Monday, June 25, 2012

Commuting

I'm slowly learning the ways of St. Louis drivers.  They are ridiculous here!  Actually, I'm not sure if there's a place that drivers aren't ridiculous.  I've figured out that people in Springfield are just bad drivers/don't know how to drive and people in St. Louis are idiotic drivers.


So in my two weeks of commuting to work, I've come up with a few things that I've discovered.  If you ever come to STL, maybe this will help you out.
  • Use outer roads to avoid the congestion mess on the highway. We are fortunate enough to live just south of Interstate 64, which leads right to the city.  In order for me to get where I'm going, I have to take 64 to 270 (which goes around the city).  There's about 2 miles (or so) of outer road that I can drive to avoid the Interstate.  When I actually have to get on, I'm in the exit lane for 270, so it works out perfect!
  • Speed limit 60 mpg?  That's code for, "You better drive 80."  No joke.  People drive fast here.  You definitely don't want to get ran over, so you have to drive traffic speed.
  • Everyone tailgates each other.  There are basically two reasons why:
    • 1.  You're going too slow, and they can't get over to pass because everyone is passing you.
    • 2.  They don't want to let others in between them and you.I don't necessarily drive traffic speed since I'm driving the opposite direction of everyone else.  I do try to drive the speed limit (or 5 over), and people will tail me.  I just think that if they want to go faster, then they can go around me.  It's something that I will have to get used to.  My dad always taught me that you give the person 1 car length of space for every 10 mph you're driving.  I may not give that amount of space all the time, but I definitely want to have enough space where I can slow down in time if the person in front of me does something stupid.
  • Drive fast down the exit lane.  Now I know this sounds silly, but it's a simple trick that I've learned.  When getting on the highway, most of the lanes are "exit only" to the next exit.  So I can drive down that lane until I absolutely have to get over (and I just passed a whole bunch of traffic).  However, the prime time to squeeze in is in front on a semi truck.  They're at a slow speed and it takes forever for them to get up to speed, so I can sneak in front of them.  It's perfect!
  • Talk on the phone with a headset.  Every afternoon I call my mom (and sometimes my dad too) and talk to her on the way home.  I've learned that my hands free headphones make it sooo much easier to concentrate on driving.
The multiple lanes freaked me out at first.  I'm a small town girl where I only drove on a 4 lane highway growing up.  I never knew the meaning of "driving defensively" until I moved here.  I quickly learned that it's better to have 3 other lanes to pass people in (when I do want to be a speed demon) than just one other lane.  :]
I'm adjusting.  It's not horrible.  Who knows, I may be a pro in a few years and have more insight on how to drive in crazy, city traffic.  For now, this is all I got.

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