7.01.2011

Houston Driving Policies


As of yesterday, I was unsure of the general policy concerning Road Rage here in Houston. I know in Chicago it's tolerated and prevalent; flipping people off, honking horns, screaming out windows, etc. I know because I receive this type of feedback most times I drive.

In Houston, however, I'm not sure this behavior is accepted. This is the south, you know? People have the whole southern hospitality thing going on. So when some person cut me off yesterday, I immediately felt bad after honking my horn.

Thankfully, minutes later, a Hummer operated by a burly Hispanic guy started honking at me. He then rolled down his window, pulled up next to me, and mouthed "DIE BITCH."

I had two epiphanies in that moment. One, I had been driving 40mph in the passing lane for quite some time. Two, I could stop feeling bad because road rage is obviously legit in Houston! PHEW!!!!

10 comments:

  1. A friend of mine from California visited Houston to see family and got stuck in the middle of an all-out brawl on 59 during a traffic jam. The hostilities were apparently concerning the soccer game between Honduras and El Salvador at Texas Stadium. Go figure. Fistfights on the freeway! Only in Houston. ;)

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  2. Megan - as a native-born Texan, I wouldn't take the fact that you were the victim of road rage as an indication that it is an acceptable practice.

    One thing to remember, if you are tempted to get in an altercation with a fellow road warrior: People Carry Guns. And, in these parts, "Gun Control" means "hit your intended target".

    Cheers,
    ~EdT.

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  3. you had me at die bitch. I had a hispanic man show me his gun. Whilst driving after I cut him off he pulled up turn his head, straight faced--showed me his gun and then put it right back down and kept driving. I learn a very valuable lesson that day: Only drive like an asshole in the suburbs.

    New to the blog and loving it! I found you at The Bloggess.

    PS I too was in remedial math and AP English. Its a sad, weird thing.

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  4. Yes, road rage is alive and well in Texas - you just have to know how to do it and when to do it. Remember we can carry concealed weapons. haha Also, just note, Texas is NOT the South - it is Texas. We create our own type of hospitality. :)

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  5. I just found your blog today via The Blogess - LOVE IT! I am a native Texan displaced in shitty Baltimore and I miss it! I have never come across true road rage until I lived in the DC-Baltimore area, but it makes sense it comes from the big cities! The B-more style of road rage is either, a, really trying to run you off the road or if you're a pedestrian over completely or, b, actually shooting you. No lie.

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  6. I'm sure you've read this somewhere already, but as a Houston native, I had to share. (Sorry it's so long!)

    You must learn to pronounce the city name. It is "Ewe-stun", not "Huestun." Oh yea, it is pronounced "San Phil-a-pee," not "San Phil-eep" (San Felipe).


    2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Houston has its own version of traffic rules...Hold on and pray. There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Houston. We all drive like that.


    3. All directions start with, "Go down to Loop 610".... which has no beginning and no end.


    4. The Chamber of Commerce calls getting through traffic... a "Scenic Drive."


    5. The morning rush hour is from 6:00AM to 10:00AM. The evening rush hour is from 3:00PM to 7:00PM. Friday's rush hour starts Thursday morning.


    6. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one off the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going, to avoid getting into any cross-traffic's way. *You can ask my sister about getting plowed down by a person who strongly believes in this one!


    7. Kuykendahl Road can ONLY be pronounced by a native Houstonian.


    8. Construction on I-10, I-45, US 59 and Loop 610 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment.


    9. All unexplained smells are explained by the phrase, "Oh, we must be in Pasadena!!!."


    10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect.


    11. All old ladies with blue hair in a pink Cadillac have total right-of-way.


    12. The minimum acceptable speed on Loop 610 is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy.


    13. The wrought iron on windows in east Houston is NOT ornamental.


    14. Never stare at the driver of the car with the bumper sticker that says, "Keep honking, I'm reloading." In fact, don't honk at anyone. *THIS IS NOT A JOKE EITHER*


    15. If you are in the left lane, and only going 70 mph in a 60 mph zone, people are not waving when they go by.


    16. The Sam Houston Toll road is our daily version of NASCAR.


    17. If it's 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend.


    18. When in doubt, remember that all unmarked exits lead to Louisiana.


    19. You don't have to wait for an exit to get off a freeway, just follow the ruts in the grass to the frontage road like everyone else. This is how Houston residents notify Texas Department of Transportation where exits should have been built.

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  7. SW Fwy, 1979, strange noise "Did we blow a tire?" "I don't think so, the truck doesn't feel any different." At home in Bellaire, a visual check of the truck reveals not one but TWO bullet holes in the tailgate. NO idea why or who, just that it happened. And that's when I first got there...oh the stories I could tell, but virtual cocktails just don't have the same effect as f2f irl.

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  8. Hi Meghan. Found your blog through "The Blogess" and I am thoroughly enjoying it! I, too, have recently been transplanted to Texas from California. The first thing I noticed was the driving. Texans are agressive. I thought at first it was my California plates and they were all picking on me, but I found out when driving with my friend who has TEXAS plates, they were no less demanding on her (of course, she WAS driving a Prius, so that might have something to do with it). Anyway, just thought I'd say I'm going to be following your blog because I can learn how to adapt to Texas through you and because you make me laugh! ~Jen

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  9. Texas has city driving rules and rural driving rules. If you want friendly driving, you have to exit the city and go to Hill Country. They're the friendliest because there are fewer of them. Exponentially fewer. Texas hospitality does not extend to the road. Usually people are pretty friendly, at least around here (DFW), but when it comes to the road, each person owns. Don't piss anyone off.

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  10. Please do not ever get into the left lane, EVER, unless you intend to go 15-20 miles over. Honestly, the passing lane is for just that - passing. If you aren't in the lane to pass anyone, and you are just cruising, you are liable to have much hellfire rained down on you.

    Similarly, if you are driving a Prius (or the like), or a minivan, or you have multiple children in tow, keep it in the middle/right lanes.

    WISE WORDS!

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