Driven Too Far

I wonder why it is that people in different towns drive differently. I mean a marked difference. In my town people tend to drive fast and yet cautiously. Rarely do people make close left turns into traffic. Yet almost everyone goes 5-10 over the speed limit. One town over people drive slow, yet recklessly. Everyone drives the speed limit or under, but constantly make stupid moves that cause close calls. I guess that's a pattern or at least the beginnings of one.

If I go to yet another nearby town they drive differently yet. Since all the given drivers from any given town did not all grow up in that town I wonder how these driving patterns occur. We as drivers are influenced by our daily environment? Why are some towns breeding grounds for caution and safety while others foster daring do in the face of oncoming traffic.

I think traffic design has a lot to do with it. Where I live they are obsessed with traffic lights and u-turns. The whole traffic scheme of the town is very safety oriented. So perhaps this structure conditions our driving behavior. It makes sense. The other town where they are slow and reckless has a much less rigid roadway design. U-turns are non-existent. Left turn signals are sparse. They are forced to take certain risks to get where they need to go, but make up for it by obeying the speed limit. Where I live we are coddled as drivers with a plethora of safety devices. There's no need for us to take chances so we make up for it by driving too fast.

It certainly is a curious symmetry.

Comments