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South Carolina Drivers ... The great state of South Carolina has the worst drivers in the nation and it’s only bragging if it isn’t true.  To be fair, this is not based on any survey or official ranking but strictly my own driving experience, which is quite extensive.  I used to make my living doing field service work which consisted primarily of driving long hours all over the southeast from Alabama all the way to Virginia.  I have also had the pleasure of driving in every state in the lower forty eight so I feel qualified enough to talk about it.  Believe me when I tell you that South Carolina is in a class all its own and I have seen it all.  While doing this work, I averaged two major accidents per year – not my fault, by the way – and that is not counting all the smaller ones - also not my fault.  I have been rear-ended more times than I care to count and not in a good way.  I got nailed once by a Ford Grand Torino that promptly turned around and ran off.  My guess is whomever it was probably didn’t have insurance or was drunk.  The final straw was when I got sideswiped by a tractor trailer in Charleston.  My service vehicle was a cheap, tiny little Mitsushitsi pickup and I was in the middle lane on the interstate.  I was looking off to the right and so didn’t see the guy coming over on my left until it was too late.  I had just enough time to see big, fat lug nuts flying around in a circle scant inches from my face – literally, I could reach out and touch them - before they chewed off my side mirror and then he hit me.  I screamed like a little girl.  That truck was big enough to run me over but fortunately it just knocked me around some and scraped up the side.  I quit that job a few weeks later – it wasn’t worth my life. I also got hit at a stop sign by a guy while on the way to my kid’s Tai Kwon Do practice.  It was around 7:00 and already dark.  When we got out I could tell he was drunk so I suggested a call to the cops.  He didn’t like that idea so he got back in his car and bailed.  As I was chasing him down I called 911 who put me through to the highway patrol.  I told the dispatcher what was going on, where I currently was and where I was going – and I swear I am not making this up – well, this is the conversation: HP Dispatch: “We’ll get someone out to you as quickly as we can.”  (I actually took my cell phone away from my ear and looked at it in disbelief). Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me: I am in hot pursuit, chasing down a drunk who hit me and ran!” HP Dispatch: “I don’t know what to tell you, we’ll get there as soon as possible.” Me: “How will you know where I am?  The dude’s running and I’m right on his ass!” HP Dispatch: “I want you to stop chasing him and let us come to you.” Me: “Fuck that bullshit!  (Sorry about the language – I was full of adrenaline and getting really pissed).  This motherfucker is going down! (Or something to that effect – I don’t remember) I hung up so I could concentrate on driving.  It occurred to me that cops are all over the place when I make a California stop or go more than 5 miles over the speed limit.  Now, here I am busting ass after a drunken hit and run, and nary a cop in site. I’m just saying…. So, I chased him for maybe 5 or 6 miles before he lost control of his car and wiped out into a field.  I was immediately back on the phone the highway patrol.  At that point the guy actually came up and knocked on my window.  Having had a few moments to cool off and consider the situation, I didn’t know whether the car was stolen, if the guy had a gun or what so no way was I going to roll the window down.  Drunk Boy and I were now all by ourselves way out in the country with no one else around.  This is the kind of stuff you see in horror movies so now I’m scared shitless.  I was still talking to the police when the guy wandered off into the woods.  Three highway patrol cars showed up a few minutes later.  I told them what happened and where he went.  I guess they ran the plates on the wrecked car.  One patrolman left and was back within five minutes with the guy in the seat next to him.  He pointed at him, I gave him the thumbs up and that was that. I barely missed one of the worst pileups in our state by breaking the law.  There is a manufacturing facility close to I-26 and one day the temperature and humidity was such that the factory was emitting an incredibly dense cloud of steam that had settled over the highway.  When I say dense I mean it was like a solid wall of smoke right in front of me that looked like you could cut it with a knife - zero visibility.  There was no way I was going to drive into that mess so I made an illegal U-turn right there in the median and found a back road to get to my destination.  I saw it on the 11:00 news that same evening:  Individuals on both sides of the interstate decided to go right on through, couldn’t see and so hit the brakes.  