Many people don’t know this, but Miami driving can be hectic. In fact, a study conducted last year found that Florida drivers have the worst reputation in the country.
But Miami-Dade County seems to be the worst when it comes to bad driving etiquette. Driving here can be downright dangerous. A car accident is the last thing you want to deal with on a vacation or business trip.
The Miami area has some of the highest auto insurance premiums in the country. Drivers here tend to drive however they want and this leads to accidents, road rage and general stress on the road.
Traffic violations that are common everywhere are seen in Miami too. But the failure to use the turn signal seems like an epidemic here.
Miami Driving: Lack of the Turn Signal
It seems strange that a specific bad habit would be so common in drivers from a certain city. But Miami drivers are notorious for not using their turn signals.
It turns out that there are some convincing reasons why Miami motorists often don’t use turn signals. If you’re planning on driving in Miami soon it may help to familiarize yourself with this behavior.
Let’s look at some reasons why you don’t see the turn signal as much in Miami.
Signaling May Be a Sign of Weakness
Aggressive driving is common in many large cities and Miami is no exception. Many people tend to exert authority while driving. This a confusing and often dangerous way to drive.
It may seem strange, but a psychological element could be a play when it comes to using a turn signal. It turns out that it could be taken as a sign of weakness.
When a driver sees that someone is signaling to change lanes in front of them, they could be taking it personally. A signal could be perceived as an intention to cut someone off.
Most people have probably experienced another driver speeding up when they see an indication of a lane change in front of them. This could be the result of this psychological reaction. A driver doesn’t want to seem weak so they speed up when they see a turn signal.
Not using a turn signal could also be an affirmation of authority. On the other hand, not letting someone in who is using a turn signal is a way to exert authority as well.
To avoid this psychological dynamic, many Miami motorists have stopping signaling altogether. This doesn’t make Miami driving easy.
If you’re visiting this great city and renting a car, make sure and use good judgment and pay close attention while driving.
Miami Is a Melting Pot
Miami has an extremely diverse culture. The population is made up of transplants from other areas of the country, people from foreign countries and folks of all ages.
Therefore, it’s quite possible that motorists have learned to drive elsewhere and their perception of the rules are different. The result is a city of drivers who do what they want.
Miami also has a huge tourist industry so many people on the road are just getting their bearings. You probably know the feeling of driving in an unfamiliar city. Because you’re unfamiliar with your environment you often have to make quick decisions.
Because the city has no standard for driving etiquette, drivers have adapted to the behavior of drivers around them. The lack of signaling has simply become commonplace in Miami driving. This can make for quite a volatile situation on the road.
Too Many Distractions
Every day in the U.S. approximately nine people are killed and around 1,000 injured in auto accidents resulting from distracted driving. These are horrifying numbers.
Today drivers have more distractions than they’ve ever had. With everything from satellite radio, to smartphones to fast food, it’s a wonder there aren’t more accidents than there are.
Many people in America are under the false illusion that they are always safe while driving. As a result, many people feel they have the freedom to do things like text or email while operating a vehicle. They don’t realize they are endangering everyone else on the road.
Texting while driving in the state of Florida is still a secondary offense. This means that police cannot pull over motorists who are texting. This simply increases the use of cellphones while driving.
This is undoubtedly a reason why Miami driving is so dangerous. Many people on Miami roads aren’t signaling because their hands are busy doing something else. Because they currently aren’t at risk of being pulled over, they will continue to do it.
It’s up to you to remain alert and focused while driving in Miami. There’s a good chance a driver isn’t using a turn signal because they’re busy with something else.
Be careful when driving in Miami – we have compiled additional info and tips here: Driving in Miami: Everything You Need to Know
Staying Safe Behind the Wheel in Miami
Simply being aware of the lack of signal use is the first step to staying safe during your visit. You now need to employ defensive driving techniques to protect yourself.
If a car is approaching while you’re waiting to pull out onto a street, never assume that they are turning if they don’t have their signal on. Wait until they have either passed or turned before proceeding.
Always use your turn signal when turning or changing lanes. Just because nobody else is doing it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t either.
The main thing to remember is to always be alert. Defensive driving is the best way to stay safe, especially in an unfamiliar place.
Enjoy Your Next Trip to Miami
Miami is a truly unique and beautiful place. It has a culture unlike any city in America. Whether you’re visiting on business or for pleasure, there are countless ways to enjoy this vibrant city.
A city’s traffic shouldn’t ruin your visit. Miami driving may be hectic, but as long as you remain aware you’ll be able to enjoy the city safely.
Here are some great things to enjoy in Miami with a rental car: Things to Do in Miami With a Rental Car
441 Auto Rental provides rental car services in the Miami and Ft. Lauderdale areas. We provide a wide variety of vehicles to fit your needs while you’re here. Contact us for more information.