First Time Driver in Florida - Please Help

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Apr 16th, 2004, 06:21 AM
  #21
bluestructure
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I would suggest renting a car your most comfortable driving in, planning your route ahead of time (Mapquest.com), buying a good road map to have with you, having a cell phone (very important), and dont forget your swimsuit. Florida Interstates do have call boxes every mile apart, in the event that you dont have a cell phone you can go to one of those and summon police, fire, or tow. If you have a cell, dont forget that 911 calls for help or *FHP (*347) calls the FL highway patrol. Dont forget to have fun!
 
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Sep 27th, 2004, 04:27 PM
  #22
 
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If anyone is driving on I75 --- Good Luck. I spent 16 years living in Houston with freeways, beltways, etc. -- and found that to be easy compared to Florida. Florida drivers are THE WORST!
The speed limit is 70mph on I-75 and everyone seems to drive 95! They zoom around and pass on the right and there are wrecks (fatal) every day. It is terrible.
When not on the interstate people in the cities are speeding and running yellow and red lights constantly.
I don't understand where the law enforcement is. Other states seem to be able to keep drivers within the speed limits --- but not here!!
Beware and be on the alert at all times here in Florida.
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Sep 27th, 2004, 04:45 PM
  #23
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bns 1021, I agree, a yellow light means hurry up so you can get through. Red doesn't mean stop necessarily to too many people. You learn to wait a few seconds before starting up when yours turns green, and looking. I see any number of people make a left (or U) turn when they have a red arrow. Do they not understand it? I don't think that's the case. I was startled initially, but now am very used to it...and definitely drive yellow lights that way.

On the interstate though, or any place where you have two lanes of traffic going in the same direction, it is perfectly legal to pass on the right. If you didn't and there was a slow-poke in the left lane, would you want everyone to go at his/her speed even though the right lane was open? You'd have back-ups for miles! My father used to say the same thing about passing on the right--is that a law anyplace when there are two or more lanes going in the same direction? If so, please tell me as I'll be in big trouble driving elsewhere!
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Sep 27th, 2004, 04:55 PM
  #24
 
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Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. Lanes are one thing --- but I have seen people drive off the road to pass on the right.
You are right about the yellow and red lights. It is best just wait when you get a green light until you see who is going to run the yellow or red light.
And ------- whatever you do --- if you approach a light that suddenly changes to yellow --- and if a car is on your tail --- definitely run the yellow light or you will get rear-ended! I have known of this happening a lot here in Florida.
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Sep 27th, 2004, 05:09 PM
  #25
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Gotcha, bns, and I've seen that happen too. Not often fortunately and those are the crazies. You will notice as you drive around there aren't many police around enforcing rules, so they are broken--constantly. We used to live in Plano, a city that had oodles of police and you just didn't break traffic laws...the odds of getting caught were way too high. School zones meant
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Sep 27th, 2004, 05:14 PM
  #26
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Gads...I always have trouble with this darn touch pad on the laptop!! Sorry about that.

I started to say, school zones meant what they said in Plano. You did NOT speed. You WOULD be caught. They are often disregarded here.

I agree wholeheartedly about not stopping when a light first turns yellow. No one behind you is expecting that dastardly maneuver and you stand a good chance of being rear ended! And you definitely will see innumerable "hand signals"!

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Sep 27th, 2004, 05:19 PM
  #27
 
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Yes, I almost forgot about the hand signals!! And everyone loves to honk!
Sometimes it looks like they are having some kind of fit when they get so upset.
I can't imagine getting that upset just trying to drive down the street!
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Sep 27th, 2004, 06:29 PM
  #28
 
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All these posts and not one has explained the basics of driving like a true Florida resident. Ok here are the rules:
A) The left lane is for the slowest drivers. Be sure to get in it if you are going to make a left turn in the next 25 miles.
B) To drive you should sit in the car lower than the steering wheel. If your head is higher than the steering wheel, be sure to slouch down so you look through it, not over it.
C) Red lights are a signal that you might consider slowing down. If a light turns red while you are within seeing distance of it, hit the gas and get through it before it turns green again.
D) Turn signals are for sissies. Keep the others guessing by changing lanes at the last minute then making a quick 90 degree turn.
E) Make sure you always have the necessary tools to drive. These include a cell phone to talk into, make-up to apply while driving, maps to look at, tour books for pointing at street side attractions, and food for eating while driving. Hot coffee to sip or a beer in a paper bag are optional.
F) Speed limits are mere guidelines. As long as you are within 25 miles per hour one way or the other you are fine.
G) At night be sure to keep your bright lights on, especially when driving within 5 feet behind a car.
H) Whenever you pull out in heavy traffic, be sure to cross as many lanes as possible in the shortest distance possible. This is fun and a test of skill.
I) To be a true Florida driver you must meet at least two of the following criteria:
1) Have a revoked driver's license
2) Have cancelled insurance
3) Drive a car with at least three
lights that don't work
4) Make sure your car emits thick
black smoke whenever you
accelerate
5) Always be intoxicated while
driving.

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Oct 1st, 2004, 07:12 AM
  #29
 
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Patrick, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. All of it is so true!!
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Oct 1st, 2004, 07:41 AM
  #30
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I'm going to print out your last post Patrick for my engineer to read. He is a great driver. Has taken California, Boston, NYC, and worst of Chicago/Indiana corridors in stride. (Although on the last, he is hopping off this year and going the way of us lesser skilled and sane drivers.) The man drove in Europe and has only complained a couple of times in Italy.

But he now refuses to drive in Florida.
Last winter we saw on one day (sunny- no rain, snow, fog or potholes like home) near St. Augustine: same driver with trailer crossing grass medium and going into on coming traffic and then back again TWICE within a couple of miles, three rear ending accidents, and at least 2 near misses with someone in the left lane trying to do a turn or turnaround with traffic going 50 to 70 around them. WHY do these people drive slowly in the left lane??? He was so shook we ended up staying North and going down to Cape C. for space station one day later. He will not drive in Florida now.
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Oct 1st, 2004, 07:56 AM
  #31
 
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JJ5
I can certainly understand why someone would refuse to drive in Florida. It is unbelievable. I am just praying to survive all the crazy drivers here for another 2 years when we retire and move someplace else.
In the meantime, I am going to write the Florida Highway Patrol, our Governor Bush, and local traffic authorities to ask why this kind of driving is allowed! They are always trying to get the tourist dollars here -- then, once the tourist get here -- they try to kill them on the road!
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