You can guess what happened next:  those behind followed suit but kept on going the result being a massive pileup on the order of 50-60 cars and trucks with plenty of injuries and several fatalities.  My guess is that the carnage only stopped when the pileup became so extensive that it began emerging from the cloud.  I am fairly certain that the only real requirement to obtain a driver’s license in South Carolina is a frontal Lobotomy.  Our Drivers Handbook can truly be summed up in just two words: “F--- you.”  I believe drinking and driving should not only be legalized in our state but encouraged because it could only improve the skills of the drivers who reside here.  Honestly, I don’t understand what happens to otherwise intelligent people when they get behind the wheel of a car – it’s like turning the key in the ignition automatically reduces their I.Q. by at least 50 points.  Seriously, The South Carolina Drivers Handbook reads much like that for any other state but I have taken the liberty of assembling a list of what I believe to be the true rules of the road as they apply in South Carolina.  No doubt, you have seen much of the same thing in your own state but what separates South Carolina from the rest of the nation is the sheer frequency with which this stuff occurs.  If you plan on traveling in our fine state I suggest you make a copy of this list and keep it close at hand so you know what to expect. Speed limit signs are merely a suggestion.  When the cops aren’t around go as fast as ones vehicle will allow.  This prevents harmful carbon buildup in the engine.  If the police are anywhere close then it is best to keep it to 10 or 15 miles per hour over the limit. If one is pulled by the police for speeding then it is an indication that one was not traveling fast enough.  Everybody knows they can only catch the slowest vehicle so pick it up next time. Under no circumstances should one ever signal a turn or lane change.  Other drivers enjoy surprises. If the light turns yellow, punch it.  If it has only just turned yellow and one has plenty of time to make it through the light then panic and slam on the brakes.  If one doesn’t have time to make it through, then it is entirely acceptable to blow through the red so long as one may do so with minimal evasive maneuvering to avoid oncoming traffic. It is mandatory to stop at a few green lights to make up for the red ones that you run. Right turn on red?  Forget it.  This sophisticated maneuver requires a level of skill and expertise far beyond the average South Carolina driver. Tailgating isn’t just for football games.  South Carolina is home to the Darlington 500 and honing one’s drafting skills is an important part of everyday driving.  As a side benefit, it’s also a great way to save gas.  However, for safety be sure to maintain at least three inches between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 40 miles per hour of velocity.  If exceeding 95 miles per hour during rush hour traffic, this distance should be increased to six inches. When executing a turn, pointlessly cross all available lanes in order to utilize as much of the road as possible.  After all, you pay your taxes and should get your money’s worth.  Afterwards, return to the near lane. If a turn is required and one is in a hurry, feel free to pass the slower vehicle in front of you first before slamming on the brakes to make the turn with inches to spare – this can save up to a full two tenths of a second. Residential areas are rarely patrolled by the police, making them an excellent choice to find out how fast one’s vehicle can go. When passing someone walking In your neighborhood, rather than giving them plenty of room by moving to the other side of the road one should assist them in developing their reflexes by getting as close as possible.  The goal here is not to actually hit them but to encourage both a scream and a dive onto the nearest lawn.  One may increase the challenge by waiting until the target is next to a mailbox, preferably brick. While waiting for traffic to clear in order that one may execute a left turn, under no circumstances should one proceed when appropriate.  One must either pull out in front of oncoming traffic or wait until a space has opened sufficient for a funeral procession.  Whatever ones choice, execute the maneuver very slowly so as to cause either as much panic or road rage as possible. If there is a median available for a left turn this is to be avoided since using it will make it impossible to inconvenience other drivers.  Again, the far right hand lane is best for this and never use one’s turn signal.  Instead, wait for someone to get frustrated and pull out to pass on the left.  Just before they reach you execute the turn.  One will be able to ascertain if it has been performed correctly by the blaring of horns and raised middle fingers. When getting on the interstate it is forbidden to use the acceleration lane to achieve the minimum legal speed.  