Monday, July 20, 2009

What Did I Tell You? Research Confirms DC Drivers Most Dangerous in U.S.!

Via James Joyner at Outside the Beltway:

Riskiest Driving Cities
1. Washington, D.C.
2. Baltimore, MD
3. Glendale, CA
4. Hartford, CT
5. Newark, NJ
6. Philadelphia, PA
7. Elizabeth, NJ
8. Providence, RI
9. San Francisco, CA
10. Los Angeles, CA
More at Fox News. For years I've insisted to friends that D.C. drivers are the world's worst. It is impossible to calculate drive times in the D.C. area simply because of the utter randomness of these brain-damaged motorists. A large proportion of them obviously can't read English well enough to understands street signs, and there is a constant influx of newcomers who don't know where they're going.

If Obama wanted to re-deploy the CIA effectively to save American lives, some of these thick-skulled morons would be snatched off the streets and flown by black helicopter to an undisclosed location.
INTERROGATOR: (Holds up sign.) OK, Omar, what does this say?
SUBJECT: (Trembling.) Uh . . . please, no. I not know dees word. Please, not da shock thing . . .
INTERROGATOR: OK, Omar. I'll make it easy for you. This sign says, "Left Lane Closed 1/2 Mile Ahead. Merge Right."
INTERROGATOR: Not, "OK," Omar. Say it.
SUBJECT: Left Lane . . . uh . . . Left . . .
INTERROGATOR: Left Lane Closed . . .
SUBJECT: Left Lane Closed . . .
INTERROGATOR: 1/2 Mile Ahead . . .
SUBJECT: 1/2 Mile Ahead . . .
SUBJECT: Merge Right.
INTERROGATOR: Now, which way is your left, Omar?
SUBJECT: Dees way.
INTERROGATOR: Very good, Omar. You're learning. Remember, just yesterday, you didn't know the difference.
SUBJECT: (Smiling, eager.) Yes. Yes. Dees one left. Dees one right.
INTERROGATOR: Good, Omar. Very good. Now, one more question. What does 'merge' mean?
INTERROGATOR: Merge. Yes, Omar. What does it mean?
SUBJECT: What? I no understand dees question.
INTERROGATOR: When the sign says the left lane is closed, what does it mean by "merge right"?
SUBJECT: Oh! Oh! I know dees!
INTERROGATOR: OK, let's hear it, Omar.
SUBJECT: Well, da left lane, eet weel clear out, see? So den, I drive up to last orange cone and den put on da right turn signal . . ..
Excuse the "Omar," which should not be interpreted as evidence of anti-Omarism. But ask anybody in D.C. about the hazards caused by morons behind the wheel of cars with "Diplomat" tags. What a "Diplomat" tags usually means:
"This car is driven by the 19-nephew of a vicious Third World kleptocrat. The driver of this vehicle just arrived in the U.S. last week from a country where they drive on the left side of the road, at least if the goat path is wide enough to have two sides. He can't speak a word of English, doesn't even understand the concept of 'no left turn' and if he dies in a fiery crash that kills you, he will be eternally revered as a martyr in his homeland."
And you think I'm joking. But the vehicular terrorist/diplomat from Berserkistan is a mild annoyance, compared to such other D.C. driving hazards as the Disoriented Intern Late For Her Meeting, the Tourist Who Didn't Want to Ride the Subway, and the Post-Traumatic Homicidal SUV Rage Syndrome Sufferer.

Do me a favor: If you are thinking about moving to the D.C. area, or just making a quick visit to gape at the marble buildings that local commuters drive past every day, LEAVE YOUR CAR HOME. Out-of-towners should book their flights into Reagan National, call a cab (say hello to Omar!) and go directly to their hotels.

If Marion Barry were aiming to make a comeback campaign as D.C. mayor, I might actually support him, if he would promise to outlaw car rentals for tourists.


  1. I can relate to what you write but equally frustrating is having to sit for what seems like hours in a long, four-lane parking lot. The Beltway becomes that giant parking lot if a construction worker sneezes in Maryland. It is during some of those wonderful times when a fiery death-by-idiot-driver almost begins looking attractive.

  2. Stacy, I will defer to your experience on DC, but I still think California should be better (if that's the word) represented in the Top Ten. They crazy out here.

  3. No, Rich. Stacy is right (as usual). There is still a residue of California drivers from the Old Regime, when California roads accommodated the two Biblical categories (the quick and the dead).

    DC is what happens when a Third World city gets prosperous. L'Enfant was an artist, and the street "grid" of the District can be thought of as a combination of the pave-the-cow-paths philosophy of roadbuilding found in, say, Mexico City, and the artistic sensibilities of a Mapplethorpe. Add to that roughly twice as many cars as could be reasonably acommodated and the several categories of drivers RSM mentions, and you have DC traffic.

    As with any Third World city, there are many larger roads, none of which are either big enough or lead to anywhere anybody wants to go without dumping traffic, at the end, on a two-lane street with parking both sides. It also sits smack dab in the middle of a major trade route, but has no quick way through, only variously slow ways to get around it.

    If you have never been to DC and propose to drive there, I recommend you take a flight to Mexico City or Guadalajara and rent the largest car available. Spend a week. At the end, you will find that only a little reorientation will let you drive in DC with minimal therbligs.


  4. Having recently escaped the parking lots of D.C. I would have been surprised by any other result. There are three things that D.C. drivers simply cannot contend with: 1. Curves in the road, 2. Bridges, and 3. Precipitation. When it rains in D.C. and you approach the American Legion Bridge (or, God forbid, the Springfield "Mixing Bowl") it's enough to make you think Darwin was an utter fool.

    No joke: Once, just south of Springfield, I sat in gridlock that I was *certian* indicated a pretty significant accident ahead. Turns out it was just a dude taking a leak on the side of the highway and the resultant gapers delay froze 6 lanes of traffic.

  5. "We must exterminate them all...cow after cow, pig after pig, village after village..."
    -Colonel Walter E. Kurtz

  6. ROFLMAO! But ESSS True! Desss is true but not only in DC area! I know dees as the truth as I am Dees Big Truck Driver from Georgia!ESSS like deees all ovar!

  7. So, wait. A large collection of self-absorbed politcal class people with an entrenched sense of entitlement makes for a large pool of horrible drivers? Who knew?

  8. Also, if you are sight-seeing in a big rig, don't call any official office and ask for directions and possible parking areas.

    Crazy DHS helicopter and escort!