Traffic 101, The Set Up On What The Battlefield Was
I learned the rules of the road in Miami during the Miami Vice days.
I had a 10 mile commute that took 1 hour because of traffic. There was basically one way from where I lived to where I worked. You could see any number of things on the ride. There were girls putting on make up, men shaving, people having sex (yes, not a typo) and a lot of people getting high on their way to work. Back then, the drugs came through South Florida, not Mexico. It was enjoyed with great gusto at the port of entry.
Getting in and out of traffic was difficult. Miami is just another Borough of New York driving wise. Florida drivers are close to the top of the list of worst in any state. Traffic, short tempers and the same freakin’ commute every damn day made them mean and short fused.
Road rage was way different. Instead of giving the finger and cussing someone out in your car all nice and protected, we saw guns come out a window on the road.
Here is a link to a road rage story in Miami where they are shooting at each other.
How I Learned To Merge
If you read all of the above, you got that there was a lot of drug money and expensive cars. Mine was not. My first lesson was to learn how to play chicken. Most people will finally back off if you are willing to sacrifice your car or make it look like you are.
Sure, like the picture you can go to the end of the line to get in, but what if the opportunity is not there?
—–> HERE IS YOUR BEST PIECE OF ADVICE.
Find the most expensive car in the line and merge on it. They will give way as they have more to lose. Don’t try it if you see them pull a pistol. I always liked Mercedes or Sports Cars. This excludes Ferrari’s because the druggies owned them. I aimed at the Merc’s or other big sedans. They were executives who didn’t want to let you in, but gave up easily.
——> NEXT PIECE OF ADVICE
Don’t make eye contact because you want them to think that you don’t see them, despite the fact that they are guiding a 3000 pound death machine capable of causing pain and damage potentially inches away from you. You might be nice or scared off by people like me if you see them. Conversely, if I didn’t want to let you in, I was willing to win the game of chicken from the other lane.
It’s like asking for forgiveness instead of permission. Just keep going. Pretend you don’t see them and barge in.
—–> A CHEAP MERGE, BUT DOESN’T GET YOU POINTS IN THE MERGE GAME
I’ll mention it because someone will call it out, but merge on the trucks nicely. Be decent about it and give them time to stop. They hate cars doing that and sometimes they can’t stop in time. Catch them on the acceleration because cars always win.
——> A DICK MOVE, BUT EFFECTIVE
You can always come in on a motorcycle, but what’s the sport of that. Coming in on a really expensive car with a person who looks like an asshole is a lot more satisfying.
—–> LADY DRIVER WARNING
Don’t come in if they are putting on makeup in the mirror. They won’t see you and you will sacrifice both cars. This is the one time you need to check first. I am more likely to go in on a female however as they are less aggressive. They can get way funnier when they get mad at you though, so the show sometimes is worth it. They give up too fast though
Living in the South
I don’t live in Miami anymore. I moved to the South. That sounds counter-intuitive but the South begins above Orlando and goes to about Virginia-ish. It mixes with the north from there. The reason I bring that up is that people are nice in the South. They let you in when you want to merge into traffic.
You just look at the other driver, ask with your hand if it’s ok and almost always you get let in. You wave when done and everyone feels good. Sure, it’s not the satisfaction of gaining seconds during a last dash merge, but I’m not in that big of a hurry anymore.
I got so used to letting people in, on a business trip in New York I tried to let someone in. They didn’t trust me so I realized I was supposed to cut them off. Once I did, they almost thanked me. See why people are happier in the south?
My traffic study skills show that staying in a lane can be just as fast as jumping all around. Merging skills are for when you are caught in a lane close and you have to get in. Don’t be a dick and tie up traffic for those few seconds.