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Old 09-09-2010, 02:04 AM   #29 (permalink)
wagonman76
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Northwest Lower Michigan
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Red Car - '89 Chevrolet Celebrity CL 4 door
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What I see most is just about everybody here drives like a bat outta hell. Every day I see people passing into oncoming traffic (often it's not even me, it's cars coming the other way too) and act like they have no care in the world when they run others off the road. Even going the speed limit, people will pass me on the right, people will use left turn lanes to pass me, people have used a grassy median to pass me. Many times I've had to whip off the road totally to avoid getting rearended even when going highway speed. Even on a sparsely traveled road, day or night, it doesn't matter. Many go so fast when they make a right turn at an intersection they overrun into the left lane and just about sideswipe me or hit me head on when I'm there. I've even had a lot of people blow past me when I am only maybe 500 feet from a stop sign and slowing down normally, or I'm in various towns and the speed limit is already 25 anyway. It's 25 through my neighborhood and kids are out playing or waiting for the bus, and I commonly have people blow past me even on the blind curves. What gets me is the same 2-faced people who pushed for the speed limit (in public meetings it's "protect our precious kids") are the same ones who I see blow past me or just speed through the neighborhood in general everyday. Many cars squeal their tires as they blow around the sharp corner at my house.

Another thing I see a lot is what I call the train. Somebody pulls out from a stop sign fairly close, and at least 3 other cars will pull out like they're all connected ("hey it's not MY fault, it was the first guy who cut you off, I was just following..."). Stop signs are just a suggestion anyway, I see about as many people run stop signs as those who even do a near stop. Every day when I do a full stop I always feel like I'm going to get rearended because they don't expect you to actually stop at a stop sign. I watched one blow through the stop sign near home last time back from downstate and took the steep transition (it scrapes my airdam at 10 mph) at at least 40 mph and underneath the whole car was a shower of sparks. Had I been 5 seconds later I'd have been toast.

Same with tailgating. It's like people don't know how to leave a reasonable following distance. VERY FEW actually leave a safe distance. Even when they don't plan to pass, they just ride you like they want to hook on and get towed. If I had to stop for a deer (VERY common in Michigan), or hell even slow down a little, they'd be in my backseat. 18 wheelers and commercial trucks are some of the worst, even though they'd have me flattened if I had to stop quick. Thankfully most vehicles do pass but I've been rearended a lot too, more than anything else. A couple notable accidents (both in daylight) on my way home I've seen pics in the paper over the last month or so, a small car that was tailgating and ended up going under the car in front, and another small car that was tailgating a bus and ended up under the bus when it slowed down to turn. Seriously, if your small car can't outstop a freaking BUS you're WAY too close. I read people on other forums comment on how Michigan is so notorious for tailgating too.

I've been to northern Ohio several times and while most people in Michigan whine about it being a speed trap and call it "slow-hio" or other things, I found it quite refreshing. You don't feel like you're going to get run over everywhere you go. I was also in the southeast area before (Cadiz area) and while it was probably the prettiest place I'd ever been, it was a lot like Michigan with people passing on hills and blind curves with total disregard to oncoming traffic.

I spent a weekend in Washington DC once and while it was the most confusing ridiculous ratrace of highways I'd seen, I didn't have a problem with the drivers. Everybody acted like they were in the same boat. Almost robotic. There is a ton of traffic but everything seemed fine. One highway was under construction but I didn't have people trying to blow around and cut me off like they do here. True my experience was limited, and I haven't been to places like Jersey or NY or Chicago or Boston or LA but I definitely knew when I was back on Michigan soil. There isn't as much traffic here, but the thing is that it's just so freaking erratic. It doesn't even raise my heartbeat or blood pressure to get run off the road anymore. I just totally expect it and see it everyday.
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