New Feature: Drivers by State

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Welcome to my newest feature - "Drivers by State." In this sure-to-be-entertaining new series, I'll take an in-depth look at the drivers from each of our fifty fine states, examine their idiosyncracies, point out their flaws, and point out any unique identifiers.

For our first installation, I'd like to start with Oklahoma drivers.

State: Oklahoma
Easy Identifier: Look for the driver that's oblivious to everything.
Watch Out For: Erratic moves without using signals, extreme tailgating, regularly running red lights, road hogging, random lane changes, random parts falling from vehicle, and complete jack@$$edness driving.
Distinction: The world's *worst* drivers, bar none.

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(story continues after clicking link)

I've been telling almost anyone who will listen about how bad the drivers from Oklahoma are. Granted, I'm not a world-class driver, but I do know how to: stay in my own lane, keep pace with traffic, maintain a reasonable distance from other cars, not hog the left lane, not run red lights at every opportunity, and I do recognize that there are other cars that I share the road with.

Got someone behind you that's tailgating like nobody else ever has? Are they drifting onto the shoulder from time to time, while staring aimlessly into space? Got a shattered windshield and a backseat (or truckbed) full of Jacob's Best beer cans (several of which fly out from the vehicle at random intervals)? Congratulations - odds are that car is from Oklahoma.

So, this morning, I'm sitting in rush hour traffic. It's about 7:20 am, and traffic is at a dead stop, as is the norm for I-540 during a weekday morning. I'm in the right lane, sitting completely still, drinking my Diet Peach Snapple, listening to SIRIUS, and minding my own business. Traffic to my left is also completely stopped.

I notice a truck about 50 feet (2-3 car lengths) in front of me, and the reason I notice it is because it's weaved itself over into the median, in a "I've got to try to get around the guy in front of me, or at least get a really good look at what's in front of him without passing" move. He's hanging out his window, one hand on the top of the steering wheel, baseball hat turned around backwards and shirtless, trying to see "what the hold-up is."

Uh, pal, it's called morning traffic, and in case you didn't notice, there's only about 500 cars around you that AREN'T MOVING EITHER. So, we slowly move forward, and the entire time, this idiot is weaving to the left, trying to get "a look" and then weaving back into his lane...

I get along side him, and he's got an almost-completely-shattered windshield, he's smoking one cigarette while holding another in his right "fist" (as it's formed around the steering wheel), and he's got (no lie) a bottle of Budweiser that he's sipping on... AT 7:20 AM!!!

Well, traffic finally opens up a little, and the guy floors it. A big puff of blue smoke comes from his tailpipes, along with that patented "redneck muffler" roar. He gets up to about 65 mph, then parks it in the left lane. As traffic comes up alongside him (speed limit is 70), he floors it to stay in front of them, then lets off again, and coasts his way back down to 60-65.

Now, you might be thinking to yourself, "Oh, Steve, this is one extreme example. Surely you can't judge all Oklahoma drivers by this guy's performance."

And you'd be wrong to assume that. In fact, I might even argue that his driving was better than most Oklahoman's -- at least he wasn't swerving violently from lane to lane (doing the "NASCAR tire scrub" lane change manuever), and there weren't random parts falling from his truck.

Oklahoma drivers also tend to accelerate at maximum capacity from any stop light, while waiting until the very last possible second to slow down when approaching slower (or stopped) traffic. There's nothing quite like sitting at a stoplight while watching a ratty old car that's doing the "Oklahoma Nose Dive" panic stop as it approaches you from behind. I guarantee you'll clench your butt-cheeks like never before while praying, "This is gonna hurt."

In talking with others that are also familiar with Oklahoma driving styles, I've come to the conclusion that Oklahoma drivers are the world's worst drivers. Don't question it, just accept it, and keep your distance whenever you see that ominous green on white license plate.

Next week, we'll take a look at Texas drivers and their inherent "I must out-accelerate everyone no matter what!" driving style.

3 Comments

Thanks for the laughs, Steve. You have a way of perfectly describing your zany life stories! What a hoot!

Looks like Steve has never had the opportunity to make a trip through Alabama..., LOL!!
It amazes me everytime I have to get in my car:)

I was born in Texas and then lived in Oklahoma....Does that make me an extra bad driver?

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