Fantastic news, guys! Floridians, it turns out, are really great drivers. Not just great, but some of the best. Number two in the nation, beaten out only by Rhode Island.
The news comes from a recent survey by insurance company QuoteWizard. Now, I could be a Cynical Cyril and point out how companies sometimes like to release surveys that use creative methodology to create unexpected and therefore attention-grabbing results, but where’s the fun in that? We’re number two! And not in a lavatory sense! High fives!
The survey also explains how Florida did particularly well because Miami and Hialeah have exceptionally good drivers. (Orlando was also cited.) Yes I’m serious.
I think I speak for all Broward people when I say that at the end of a hard day, nothing soothes and relaxes more than a pleasant drive in Miami-Dade.
Take, for example, the experience of leaving a Marlins game. My favorite part is where you Mad Max your way from NW 12th Avenue onto the Dolphin Expressway, and then there’s a full seven or eight inches before the ramp to I-95 north, which some Mensa club treasurer has helpfully put on the left side of the expressway so that you’ve basically got to slam across every lane of traffic, although that’s not a massively big deal because this is Miami-Dade, dude, and people don’t abide by your square, bourgeois concept of “lanes”. There’s also the fun of trying to get somewhere in downtown Miami, such as the moment you realize your exit is on the left – Why all the highway exits on the left, Miami? WHY? – and you’re over to the right, and every lane is packed while the car to your immediate left, which is missing a bumper and might be a little bit on fire, isn’t letting you get in because you stupidly put your left blinker on to indicate moving left like some straw-chewing bumpkin tourist. Relaxing!
But those are four-wheel experiences. In this issue, we talk to people who have, shall we say, a somewhat different take on Florida drivers – Fort Lauderdale’s cycling community. According to researchers who apparently didn’t coordinate their findings with QuoteWizard, the only way Florida could be more dangerous for cyclists is if they were all required to juggle chainsaws while peddling.
You meet many local cyclists at Two&, the excellent bar and bicycle shop on Las Olas that’s the end point for several big local rides. I respect these people in the same way I respect the ancient Norsemen who sailed to Greenland – they’re seeking a better world via patently dangerous transportation, and they like a drink.
To a person, they all seem to have a story about a time when they’ve been knocked off a bike. Stories about dangerous driving, or being shouted and cursed at, are even more common.
It’s sad, but maybe not so surprising. It seems like we don’t just drive fast, we drive personal; You’re not going to occupy that space in that lane, I am. It’s bad enough when it’s four-wheelers battling four-wheelers. Two-wheelers don’t stand a chance.
So this January, those of us who are resolution-inclined might want to resolve to get places a bit slower, and to express ourselves via the horn a bit less. We’re better than that. We’re number two.