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What's Your Massachusetts Driving Horror Story?
If you're not familar with Massachusetts Driving Rules, you may think some of the stories on this page would be made up. However, as people from out of state are constantly telling me, things are pretty screwed up here. What do you want? Proper highway planning? Courtesy? Please. If we wanted things like that, we'd all move south. Heck, even people from New York make Massachusetts drivers look bad.
Driving in Boston one rainy day, I was stopped (stationary, not moving) in traffic near Fanueil Hall. This guy in a green mini-van was inching up in the lane to the left of me when his van ran aside of my driver's side mirror. It dented his van but did not damage my car. He pulled ahead of me and pulled over to the side of the road, he got out and walked toward my car yelling and screaming at me for denting his car. I screamed right back in his face and told him it was NOT my fault....it was his! He quickly changed his attitude and we exchanged insurance information. He was simply trying to intimidate me to think it was my fault - which it wasn't....my car was stationary in traffic! Jerk!
Comment by: Shelly Martin
I had JUST moved out here from Illinois and had just gotten my car back after putting $1500 of work into it when I was involved in a 4 car accident on 290 in Worcester because someone cut the woman in front of me off. *sigh* I got a new car out of it, and a nice welcome to New England. Thankfully no one was hurt.
Comment by: Wendy
Just thought you would like to hear that someone MISSES Boston drivers. I just moved from Boston to North Carolina. If there is ANYTHING falling from the sky: rain, Snow, Sleet, Sunshine, dust whatever.. Traffic slows to a crawl. The city doesnt even OWN a snowplow down here. Amazing though. Over 1 INCH of snow, the city closes, all companies close and we get snow days!! At least in Boston, people can drive in the winter.
Comment by: Brian
I would like to amend #6 in the How to Tell Where a Driver Comes from: Anyone driving with their eyes closed, both feet on the gas, and their hands trembling isn't someone from Ohio driving in Boston -- It's someone from Worcester who has to routinely drive through Kelley Square! I make the sign of the cross every time I make it through alive!
Comment by: Katie
I live in florida where people from Mass. come for the winter...I use to cuss and scream at the stupid yankee drivers being disrespectful and rude then act like IM crazy for hollering at them. Then I met a man from "Wista" and we went "home" to visit. I realized ya'll actually DRIVE like that. I couldn't do anything but laugh. Im a little more tolerant now of Yankee Mass drivers. P.S. what the HELL is a rotary?
Comment by: Marybeth
I was heading to my mom's apt. in Canton coming from T F Green (I know ya don't use Logan if yah smaht) and I was cruisin' along at 70-75 mph on I-95 NB, center lane (I was about to move over anyway because left-lane cruisers piss me off too) when in the blink of an eye, three assholes on Japanese superbikes blast past me on the right at about 120 mph, slice in front of me with no warning, and zing down the highway playing chicken with everyone on the road (damned if I hadn't gotten rid of my cell phone that week, I wanted to report those bastards!) and disappear over the horizon in about 2 or 3 seconds, literally. I also remember another incident coming back from the Cape (I-495 NB or SR-24 NB, I don't remember which) where a big asshole with a lifted Ram (the logo plastered all over, pure black, tinted windows, cut muffler, you know the type) came up behind me, about 3' from my rear bumper (literally) and waited until I moved over. He then moved up to another car and did it again, even though he could have ducked past. Looking back, I think maybe I should have slowed to 40 or 45 just to teach him a lesson, but then this guy seemed like the kind of bastard whose brain was about the size of a donut hole from Dunkie's, and who would turn my brand-new car into a sheetmetal waffle without thinking. In general, simply staying on my toes and being ready (and willing!) to swerve at any time has done me well while driving in Mass. (And in my home town, where the drivers aren't aggressive but just stupid.) But NOTHING could have prepared me for anything like that!
Comment by: Mark Hammond
I have too many stories to mention here. Although my favorite experience recently was someone cutting accross all four lanes of Storrow Drive right at the light trying to get to Rt 28. Road design is a major draw back here. Roads constantly merge 3 lanes to 2. Four lanes to 2. They criss-cross every which way. The biggest cause of slow downs in traffic is the stubborness of people when it comes to any type of merge. If people would use what I call the zipper method of merging it goes so much faster. One car on the left one car on the right etc. However people trying to cut others off causes everything to stop. Or the ones who think they're so special that try driving past a line of ten cars then want to cut back in. This happens frequently on Storrow where the left turn only lanes are clearly marked but usually empty. People feel no shame about driving down those lanes and cutting back in in front of the 20 cars they just pssed and are actually really ticked off if you won't let them in. I'd like to see someone try that in a supermarket line.
