U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

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Shadow
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U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by Shadow » Wed Oct 23, 2019 3:41 pm

My company has it's headquarters in Germany, so I spend some time there every year. Every time I come back to the U.S. after spending time in Germany, I get reminded just how much drivers here suck at driving. Lane discipline is an absolute joke. People spend too much time looking at their phones instead of focusing on driving. Turn signals seem to be an afterthought far too often. It just makes me sick how much better Germans drive compared to the average U.S. driver.

I feel more safe on a German Autobahn driving 210 km/h than I do driving 65 mph on a U.S. highway.

If you've never been to Germany and you ever have the chance to go, definitely get out on an Autobahn and see how highway driving is supposed to be done. In my experience, there's very little police presence on German roads and that's because it's really not necessary. The drivers there are courteous, respectful, and they understand the flow of high speed traffic and how to navigate through it safely

***Okay, end of rant***
Last edited by Shadow on Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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tankinbeans
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by tankinbeans » Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 pm

I saw a Modern Marvels episode about the Autobahn about 20 years ago. In it they described how the road surface is thicker, how traffic fines are a percentage of your income, that running out of gas can get you in major trouble legally. Also, the show described how difficult it is to obtain a license and the requirement for something like 100 hours of one on one training. I was fascinated and interested to experience it.

I'd love lane discipline to be strictly enforced while allowing higher speeds.
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by potownrob » Thu Oct 24, 2019 1:28 am

I think it depends on where you're driving and other factors, but this does appear to be a trend in a lot of places i've driven. in shadow's terrortory, i can picture the drivers being overall horrible (near NJ, lots of traffic, NYC commuters, etc.). up here in the hudson valley, it's overall more relaxed and more people act like they know how to drive. in some parts, it's like unless you're going 25 mph over the speed limit or swerving between lanes like a drunken sailor, the cops are highly unlikely to pull you over, or so people seem to think. i don't think we need the strict driver training imposed on european countries, but the stricter enforcements could be a good idea.
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by watkins » Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:25 am

We absolutely need stricter driver training. I watch people drive all day. Most people cant even manage to pull their own vehicle in to a parking space successfully. I cant imagine how bad they are out on the road.

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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by Shadow » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:00 am

tankinbeans wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 pm
I saw a Modern Marvels episode about the Autobahn about 20 years ago. In it they described how the road surface is thicker, how traffic fines are a percentage of your income, that running out of gas can get you in major trouble legally. Also, the show described how difficult it is to obtain a license and the requirement for something like 100 hours of one on one training. I was fascinated and interested to experience it.

I'd love lane discipline to be strictly enforced while allowing higher speeds.
Yeah, it's a completely different culture in Germany when it comes to anything related to automobiles. They take their driving seriously. It seems that they have a lot of pride in their cars. And I've spoken to a lot of Germans who are worried that the government will eventually set speed limits on all roads, leaving none unrestricted. I believe that idea mostly comes from lowering vehicle emissions....but most Germans feel very strongly that the government should not limit speeds on the unlimited sections of the autobahns across the country.

Now that I think about it, I've also spent some time working in Puerto Rico. I had to drive an hour across the island every day to get to work (everyone tends to stay in the tourist area) and the highways there are an absolute free-for-all. Far worse than anything I've ever seen in the United States. Driving on the highway in Puerto Rico is like driving in a video game with no rules. Just weave your way through slower traffic, but don't ever use your indicators or other drivers will purposely close the gap to block you from switching lanes. The cops normally drive on the highway with their emergency lights on, but no siren. It's the strangest thing.... And locals tell me that if you are speeding and you pass a cop on the side of the road, make sure you hit the brakes after you pass him. Apparently, cops find it disrespectful if they don't see your brake lights when you pass them. That's pretty much the opposite of what we do here when we're speeding and see a cop---brake hard and then let off the brake as you pass him so it's not apparent you were slowing down.

