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Old 07-18-2010, 04:17 PM   #1
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Chicago/Illinois Drivers vs. Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North Carolina Drivers

I just got back from a road trip to see the Tennesse Smokies and the Smokie mountains. I am a huge Chicago Cubs fan, and have been visiting the minor league teams to see if our future looks any better then the present. I admit that I rarely go on long car rides, and I have never driven through other states before. But I really like my new car, so I thought it would be a fun ride.

As we left the Chicago area and got into Indiana I started to notice that people seem to drive differently. It seemed that people were so much 'nicer' if you can drive 'nicely'. This continued in Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina. For instance on the highways almost everyone drove in the right lane, unless they were passing another car and then they got back into the right lane. It sounds small, but I am so used to driving in the Chicago area where we all know about that rule, but rarely ever follow it.

Plus I loved the 70 mile speed limits in those states. It was a fun and peaceful ride from Indiana all the way to Tennessee and to North Caronlina when we went into the Smokie Mountains. Well, driving in the Smokie Mountains might not have been peaceful---but it was fun!!!

I did enjoy the road trip and tried to count the number of Camaros that we saw on the way. For the entire trip we only saw about 15 other Camaros. Plus, the Tenneessee Smokies swept the Lookouts in a three game series, which made the trip all the better.

I was slightly disturbed by the number of cars and trucks in those states that had vanity front license plates. I have to have a front license plate in Illinois, but WHY would anyone put on a vanity license plate if they didn't need to? All the cars looked so much better when you left the front alone.

When we were driving back last night, you could tell when we entered Illinois again. It was every man for himself on the highways. Pass on the left, pass on the right, weave in and out of the lanes. It felt like a video game.

I guess as someone from Illinois, and the Chicago area, this has always been normal, but after a few days away, it took a while to get used to again. It was like driving with a bunch of late crazy people.

Has anyone else noticed that people from the Chicago area seem to drive like idiots? This question is coming from someone in the area that really thought that was just how everyone drove.
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Old 07-18-2010, 04:41 PM   #2
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The smokies are the best driving in the country especially deal's gap. And yes down south people are ususally nicer and yield more. But they are not necessarily better drivers. Try Florida
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Old 07-18-2010, 06:58 PM   #3
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As a previous Illinois Trooper who worked D-15 (toll roads) and now lives in SE Illinois its been that way for 30 years or more. Last time I was in Chicago it was worse than when I worked there in the late 80's and early 90's. Its nice to live where people exhibit a little more common sense and patience. I guess I'm just one of those rural snobs but I really don't miss living in the big City. To each their own or you just have to make the best of what you have.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:10 PM   #4
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Being from Tennessee but traveling the US for work I can tell you that people are nicer down South. I don't say this because I live here it's just the truth. When I leave for a job I really have to get mentally ready for the traffic that I know I will face. I drive somewhere around 40,000 miles yearly and have seen it all.

When I am off work (which is 5 months a year) we travel to the Smokies quite often, usually two to three times a month. Very enjoyable drive being just 2 hours from the house.

Glad you enjoyed your trip down South and had a safe return home. We welcome you anytime.
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Old 07-18-2010, 07:12 PM   #5
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I've never been to Chicago or down south but here in Pennsylvania I've noticed the same thing. I live in a rural area and people are like what you described about with the people from the south. Then last winter I decided to go to the auto show in Philly. I never saw people drive so bad in my life. The one interstate I was on seemed like it might have been narrower than most (might have just been me idk) but it was crowded with cars and I was doing around 70 (speed limit was 55) and I had people blowing by me doing at least 90 if not more. Scared the sh!t out of me! I had a blast at the auto show but the driving within 20 miles or so of the city was terrible. I don't know if I ever want to do that again. I'll stick to the calm peaceful country roads, thank you!
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Old 07-18-2010, 09:08 PM   #6
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Chicago area drivers make me crazy! I learned to drive in Chicago traffic, never really bothered me until I moved away. Now several times a year I'm back to visit. If I didn't love my SS I'd take the train!

There are an awful lot of people in the Chitown area that just have to drive in the left lane. Doesn't matter how slow they're going, or if they're on the phone, they got that left lane all blocked up. Then when you flash them they act like you're doing something wrong!

BTW, I think turn signals are illegal in Indiana. Not so noticeable on the highways, but drive thru any town and hardly anyone uses them.

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Old 07-19-2010, 10:03 AM   #7
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I did a trip similar to yours, and it's a great drive.

Driving around Chicago-land sucks. People seem to do everything in their cars, but drive them properly. Rush hour is the worst. It's like a demolition derby, you *always* have to be on the lookout for people cutting you off, or not letting you over when you need to merge. And left lane hogs seem to take pride in clogging up the freeways. Oh, and the roads SUCK.

As you get away from the metro area, everything changes. People are much more laid back and friendly. I've lived in the Chicago area most of my life, with the exception of a few years when I live in southern Indiana (Newburgh). It was like night and day. I really loved the way people were down south, that whole "southern hospitality" thing.

