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Rush hour on the 836

So you recently moved to South Florida, want to survive your first venture onto our infamous roads, and may be wondering how you should interact with our local traffic laws.

Ignore them! Flagrantly!

The second your tires make contact with any asphalt surface in Miami-Dade County, assume every other driver, pedestrian, and cyclist is out to purposefully kill you and themselves. Because they are. Parking lots become demolition derbies. Merge lanes are El Alamein battlefields. Roundabouts turn into Mad Max chase scenes, guitar flamethrowers and all.

Driving is a zero-sum game in Miami. Another car’s gain is your loss. Automobiles are depersonalized abstract obstacles in your path completely divorced from the human beings within. Let loose your unbound bestial rage at these mechanical adversaries with no regard for their occupants. Curse, scream, fume, and foam as you never would face to face, because the three inches of aluminum between you and the rest of the world makes you an animalistic force of nature!

Street signs are government impositions on your God-given freedom of unrestricted movement. You walk in our Founding Fathers’ footsteps every time you ignore a four-way stop. Did Samuel Adams pay the Stamp Tax? Hell no! Don’t you dare yield a right turn to a pedestrian, you goddamn patriot.

Miamians utilize an elegant formula when determining their driving speed. They take the posted speed limit, add 13, take its square root, divide by Avogadro’s number, lose track of the calculation, and then accelerate to 85.

You’ll recognize police cars by their lights, sirens, and the fact that they plough through red lights at 120 mph. This is when you slam on your brakes and slow to the “speed limit.” If they haven’t blown by you yet, cops will tailgate within an inch of your trunk until you move. They have an emergency to get to, which will magically resolve itself as soon as they get past the next intersection.

Want to ride your bike to work? I see you place no value on your life. In the unlikely event the cars don’t kill you, the spontaneous tropical storms, napalm heat, or bird-sized mosquitos will.

Do you like inching down highways more slowly than tectonic plate drift? Do you enjoy perpetual road construction? Do you fancy drowning in existential despair because you’ve entered a parallel dimension of unending traffic? You’ve come to the right place. Change your permanent address to your drivers’ seat, because that’s where you live now.

Turning indicators are categorically forbidden. The only thing they indicate is weakness. Other drivers will notice your feeble gesture and cull you from the vehicular herd. The only way switch lanes is jerkily, with absolutely no warning, preferably before a speeding tractor trailer.

You’ll pay tolls to drive onto highways, exit highways, pass arbitrary mile markers, change lanes, scratch your nose, and daydream about that one summer when your crush finally held your… SUV SWERVING ACROSS FOUR LANES!!!! Did your life flash before your eyes? It’ll play on repeat. Get used to it.

Are you terrified? Good. Are you ready to take your life in your hands and back out of the driveway? You’re not. Death stalks you on Miami’s roads. Invite it into the passenger seat, crank up Mix 98, and plunge into battle!

If you like our stories, check out our latest book.

Andrew OtazoAndrew Otazo

‘Miami Creation Myth’ author Andrew Otazo has advised officials on Cuba policy, worked for the Mexican president, fired a tank, and ran with 30lbs of trash.

Check out the first free chapter of Andrew’s upcoming book here.

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