Rather, for safety one should slow down or even come to a complete stop before proceeding. When one is traveling on the interstate in the right hand land and someone is attempting to merge do not change lanes to let them in.  Instead, slow down or speed up as required to block entry. It isn’t just speed that kills, but speed differentials.  Therefore, find the slowest driver and keep pace with them by riding in their blind spot.  If you look in your rearview mirror and see a long line of cars stacked up behind you, then you are doing it correctly. When presented with a “Yield” sign, one is again faced with a difficult decision.  One must either blow through it without looking, preferably directly into oncoming traffic thereby allowing other drivers to test their brakes and reaction time or else come to a full stop and pause.  If the yield sign is equipped with one’s very own lane for merging, a full stop is mandatory unless one is planning on maximizing taxpayer return by going across all available lanes in which case the blow-through method is prescribed. When coming to a stop behind another vehicle and especially a motorcycle, other drivers appreciate your stopping as close as possible to them, thus providing shelter from the sun or any cooling breeze which may be present. I have heard many times that New York City has the worst drivers.  This is not an accurate statement.  It is possible that they may be the most rude but they aren’t the worst - not even close!  I have driven all over Manhattan and the other boroughs and I didn’t have any trouble at all.  It is true that they speed, cut you off and flip you the bird and all other manner of misbehavior but the main difference is that they maintain their situational awareness.  Ditto for Chicago - I’ll never forget blasting down the Dam Ryan at 80+ miles per hour in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic during a driving snowstorm and that’s no joke!  But everybody was watching out for everyone else and signaling their moves.  The same stuff happens in South Carolina except people have no clue as to what is going on around them, making these situations truly dangerous.  I must also give a nod to New Jersey who is apparently in competition with New York for the most impolite drivers: a finger out the window and a hand on the horn appear to be standard operating policy.  Los Angeles and Houston are a different story because their interstates are actually parking lots in disguise.
April 11, 2013
Want to contact Fat Max? email Fat Max ...
ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS For All American Ironhorse Motorcycle Owners
Fat Max
© 2012-2017   American IronHorse Owners Organization Use of AIH Logo Licensed by American Ironhorse, LLC 
South Carolina Drivers ... The great state of South Carolina has the worst drivers in the nation and it’s only bragging if it isn’t true.  To be fair, this is not based on any survey or official ranking but strictly my own driving experience, which is quite extensive.  I used to make my living doing field service work which consisted primarily of driving long hours all over the southeast from Alabama all the way to Virginia.  I have also had the pleasure of driving in every state in the lower forty eight so I feel qualified enough to talk about it.  Believe me when I tell you that South Carolina is in a class all its own and I have seen it all.  While doing this work, I averaged two major accidents per year – not my fault, by the way – and that is not counting all the smaller ones - also not my fault.  I have been rear- ended more times than I care to count and not in a good way.  I got nailed once by a Ford Grand Torino that promptly turned around and ran off.  My guess is whomever it was probably didn’t have insurance or was drunk.  The final straw was when I got sideswiped by a tractor trailer in Charleston.  My service vehicle was a cheap, tiny little Mitsushitsi pickup and I was in the middle lane on the interstate.  I was looking off to the right and so didn’t see the guy coming over on my left until it was too late.  I had just enough time to see big, fat lug nuts flying around in a circle scant inches from my face – literally, I could reach out and touch them - before they chewed off my side mirror and then he hit me.  I screamed like a little girl.  That truck was big enough to run me over but fortunately it just knocked me around some and scraped up the side.  I quit that job a few weeks later – it wasn’t worth my life. I also got hit at a stop sign by a guy while on the way to my kid’s Tai Kwon Do practice.  It was around 7:00 and already dark.  When we got out I could tell he was drunk so I suggested a call to the cops.  He didn’t like that idea so he got back in his car and bailed.  As I was chasing him down I called 911 who put me through to the highway patrol.  I told the dispatcher what was going on, where I currently was and where I was going – and I swear I am not making this up – well, this is the conversation: HP Dispatch: “We’ll get someone out to you as quickly as we can.”  (I actually took my cell phone away from my ear and looked at it in disbelief). Me: “Maybe you didn’t understand me: I am in hot pursuit, chasing down a drunk who hit me and ran!” HP Dispatch: “I don’t know what to tell you, we’ll get there as soon as possible.” Me: “How will you know where I am?  The dude’s running and I’m right on his ass!” HP Dispatch: “I want you to stop chasing him and let us come to you.” Me: “Fuck that bullshit!  (Sorry about the language – I was full of adrenaline and getting really pissed).  This motherfucker is going down! (Or something to that effect – I don’t remember) I hung up so I could concentrate on driving.  It occurred to me that cops are all over the place when I make a California stop or go more than 5 miles over the speed limit.  Now, here I am busting ass after a drunken hit and run, and nary a cop in site. I’m just saying…. So, I chased him for maybe 5 or 6 miles before he lost control of his car and wiped out into a field.  I was immediately back on the phone the highway patrol.  At that point the guy actually came up and knocked on my window.  Having had a few moments to cool off and consider the situation, I didn’t know whether the car was stolen, if the guy had a gun or what so no way was I going to roll the window down.  Drunk Boy and I were now all by ourselves way out in the country with no one else around.  This is the kind of stuff you see in horror movies so now I’m scared shitless.  I was still talking to the police when the guy wandered off into the woods.  Three highway patrol cars showed up a few minutes later.  I told them what happened and where he went.  I guess they ran the plates on the wrecked car.  One patrolman left and was back within five minutes with the guy in the seat next to him.  He pointed at him, I gave him the thumbs up and that was that. I barely missed one of the worst pileups in our state by breaking the law.  There is a manufacturing facility close to I-26 and one day the temperature and humidity was such that the factory was emitting an incredibly dense cloud of steam that had settled over the highway.  When I say dense I mean it was like a solid wall of smoke right in front of me that looked like you could cut it with a knife - zero visibility.  There was no way I was going to drive into that mess so I made an illegal U-turn right there in the median and found a back road to get to my destination.  I saw it on the 11:00 news that same evening:  Individuals on both sides of the interstate decided to go right on through, couldn’t see and so hit the brakes.  You can guess what happened next:  those behind followed suit but kept on going the result being a massive pileup on the order of 50-60 cars and trucks with plenty of injuries and several fatalities.  My guess is that the carnage only stopped when the pileup became so extensive that it began emerging from the cloud.  I am fairly certain that the only real requirement to obtain a driver’s license in South Carolina is a frontal Lobotomy.  Our Drivers Handbook can truly be summed up in just two words: “F--- you.”  I believe drinking and driving should not only be legalized in our state but encouraged because it could only improve the skills of the drivers who reside here.  Honestly, I don’t understand what happens to otherwise intelligent people when they get behind the wheel of a car – it’s like turning the key in the ignition automatically reduces their I.Q. by at least 50 points.  Seriously, The South Carolina Drivers Handbook reads much like that for any other state but I have taken the liberty of assembling a list of what I believe to be the true rules of the road as they apply in South Carolina.  No doubt, you have seen much of the same thing in your own state but what separates South Carolina from the rest of the nation is the sheer frequency with which this stuff occurs.  If you plan on traveling in our fine state I suggest you make a copy of this list and keep it close at hand so you know what to expect. Speed limit signs are merely a suggestion.  When the cops aren’t around go as fast as ones vehicle will allow.  This prevents harmful carbon buildup in the engine.  If the police are anywhere close then it is best to keep it to 10 or 15 miles per hour over the limit. If one is pulled by the police for speeding then it is an indication that one was not traveling fast enough.  Everybody knows they can only catch the slowest vehicle so pick it up next time. Under no circumstances should one ever signal a turn or lane change.  Other drivers enjoy surprises. If the light turns yellow, punch it.  If it has only just turned yellow and one has plenty of time to make it through the light then panic and slam on the brakes.  If one doesn’t have time to make it through, then it is entirely acceptable to blow through the red so long as one may do so with minimal evasive maneuvering to avoid oncoming traffic. It is mandatory to stop at a few green lights to make up for the red ones that you run. Right turn on red?  Forget it.  This sophisticated maneuver requires a level of skill and expertise far beyond the average South Carolina driver. Tailgating isn’t just for football games.  