Living in Lafayette, California for my whole life, I have not been exposed to much. As everyone from my area says, my town is a bubble. We are lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel 20 minutes into the beautiful cities of San Francisco and Oakland, but they are nothing like D.C. One of the main takeaways I have had so far from my time here is that D.C. drivers are absolutely ruthless.
Whether I am in the passenger seat of an Uber, walking down the streets, or simply listening to the street traffic from my window at night while I’m trying to fall asleep, drivers in Washington absolutely horrify me. I fear for not only my life, but the lives of everyone around me every time I am around a car or hear the excruciating honks that seem to occur at a constant rate.
Now, some of the locals in D.C. or New York might just say that is classic city driving. I may come from the West Coast where things run a little differently, but I will never understand why it is necessary to lay on the horn for 30 seconds the instant the light turns green. Maybe everyone here is in more of a rush than in San Francisco, but the honking is not going to get you there faster. Maybe it’s the culture to drive this way. Is it embedded in D.C. locals that the polite and most efficient way to drive is to swerve through cars without hitting the brake? Or forgetting to stop for pedestrians? You better run across that street as fast as humanly possible – even though you might have the right away, that will not necessarily stop a D.C. driver.
It truly amazes me that I do not see more car accidents occur in Washington D.C. Maybe this style of driving works for those who have to deal with it. I don’t know how I would handle it, considering I cried and popped my tire the only time I’ve ever been honked at. After spending seven weeks in Washington D.C., I have come to the conclusion that East Coast city driving is most definitely not for me.