I was driving the Tahoe last night, Jeremiah was passenger, when he said, “you need this exit,” and pointed to the exit practically behind us.
“This exit?” I asked, “like, right here? This one?”
Yes. This exit.
And, with that, I crossed two lanes of freeway and took the exit.
18-months-ago-Sasha would have said, “we’ll take the next one, add 10+ minutes to our drive, and deal with it.” Seriously. No way was I getting over there in that short amount of time with that little of notice. It’s funny how we can adapt without realizing it until looking back.
We started talking about driving across the United States, and a little bit of Mexico, in these past almost-two-years of RVing. As we reminisced, we put together a list of driving awards for the different states.
Without further ado, our list of drivers and roads across America.
Most broken turn signals
The award for drivers who have perpetually broken turn signals goes to Californians. California law actually requires you to never use a turn signal. You need to be able to always have a guessing game of is-this-person-merging-or-turning. It never gets old. Keeps you on the seat of your pants. Turning left? Turning right? You’ll never know!
Most overly-nice-and-oblivious drivers
This next driving award goes out to Oregonians for being overly-nice-and-completely-oblivious drivers. In Oregon, you will undoubtedly yell at a driver for waving you through a 4-way-stop when it was their turn or shake your fist at someone for literally stopping to let other drivers go, holding up cars behind them.
As a pedestrian, you can simply walk into traffic without looking either way because drivers WILL stop no matter what. That overly-friendly driver doesn’t make sense, and it’s frustrating. It goes hand-in-hand with the obliviousness of Oregon drivers. I lived for 34 years in Oregon, and I still think they are legit some of the worst due to the overly nice way they drive. It’s a total lack of logic to me.
Slowest drivers in the United States
Universe’s slowest drivers award goes to those in Louisiana, who notoriously drive under the speed limit by 5-to-10 miles. I’m not a fast driver by any means, but I constantly passed people on highways and freeways in Louisiana because I simply drove the speed limit. I’m not sure what’s going on there. I have some ideas, like the fact that there are drive-through daiquiri stands that make people a little slow. Also, roads aren’t terrific. Not the country’s worst roads, though.
Worst roads on our travels (so far)
Speaking of the worst roads we’ve driven on, this is a tie between California and Mexico. Mexico roads aren’t that physically bad, they’re just very poorly marked so you have to use landmarks instead of road names, and as someone who wants to go east on Main street for precisely 3.3 miles before taking a left and heading north on Fifth Street for .7 miles, I don’t much like, “look for the lighthouse on the right and you’ll probably see a bright orange building so turn left after that.” Road names, people. Road names.
California, however, has physically the worst roads we’ve driven on, which is weird since they have such a huge economy. They are tragically bad. We shift lanes to avoid rickety-bumps that always make me think we have flat tires. Potholes are filled with playdough, so they don’t keep their shape. Californians decide where roads should be laid based on the last earthquake, and just fill in gaps with asphalt and call them roads.
Fastest drivers in the United States
Vroom-Vroom! The fastest-drivers-ever award goes to none other than the big state of Texas. Going 80 on the freeway is totally normal, and even then, you’ll get passed. Nobody’s pulling anyone over for going over the speed limit unless you have a super cool car that the cop wants to talk to you about. When we drove from Dallas to Chattanooga last October for fun, we zoomed through Texas. Hitting Louisiana was like being pulled into mud. We were going 80, and then suddenly had to decrease our speed to a negative seven mph. Not sure why these two states that bump up to each other have such different drivers. Don’t believe us? Go drive between the two states!
Most white trucks with cell boosters
Cars with the most-cell-phone-boosters award goes to the plethora of white trucks that are seemingly endless across the lower area of New Mexico. Holy Oil Trucks, Batman. Without exaggerating, the Carlsbad area to West Texas had about 1 white oil truck for every non-white vehicle. All white trucks, all the time, all with cell boosters.
Worst traffic jam in unexpected areas
The worst-consistently-traffic-jammed-roads-where-we-did-not-expect-traffic-jams award goes out to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Driving through the town closest to the Great Smokey Mountains made me very happy we have a bathroom on board since we were standstill for so long. It did not matter what time it was, the main drags were jammed.
These are all anecdotal. Don’t take any of these driving awards as actual statistics. Do you disagree with these awards, and what have we left out? Let us know!
Oh yeah! And happy belated birthday to Mickey B, who might be one of our only readers left. Thanks for never pulling us over in Maryland.