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Old 04-25-2008, 01:57 AM
 
54 posts, read 84,180 times
Reputation: 19

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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwumpus View Post
In my mind, "horrible" drivers are those that get in wrecks. Rude and aggressive does not mean horrible in my experience. I've been driving in Southern California for 20+ years and have been rear-ended twice, once by a teenager and once by an illegal alien. That's it for wrecks. And I used to commute 50 miles one-way on the 5 freeway from Orange County to Los Angeles, which sometimes took two hours each way.

IIf you look at these stats you'll see that California's auto fatality rate per 100k is 11.62, below the national average of 14.24. Some states like New Mexico are in the 20s.

California

Southern California drivers, particularly in Orange County, drive way too fast, but they do not wreck very often. And since most of them drive fairly new cars, their breaks work well. You have to drive as they do, and on the 5 and 405 in Orange county you'll need to go at least 75 MPH. Otherwise you are going to have cars zipping and zooming all around you, making you feel like they are horrible drivers.

Rude, fast, and aggressive I will agree with, but not horrible.
When I came back to France after my vacation time in California, I told myself "ok you got the impression that agressive and dangerous driving habits were the rule in California roads but that might had been an emotional reaction so let's try to be rational and seek for objective evidence".

So I surched in the internet highway fatalities statistics for California, the other states, an the US at large. It made me found the site you quote in your reply and the statistics you mention and the conclusion is the following, as you perfectly sumed up : California is below the US average regarding road fatalities statistics. It is all the more remarkable as there is much more traffic in California than in, for instance, rural low populated Montana, the worst in US for traffic fatalities rate with 27.84 fatalities rate per 100k population.

But (yes there's a but), I also sought for international comparisons and then II'd suggest to have a look at this article :

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/22/au...yt&oref=slogin


(to be continued, gotta go to work)
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Old 04-25-2008, 02:32 AM
 
433 posts, read 2,359,240 times
Reputation: 326
As long as you drive like a bat-out-of-hell FAST, you generally don't have many problems driving in California. You have to get those tires chirping on those tight-corner high mountain passes. You have to careen through the underpasses and urban concrete walled canyons with mirrors rubbing the sides.

You learn quick where the gas peddle is in this state.
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Old 04-25-2008, 08:28 AM
 
4,127 posts, read 5,075,651 times
Reputation: 1621
Quote:
Originally Posted by gildossantos View Post
It is all the more remarkable as there is much more traffic in California than in, for instance, rural low populated Montana, the worst in US for traffic fatalities rate with 27.84 fatalities rate per 100k population.
Oddly enough, when I hear people complaining about CA drivers, I ask them if they've ever driven in Montana.
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Old 04-25-2008, 09:27 AM
 
Location: Northern Nevada
8,545 posts, read 10,285,836 times
Reputation: 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_Ryder View Post
Oddly enough, when I hear people complaining about CA drivers, I ask them if they've ever driven in Montana.
Again, try driving in Utah...we are in the process of selling our home here in St. George area, going back to CA most likely, unless we downsize here, anyway, hubby and I keep saying 'if we get out of here alive..' and it's not a joke.

At least in CA you know they are out to get you..here you never know
kidding
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Old 04-25-2008, 11:22 AM
 
4,127 posts, read 5,075,651 times
Reputation: 1621
Quote:
Originally Posted by dogmom View Post
Again, try driving in Utah...we are in the process of selling our home here in St. George area, going back to CA most likely, unless we downsize here, anyway, hubby and I keep saying 'if we get out of here alive..' and it's not a joke.

At least in CA you know they are out to get you..here you never know
kidding
Many Californians in recent years have moved to Utah, Idaho, And Montana to get away from the traffic and stress. Usually within two years, the mellow people who left return a bundle of nerves and find the horrible CA traffic to be soothing.

I considered moving to the wide open spaces but a couple long visits cured me of that.

I can't say I don't see some really dumb maneuvers in CA but I've seen a lot worse.
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Old 04-27-2008, 06:37 AM
 
Location: zooland 1
3,744 posts, read 4,098,621 times
Reputation: 5531
197,00 DUIs were arrested in California last year

Millions of citations were written

Um... I dont think CHP or anyone else for that matter was "asleep"

Ask every Californian who has gotten a ticket if there is a lack of traffic enforcement here

I think its great that you didnt get to meet one of "us"
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Old 04-27-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Northern Nevada
8,545 posts, read 10,285,836 times
Reputation: 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by notmeofficer View Post
197,00 DUIs were arrested in California last year

Millions of citations were written

Um... I dont think CHP or anyone else for that matter was "asleep"

Ask every Californian who has gotten a ticket if there is a lack of traffic enforcement here

I think its great that you didnt get to meet one of "us"
I love your 'name'...makes me think of when my sons were young and something happened. It was always 'not me' or 'I don't know'..Like they were the only kids in the house...we still crack up over that.

