New Jersey drivers are a breed of their own. As drivers in New Jersey we often hear about how awful we are, but we just laugh it off. You really don't realize what it means to be a New Jersey driver until you either leave the state or drive the roads with an outsider. Then you realize just how different we are from all other drivers. It's really no wonder why we're the only state that doesn't give licenses until 17, come to think of it.
I often hear that all New Jersey drivers are just always in a rush. Which is, in fact, very true. Whenever I am driving I am always driving to get to my destination as quickly and efficiently (and yes, safely) as possible. However, I am never able to actually pinpoint why we are all racing to get where we are going. I normally explain that we just do everything fast whether it be to walk, talk, or drive. Right?
There is no doubt that I sure am thankful that we all have this sense of urgency, though. It's what keeps the flow of traffic moving on the packed rides down the shore on the Parkway and the after-work commutes home on the Turnpike.
Knowing the speed limit but also recognizing the more appropriate, necessary speed is what it means to be a New Jersey driver. Even if it startles anyone coming from outside of the Garden State.
However, I am sure that there are fast drivers everywhere. What sets New Jersey apart is the type of people behind the wheel. Not only are NJ drivers racing to get where they are going, but they will do so at the expense of others. Oftentimes there is no such thing as a blinker or a wave to let you in. We just go.
Being aggressive is what it means to be a New Jersey driver.
Driving in New Jersey teaches you to become accustomed to having to cut someone off here and there. But it never teaches you to be okay with someone else cutting you off. In fact, as an NJ driver, you are practically obligated to beep at anyone who skips the line at the jammed up exit. Even though you did it the day before.
Common courtesy is not necessarily the main priority of NJ drivers. Have you ever been stuck trying to merge into the toll booths at a busy hour? It's like funneling 20 lanes into 5. And to make matters worse, New Jersey drivers do not seem to know or care too much about patiently waiting in single file lines. Gridlock traffic is more our thing when it comes time to choose between order or chaos.
But this is all that it means to be a New Jersey driver. Fast, aggressive, and not willing to take anything from anybody else.
All of these traits aside, the most iconic characteristic of New Jersey drivers is their ability to flip the bird at any moment. Honestly, that finger will go flying even when nothing warrants it. Now THAT'S what it means to be a New Jersey driver.
The best part about all of this is that you can take the driver out of New Jersey, but you can't take New Jersey out of the driver. No matter where I go I will always be the New Jersey driver that I am, even if that place may have some other, less nice nicknames for me. But hey, it'll get me where I need to go. Fast.