From time to time, I could probably be accused of road rage. There I said it. My kids will probably react to this statement with, "About time." I know I make bonehead mistakes on the road every now and then - everybody does. But come on. There are mistakes and then there is just crappy driving abilities.
I used to think downtown Chicago drivers were the worst, but that was around the time with Indiana spit me out and I landed in the suburbs. It took some getting used to. Plus, Chicago drivers were amusing. Who doesn't appreciate a south sider driving his 1976 Impala, 20 miles an hour over the speed limit on the Dan Ryan, weaving between vehicles in serpentine precision, with his "force field" (emergency blinkers) on?
After we moved to Central Illinois, I thought some of the worst drivers in the world had congregated there. 4 way stops could be infuriating because everyone was too polite to just GO! Like everything else, State Farm even impacts the flavor of drivers on the road, bringing in people from all over the world and plopping them and their cars in the midst of corn field after corn field. But Bloomington/Normal is a small community. I could work around these people.
St. Louis is something different all together.
The bigger the vehicle, the smaller the space between my back bumper and their headlights. The spread gets even narrower when I'm driving the Miata. EVERYONE tailgates down here. EVERYONE. And 3 out of 5 people own a vehicle big enough to soak up $200 worth of gas with every trip to the station.
Everyone speeds. I got flipped off one time for going only 5 miles an hour over the speed limit on the way to the mall.
I have never driven into the city without seeing furniture on the side of the road. Recliners seem to be choice for Rt. 70. There are only 2 explanations for this. (1) Someone got tired of driving and decided they needed a little rest - STAT! or, most likely, (2) the idiots hauling this stuff don't tie it down properly and it falls out of the back of their truck. I swear, scenes from the movie "Final Destination" flicker through my head every time I get behind the wheel.
I'm not just being paranoid! I was driving on Hwy 370 a couple weeks ago, when a piece of plywood flew out of the back of a truck and flew right at me. Luckily, it bounced in front of me and went under the car. My license plate took the hit instead of my windshield.
I finally figured out why poor driving skills are so predominate here. The following is an excerpt from the MODOT site concerning requirements for teenage drivers. See if you can spot what is missing. (If you don't want to play the game, you can skip to the end. It's lengthy.)
Rights and Responsibilities