Comment by: Jim
Right off the exit from Rt. 2 East to Park Ave in Arlington/Belmont is a two lane road and then a light. Most people are curteous enough to get in the left lane to turn left onto the one lane road, but often at rush hour, when the offramp gets a bit of a line waiting at the light, you get some meathead who pulls into the right lane signalling left, as if they're turning onto another two lane road. They then cut off everybody in the left lane as they try to force their way past everybody. At the same intersection, sitting in the left lane, I watched as someone pulled to the front of the right lane, not signalling, so they could have been going straight through the light. A car pulled up behind them, signalling right and proceeded to rev their engine and honk at the other car, trying to get them to go, even though the light was red. The schmuck in the second car instantly assumed everybody in the right lane was turning right, even though the person wasn't signalling. As it was, the person just ignored them and went on straight when the light turned green. I can only hope the other driver learned his lesson and felt like an ass... but you know how drivers are around here, so I doubt it.
Comment by: Bill
My biggest pet peeve? Well it has to be when I am the only car on the road, no one behind me, and some jerk has to be all brave and pull out in front of me when I practically have to slam on my breaks to keep from hitting them. (I mean come on no one is behind me you can't wait two more seconds) So I think for a moment "Maybe they are in a real hurry!" but that goes out the window because Then what do they do? They creep along barely even driving the speed limit. Man you were all brave and driving like an animal when you pulled out in front of me... what happened??
Comment by: Cindy
A little disclaimer: First of all I'm from New York and I have to say that New York Drivers arent the greatest either but when compared to Massachusetts drivers oh man... I never thought anything could be worse than driving in MidTown dyuring rush hour but its a cake walk compared to driving almost anywhere is Eastern Mass, especially anywhere inside the 495 loop. Anyways here is my funny, practically text book example of Massachusetts driving technique in action: I was driving on Rt. 9 from Framingham to Boston in the left lane b/c a few cars in the right lane were cruising at around 35 instead of 45 the posted speed limit. Now driving under the speed limit doesnt bother me as it does most NY motorists cause I know in MA its the law to talk on your cel phone while driving. So I'm the only car in the right lane and I am passing the cars in the right lane when one of them turns on its left turn signal to get into the left lane. I slow down to let him in and after about thirty seconds he doesnt go, but his turn signal is still on. Since I figured he must be an elderly person who doesnt know his/her turn signal is on I cautiously speed up to pass him. As I am passing the car with its left turn still signal on, the second I clear it the car right in front of him suddenly shifts into my lane no signal no nothing. At most there was a 1 to 2 foot clearance between our cars when he changed lanes. At this point I had been driving in MA for a while so this didnt phase me... All I did was laugh and said to myself, welcome to Massachusetts.
Comment by: Drew
worcester driver here. i'm amazed that people from FLA complain about OUR driving. i've never seen more incompetence than one our several trips to orlando. from people with oranges on their plates. and not the seniors.
Comment by: mike
I was approaching the rotary for 93 in braintree, and as lane markings in a rotary would simply overwhelm any of us, we simplify it by having none. So, I enter at a fairly high speed for going around a sharp corner, and out of nowhere, this minivan cuts around my passenger side at nearly 40-50 MPH...and of course this is at 9:00 at night so that didn't help things...
Comment by: Rajan
Hey, I moved away over 25 years ago, and I can remember Storrow Dr. like it was yesterday. What about the "Boston creep" my office mate described, just creep into the roadway until someone chickens out and lets you in.
Comment by: Dick
I live in Southbridge and used to go to St. Joh's H.S. in Shrewsbury. 290 is to be driven in the fastest manner possible. Before I had my license, whoever was driving would race other students, I did the same later on. Whether it was rainy, icy, or snowy, and if there was heavy traffic it didnt matter. It is like that today, and 146 to Rhode Island is the same.
Comment by: Michael
I was driving a big, old ford ltd and did not care what happened to the car. I was driving in Wayland on route 20. Some jerk in a big suv started tailgating, I was going faster than the speed limit. We got to the town center and there was traffic. I started making a right hand turn onto route 126 towards natick. As i made the turn, the suv started passing me on the inside of the turn - the suv was going the same way and they did not want to keep behind me. The suv and my car are side by side and the road narrows. There was noway I'm letting them in, They would have to stop get back behind me or drive on the side walk. Our car collided, we were not going fast, the jerk gets out, the police come help with paper work, In the end I claim personal injury and get 30 grand for his insurance company, Thanks sucker
Comment by: m. mcgoo
i live in worcester. i was once coming back from boston in the early morning hours. i was just about to take the fast-lane at the I-495 toll booth (or in other words Massachusetts Automated Highway Robbery Scheme) and i noticed a Dodge pick-up go in front of me. For some reason he/she stopped at the booth and must've realized it is the fast-lane. the pick up started backing up and i started screaming. like other massachusetts drivers i didnt try to stop but just kept honking hoping that the pick up move forward. no use! i had to back up too amidst faithful honkings from behind. after exchange of usual gestures i continued my journey.