As a southern CA native, I never think the CHP is asleep at the wheel...we know you are out there and glad you are...I was just reading in the Sac Bee online that Lincoln, Roseville and Rocklin PD did a sting on Sierra College Blvd in Rocklin..they stopped several drivers going 100 mph in a 50 zone. And the offenders and readers had the nerve to complain. Hello??? Just a blatant disregard for life and the law.

Anyway, never fails to amaze me the lack of personal responsibility. If I am speeding and you stop me, I deserve the ticket. You have a tough job out there.
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Old 04-28-2008, 01:37 AM
 
Location: CA
3,467 posts, read 8,156,228 times
Reputation: 4841
Native Californians can drive...it's the people from out of state who move here that give us the bad rep. They can't handle our massive freeways, but when you grow up driving it then it's the norm to you. Whenever I've been to other states I notice how much worse they drive. There's unspoken rules in Cali that they don't grasp.

Speeding is normal, but there is a general acceptance that 15-20 miles over is the limit (usually around 75-80mph). Right turns on red are legal I might add and many turn left on a yellow when there is no arrow. It is legal to enter the intersection when the light is yellow.
Most people are cool about letting you in when you need to get over and most use signals. People may not signal on freeways during bad traffic cuz that's when people may get petty & not want to let one car in front of them.
Except in bumper to bumper traffic where you're inching along, people keep a car's length distance back from the car ahead. Tailgating is not cool. Only obnoxious owners of hummers do stuff like that.
You do have to be aggressive, but when there's a lot of people in one small area than you have to be if you want to get anywhere. Otherwise, you'll just get swept along in a big sea of cars

As for cops, I find they enforce street traffic more. Where I live they are near nazi-like. I got pulled over & given a warning for a perfectly legal u-turn because it wasn't made neatly. Well no one was endangered & no law was broken, so that lame cop must have been having a boring night.
I agree with the poster who said the less laws, the more people feel a personal responsibility and take more caution. I think we need less enforcement in some ways.
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Old 04-28-2008, 06:50 AM
 
Location: Northern Nevada
8,545 posts, read 10,285,836 times
Reputation: 3068
Quote:
Originally Posted by orangeapple View Post
Native Californians can drive...it's the people from out of state who move here that give us the bad rep. They can't handle our massive freeways, but when you grow up driving it then it's the norm to you. Whenever I've been to other states I notice how much worse they drive. There's unspoken rules in Cali that they don't grasp.

Speeding is normal, but there is a general acceptance that 15-20 miles over is the limit (usually around 75-80mph). Right turns on red are legal I might add and many turn left on a yellow when there is no arrow. It is legal to enter the intersection when the light is yellow.
Most people are cool about letting you in when you need to get over and most use signals. People may not signal on freeways during bad traffic cuz that's when people may get petty & not want to let one car in front of them.
Except in bumper to bumper traffic where you're inching along, people keep a car's length distance back from the car ahead. Tailgating is not cool. Only obnoxious owners of hummers do stuff like that.
You do have to be aggressive, but when there's a lot of people in one small area than you have to be if you want to get anywhere. Otherwise, you'll just get swept along in a big sea of cars

As for cops, I find they enforce street traffic more. Where I live they are near nazi-like. I got pulled over & given a warning for a perfectly legal u-turn because it wasn't made neatly. Well no one was endangered & no law was broken, so that lame cop must have been having a boring night.
I agree with the poster who said the less laws, the more people feel a personal responsibility and take more caution. I think we need less enforcement in some ways.
Exactly...
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:24 AM
 
1 posts, read 3,324 times
Reputation: 16
Default Poor Evaluation of California Drivers

I would like to enlighten anyone who hasn't been on the California freeway. Don't believe everything written here!
As a life-long resident of Southern and Central Coast California, I have driven in every condition. It sounds like this guy may have been too nervous while driving, which can cause situations that bring on road rage and other undesireble reactions. Not to say that road rage is acceptable. Another condition to try to avoid is rush hour in LA and San Francisco. Lastly, the law of the road is to "go with the flow". A driver should try to stay with the speed of the surrounding vehicles as long as it's not exceeding a safe pace for the road and it's conditions.
Granted, occasionally there are bad drivers on the road, but that happens everywhere.
California is a place that you don't want to miss, and driving is the best way to see all that you would want to see. So, don't let this persons experience discourage you if you are thinking about driving here. He has grossly over-exagerated!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gildossantos View Post
Last year, my girlfriend, my best friend and I spent 3 weeks in California for vacation, touring the state. We're coming from France and are, respectively, 35, 33 and 34. We drove from San Francisco to Lassen Volcanic Park in the north part of California, then to Lake Tahoe, Monolake, Yosemite, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and then back to San Fransisco.

During our trip, we drove in absolutly all kinds of roads : 10-lane congested urban freeways in LA and SF metro areas, desert rural roads, meandering forest roads, urban one way streets, avenues and boulevards, 2-lane highways, 3-lane (one is the passing one) roads, 2x2 roads with or without dividers, during the day, the night, etc.

