Friday, March 30, 2007

Driving habits, and more questions for readers

Most readers who responded to my recent query about driving habits say drivers have gotten more rude here in recent years.

But there’s little agreement on whether it’s the locals or the newcomers who are to blame. Personally, I believe drivers can be good and bad anywhere in the country, and I suspect the main culprit here is more-crowded roads as the region grows.

Read on for a sampling of responses – an excerpt will also appear in my column in Saturday’s New Home section:

“Having spent most of my life driving in the Northeast, where I was regularly cut off, flipped off and crowded to the shoulder, I’m convinced the continuing migration of people from Northeast cities has more to do with the lack of road manners (here) than a simple increase in roads and traffic.” --Tom Strini, Mint Hill

“My husband and I moved to Mooresville in July 2005 from the Los Angeles area. It never ceases to amaze us how polite drivers are, and how patient! No matter how much traffic is on the now infamous Brawley School Road, without exception drivers will slow down to let you merge in from side streets.” --Diane Aurit, moved to Mooresville from L.A.

“I must say, North Carolinians are the nicest people I’ve ever met. Except on the roadways! But, I guess I can’t blame you sometimes as you’ve had to endure an influx of newcomers.” --David Andreotti, Indian Trail

“I have a geat concern about the drivers who speed, don’t signal and talk on the phone.” --Deanna Watts, Charlotte

“I am a native Californian and came to Charlotte via Idaho. I learned to drive in Southern California, and both there and in Idaho no one let others cut in front of them, ever.... After eight years of living here, I find myself waving people into the line in front of me.“ --Susan Green, Matthews

“Ungracious and aggressive drivers are not produced based on any prior geographical home state. There are &#$!&^%# in every state of the union. Sometimes it just seems like they have all clustered around you when you are out on the road.” --Mary, Waxhaw

“Charlotte drivers should look in the mirror before blaming newcomers to your city. I have been driving for many more years than the majority of those I encounter were born. Blame newcomers for being ‘new’ and trying to assimilate, especially on the highway. But those who have lived here for years should ask themselves if they are disproportionately adding to the problem.” --Jim Lovejoy, moved to Charlotte from Maine


As you head out for your weekend (drive safely!), here are some more questions to contemplete - e-mail me your responses with contact information and a JPEG photo if you're willing to be featured in a follow-up!

First: Who’s your favorite personality in town? Whether it’s a politician, business leader, athlete, artist, celebrity, TV/radio/print personality or some other category, I want to hear suggestions of your favorite people in the region, and why you like them.

Second: Where’s your favorite place to hang out? A restaurant, nightclub, park or somewhere else? Please tell me where it is and why you like it.

And on a final note, this is the 100th post on this blog since I started it last summer - thanks for reading!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They have a new thing going on in FLORIDA called bumping ; Yes they bump the back of your car while your on the freeway like NASCAR; watch out HICS because most people carry weapons in their car arouns in the South; just dont hit the wrong .

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Favorite personality in town:

So hard to choose! Any clown...'cuse me, elected/appointed politicrat... who seems to think that the wallets of taxpayers have no bottom, or the few (count on one hand or less) who, like me, believe in a fixed income and have to budget accordingly (e.g., spend on one thing and have to subtract from another)?

Favorite place to hang out:

77X North-bound. I think Amtrak-lite blows, but I love the bus!

And on a final note:

Congrats on 100! Love ya more than that relationship garbage, if you'd only stop being a CCCP-puppet!

11:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

People in Charlotte need a private company to teach them driving and not just CMS; Most People who cant get a High School diploma /GED are driving so "connect the dots"; Are they really paying about as much attention as they were in "HIGH SCHOOL" Yes. There is a percentage of People in Charlotte that cant read or understand logic, now you know why all the accidents are going on. Most People here have ADULT ATTENTION DEFICEIT and they cant concentrate and they are really not "minding their own beans patch" in other words they are nosy.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have noticd that most People here are" GOOSE NECKERS" or Rubber neckers like they call them on the "TV NEWS". They are addicted to their CELL PHONES and putting on Make up and eating a sandwich with a sun drop in the other hand,so whats holding the wheel? People here cant keep their eyes in front of them . One time I saw a person driving with their head turned 280 degrees backwords and not watching at all infront of them, very dangerous.

8:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets face it Charlotte and North Carolina has the worst driving fatalities in the Nation! This is a statistic that insurance companies prey on ; People who have to many accidents should be made to repeat " drivers education " everytime there is a set damage rate like a" total out" of a car and that driver is sighted.

8:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the problem lies not with Northerners or Southerners, but with the fact that so many people have moved here with so many DIFFERENT driving styles and customs.

People make left turns differently in different areas. Also...the U turns throw newcomers off big time.

Face it...when someone who is used to driving in New York or Philly comes here, its going to create problems.

12:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been here for about 2 years now and the driving is awful. Tailgating and no-signals seems to be the Charlotte norm. Too much NASCAR watching I assume. Did you see the newest Men's Health magazine? Charlotte (and Greensboro) both got an F grade for driving. It's not from the people up North, its YOU.

2:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Charlotte, NC gripes: on-coming traffic accelerates while you're trying to make a left turn, or even a right turn onto a road (then they honk and ride your bumper for good measure). Drivers accelerate to fill gap after I signal to change lanes or merge onto an interstate. If I happen to get in front of them, they ride my bumper to show their indignation. These are habits that I would have thought mortifingly rude before coming to Charlotte from other major cities. Aren't these clowns worried that they're doing this to someone they might know (or that person's daughter/mother/sister/friend/etc)?
These behaviors are in the vast majority in Charlotte. It's surprising when they don't occur every time. In other cities, it was the exception to see this behavior. What is the motivation for this behavior in Charlotte? Are these people that selfish or evil? I'm starting to think it's the purile Charlotte self-righteousness (this is the most churched city in the U.S., outside of Las Vegas). They actually believe that they are supposed to accelerate to show their disgust with someone else "cutting in front of them", even though the other driver would not have come even close to them if they had not accelerated. I was taught to take my foot off the accelerator when I saw another driver doing anything that would bring them into, or through, my lane. The automatic pedal-to-the-metal reaction of Charlotte drivers must be causing accidents that could have been avoided by less self-righteous, prideful, and indignant drivers.

1:22 PM  

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