Comment by: moz
Well, I am a Filipino driver who learned to drive in Manila (an inch City) by the age of 13. Manila has too many cars. with rarely no car accidents especially on major highways. Why because all Filipinos drivers learn to drive at an earlier age and they don't get mad so easily because of the hot and humid climate of the Philippine. I am now living in Boston. Bostonians are the worst driver's in the Northeast I prefer driving in New York, Los Angeles and New Jersey. Bostonians don't use their signal light when making turns, rude to the extreme, no common sense even though they can see a bike in an intersection instead of reducing speed they accelerate and threaten to heat the cyclist, Likes to speed during winter storms, Headlights are turned On after 30 mins to 1 hour after sunset. SUV drivers in Massachusetts are NAIVE they spent money for big truck without thinking that the bigger THEY are the harder to stop the SUV. To complain goes on on on..... Goodluck if you drive in Boston
Comment by: Achilles
I'm from down near fall river and like everyone else, i have plenty of stories. My favorite, however, is actually about driving in maine. I go to school in Farmington, ME and the thing i can't stand the most is driving in this god for saken area. people seriously don't know how to drive up here. they are afraid to approach the speed limit, they need to stop completely in the middle of the lane (even if there is a turn lane) to turn off the road. and they don't even look when pulling right out in front of you. but my story goes like this. one day while driving back up north after a weekend home, i decided i was going to count the number of people who pass me by state the entire way up. since i drive fairly fast, i knew it would not be that difficult. well from routes 24 NB, 93N, and 95 N in MA, about 12 people passed me in total. On the small strip of 95 in NH (that you have to pay for) 2 people passed me. on 95 all the way upto the Auburn Lewiston, route 4 exit, no one passed me. not one car. and this was mid day. It just goes to show that Massholes like us know how to handle roads.
Comment by: jon
I once saw a driver in an ordinary sedan cut off a losded gasoline taker entering the Bourne Bridge Rotary from the bridge. No only did this person score many idiot points by cutting off an extrmely large commercial vehicle which was a) moving downhill, b) executing an awkward turn into the rotary, and c) loaded with tons of explosive, flammable, corrosive, and pooisonous material (gasoline), he gets extra bonus points for ding it directly in front of a State Police barracks!
Comment by: Michael O'donnell
I don't drive, am I eligible for this section? I stood on the side walk waiting for the green light on the intersection between Massachusetts Avenue and Huntington Avenue. A white car moved hesitantly from my right, I could've crossed the street, but I waited. A young man in a red Noreastestern Law University shirt breezed past me on his rollerblades. The driver in a white car obviously was trying to figure out which way to turn. The woman sitting next to him had folded road map opened in front of her. A black bigazz SUV behind a white car honked a few times at the white car. The white car turned to the left of Huntington Avenue and headed toward Mass Ave. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the SUV driver was doing as she was driving. She had a clear plastic salad bowl in her left hand and a fork in her right hand. The bowl was still full of salad. The back of her left hand rested on the steering wheel as she tried to balance the salad bowl in her palm. I wondered what was going on on her mind?
Comment by: anasalwa
Well first of all I'm not outta state, i'm from worcester. Since i drive into Boston quite often i find it amazing how when approaching the big dig projects a road can be there one day and gone the next or for that matter your road or exit can be there in the morning, but when you go back at night it's gone. For all you going to boston, make sure you got other directions than just one set. Most maps of Boston aren't updated on the hour. From: Adam ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Driving in Boston one rainy day, I was stopped (stationary, not moving) in traffic near Fanueil Hall. This guy in a green mini-van was inching up in the lane to the left of me when his van ran aside of my driver's side mirror. It dented his van but did not damage my car. He pulled ahead of me and pulled over to the side of the road, he got out and walked toward my car yelling and screaming at me for denting his car. I screamed right back in his face and told him it was NOT my fault....it was his! He quickly changed his attitude and we exchanged insurance information. He was simply trying to intimidate me to think it was my fault - which it wasn't....my car was stationary in traffic! Jerk!
