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The World’s Worst Drivers Are In Houston

by Andrea on March 18, 2014

Dear Houston drivers,

Please head to your nearest department of motor vehicles and pick up a copy of the Texas Driver’s Handbook. Because for a bunch of people who must spend half of their waking lives in the car, ya’ll can’t drive for shit.

And before you blast me, I’m not alone in saying this. It’s been documented. And before your lazy, ignorant driving kills someone, I want you to take some notes.

houston traffic 007 The World’s Worst Drivers Are In Houston

I’m not sure what the worst offenses are. Between the constant texting instead of watching the road or your abuse of the left lane, I’m lucky I’m alive to write this post. A special hello to the lady who came to a complete stop in the middle of the road the other day because she needed to mess around with something in her passenger seat. There’s no respect for the motorway down here. Maybe it stems from the fact that the roads themselves are hazards. The lane lines on some of the freeways have been painted over so many times that you can’t really tell where you’re supposed to be. Maybe you swerved into my lane to avoid that giant hole in the pavement that could have knocked out your alignment or given you a flat tire. Okay, okay. I’ll give you that one.

If anyone from out of state is coming to brave it on our Texas roads, be aware of the way the rules change once you hit the Houston city limits:

Left is right and right is left.

The speeders are all in the two righthand lanes while the left lane is reserved for the elderly man going 45mph and looking like he accidentally wandered onto the freeway after about a decade hiatus. Or the lady just cruising along at 50mph with the parade behind her because, hey, it’s easier to hang out over there than brave the speeding, weaving mess going on over in the right lanes. Other people in the left lane may have shifted over so they can slow down to make that very important phone call. Or you’ve got the guy who’s just a jerk and does not want to let you pass, marshalling the road and giving you the finger when you give him a quick move over toot or flash of the high beams. All of this makes it very difficult and dangerous to effectively overcome the next rule.

Nobody knows who has the right of way.

In good-driver-land, traffic moving from the left lanes to the right lanes, or entering and exiting the freeway, has the right of way (pp. 23-24). This is for safety reasons, people, not because some of us decided that our way is just “better.” It would make sense that the people who need to exit the freeway should be able to easily do so, right? It goes like this: I’m in a left or middle lane and see my exit coming up. I put my turn signal on and attempt to change into the slower lanes to the right, eventually making it safely to my exit. The fact that I’m going faster in the left lane than those people to the right of way make this maneuver both safe and possible. Wrongo! Don’t forget rule #1: people are doing 80 in the right lanes. So when you’re stuck behind Mr. Jerk-Face, cruising along at 50 in the fast lane, it’s impossible to get over. Swear and honk all you like. Those bull’s balls hanging from the back of the guy’s bumper are a big old “f’ you…I’M THE MAN…YE-AH. No way you’re getting in front of ME. You just keep driving an exit or two out of the way and YOU LIKE IT!!!”

Nobody is paying attention.

Don’t take it personally. Mr. Jerk-face probably doesn’t even know you’re there. He’s either on the phone, texting or has his stereo cranked up so loud he’s oblivious to the world. It’s just him and his left lane. Vast. Free. Empty. Nobody else on the road. Same goes for that teenage girl who’s about to veer into your lane. She thinks she’s mastered the art of texting and driving at the tender age of 16. And that car in front of you that just slammed on its brakes for no reason? Don’t mind that either – the driver just needed to turn around and yell at his kids for a minute.

The biggest beast on the road wins.

You may have seen my post on little monster trucks. Yeah. Even those with SUVs have no chance against these guys. The only thing that can beat them are the Hummers. You can’t see around them, you can’t pass them and you can’t get away from them in this fair state. And if one mashes you it’s game over. So just steer clear as best as you can and try to find safety in the middle lanes.

Never, ever signal your intentions.

Of course you know you’re getting off at the next exit. And you’ve put your phone down and have three lanes to cross in a hurry. Signaling is for suckers. Just cut off the guy in the lane to your right at the last minute (hey, he was speeding anyway!). Then repeat until you get there. Yes, you definitely have room to squeeze in between the side rail and that car in the exit only lane. Just in the nick of time. Remember to go flying off the freeway and cut across the frontage road lanes quickly without looking. It’s the Texas way.

What’s your favorite place to drive?

614156 The World’s Worst Drivers Are In Houston  The World’s Worst Drivers Are In Houston

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Tara March 18, 2014 at 10:57 am

I think the worst drivers are in China. All above could be used for them too!

