July 25, 2013

Cubans are bad drivers

Brian Palmer in Slate tries to rate the cities with the worst drivers, using four measures. Here's his synthetic bottom 5:
And now, America, on to the cities with your worst drivers. 
No. 5: Baltimore. Baltimoreans just can’t keep from running into each other. They were outside the top 10 in fatalities, DWI deaths, and pedestrian strikes, but their rate of collision couldn’t keep them out of the top five overall. 
No. 4: Tampa, Fla. Tampa doesn’t do any single thing terribly, but it is consistently poor: 18th worst in years between accidents, fifth in traffic fatalities, tied for 11th in DWI fatalities, and 10th in pedestrian strikes. If the city had managed to get outside the bottom half in any individual category, Tampa residents might have avoided this distinction. 
No. 3: Hialeah. The drivers of Hialeah get into a middling number of accidents, ranking 11th among the 39 candidates. But when they hit someone, they really mean it. The city finished third for fatalities. They also have a terrifying tendency to hit pedestrians. 

Hialeah is the hometown of Nestor Camacho in Tom Wolfe's Back to Blood, a book that begins with Yale man Edward T. Topping IV creeping around a Miami parking lot in his wife's environmentally friendly electric car looking for a parking place, only to have a Cubana in a Ferrari steal the one open space by backing up into it at 35 mph.
No. 2: Philadelphia. Drivers in the city of brotherly love enjoy a good love tap behind the wheel. Second-places finishes in collisions and pedestrian strikes overwhelm their semi-respectable 16th-place ranking in DWI deaths. 
No. 1: Miami. And it’s not even close. First in automotive fatalities, first in pedestrian strikes, first in the obscenity-laced tirades of their fellow drivers.

Just like Dave Barry always said about Miami drivers.

So, three of the most Cuban towns in the country -- Miami, Hialeah, and Tampa -- are in the top 5.

Interesting that the GOP leadership is set on turning the steering of the ship of state over to Cubans to win the votes of Mexicans.


RAZ said...

Miami also high due to elderly drivers who shouldn't be driving any longer?

Those of those who live there or did live there will wonder how Boston didn't make the cut.

Anonymous said...

the amazing thing about that list is that Florida doesnt even have the severe handicap of winter weather.

i guess their drivers were born on third but thought they hit home runs.

Anonymous said...

Cubans, in both the US and Cuba, have a very low birth rate. Driving through Miami or Hialeah you're more likely to see old ladies walking their dogs or fat guys watching TV in restaurants then you are a toddler or preteen child. Cubans have reached the absolute peak of their influence.

Anonymous said...

This is another example of the very nasty consequences of invading and inviting the world.
Another example:I"m visiting back east for my nieces wedding on the eastern end of Long Island. Went up kayaking to Port Jervis on the Delaware...the most scenic part by Hawks Nest. Lots of young fertile Korean couples paddling by with their three offspring. On the trip back to Long Island:traffic backed up all along route 17 south..every other car was a nonwhite..Harriman State Park area. Into Long Island, off the Throgs Neck:traffic backed up into Yonkers and the Bronx all the way to the border of Queens and Nassau.Reason:the SUV of a lone Korean had stalled on the Cross Island.

Invade the world..invite the world..destroy the remaining amenities for Native Born White Americans. Is Asheville next? Cherokee National Forest(great kayaking..please don't tell the Koreans..I'm running out of places to be away from them and the Cubans).

Bill Blizzard and his Men

Anonymous said...

This is almost certainly a function of elderly drivers, rather than Cubans. Though Hispanic insurance fraud might come into play.

carol said...

I just finished reading Back to Blood so Hialeah definitely rings a bell.

Marc B said...

Memphis drivers are so bad that they rarely get honk or get angry when you screw up or do something obnoxious, because they do the same or worse. I'm surprised they weren't in the top 5. They LOVE driving in your blind spot.

Southern California drivers are especially obliging, particularly on the highway when making drastic multi-lane changes to make a tight exit ramp connection. Never had a single problem making it from the last Hollywood exit to the first Burbank exit on the 101. But it was like that all over So Cal.

Anonymous said...

"Zuckerberg: America's Failure To Produce Engineers Is 'Systemic'"


Anonymous said...