I hope to be able to leave this area again in the future. I may have been born in the north, but I'm a southerner at heart.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:18 AM   #8
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I agree with you, my family and I went to vacation to Florida and man all the way there it was a breeze to drive. Everyone stayed on the right lane unless they were gonna pass someone. But here in Chicago...
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:24 AM   #9
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Check out Texas sometime. We've got 80mph speed limits on the highways in the rural areas

I think the "every man for themselves" is a universal big city thing anywhere you go, regardless of state. The rural areas tend to understand a little better, and are typically a little more laid back.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:30 AM   #10
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If you want "perfect" driving, go to Michigan. It's great. Everyone uses the left lane to pass then gets over. If you're catching up to someone in the left lane, they'll move over before you even have to slow down. It's a breath of fresh air for sure.

After living in N. California and Chicago, I still love going back to Michigan and the pleasant driving makes it all the better.

And yes, Chicago people drive like maniacs, especially near the city where it's basically a free-for-all, and you have to dodge people on all sides. Haha.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:34 AM   #11
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The smokies are the best driving in the country especially deal's gap. And yes down south people are ususally nicer and yield more. But they are not necessarily better drivers. Try Florida

LOL ... The funny thing about Florida, is the majority of the bad drivers are the transplants from up North ...
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:48 AM   #12
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Being originally from Southern California, and moving here to KY. 17 years ago, I would have to agree with the OP. My drives to Indianapolis, and to the smokies and some points southward are very nice indeed. As for Deals Gap.....The tail of the dragon is a mighty fun drive. Just watch out for the motorcycles..
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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I COMPLETELY AGREE!!!! I'm originally from Texas and i thought there were bad driver there, man, was i wrong. Chicago has the most inconsiderate and retarded drivers. People are always blocking intersections so you cant turn in, people driving on the wrong side of the street while there's incoming traffic (and these drivers are doing it on purpose so they can pass the car in front of them), and there has been multiple instances where i've seen drivers hit parked cars . I've never had road rage until i started driving in chicago. Especially the chinatown/Pilsen area.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:12 PM   #14
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Oh, and i also hate how the speed limit is 45mph-55mph on the highway. No wonder there's always traffic here because you know there's always those people that have to drive 10mph below speed limit.

And i hate meter parking and sales tax here..

Other than that...GREAT CITY!
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #15
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yeah we're pretty bad
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:43 PM   #16
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Oh, and i also hate how the speed limit is 45mph-55mph on the highway. No wonder there's always traffic here because you know there's always those people that have to drive 10mph below speed limit.

And i hate meter parking and sales tax here..

Other than that...GREAT CITY!
LOL, that just about sums it up. Only, don't forget about the property taxes! haha
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Old 07-19-2010, 02:19 PM   #17
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BTW, I think turn signals are illegal in Indiana. Not so noticeable on the highways, but drive thru any town and hardly anyone uses them.

***not meant to bash or offend anybody, just one man's observations!***
$150 fine if you use your turn signals in IN. but seriously.. I live here, and yes, a lot of people do not use turn signals.. and it does urk me a lot.

But I guess I'm to blame also, as I got pulled over for not using a turn signal. But at the same time, it was 2 am, I was in a LEFT TURN ONLY lane, and made my turn, without signalling.. and I'll be darned if I didn't get pulled for turning left in a left turn only lane. so the point I was making.. we also have nice patrolmen.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:40 PM   #18
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Bad drivers...try Vegas
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:53 PM   #19
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I agree to an extent with your observations. I have driven all over this country for years and seems to me the simple truth is that the driving gets more agressive around population centers regardless of the state.
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Old 07-19-2010, 07:06 PM   #20
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Bad drivers...try Vegas
I've been around vegas and i would agree the drivers are pretty bad, but i still think chicago is worse. I think you would be amazed at the things you see.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:10 PM   #21
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You think the free for all after the game was crazy, you should be driving through Knoxville from Bristol after a Nascar race.. Holy Cow, all the sudden everyone is a nascar pro and driving 100mph bumper to bumpber the whole way down I-40.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:33 PM   #22
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You think the free for all after the game was crazy, you should be driving through Knoxville from Bristol after a Nascar race.. Holy Cow, all the sudden everyone is a nascar pro and driving 100mph bumper to bumpber the whole way down I-40.

Yeah, made the mistake of not paying attention to the Nascar schedule. We headed home here to Northern Ky. from Gatlinburg. Got caught up in that mess in Knoxville. Add to that the fact I was in a Camaro and it got Veeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyy Interesting!!
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Old 07-20-2010, 10:12 AM   #23
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You think the free for all after the game was crazy, you should be driving through Knoxville from Bristol after a Nascar race.. Holy Cow, all the sudden everyone is a nascar pro and driving 100mph bumper to bumpber the whole way down I-40.
hahaha...i can totally see that happening.
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