Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Column: Psst ... What does a yellow light mean?

I recently got an e-mail from someone at GMAC Insurance who asked the question, “If licensed Massachusetts residents had to take a written drivers test today, would they pass?” According to the e-mail, “that answer is up for debate,” by which I presume they mean, “not in a million, trillion years.”

Not because people from Massachusetts never really learn how to drive — it’s because the circumstances of driving here actually force you to forget. If you wind up being the only driver on the road who knows when not to pass, who has the right of way in a rotary and how to drive in the snow without panicking, the other drivers will all talk about you. Usually at the top of their lungs, with their middle fingers bobbing in the air like little flesh-colored danger buoys.

According to GMAC, Massachusetts placed 45th out of 50 states when re-taking the written test. Of course, the results might be slightly skewed, given that its primary respondents were probably shut-ins who found it on the Internet — had more actual drivers taken the exam, the National Guard would already be here forcibly shutting down our roads.

[For the rest of this week's AT LARGE by Peter Chianca, click here.]

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