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:37 am

Oh goodness – I’ve never been but I’ll be sure not to hire a car there if we do go!

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Lisa March 19, 2014 at 12:34 am

That does sound like driving hell, ugh. I’d like nominate Budapest, Hungary. Driving here is a nightmare! Worst driving besides Turkey that I’ve experienced.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:38 am

Oh wow – I wouldn’t have guessed that! We walked everywhere when we were there so I guess we missed out on an experience =)

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Lane March 19, 2014 at 9:31 am

India for the world win. As for the US, Houston is bad but Boston is worse. Bostonians think it’s their God-given right to cut anyone off.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:39 am

We’ve only driven once in Boston and it was uneventful – looks like we had a good run! =)

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Peter Thomas March 20, 2014 at 12:17 am

I’d like to agree with Tara! I have been to China and it fits the description above.

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Jennifer March 20, 2014 at 4:51 am

Ugh, that sounds like hell! Texans (sorry to the Texans, but you know it’s true) are a special breed.

Some of the worst places we’ve driven are Las Vegas (bunch of tourists looking at sparkly casinos instead of paying attention to the road), Torino (Naples ain’t got nothing on the crazy going on there), and pretty much anywhere in the Middle East.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:39 am

I’ve heard bad things about the ME drivers!

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Jess @UsedYorkCity March 20, 2014 at 7:57 am

And I would have SWORN they were in NYC!;-)

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:41 am

I never drove when I lived in New York and only drove in the city once last year on the way through to NJ…I do remember just standing in traffic on the freeway that runs alongside the Bronx. Taxi rides in Manhattan are always, ahem, interesting. I remember one time our driver had an accident and lost it. He didn’t even acknowledge us – we just got out and had to find another cab.

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Amy March 20, 2014 at 9:37 am

Houston is a crazy place to drive, we had a Honda civic when we lived there and I was always afraid driving that car. Houston is so big geographically that living there you do a lot of driving and I think that makes all other driving related issues worse. I live in Paris now and I will say that driving here is crazy and slightly terrifying, but for other reasons. Thankfully we can walk to most things that we need here so if I don’t want to drive I don’t have to.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:42 am

I always feel for the Honda Civic-sized cars on the road around here. Paris drivers are crazy! I remember driving there once with my father many years ago and it was not fun.

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Dan-A Cruising Couple March 20, 2014 at 11:41 am

HAHAHA! This is hilarious! I had a motorcycle in Taiwan and if you hadn’t had your cup of coffee and your eyeballs frantically scanning for drivers out to eat you then you were toast.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:43 am

Wow you are BRAVE!!

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Heather March 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm

I have to laugh because my sister-in-law, who recently moved to Texas, sent me a message yesterday with some photos of the crazy traffic on the highway near her town. Cars were going in both directions in the same lanes! But having lived in Shanghai, it’s hard to imagine that the driving could get any worse than it is there.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:43 am

Oh wow – what city are they in? Everyone seems to be saying China is a nightmare…

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Krista March 21, 2014 at 5:41 am

Oh this makes me laugh and shudder at the same time. :-) I feel this way about LA drivers. Yipes! :-)

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:44 am

Houston is like LA without the pretty mountains and oceans…

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TammyOnTheMove March 21, 2014 at 11:22 am

I always thought that drivers in Ho Chi Minh City are the worst, but man this sounds bad too. :-)

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Sofia March 24, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Have you guys drove to streets of Thailand? I found it hard it to even drive because of those motorbikes, they’re everywhere! I don’t know if you could still cut a lane when there are hundreds of them bikers would just drive fast your side with your side mirror. I’d rather just walk.

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inspiringtravellers March 25, 2014 at 6:45 am

Yes, I will never forget my first tuk tuk ride…hair-raising!

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Caroline March 25, 2014 at 1:06 am

Still better than the hair-raising driving habits in Indonesia … sitting in the front of the bus there = worst decision ever!

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David April 16, 2014 at 7:01 am

Wow, it looks like you are really pissed by these Texan drivers. But the worst drivers are arguably in Eastern Europe.

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inspiringtravellers April 16, 2014 at 9:02 am

I’m starting to see that they are everywhere, David =)

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Steve July 25, 2014 at 5:09 pm

I’ve driven in over 30 countries worldwide, and Texas has to be the most downright dangerous place I’ve ever driven. Texans are false, fake, show friendly who show there true colours when they get behind the wheel. Pig ignorant neathertals, with no sense of decency at all. Makes you wonder why they manage to fill such big churches with brain dead hypocrites!

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