Viewed from Europe and especially from France, there is the persistent myth that american, and especially californian, drivers are cool, relax, corteous, doing the speed limits : well they are actually good drivers compared with the French drivers who I've used to consider so far as perfect dangerous jerks compared with the american ones. There's also another myth : cops and highway patrol cars are everywhere checking for your speed, your behaviour. Third myth : road casualties are much lower in the US than in Europe regarding the same comparison basis. I guess those myths date back to the "CHips" series time!!! Well the conclusion of my 3-week California tour is : this time is over!

I would like to give my opinion on the topic, based on my californian driving experience : well to sum it up i'd say that all those myths are totally FALSE, it's complete RIP-OFF!!! Reality is far from the myths and not in a good way, we noticed.

Here are the widespread road behaviors we noticed on the California roads :

1-speeding : it's a sports practiced by 100% of californian drivers ; the speed limits? pff forget about them!! speed limits are mere indications NOBODY respects and neither enforced at all. Oh yes, we tried to respect them the first week but, let's be realistic : nobody does them, everybody tries to drive as fast as possible, even if the road or weather conditions are bad and If one dares doing the speed limits heis automatically endangered by the other drivers, threatened even by the others who honk, tailgate and show you their finger. At a time my girlfriend told me "speed up or one of them is going to take his rifle and shoot us" (yes, you're true, another myth : each citizen in the US carries a rifle with him).
The worst experiences :
*Pasadena freeway in LA, an urban freeway with dangerous sharp bends and stop signs on the on-ramps : you enter the freeway at a low speed and everybody on the freeway is speeding at 75 instead of 55, waving, cutting off, etc. Well honestly, due to the sharp bends and the lack of acceleration lanes, we didn't find that the 55 speed limit was too low!!
*I15 between los angeles and las vegas : it seemed that people where crazy on their way to Las Vegas : speeding, tailgating, honking, cutting off, using the shoulder as a lane on traffic jams, this was a festival of nonsense driving

2. Red light running : in San Fransisco and LA, it seems to be a widespread habit to run red lights even 5 seconds after the light has turned from yellow to red. If you're a pedestrian you got to be very carefull if don't want to die.

3. tailgaiting : well if you do the speed limit like us, it is unavoidable to have cars only a few feet of your bumper. Furthermore, everyboy will show you how wrong you are to respect the law by honking, threatening you, making road rage gestures.

4. cutting in front of your car : widespread behaviour on the freeways, despite the rear mirrors, a great number of california drivers behave as if they were alone on the freeway. We were forced to hit the brakes several times not to be hit by these guies.

5. turn signal and changing of lanes : the turn signal??? What for??? I'd say that less than 10% of the drivers use it when changing lanes. Well it was no rare to see drivers changing 4 lanes in one time to exit a freeway, almost causing crashes.

6. keeping a safe distance between cars : again, what for? The philosophy in california roads seems to be the following : the least space you let between your car and the car in front of you, the better it is for everybody. Even worse, when you're trying to let a reasonable distance between you and the car in front of you (you know, in the very very very unlikely case there is a sudden brake in front and so that you will not end in a giant pile-up), there will always be someone cutting in front of you, passing you to feed this seucrit distance!

7. (no) enforcement : complete lax! what are the highway patrol officers doing? spending their work time sleeping on their cars ??? The relevant question is : is there really a highway patrol or have they fired all the cops since the "CHiPs" times?? During all the trip we only saw one time a patrol car ; it was in a 4 lanes highway, everybody was doing 80 in a 65 hwy (exept us) the cops picked one car at random and arrested it, the others went on as if nothing had happened!! Wow, such an efficient way to enforce the speed limit!!

- Our conclusion :driving in California is unsafe and you are put at risk whenever you take your car and hit the road. The road beahviors seemed to us selfish, mean, it was some kind of "i'm the king of the road, i do hatever i want to do no matter he consequences, get off the road" attitude.

Actually, the behaviors we noticed in the California roads were similar to those of French drivers until 2003 when the governement said "enough" and launched a strong set of measures to fight the anarchy on the roads. Measures were based on :
-much harsher penalties for speeding, DUI, cell phone use, etc : fines increased, jailtime systematized
-increased enforcement, greater visibility of the enforcement, hence increased probability to have your behaviour checked on he road
-widespread use of fixed speed cameras and mobile speed cameras in unmarked cars : this is the center measure that has cut the death toll by 40% since 2003. We have now 2000 speed cameras and until 2012 there will be 3000 new ones. This has turned the roads safer, behaviours've been pacified.

You might think i'm kind of rude in the way I express myself but we were really amazed by what I'd call complete anarchy in the california roads with really dangerous behaviours! We often felt jeopardized by the road behaviors of the californian drivers!! And, no, we're not paranoiac.

So I'd like to have the opinion of california drivers on the forum. Have you ever drive in european roads recently? What do you think of the european drivers? What do you think of the behaviors of your counterparts in California roads? of yours too?? Do you also frequently notice the kind of behaviors I report above in your daily commutes etc? How are california drivers compared with the other states? is CHP another myth or do these guy really exist ?
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