driving help prepare you for this? Heehee. This sounds just like my daily commute as well.

    My all time favorite is when someone will sit on your bumper, forcing you to move over a lane. Then, they zoom ahead, cut in front of you and then slow....WAY... down. Just makes my day.