Published on June 8, 2015
Miamians have a special affection for their cars. What matters in Miami, besides the beaches, is image. Your car is a representation of yourself, and the way you drive it is a representation of your ego; and if there’s one thing we’ve got, it’s big egos.
First things, first… Miami officially is the capital of Latin America. With all the good and bad that comes with it there are certain cultural traits that affect how people interact, and most importantly drive in this exciting city. Like every self-respecting jungle, the Miami road has its own rules. This stuff is written into the cultural DNA of our city, but it can be tricky for out-of-town folks.
Here’s a picture of how a Miamian driver thinks, our most natural everyday interactions that could cause anything from sudden premature graying to a stroke in an outsider.
In most states you’re responsible for keeping track of what’s going on in front, behind, and on either side of you. In Miami you’re going to want to extend that radar by a few lanes in both directions so it doesn’t come as a surprise when someone tries to swerve across four lanes of traffic to make their exit.
Right of Way
Stop signs and broken traffic lights are mostly optional and are negotiated by determining who believes most strongly that it’s their turn. Don’t bother trying to get in ahead of a mom in an SUV.
Morning rush hour in Miami starts an hour before dawn and ends just in time for the lunch rush. Unfortunately you’ll probably get stuck in the hilariously named “5 o’clock” traffic before you reach your favorite sandwich shop, which continues till the sun goes down.
People will be heading either to “da club” on Friday and Saturday night, and that means things are going to be extra interesting on the expressway. If you’re not comfortable in regular Miami traffic this might be a good time to take the scenic route to wherever you’re going.
Communication in Traffic
Honking is never advisable, because already high-strung drivers might blow a fuse and decide to run you off the road. Instead, vent your grievances by swearing loudly and fluently from your open window (in Spanish of course).
Dazzle and confuse the locals by using your turn signals, not that it’ll help. Actually you are letting them know that you are about to invade their lane; hence they must speed up to enforce their dominance. Always keep an eye out for sudden movements, because you won’t get any warning before someone barrels in from another lane.
Don’t expect people to put down their phones or stop applying makeup in the car just because it’s some of the craziest traffic in the country. You’ll want to watch out for these distracted drivers, because they have a tendency to slam on the brakes or slowly drift out of their lane.
If you’re used to coasting to a comfortable stop at a red light you can expect someone swerve around you madly to get between you and the light. If you’ve made a habit of actually stopping at yellow lights then I hope you’ve got your car accident lawyer’s number handy, because you might get rear ended, and verbally (maybe physically) assaulted.
If you’re from outside you’ll want to keep your distance (don’t slow down though), Miami drivers can be prone to sudden stopping, swerving, backing up, or other actions that would cause mayhem in other parts of the country.
Miami road construction is designed to keep you on your toes. Watch out for those barrels, because they have a tendency to move unexpectedly during the night to catch complacent drivers unawares.
Few things are certain in life, but if there’s one thing you can count on in Miami, it’s that you’re going to find yourself in a car accident sooner or later. When that happens you’ll want to make sure you’ve got the best car accident lawyers in Miami, because a lot of Miami drivers are uninsured, and some don’t even have a license.
It takes a special set of skills to be a successful driver in our city; Miami will keep your reflexes sharp and your mind alert.
What was the craziest thing you experienced while driving in Miami?
Category: Car Accidents