I grew up in Miami in the 80s and lived through the takeover of this city by Cubans. Like most white people, I've moved. I had occasion to come back recently for a few months, having lived in many other major metropolitan areas of the country over the past decade. I'm consistently shocked at how insular, unfriendly, uneducated, selfish and aggressive people are in Miami. (When I first moved, I was shocked by how decent people could be. I had no idea, living here.) It's not just that I am white; they do it to each other. As for the drivers, it's really shocking. It's not that they are bad drivers, as in the negligence one sees somewhere like Los Angeles. It's that Cubans are have an outright aversion to civility and following traffic rules. Here is a recent example. It is not some kind of weird incident. It's typical. I was pulling into a gas pump. I was there first and there were plenty of other pumps available. Well, as I was pulling up, some guy in a flashy car zoomed up to the pump in front of me on the same row, and stopped in the middle of the row, blocking both pumps. I rolled down the window and motioned for him to just move back a little so we could BOTH JUST GET GAS. He got out of the car. He was obviously a steroid-using Cuban, very muscle bound, lots of flashy jewelry. He started screaming at me that I was a motherfucker and I needed to get out of the way. Oh lord. So I just drove off. This sounds insane, but it's really not untypical behavior for people here.

Power Child said...

I thought you were going to be busy doing housework? Oh well, glad to see you distracted :)

I'd think Cubans would have learned to be better drivers, considering all the cars down there are from the 1950s. Once you bang one up it's hard to replace parts.

On the other hand, those old land-yachts were harder to bang up, so maybe they're used to vehicles that can be treated like bumper cars.

Anonymous said...

"Those of those who live there or did live there will wonder how Boston didn't make the cut."

Bostonians tend to be pretty bad, but a lot of that is a function of the jumbled, confusing roads, most of which have their origins in 17th-Century cow paths and deer trails. (Endemic Bostonian rudeness also tends to color peoples' memories of driving through the city, making it seem worse than it is).

When you discover only 10 feet from the light that you're in the wrong lane and the turn will send you halfway across the city before you can turn around properly, you sort of have no choice but to cut across 4 lanes of traffic horizontally, no matter how much everyone screams and honks at you. On top of that, planned obsolescence means drivers have to constantly alter their routes to accommodate perpetual construction, all of which takes three times longer than it should (my grandfather worked construction in Boston; he could have filled a small book with tales corruption and incompetence in the business).

Anonymous said...

Also, Cubans hate Mexicans. In school, a Cubans kids would routinely accuse other dark skinned Latino kids of being "Mexican." (Like how blacks would make fun of Haitians.)Like, it's taken for granted that being Mexican is something to be embarrassed about. You tell people about this and it literally breaks their brain. People really think that all Latinos are the same people, fighting against the evil racists whites. They don't understand that there are lots of different types of spanish-speaking groups in latin america, and that these people have no qualms about being openly racist, sexist, etc. You tell ordinary middle class liberals this and they just start sputtering. They think you are crazy because it goes against everything they've ever been taught.

Anonymous said...

You may have spotted a connection with the popularity of the Fast and Furious movies.

jody said...

has anybody been to the miami area recently? it's probably not the cubans.

imagine how bad this will get when the liberals get their way and legalize marijuana in a state near you. year 2013, high THC stuff. not the stuff that was legal 100 years ago.

DWB will be a way of life in some of these places. driving while baked.

Kaz said...

Is it Cubans or old people..?

jody said...

"the amazing thing about that list is that Florida doesnt even have the severe handicap of winter weather."

have often wondered just how bad california would be if it had any weather, instead of 300 days a year of 75 and sunny. imagine the state of the roads in bankrupt california if there was a winter every year.

Anonymous said...

These folks tend to be as hot of blood as they are dim of mind. No surprise here.

Corn said...

"Those of those who live there or did live there will wonder how Boston didn't make the cut."

Although I haven't visited Boston since I was 10 (23 years ago) I've always heard Boston drivers are terrible.

Anonymous said...

Weren't you supposed to be working, Steve?

Anonymous said...

o/t - the BBC have featured this on their radio news, though nothing on their site :


"Parents' intelligence really does have a huge bearing on a teenagers' success at school, a leading geneticist has claimed.

Professor Robert Plomin, from Kings College London, found inherited intelligence could account for nearly 60 per cent of a teenager's GCSE results, while the school environment, including the quality of teaching, only influences results by a third.

His study was based upon long-term analysis of twins and suggests that their genes play a larger part than the education they receive when it came to their achievement in schools."

Anonymous said...

How very Vibrant! Perhaps they can't pay attention because they're Dreaming.

Steve Sailer said...

That's pretty much the definitive comment on Boston drivers, above. They are pretty competent considering the infrastructure.

Here's a question: When I first drove in Boston, on trips around 1985-86, six cars would turn left after the light turned red. They'd honk at you if you were fifth in line to turn left and failed to turn. On recent trips to Boston, however, it's much more like everywhere else when it comes to turning left on red -- two cars are about standard. How did that change?

