Monday, December 04, 2006

Crappy driver assessment

If you watch the news at all, you've probably heard about a federal government program which has recently come to light. If you've crossed the U.S. border via flight any time in the past four years, chances are you have a terrorist rating, depending on various factors.

Some folks, as you can imagine, aren't pleased with this. And, when you get down to it, it's a high-brow form of profiling.

I thought of this while rolling through Maryland and seeing the normal assortment of shitty drivers that The Free State has to offer. And I put two and two together. What if, based on a whole host of factors, you could determine the greatest chance of crappy driving based on socioeconomic factors?

It's worth a shot, right? The higher your score, the better chance you're a crappy driver. (And let me get this out of the way: I certainly understand why folks don't like profiling of any kind, and this exercise is completely tongue-in-cheek. But some truth lies in every joke, so you decide where the line is.)

Beat-up junker: +2
Car with bare minimum tricked-out-edness: +3
Sports car: +3.5
High-end car (BMW, Benz, Jag): +3.5
Combo of the two previous: +8 total
Taxi: +7
Sportbike: +9

North Carolina: +2
California: +4
Virginia: +4.5
Maryland: +6
Diplomat: +7.5
New York: +8
New Jersey: +8

60 and up: +4
25-30: +5
16-20: +6

Wing (or other parts) that look like they were made in shop class: +5
Cell phone in use: +8
Non-driving related activities (make-up, taking notes, etc.): +5
Don't know how to drive in a given weather condition (i.e., snow): +7
Tourist: +4

That's about all I can think of for now. But give it a few days, and someone will piss me off - and they probably won't fit into a category I've got here.


Mandy said...

You forgot Michigan. That should be a +10, an 8 at least. Michigan is only a few hours away from where I live and it seems that Michigan drivers are always in a hurry to get away from Michigan!

P.J. said...

Please tell me that you don't seriously have New York even with New Jersey as that's nuts.

The upstate version of NY is way better than the downstate, which is why lumping everyone together is tough.

You've also not apparently driven in New England any time in the past 10 years because they may very well trump every other state. I've never seen so many people who are awful in one small place.

Ask Matt sometime about driving in Connecticut. I think I aged five years in the one year I was there. On some of the highways (read: 95, Merritt Parkway), the posted 65 seems to just be a suggestion. Oh, and they aren't afraid to sling past you, then cut you off 100 yards later for an off ramp!

Add Quebec plates to the mix too. They are awful.

The bottom line is you usually can't just go by the plate because there are good and bad everywhere. When I was in Pennsylvania for school I thought they had some of the worst drivers (mostly because they all seemed to drive 30 in a 65), but I came to realize it doesn't matter where you are, there is crap for driving there too!

ME said...

There's nothing worse than Massholes when it comes to driving.

PJ is right about the Merritt & 95, south of Branford. I try & avoid tha area of 95 as much as possible & I've only driven on the Merritt once. That was more than enough.

Brian said...

You guys were right - I should have included Mass. And I'm sorry you got swept up in the NY plates deal, but oh well. I'd give you a special exemption. (And I routinely want to throttle Pennsylvanians I see on our little section of I-95 - so no one's immune. In fact, the only time I seriously thought about getting out of the car and kicking the shit out of someone happened in Harrisburg.)

Mandy, I've not seen enough folks from Michigan. I'll take your word for it.