This is an interesting topic. We should discuss what it's like to drive away from home. Too bad we don't have more active participation in this forum. It's just always dead around here.
Last edited by Shadow on Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by Shadow » Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:05 am

tankinbeans wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 pm
I saw a Modern Marvels episode about the Autobahn about 20 years ago. In it they described how the road surface is thicker...
The roads are very well maintained in Germany, especially on the highways. If a pothole develops, they don't fill it. They cut out an entire section of road and replace it. It's not uncommon to see these large square or rectangular sections being replaced in a lane that's closed for more than one day.
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by potownrob » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:21 am

Shadow wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 11:00 am
tankinbeans wrote:
Wed Oct 23, 2019 10:11 pm
I saw a Modern Marvels episode about the Autobahn about 20 years ago. In it they described how the road surface is thicker, how traffic fines are a percentage of your income, that running out of gas can get you in major trouble legally. Also, the show described how difficult it is to obtain a license and the requirement for something like 100 hours of one on one training. I was fascinated and interested to experience it.

I'd love lane discipline to be strictly enforced while allowing higher speeds.
Yeah, it's a completely different culture in Germany when it comes to anything related to automobiles. They take their driving seriously. It seems that they have a lot of pride in their cars. And I've spoken to a lot of Germans who are worried that the government will eventually set speed limits on all roads, leaving none unrestricted. I believe that idea mostly comes from lowering vehicle emissions....but most Germans feel very strongly that the government should not limit speeds on the unlimited sections of the autobahns across the country.

Now that I think about it, I've also spent some time working in Puerto Rico. I had to drive an hour across the island every day to get to work (everyone tends to stay in the tourist area) and the highways there are an absolute free-for-all. Far worse than anything I've ever seen in the United States. Driving on the highway in Puerto Rico is like driving in a video game with no rules. Just weave your way through slower traffic, but don't ever use your indicators or other drivers will purposely close the gap to block you from switching lanes. The cops normally drive on the highway with their emergency lights on, but no siren. It's the strangest thing.... And locals tell me that if you are speeding and you pass a cop on the side of the road, make sure you hit the brakes after you pass him. Apparently, cops find it disrespectful if they don't see your brake lights when you pass them. That's pretty much the opposite of what we do here when we're speeding and see a cop---brake hard and then let off the brake as you pass him so it's not apparent you were slowing down.

This is an interesting topic. We should discuss what it's like to drive away from home. Too bad we don't have more active participation in this forum. It's just always dead around here.
my only experience driving abroad was in southern spain on my 2nd to last day there (we wanted to take the bus from Sevilla to the beaches, but the buses were all booked). four of us ended up renting a circa 2003 VW Polo (this was in 2004). granted there wasn't much traffic to speak of other than on one loop near the city, but i don't remember having any issues with the other drivers. if anything, the other drivers were too calm for my liking. it took me a couple of minutes to get used to the clutch and the little engine, but after an initial stall followed by higher revving on the next try, we were off and the car moved fairly quickly for a subcompact hatch with a little 3 cylinder engine. how i wish to make it back to southern (or just about any part of) spain. the economy may be in the toilet, but what a place it was to be.
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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by potownrob » Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:24 am

watkins wrote:
Mon Oct 28, 2019 8:25 am
We absolutely need stricter driver training. I watch people drive all day. Most people cant even manage to pull their own vehicle in to a parking space successfully. I cant imagine how bad they are out on the road.
while there definitely are truly bad (as in unskilled) drivers out there, i think a lot of people are sloppy and otherwise bad drivers because they can get away with it. the cops can't and possibly don't care to pull over or ticker every bad driver out there, unfortunately.
ClutchFork wrote:...So I started carrying a stick of firewood with me and that became my parking brake.

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Re: U.S. Drivers are the Pits!

Post by watkins » Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:54 am

Over the past few years Ive been involved with the training of three new drivers. Trust me, enforcement is just a tangent to the problem. Drivers' Ed is a joke, and has been for at least 15 years.

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