I have been living outside of the US for the past 9 years and in that time have driven extensively in Spain and have also earned a UK driving license. Yes, I say earned. Earned because it was something that I actually had to work for. The licensing process in the UK is pretty rigorous and you damned sure know how to drive safely and considerately by the time someone will give you the legal right to drive here.
Fastforward to the reason of this rant…
I recently spent a few weeks in California during which time I drove on the freeways quite a bit.
And the only thing I can say from that experience is that (most) people in California do not know how to drive.
I repeat. California drivers are AWFUL.
On the lighter side of bad driving, they are inconsiderate. On the heavier side of their driving, they are plain dumb. They drive huge cars. They change lanes without looking or signalling. They cut off anyone. They tailgate. They talk on their phones (which is illegal). The list can pretty much continue with every infraction of the law one could come up with…
Honestly. I was terrified to drive on the freeway.
I would have to attribute this decline in the ability to drive directly to the fact that driver education and driver testing in the US is pretty much non-existent. You can walk into a DMV and walk out with a license after having driven within a 1/2 block radius, 5 minutes and no freeway time. Hardly a test of someone’s driving skills.
There really needs to be some reform on licensing to get these ignorant drivers off the road in the name of public safety.
Until then, you will see me driving 35 mph on side streets and avoiding death of the freeways of California.