Friday, September 05, 2008

americans are crazy

I plan to actually rejoin the driving force, and not just on my 4 mile commute to work. I got a raise at work (thank you, thank you) so soon I shall purchase my own wheels and be master of all that I see once again. Yes, I appreciate being able to use my boyfriend's car, but it's not fun to drive. My car will be fun to drive, and thus I will be driving more often. Sadly, it will not be a mini I get, as they are still a little too expensive for me and they have that whole "4 month waiting list" thing, but I will buy something almost as small and almost as zippy. (I'm thinking a Chevy Cobalt coupe.)

One thing I have noticed though is that people in Detroit drive weird. Weirdly. I can handle it though - man, I'm from California! But the one that gets my goat is stopping at stoplights. Many people here stop like 2 car lengths behind the person in front of them. As you can imagine, this backs up traffic for absolutely no reason. Now, is it because they are so worried about damaging their (American, of course) car that they must not come within 20 feet of another car, front or back? Or are they so excited about their SUV / muscle car / blingmobile that they need the extra space for when they totally gun it when the light turns green?

I do not do this. People in California generally do not do this. We know that there a lot of people driving, and we all need to cram onto the road all at once. More so, people in NYC do not do this. Granted, I never actually dove while I lived there, but I observed. There is no space on the little island of Manhattan for people to be leaving multiple car lengths at stoplights. New Yorkers know that if there is a space left, it won't be for long because someone will fill it up right quick.

Maybe that's it - Michiganders feel like they have all this open space, why cram all up in each others' grilles at stoplights? There's plenty of room here - look at all those areas that don't have any pavement at all. Why not enjoy it and appreciate it? But the flaw in that theory is that leaving large gaps at stoplights does not help one enjoy the wilderness. If you were going to enjoy the wilderness, you wouldn't be driving on a crowded road in the first place.

The point is, I don't get it. Is this just a Detroiter thang, or do other people do this? Enlighten me people, as I am clearly in the dark about this matter.


SUEB0B said...

Even here in CA, more and more people are doing it. (Ok, like 1 person a week, but that's a lot, right?). I always give them the "Are you insane??" look of amazement.

Maybe there was some piece on the news on how dangerous it is to get right up behind someone? That is all I can figure...

arlenestarr said...

If someone tried that around here there would be ten cars & a delivery truck trying to fit in the two car lengths of space.

super des said...

Suebob, no! It's up to you to stop them!

And Arlene, I'm going to group your people in with the New Yorkers. Sure it's not NYC, but it's NYS.

Dee said...

Hubby says that it's because people may be driving standard transmissions and roll backward when they get ready to take off from a red light. But how many people really drive standard transmissions anymore? Maybe it's a cultural thing that got engrained in them.

Hey, do you work in Detroit? We should have lunch.


super des said...

Even if they do roll back, it's not like we live in San f=Francisco or something. We're not on a hill - they're not gonna roll that far.

And I don't work in the city of Detroit - Detroit metro actually (where I live too).

mdog said...

two car lengths is excessive, but yeah, i feel like midwesterners leave plenty of room between cars... there's not really any reason to be half an inch from the car in front of you, as we are not generally hurting for space around these parts. and people do not try to wedge their vehicles into such spaces... we are not quite as impatient around here.

also, i think standard transmissions are still fairly abundant. just fyi.

super des said...

oh you silly patient people.

and standard trans are common.... the car I buy will be a manual.

Suzanne said...

Chicagoans don't generally do that, which is where I learned to drive. Makes no sense to me, either.

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