Caribbean drivers are worse than L.A. drivers. Maybe they’re just as bad as New Yorkers? Or Europeans? I don’t know. But I am always on the lookout for some crazy driver barreling down the road in my direction.
1. They don’t look or surmise that they should stop and look.
For instance, I was driving down a straight path when I see 2 things: 1 car in my opposite direction wanting to make a left into a small alley. Then I see another car coming out of that said alley and wanting to make a left onto my opposite direction. What happened? Both cars didn’t want to wait for me to pass so they quickly made their lefts. BOOM! They smacked into other because they both didn’t check to look out for other cars.
Another example: I’m on one of those rare 2-lane roads and I see a SUV merging RIGHT INTO ME. I honk a couple of times and he swerves back into his lane. He was close enough where I knew he didn’t even bother to look and see if there was a car. I wasn’t even in his blind spot. I can’t tell you how many times this has happened to me.
2. They don’t yield.
I think the stop and go approach in the States is awesome. Well, for me anyway. It’s been ingrained in me to always stop before I proceed at a stop sign, right turn at a red light or proceed at any 3-way or 4-way intersection. Here? You’re lucky if anyone yields. I am always amazed at how they NEVER stop. However, I am not amazed at the number of car accidents.
For example, if a traffic light in a busy 4-way intersection in the States is out, what usually happens? Even if there is no police officer or other individual to direct the stop and flow of traffic, drivers typically follow the unspoken rule of treating this situation like a a 4-way stop sign.
Here? There is a right-of-way sign for busy streets so if you’re on it, it’s great. You just zip through broken traffic lights whilst you watch the losers on the sides waiting for their turn to pass and not crash into passing traffic. IT IS HORRIBLE. Cars etch out into the middle of the roads so they can squirm in whilst a hoard of traffic builds behind them. Not to mention the countless number of tire squeals and honks from cars coming from the right of way and having to stop suddenly or swerving around another car.
What do you get? Accidents. What happens when there are accidents? Cars don’t move. They stay right where they are until a road assistance car comes to take pictures and document everything for insurance purposes. Traffic hits big time because usually there is only ONE road for each direction.
CAN YOU IMAGINE THE MADNESS?!?!
3. If there is traffic and you see a car on the side of you needing to make a right into your lane, what do you do? Normally, people let that one car in. And usually the driver behind them lets another car in and so on. HERE? They suddenly become the nicest guy ever and let not only that one car in but like ducks in a row, lets the 5 others behind it go as well.
What usually happens? All those cars he let pass manage to squeak through the traffic light while you’re still stuck behind it and seething in disbelief and traffic proceeds to double behind you.
Overall, the driving and the traffic here sucks BIG TIME. Before I moved here, I imagined the Caribbean to have a low density of cars and little to no traffic.
Oh, how ignorant of me. I don’t bitch about L.A. traffic anymore. At least most people follow the rule of law and common sense. The attitude here is, “Hit me.”