Monday, April 30, 2012

Is driving in the US really all that dangerous?




By Cliff, resident storyteller and regular contributor to UpShift.

It seems not a day goes by that somewhere in the news, there isn’t some reporter talking about the crumbling condition of our roads and especially our bridges here in the US. Texting while driving is now verboten in 37 states, DC and Guam. Yes, you read that right, Guam. If I ever find myself on Guam, I think I would be a hell of a lot more concerned about one those 155 howitzer shells left over from WWII going off than texting. But I digress.

OK, We all know texting is dangerous and you shouldn’t do it while driving. And if we are really being honest about it, we all know that the driver’s test is a nothing but a bad fucking joke. Don’t agree? Put any 16 year old with a newly laminated license into a skid, and watch them shit their pants while returning to the fetal position all safe and secure in Mummy’s tummy. You were saying?

But folks, I am here to tell you that we live in a dream world of driving safety compared to Latin America where I’ve spent a fair amount of time driving and being driven. Latin American life expectancy must be shorter by a year or 2 just on general driving principles.

Being that they are our neighbor just to the south, let’s start with Mexico. The vast majority of Mexican Nationals do not have a drivers’ license. Unless, of course they live in NY, Chicago or LA. Anyway, in Mexico, if you can afford to buy the car, you’re driving. If you are from the US and plan to drive in Mexico, you are insane if you don’t buy Mexican Car Insurance. You see, in Mexico, when there is an accident and no bribes settling up who’s at fault aren’t paid on the spot, everyone goes to jail. And one guess what speed the Mexican judicial system runs? BTW- you’ll never catch a Mexican prison guard buying Viagra . . . . not to put a fine “point” on it.


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