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Old 09-16-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,853 posts, read 2,145,720 times
Reputation: 1295

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Hi folks,

I have recently moved to the Silicon Valley in California from Europe on a GC. Previously I have been living in the UK.
Since I have moved to CA I have been experiencing a lot of selfish and dangerous drivers on the California roads. A lot of people keep trying to kill me and anyone else around them with their driving. I find this very different than it was in the UK and very shocking. For example people cutting in front of me, tailgating, blocking merge and lane change deliberately, driving into a sideroad at full speed etc. Lots of drivers fight until their last blood for the ownership of the road, and if I am in their way then they try to drive me off the road. Once I saw 2 cars stopped at the light one of the drivers attacking the other by breaking his sidewindow possibly with a gun. If I was a road warrior from MadMax or something then it would not be a big problem, but I am just a normal person who doesnt want to die while commuting to work. In the UK i found that almost everyone was a lot more courteus and cooperative and try to make all of us get safely through our journey, as opposing to California where a lot of people are not attempting anything like this. Every 5-10 minutes on the road I experience a similar very dangerous situation. Maybe becouse in California everyone is so awesome that they allow themselves to have this behaviour.

So, I started wondering that maybe after a few years in the Silicon Valley I would move to Austin Texas for several reasons (housing etc), but especially for trying to find a place where people are not trying to kill each other on the road all the time. Is Austin/TX a place like that? I heard there are a lot of people who did this move from SV to Austin. Other parts in the US maybe, Oregon, Florida? I can only move to places with computer hardware industry.
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Old 09-16-2012, 08:49 PM
 
2,627 posts, read 6,015,001 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buenos View Post
I heard there are a lot of people who did this move from SV to Austin. Other parts in the US maybe, Oregon, Florida? I can only move to places with computer hardware industry.
There are crazy drivers everywhere. Austin is no exception. I lived in Silicon Valley for a couple years and SoCal for a long time and I don't think that drivers are that much different here in the Austin area. You don't have to deal with gang members that would pull a gun on you, but a lot more people have guns with them in their vehicles here in Texas if that bothers you. Plus there are a lot more larger pickup trucks on the road so visibility can be more difficult if you drive a normal sedan or sports car that is lower to the ground. If it rains in either place, your risk of getting into accident goes up quite a bit because people don't know how to drive in the rain in either place. I don't know about Oregon or Florida from experience, but I would imagine Oregon would have the least amount of traffic/crazy drivers, but you have to deal with a lot of rain and snow.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:04 PM
 
Location: H-town, TX.
3,503 posts, read 6,649,059 times
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Standards for driving...in TX? Surely, you jest. I was coming home a little while ago from dinner with a couple of friends and some fool in a Mazda 3 hatchback (yellow fogs = ricer) zoomed by at 80+ in a 55. Sure, all he did was get stuck at the next left turn red while I drove on by towards home, but expect nothing in terms of civility and you'll survive.

If you're used to people with hazard lights on being stationary as they should be, well, they drive with 'em on here in heavy rains rather than pull over when they can't see five feet ahead of themselves.

There is also the alarming tendency for many in vehicles equipped with DRLs or auto headlamps not to turn on their tail lights. So, yeah, that dark colored something or another than *might* look like a vehicle in front of you on that dark road...it's probably indeed a vehicle. Careful!

People drive with their brights on just anywhere they please, as well.

Just your friendly PSA to get you by.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Another thing that increases chances of accident and increases the tendency for road rage is overcrowded freeways. The idiots want to save few seconds on the smoothly flowing areas that they lost on the congested parts of their journey.
Another thing in the bay area is housing prices are too high near the job hot spots so a lot of people commute from distant cheaper areas to work, having too long commute and therefore having more tendency to try to reduce their journey time with dangerous driving.
So, to rephrase the question a littlebit: are the roads around Austin as owercrowded as in the SF Bay Area? How different it in this aspect?
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:11 PM
 
3,836 posts, read 5,128,039 times
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Actually, I always thought the best drivers in the world came from LA since they're in the car so much

Austin drivers aren't terrible, until it rains, snows, or ices...and then it's keystone cops time
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:31 PM
 
Location: Florida
1,853 posts, read 2,145,720 times
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"good driver" can mean different things to different people:
- Travelling to your destination with constantly minimizing the level of danger around you, aka safe driving.
- Driving aggressively and dangerously and getting away with it without a scratch on your own car (others might die in the process).
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:14 PM
 
2,633 posts, read 5,950,713 times
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Austinites are not the safest drivers out there. You definitely need to keep your head on a swivel and plan for that guy to turn in front of you.

That said, I have clocked roughly five hundred thousand miles in the Bay, SoCal and TX over the past 10 years, and I can tell you that the CA Road-Ragin', I'm going to speed up just to not let you in, and get there 25 seconds before you, type is not nearly as prevalent here as it is in CA. Plenty of idiots in big trucks, and people not paying attention, but not that many more than the average, sadly.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX/London, UK
709 posts, read 1,257,834 times
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It is an American thing. Americans are not nearly as nice as Brits. But pretty much no one is as nice as Brits. Especially on the roads. I don't own a car in London, but I do ride in friends or cabs quite often. It is really weird how nice all the other drivers are, even in a crazy big/busy city like London.

Whatever you do, don't try driving in Mexico, New England/NYC or SE Asia! They have the meanest, most aggressive, drivers I have experienced. I imagine for a Brit those places would be chaos from what you're used to.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:47 AM
 
Location: Greater NYC
3,174 posts, read 5,596,511 times
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Do a quick search for "drivers" on the board to access the threads outlining how bad the drivers are here.

We moved here more than a year ago and I can tell you one of the things we dislike the most are the drivers. They fall into two categories, dangerously agressive or "got my learner's permit yesterday." It's remarkable; even all of our out-of-state company has commented on how awful drivers here are.

I grew up in LA and the Bay Area and lived as an adult in the Bay Area and have driven extensively in CA. I have also driven a lot in Boston, Atlanta, Denver and NYC -- I can easily say drivers here are worse than anywhere else I've driven. CA is a piece of cake as far as other drivers are concerned... sure there are some crazies here and there, but most people follow the rules of the road, in contrast to here in TX, then you factor in better roads and signage than any other state in the country and it's a driver's dream, other than the traffic.

Last edited by Idlewile; 09-17-2012 at 06:50 AM..
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:14 AM
 
Location: Holly Neighborhood, Austin, Texas
3,912 posts, read 5,929,185 times
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Pretty bad. The requirements for getting a license are set very low. Driving is looked at as a freedom and a necessity so, even if you get your license taken away for too many DWIs, you can still prove "hardship" and keep on driving (and endangering other people's lives). 21% of Texans don't have the basic liability insurance which is set at a paltry $50k and many don't even have a license. Enforcement is also a joke in all things automotive and drivers can get only a ticket for killing someone because it was an "unfortunate accident." Regulation/enforcement is the same way. I saw a smoking Mercedes diesel the other day with an inspection sticker from September 2003!

I wish the U.S. was more like Germany or the U.K., countries that better balance driver's rights and responsibilities.
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