minnesota driving

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Thoughts on MN driving:

1. from the 2 weeks i’ve been a minnesota communter, i’ve come to the understanding that twin city drivers are terrible. i say that with frustrated love.

2. slowness. it would seem that the sub-freezing temperatures have slowed the better part of the population’s motor skills. drivers typically drive 5mph UNDER the speed limit. on the freeway. in the passing lane. it is a widespread problem that should be addressed. defensive driving tests have clearly found that more accidents are caused my drivers traveling under the speed limit than over.

3. traffic jams. this slow driving causes all sorts of cloggages in traffic. jams are to be expected in large metro areas, granted, but not because the general public travels at 53 in a 60. in the passing lane. the same passing lane where people line up for miles for no reason.

4. meandering over. another driving hazard that seems to be the northern way is a bizzare twist on the old familiar cut-off. drivers tend to just wander into other lanes sans signal. it doesn’t seem to be an intentional, malicious cut-0ff (this is “minnesota nice” country), but rather a forgetfulness of one’s lane. something like, “which lane was i in? oh well, i’ll just glide over here, i suppose. oh, there’s a car there already? silly me.” to add insult to injury, this generally is preceeded by the driver getting off the gas–or even hitting the brake–then wandering into a faster (and safer) driver’s lane at a much slower speed causing many near misses. i would like to see the numbers on how many kind minnesotans have been lost to this rampant driving vice.

5. entering an on-ramp. some up-and-coming civil engineer once blazed new territory designing ramps. after crumpling many initial designs, he finally came up with one that was a small road connecting the freeway to a street or another highway. after countless sleepless nights of physics equations, he discovered that he should make these about 100-200 yards or so, enough distance that a driver could easily slow or stop by the end of the ramp. minnesotans stomp on this man’s genius every day by BRAKING hard before leaving the freeway in excited anticipation of the ramp. dear northerners: there’s no need. our hero, young civil engineer, gave you more than enough distance to get that speed off without needlessly scaring the shit out of the guy behind you.

6. merging. they don’t. they get to the end of said ramp and hover, or worse yet, stop. you slow to let them in, they continue to hover. so you speed up to get past them. they speed up and try to enter where you already are. this is quite the common practice.

7. to their credit, however, minnesotans have superior beer and beer drinking methods.

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