Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Miami Driving

Bad driving: It's not just for old people

''They can't get any worse!'' I used to think that, but lately I'm not so sure. For example, the other night I was driving on the Palmetto Expressway. (I know, I know.) Normally, on the Palmetto, traffic moves at an average speed of 53 miles per hour, calculated as follows:

• 49 percent of the drivers are going 80 miles per hour.

• 49 percent of the drivers are going 30 miles per hour.

• 2 percent of the drivers are, for a variety of reasons, backing up.

But the other night, there was a fourth group of drivers out there: Young male idiots racing each other in cars traveling at -- this is a very conservative estimate -- the speed of light. It was terrifying. You're flowing along with the traffic, going either 80 or 30 miles an hour, and suddenly you see lights in your rearview mirror and, ZIPPPPPP, this weaving blur hurtles past and cuts you off, and while the swear word is still forming in your brain, ZIPPPPPP, another one cuts you off, and then ZIPPPPPP ZIPPPPPP ZIPPPPPP, more of them, using the Palmetto Expressway as their own personal video game, with you playing the role of Annoying Obstacle. It's no use honking your horn at the idiots because the sound waves can't catch them.

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