Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Are the worst drivers in the US in DC?

The DC area is huge, and is comprised of several suburbs in Maryland and Virginia surrounding the capital of the United States. Montgomery and Fairfax counties are the most populated. If someone can prove to me there are worse drivers elsewhere, I may believe it, but  until then I will continue to believe this area has gathered all the bad drivers in the world 🙂

When I got my green card through a visa lottery, I chose this area to live because I had once visited it while my parents were living here. I loved the green, the beauty of the monuments, the proximity to New York and beaches and Europe; the not so cold winters and the cultural diversity. However, this same diversity makes this area seem to have the worst drivers in the country. 

Without fail, I get irritated by bad drivers on a daily basis. They are everywhere, constant, and I even know by looking at the car if the driver will be bad. Without sounding prejudiced, people who drive older cars, conservative cars in neutral and boring colors and SUV drivers are in the worst driver category.  I have heard the joke many times over that since there are so many immigrants in this area, many had never driven a car in their countries of origin (but a bicycle or a donkey instead :)).

 I am from Brazil, but every Brazilian prides himself/herself in being a good driver. We grew up watching Formula One, we need to develop skills to drive in the crazy traffic of the big cities. Additionally, we drve stick shift all our lives, so driving in America  is to us a piece of cake.

I see people chatting on their cell phones every day. It is amazing how little attention they pay when they are talking and how they hold up traffic or forget to signal. By the way, I have a beef with the lack of signaling. What is so darn hard about announcing to someone behind you where you are going to turn?

Some drivers seem terrified of driving. They clutch to their steering wheels, they brake incessantly. And they cannot merge! I feel like having a big red display on the front of my car saying MERGE every time people stop in merging lanes holding a line of traffic.

Slow drivers on the left lane also drive me crazy. And to piss you off further, they go even slower when they see you are trying to pass them. Folks, sometimes a fast driver who is talented and knows what he is doing is a lot less dangerous than slow and unskilled drivers. That is why I am so against the excessive ticketing from cops around the US, which we well know is not for safety but for revenue. Just another form of taxation.

Both times I got a ticket I was not in any way imposing any danger to anyone or myself for going a few miles over the speed limit. It’s KACHING in the traffic courts of America! Take a look at the National Motorists Association website to see what I am talking about:

I think we give out licenses too easily. Tests should not be short drives going 10 mph and paralell parking should not be the eliminator; instead, take someone to the Washington area beltway and see if they can drive fast in jam packed traffic!

And finally, let’s not let very old people drive. They are a real threat. I will be old like that in a few decades, but I think old people should use public transportation, or special shuttle buses just for them. We need to take good care of our elderly who worked for us to be where we are.


August 1, 2008 - Posted by | Society


  1. If you think DC is bad, you would be absolutely horrified driving in lovely Boston !!!!!!!!

    Comment by roland | August 20, 2008 | Reply

  2. I’ve been to LA, live in NYC, and been to Boston…. Out of those three, I’d have to say Los Angeles is the absolute worst.

    New Jersey is horrible, but its in its own league… no one in ANY state seems to know how to merge.

    Comment by Pete | September 22, 2008 | Reply

  3. answer is an emphatic YES, the worst drivers in the US are indeed in the DC metro area 😦 That includes VA and MD

    Comment by wellthisisawkward | April 9, 2009 | Reply

  4. Pennsylvania drivers are the worst in the whole world, just ask any driver from New Jersey.

    Comment by Frank | October 11, 2011 | Reply

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