Every time I meet someone from out of town who has decided to make Seattle their home they have the same question for me.
"Why," they ask. "Seriously why do Seattle drivers suck?"
I look at them and shake my head. I really don't have a proper answer for them, because it's a mystery to me as to why a city this size has statistically worse traffic than areas that dwarf us. I've only lived in Seattle/Eastside for less than ten years, but I can see myself start to become one of them. Yes those drivers who feel it immoral to drive anywhere near the posted speed limit, properly merge, or play the fun little game of 'let's see how long we can stay in this lane before I attempt to cross three of them' are rubbing off on me. I hate it.
I read a commentary recently where a guy humorously attempted to preach to people in the area how to drive better. It's a good list that all should read, but I think it left some important points. So this is to all of you who live and drive in Seattle. Critical tips from Wiwille:
1. Hills - This is a relatively easy obstacle to master, but has eluded 98% of you. Allow me to get all sciencey on you. When you come to a hill you may find your vehicle slowing a bit. This is because the gradual incline will require more power from your vehicle. The momentum causes more friction and the ratio of....oh screw it. Just press down a tad bit more on your gas pedal. Yes. It is just that simple.
2. Tunnels - When you enter a tunnel it is normally not necessary to immediately hit your brakes. No giant troll is waiting in the dark to attack your vehicle and steal your Starbucks white mocha. You can simply proceed at the normal rate of speed as you were before, maybe even...wait for it...the speed limit.
3. Turn signals - It amazes me that most of you can multitask in the car such as talk on the phone and/or text, but the simple switch located on the left of your steering column is so useless to you. You treat it as if it were a venomous snake, never touch it or it might bite you. Really it's a harmless device that will allow others to see where you're going and respond accordingly. Then again most of you never check your blind spot anyways since this that would take time from watching porn on your iPhone.
4. The horn - I know Seattle is the mecca of passive/aggressive behavior. I've experienced this many times and sadly I feel myself starting to become one of you. I see many of you pound your steering wheel in anger when someone in front of you makes a mistake, or feels compelled to wait 40 seconds to drive through a green light. The appropriate response would be to give them a gentle nudge by the way of honking your horn. Yes. Let that person who cut you off know what a dumb asshole they are. Give the person the finger even. They just might learn something. It's up to us to make the streets safer and more efficient. Think of the children!
5. Snow - Navigating through snow is easier than you may think and you only need to remember these simple rul....oh screw it. You're beyond help in this area. Just stay home, drink your hot toddies, and beat your children.
6. After congestion - Traffic can get really slow around here, but once the congestion ends it's ok to speed up to the posted speed limit within a thousand yards. No you don't have to drive 10mph under on the open road. That's never ok. Hit the gas. It's only polite, because some of us would like to get to our destination sometime this week.
So there you have it Seattle. You can always learn something by reading One Bad Apple.
"But perhaps the best advice I can offer to help lesson traffic around the area is this: Park it and take the bus. Seriously, the rest of us have places to go." - Brian Beckley
Commentary -- Seattle drivers: A mystery to me