South Carolina is home to the Darlington 500 and honing one’s drafting skills is an important part of everyday driving.  As a side benefit, it’s also a great way to save gas.  However, for safety be sure to maintain at least three inches between you and the vehicle in front of you for every 40 miles per hour of velocity.  If exceeding 95 miles per hour during rush hour traffic, this distance should be increased to six inches. When executing a turn, pointlessly cross all available lanes in order to utilize as much of the road as possible.  After all, you pay your taxes and should get your money’s worth.  Afterwards, return to the near lane. If a turn is required and one is in a hurry, feel free to pass the slower vehicle in front of you first before slamming on the brakes to make the turn with inches to spare – this can save up to a full two tenths of a second. Residential areas are rarely patrolled by the police, making them an excellent choice to find out how fast one’s vehicle can go. When passing someone walking In your neighborhood, rather than giving them plenty of room by moving to the other side of the road one should assist them in developing their reflexes by getting as close as possible.  The goal here is not to actually hit them but to encourage both a scream and a dive onto the nearest lawn.  One may increase the challenge by waiting until the target is next to a mailbox, preferably brick. While waiting for traffic to clear in order that one may execute a left turn, under no circumstances should one proceed when appropriate.  One must either pull out in front of oncoming traffic or wait until a space has opened sufficient for a funeral procession.  Whatever ones choice, execute the maneuver very slowly so as to cause either as much panic or road rage as possible. If there is a median available for a left turn this is to be avoided since using it will make it impossible to inconvenience other drivers.  Again, the far right hand lane is best for this and never use one’s turn signal.  Instead, wait for someone to get frustrated and pull out to pass on the left.  Just before they reach you execute the turn.  One will be able to ascertain if it has been performed correctly by the blaring of horns and raised middle fingers. When getting on the interstate it is forbidden to use the acceleration lane to achieve the minimum legal speed.  Rather, for safety one should slow down or even come to a complete stop before proceeding. When one is traveling on the interstate in the right hand land and someone is attempting to merge do not change lanes to let them in.  Instead, slow down or speed up as required to block entry. It isn’t just speed that kills, but speed differentials.  Therefore, find the slowest driver and keep pace with them by riding in their blind spot.  If you look in your rearview mirror and see a long line of cars stacked up behind you, then you are doing it correctly. When presented with a “Yield” sign, one is again faced with a difficult decision.  One must either blow through it without looking, preferably directly into oncoming traffic thereby allowing other drivers to test their brakes and reaction time or else come to a full stop and pause.  If the yield sign is equipped with one’s very own lane for merging, a full stop is mandatory unless one is planning on maximizing taxpayer return by going across all available lanes in which case the blow-through method is prescribed. When coming to a stop behind another vehicle and especially a motorcycle, other drivers appreciate your stopping as close as possible to them, thus providing shelter from the sun or any cooling breeze which may be present. I have heard many times that New York City has the worst drivers.  This is not an accurate statement.  It is possible that they may be the most rude but they aren’t the worst - not even close!  I have driven all over Manhattan and the other boroughs and I didn’t have any trouble at all.  It is true that they speed, cut you off and flip you the bird and all other manner of misbehavior but the main difference is that they maintain their situational awareness.  Ditto for Chicago - I’ll never forget blasting down the Dam Ryan at 80+ miles per hour in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic during a driving snowstorm and that’s no joke!  But everybody was watching out for everyone else and signaling their moves.  The same stuff happens in South Carolina except people have no clue as to what is going on around them, making these situations truly dangerous.  I must also give a nod to New Jersey who is apparently in competition with New York for the most impolite drivers: a finger out the window and a hand on the horn appear to be standard operating policy.  Los Angeles and Houston are a different story because their interstates are actually parking lots in disguise.
April 11, 2013
Want to contact Fat Max? email Fat Max ...
ORGANIZATION ORGANIZATION OWNERS OWNERS
Fat Max