1. Turn signals will give away your next move. A real Florida driver never uses them. If you see a turn signal, it only means the bulb is good.
2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you, or the space will be filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.
3. Crossing two or more lanes in a single lane-change is considered going with the flow.
4. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.
5. Never, ever come to a complete stop at a stop sign. No one expects it and it will inevitably result in you being rear ended. If you want your insurance company to pay for a new rear bumper, come to a complete stop at all stop signs.
6. A right lane construction closure is just a game to see how many people can cut in line by passing you on the right as you sit in the left lane waiting for the same jerks to squeeze their way back in before hitting the orange construction barrels.
7. Never get in the way of an older car that needs extensive bodywork. Florida is a no-fault insurance state and the other guy doesn't have anything to lose.
8. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to ensure that your ABS kicks in, giving a nice, relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates. For those of you without ABS, it's a chance to stretch your legs.
9. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It's a good way to scare people entering the highway.
10. Speed limits are arbitrary figures, given only as suggestions and are apparently not enforceable in Florida during rush hour.
11. Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that a driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.
12. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic in Florida
13. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even someone changing a tire.
14. Learn to swerve abruptly. Florida is the home of high-speed slalom driving thanks to the State Highway Department, which puts potholes in locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.
15. It is traditional in Florida to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes.
16. Never take a green light at face value. Always look right and left before proceeding.
17. Remember that the goal of every Florida driver is to get there first, by whatever means necessary.
18. Real Florida women drivers can put on pantyhose and apply eye makeup at seventy-five miles per hour or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
19. Real Florida men drivers can remove their girlfriend's panties and bra at seventy-five miles per hour or in bumper-to-bumper traffic.
20. In the Florida area 'flipping someone the bird' is considered a polite New Jersey salute. This gesture should always be returned.
(Sad thing is, a good amount of this is true.)
May 3 2002, 1:56 pm