Comment by: Dawn Anna
I was leaving terminal A arrivals of Boston Logan at night. There was some construction going on, so concrete barriers were up and seeing other traffic was difficult at the intersection. I stopped at the stop sign, then creeped forward a bit so I could see my turn. I suddenly notice an airport bus diving down from departures on my left. It goes straight past the stop sign at about 40 mph, and starts to turn in front of my car. The front of the bus narrowly misses my front end, and because it is turning I can tell the rest of the bus would clear me. I quickly glanced in the read view, slammed the car into reverse and started backing away. I felt a slight bump as we made contact and I came to a stop about 15 feet away from the bus. The bus driver stops and leaps from the bus, instantly accusing me of "blowing through the stop sign and hitting her bus." She got her supervisor out there and they took a report, all the time telling me about the seriousness of my offense. My car was undamaged and only bore a smear of white paint on the extreme left edge of my bumper. It wiped right off. The bus had a long smear of messed up paint between the two wheel wells. The bus company attempted to go after my insurance company. My insurance company asked me to fill out an accident report for them. I did so, remarking about the existence of the stop signs, the fact that the bus never stopped, the fact that the bus driver had finished her shift and was "headed for the barn," and noting that if I had hit the bus, I would bear more damage than just a paint mark on my bumper. I also believe that the location of the paint smears on the bus prove that my car was in reverse during the impact, not crashing into a bus, as the bus company asserted. I never heard another thing about it, and no points were assessed against me.
Comment by: Kris
Heading up 95 and about to merge onto 93. As you might or might not know, if you are bearing right off the exit 12 which brings to up to 93 there are 2 lanes which quickly dwindles down to 1 as you merge. Well, on this a.m. rush hour morning this #%^$@+ *~ woman in a Taurus is riding my bumper just as the lane drops to one lane. She really wants around me, because I apparently wasn't driving recklessly enough for her liking. Well, as I was just about ready to merge onto 93 I see her cutting to my left (basically on the median) and attempting to pass me. I, of course, speed up, and she is next to me and cuts her wheel to attempt her merge. Well, she accomplished her goal and sped up the hill ahead of me. As, I made my way up the hill I noticed her in the climbing lane with smoke coming out from under her Taurus. What this genius didn't see as she was hastingly passing me on the median was a, wouldn't you know... friggin' YIELD SIGN right at the tip of the merging lanes. She proceeded to run over said sign, which, in turn tore up the underside of her Taurus and made her morning just a wonderful thing. I wish I had a video of my reaction to nitwit's driving prowness. Priceless!
Comment by: Mike N
I grew up in Leominster Mass. After moving here to Florida I was trying to make a left onto another street that usually has heavy traffic from both directions. Well, as a true Mass driver I pulled out onto the street cutting off all traffic coming from my left and waited for the break in traffic from my right in order to get onto this street. This was always a pretty common thing where I grew up and learned to drive but is apparently not acceptable anywhere else in the country. I would never try that again down here due to the fact that one thing you learn after living here for eight years is that there are one hell of a lot of people with concealed weapons permits and not afraid to abuse the privilege.
Comment by: Chris
Driving through the town of Stoughton one evening several years ago, I was being aggressively tailgated by another car. I tried putting on my flashing lights, but the driver was not deterred. At one point, I was about to pull to the side of the road to telephone the police. (I believe phone calls from moving cars are a bad idea.) The car turned off in another direction, allowing me to see the side of the car emblazoned: "Stoughton Police." This was before all of the corruption stories about that particular police department.
Comment by: James Hayes-Bohanan, Ph.D.
I had just gotten my learners permit and after a few hours of parking lot driving I was on the road driving at exactly the speed limit. It was a two-lane road and the traffic wasn't heavy. I'm driving along and someone is tailgating me so I just ignore it, they hit me it's their fault. In the opposite lane there is a motorcyclist coming toward us. To my horror the person behind me is now right next to me. I slam on the brakes and they barely make it into the lane. Not bad for a first day of driving.
Comment by: Kiarnait
I make deliveries for an electrical contractor in the area, and one of our jobs is the new Hilton Hotel that's going up. I had to make a delivery there today, while the Summer Nationals are going on right nearby. There was a lot of traffic on that little part of Central Street between Main and Worcester Center Blvd; you know, the usual deal where people try to squeeze into the intersection while the light is green, then let it turn red and just kinda sit there completely blocking the intersection. I'm used to that, it's annoying but nothing out of the ordinary. But then, once I finally had a path to get through, with a very green light, a car just drives right through the intersection the other way, like there's no light at all. Then, when I'm leaving the place, another car does the same thing! It's hard enough driving a big truck with poor maneuverability and even worse vision, but it would really help if people would actually, you know, STOP for red lights.
