Thursday, November 10, 2011

Driving in the South.

My daughter lives in Tennessee.

I live in the northern part of Kentucky, which the rest of Kentucky calls Ohio.

As you travel northeast to New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, 
Massachusetts or west to Los Angeles you will find that driving in these states is at your own risk. The drivers in those states are maniacs. 

This also holds true in all of California. For a non-Californian, driving there is an excercise in white-knuckles.

But the South is a different story. Not only is it a different world, where the Civil War is still a topic of hot debate, the South is well...polite.

And drivers are polite. They are either courteous to a fault, or have a bad case of freeway phobia and will stop on the entrance ramp rather than merge. At certain times, once they stop, you can be there behind them for quite a spell. If they couldn't merge at speed, can you imagine them jumping in from a stop? You just have to wait.

Center lines on back roads are often regarded as suggestions. Even the double yellow lines are disregarded if the driver feels the need to pass the vehicle in front of him. Which more often than not is painted green and displays the John Deere logo.

Now some of the locals would rather attach their canoe, ladder, or other rooftop cargo with a single bungee cord or piece of twine and mosey for miles rather than secure the load and drive. Combined with the local regard for center lines, coming upon a vehicle with rooftop cargo ahead of you is probably a good time to stop for lunch.

Speeders have out of state plates. Speeders with local plates usually drive a pickup with a Budweiser bed liner and a horn that plays the first measure of Dixie.

The Truckers in the South seem to have forgotten how to shift gears. They will routinely block uphill traffic because they were going fast enough at the bottom to get halfway past another truck by the top, regardless of posted lane restrictions. The thought of changing gears to safely climb the hill behind another truck and remain within their engine's optimum torque curve has eluded most of them.

Horns are for other people. On the rare occasion that you hear one, the car will be from somewhere else, usually a Northern state. Damn Yankee!

Drivers here DO dim their lights for oncoming traffic, usually before entering the curve.

Unlike those on Californian interstate highways, traffic jams usually consist of conversations between passing motorists or from the vehicle to someone off the road somewhere. Sometimes the drivers and the passengers just get out of the cars and eat lunch.

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