I’m in traffic for about 45 mins everyday commuting to and from work, and for 40 minutes of these 45 minutes I’m aggravated by how people drive. I’ve driven in a few different places, different cities and countries, and I’ve found that traffic rules are pretty similar across these places, but with one BIG difference: the way these rules are interpreted by drivers differ significantly from country to country.
This is what I mean… When I learned how to drive in Brazil, I was taught that the blinker is a courtesy sign asking for the other driver to give me the right of passage when there’s enough space to do so. On the other hand, when I started driving in the US, I noticed that the blinker is a notice sign to other drivers that I’m moving over regardless of them (not with total disregard, but with a lot). I can pretty much sum it up like this: I use my blinker as if I’m asking the other driver “can I please get in front of you?” and I only do if I get the ok from the other driver, whereas many people here use their blinkers as if they saying “I want and will get in front of you, watch out” and they simply do. Big difference!
It’s funny to say this, but I cannot imagine Americans acting any different in traffic from what I described and experience everyday, that’s exactly who and how they are… me first, me second, third and last, and my way! And I say the same for drivers in Brazil, since we’re all sheep. I, at one point, even questioned the proper use of the blinker and checked with the DMV. I found out that the blinker is an indicator of a driver wanting to move over and that he/she can only do so if there’s reasonable space and time between drivers. Sort of a middle ground between my and the American way of driving… I don’t necessarily need a “permission” to move over (not that I wait for one either), and Americans don’t necessarily need to be so aggressive in traffic. When there’s enough space and time, we can all move over.