Right on Red State
A bunch of things you should know before coming to Florida.
NO SERIOUSLY, DON'T
Alright you've made it this far. You must be really dead set on going to Florida. We're going to give you one last chance to back out…
Now that we've weeded out the weaklings, so you want to go to Florida, huh? You think it'll be all fun and games like those ABC specials where they go to Walt Disney World? Think again. In this article series, we'll discuss the things they didn't show you on Boy Meets World and Full House. Florida isn't like a TV show. Well it is, but it's more of a combination of Dexter and CSI, with a smattering of The Walking Dead thrown in.
For one, Disney World only takes up about .06% of the state’s area. That leaves 99.94% of the state you know nothing about. 40% of that is swamps, 40% is beaches, 40% golf course and 40% hotels. (Note to Editor: Have someone do the math on that, I would but I learned math in Florida.)
In this article we'll focus on traffic in Florida. If you plan on going places in Florida, you're going to find yourself in traffic at one point or another. This section will help you deal with other tourists on the road while avoiding being like them on the road.
As you may have surmised from the title, Florida is a right on red state. This means you are able to turn right at red lights. So when the car behind you is honking at you, it means you are probably good to turn at the red light. Notice the qualifier “probably.” Just because someone is honking at you doesn't mean you are clear to go. The car behind you does not control the traffic, so if a car is going to run into you, don't pull into traffic just because the car behind you honked.
The following instructions are based off of the interior of a 2005 Hyundai Elantra. Consult your rental car's owner's manual for more accurate instructions.
When driving in Florida, use your turn signals when turning and changing lanes. Just as a refresher, push the lever behind your steering wheel up when going right, and push it down when going left. If your windshield wipers slide across your windshield when you use your turn signal, try using the other lever behind you steering wheel.
Now that we covered turn signals, we can move on to dealing with other drivers. Remember, more often than not, the other drivers around you did not read this article. There is a good chance they don't know how their turn signals work. Always be prepared for a minivan to cut across five lanes of traffic with no indication because they saw a sign that said Disney or Universal or Citrus Tower.
In Florida it rains, but we'll cover that in another article, Oh God It’s Raining, How Is It Still So Hot? For now we'll give you a hint for driving in the rain. Put your headlights on. Your turn signal lever should have a knob that turns, this knob will turn on your headlights. At the first drop of rain turn this knob and do not turn your lights off until you've arrived at your destination. No one will judge you for having your lights on in bright sunlight. Now the turn signal lever that made your windshield wipers start for some reason, go ahead and push that down. The farther down you push it the faster your windshield wipers will go. Use this at your discretion. People will judge you if your windshield wipers are on high in a light drizzle. Your car may be equipped with a button with a triangle on it. This is known as your hazard button. This not to be used to tell others that it is raining, it is to be used when your car breaks down and you are pulled over to the side of the road.
Feel free to peruse our other Florida Travel articles, whenever we get around to posting them. To hold you until then, feel free to check out our travel series Tourist Trapped.
This is the first one, they get slightly better later.