I have lived in Rhode Island for approx 30 years, been driving for 18 years, and the type of job that I have I am on the road all day, 5 days a week. But, it doesn’t take rocket science to know that Rhode Island has some of the WORST drivers in America! I found an article from last year citing Providence, Rhode Island as #6 for the worst drivers in the U.S., here, check it out! http://www.businessinsider.com/cities-with-most-car-crashes-2010-10#6-providence-ri-11
The article is from last year, but I can’t see that it has gotten any better in the past 12 months. So, if you ever decide to move to this glorious state with loads of character(s), here are some tips on how to drive with the best of ’em! And if you already live here, chances are, this is you!
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for any rear end accidents, fender benders, road rage, or any mishaps that may occur after reading this.
1. Don’t ever use a directional, or blinker as we call it here. If I am behind you, and you are turning into the Dunkin Donuts, my psychic abilities will allow me to know to slow down, or brake suddenly so that you can make your turn.
2. If you are trying to pull out onto oncoming traffic, and you can count to three before the next car approaches, you have plenty of time to make it before getting t-boned. (this is called “cutting people off”)
3. If you are elderly, by all means, please drive in the middle of two lanes. After all, you have made it to 85 years old, it IS your god given right to do as you please. (do us a favor and hand in your license)
4. Don’t take the highway. For whatever reason, many Rhode Islanders I know, will not take the highway. They are scared of yielding, or going over 50 mph. Whichever the case, they take side roads everywhere they go. Forget about grandma coming to visit you kids if you live anywhere that involves jumping on Rt. 95!
5. Brush up on your four letter words. You will need them for the person who doesn’t use their blinker, cuts you off in traffic, and drives in two lanes. If swearing is against your religion, or you have an impressionable toddler in the backseat, hand gestures work just as well. There is always the middle finger. You can hang this one out the window while moving your lips to say “fuck you”, your child will be none the wiser. Then there are the two hands thrown up in the air gesture as to say “what the hell are you doing?” Just be careful, this is also called road raging, and things can turn ugly!
6. Practice the “Rhode Island slide” If you’re not familiar with this one, here’s how it works. If you’re trying to turn left out of a driveway or parking lot, and there are no cars coming from the left, slide right out there and wait for someone on your right to let you go. If traffic is approaching on the left, they most likely will not hit you, but there are no guarantees. Do not make eye contact. I repeat, do not make eye contact! Focus on the traffic to your right, and then when you are finally set to turn, make you sure to wave thank you to both parties!
7. Know where all the speed traps are in every city and on all highways. The state is so small, that the police are limited as to where they can hide. You will know when to slow it down in no time!
There you have it. Don’t be scared, be defensive. You will need to replace your brake pads or rotors quite often, you will pay sky high rates in insurance premiums, and you may end up with high blood pressure. But this is what it takes to get from A to B in the Ocean State. Good luck and happy driving!