Comment by: Adam
I don't understand why people are so afraid to go out into the roadway and force traffic to stop. That is the best way to get able to turn. Otherwise no one will let you go. I have learned that if you wait to turn you'll never get a chance because people aren't going to slow down and let you turn. once in a blue moon you might get lucky and some kind hearted soul comes along, but most of the time they'll wiz right past you. I've even gone part way into the half of the street closest to the intersection and people still tried to go around me. I had to basically cut them off halfway to force the traffic on my side of the road to stop, and then had to check to the right to see if there was oncoming traffic and then go or try to cut them off too before they would allow me to turn. The only time I had any success turning left was when I was halfway out into the roadway. Also....One thing I hate the most is how people CONSTANTLY BLOCK THE INTERSECTION IN TRAFFIC LINEUPS. Why can't people leave a space so that cars can turn into the roadway. There's this road in Woburn Called Montvale Ave, and just past montvale ave on route 38 there's a side street just before the bank that people turn left onto... I know a shortcut that can get me from my town Winchester-woburn in like 5minutes rather than the 15 it takes in rush hour sometimes on 38 with the traffic lights. Anyway the montvale ave light near Woburn Center always gets backed up . and theres usually a long line of traffic, especially at rush hour backed up past the bank , sometimes even up to Walgreens. Anyway - There is no signage saying don't block the intersection which I plan to change....and I'd like more cops enforcing it too in that area. The people in the cars know you're turning left, but they don't bother to leave a space for you to get through. No that'd be to simple. There's always some moron who is across the intersection blocking my way. I have to scream and yell at them and look all psychotic and blare my horn and give them the finger a few times before they decide to move up or back up enough to let me through. It is really ridiculous that people can't have some common courtesty and allow a space for traffic to turn into side roads...when in a traffic lineup at a light.
Comment by: Jeff D.
Also there should be a low about elderly driving in Boston and Mass. If you can't drive the minimum...speed limit say 20 mph or 30 mph....you shouldn't be behind the wheel. Isn't there a thing called the BUS , the RIDE, or public transportation? The seniors can use that to get to the store. But I mean its ridiculous. Every time you're running late, you get stuck behind some elder who is driving like 10 mph, and can't speed up to even 25 mph. Its ridiculous. They have laws about going too fast, so why not laws and tickets for going too slow? Seniors and elders around here are the cause of traffic tie ups too, because they drive so slow they hold traffic up and contribute to the problem. Speed up just a little people! please!
Comment by: Jeff D
A few months ago I was rear-ended while placing an order in a fast food drive-thru. It was night, and I had my lights on. A few years ago, while I was on my way through Ohio back to Michigan (where I am originally from) after my first year of driving around out here, I was going straight and a van was waiting to turn left. I was deeply shocked when he actually waited for me to go through the intersection before turning, thus making me NOT have to slam on my brakes. A friend of mine, originally from Abington, revealed that he honestly thought that it was legal, safe, and sane to turn left in front of other traffic if one pulled out first. I am not sure if this is one of those real laws, but it's definitely not practiced anywhere else that I've driven.
Comment by: Carol
Two very irritating habits of both Massachusetts, and Rhode Island drivers. 1)Why do drivers of these states creep forward, inch by inch at redlights, then when the light changes to green, they stop and need a horn honk to tell them to go!! any answers to that one? 2)Why do Massachusetts drivers, on a two lane road, want to drive down the middle of the road, and as a compromise, will drive with their left tires on the double yellow line? whats with that?
Comment by: steave
I live on the Cape and the reason we drive so bad in Massachusetts is because all of you Floridians mostly but all of you tourists can't drive! You go to slow, your always lost it seems, you can't enter a rotary to save your life( P.S. State Police barracks is always going to be there not really that dumb) I mean come on now we may not use our signals all the time but heres a rule you should go by...if you leave room its fair game, and you should expect to be cut off, and that is also why we ride your ass so no1 cuts us off and makes us slam on our brakes. I see it that its like going to other countries, you need to obey by their laws, well you need to drive like we do so dont come here if you can't drive like us.
Comment by: Steve
This is a Massachusetts driving story that took place in New Hampshire. I was in the Fox Run Mall parking lot (around the Dover area), walking out to the car. Suddenly, this maroon mini-van with MA plates came speeding out of nowhere from a parking spot, almost running me over. The lady slammed on her breaks, then rolled down her window and began screaming at me about what I was doing in front of her car. I yelled back that I was walking and she needed to pay better attention. The lady just gave me a dirty look, called me a moron and sped out of the parking lot (almost hitting another car along the way). I know that Massachusetts drives don't think pedestrians donít have any rights, but seriously.
Comment by: Ally
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