Anonymous said...

Where are the Asian-heavy cities?

Anonymous said...


and here


Henrik Zimmerberg, great white defendant, and Swedish-Jewish hockey-playing IT guru said...

Where are the Asian-heavy cities?

In Asia. And I doubt that Tokyo or Kyoto would make the top 100 list of Asian Bad Driver cities. Asian-Americans are so few as to make little difference in driving quality in America.

Anonymous said...

Instead of speaking of races, maybe we should speak of 'degrees of variations'.

Species can be distinguished from one another by one simple rule. Members of the same species must be able to breed and product fertile offsprings. This rule isn't consistently applied, which is why polar bears and brown bears or wolves and dogs are regarded as different species. But the thing this rule CAN be consistently applied to arrive at a clear definition of species.

But it's different with races. It's easy to tell some races apart. For example, one could say lily white swedes with straight blonde hair and coal-black Africans with kinky hair are different races. But what about Arab-black Sudanese? Are they black? Are they Caucasian? Or how about Egyptians?

And should northern Europeans, Arabs, and Aryanish Hindus be regarded people of the same race or different races?

Or maybe we can say there are two races. All Europeans, Arabs, and Asians are 'white' and all dark-skinned Africans are 'black'.
Or, we can say whites and Arabs are different races, or we can say Ethiopians and Nigerians are different races due to different body, facial types and even different temperaments. It's impossible to come up with any foolproof rule to this.

So, there is no clear rule for saying how many races there are. But there's no denying the degree of variation among the population groups, and some groups are closer to one another than with others.

So, maybe instead of dealing with races as separate groups, maybe we should focus on the degree of difference/variation among the races.
For instance, we know Europeans and Arabs are closer to one another than Europeans are to Africans.
So, maybe we should focus on the genetic distances among the various groups than where they are standing.

Suppose there are three people in a certain space. Suppose Bob, Jill, and Ann began to walk together, but slowly grew apart. Bob walked furthest ahead to point A. Jill walked off to point B. And Ann is at point C. If we focus on the fact that Bob is at A, Jill is at B, and Ann is at C, the implication would be they are separate by nature when, in fact, they all began walking from the same place and only gradually drifted apart. So, there is still a spatial connection among them that cannot be denied. But, as they stand in the present, they are also indeed apart. Bob would be furthest apart from Ann while Jill would be somewhere between them. That way, we can speak of their separateness and connection in the same breath. They did start from the same path but they've arrived at different points, and there are variations in their inter-relationship to one another. We can Bob is closer to Jill than to Ann even though they are all spatially connected. Not all degrees of variations are the same. Italians are closer to Swedes than black Africans are to Swedes(or for that matter, to Italians).

So, even if progs continue to deny racial categories, they won't be able to deny the degrees of variations among the races, such as whites are closer genetically to Arabs and Asians than they are to black Africans. So, even if 'races' are not entirely separate from one another, some groups are genetically closer to some groups than to other groups.

Of course, this is all a no-brainer, but we must come up with new approaches that make the discussion of genetic variances more scientific and acceptable.

Anonymous said...

Man I used to think the racism on this board was old crotchety paleos but maybe its a familiariy breeds contempt thing after all. I mean who on earth talks to black people enough to get their opinions on Haitians. The longest conversation I had with a black person was in line outside a Busta Rhymes concert about whether or not it is good form for white people to wear Sean Taylor jerseys. Lasted about three minutes before someone shouted flip mode and the conversation ended.

Anonymous said...

"Man I used to think the racism on this board was old crotchety paleos but maybe its a familiariy breeds contempt thing after all. I mean who on earth talks to black people enough to get their opinions on Haitians."

My school was about 90% black.

Anonymous said...

Italians are closer to Swedes than black Africans are to Swedes(or for that matter, to Italians).

But Italians are closer to Berbers than they are to Swedes - at least racially.

Anonymous said...

Bostonians tend to be pretty bad, but a lot of that is a function of the jumbled, confusing roads, most of which have their origins in 17th-Century cow paths and deer trails. (Endemic Bostonian rudeness also tends to color peoples' memories of driving through the city, making it seem worse than it is).

That sounds like Canada - but replace "17th-century" with "late 19th century". The fact is that Canada urbanized much later and faster than the United States. Add to that the infamous Canadian penny-pinching. Planning and infrastructure are seen as unaffordable luxuries. Canadian cities, with few exceptions, have their multi-lane freeways overlaying their vintage 1870-1920 cow paths, with little thought given to the traffic patterns of today.

Anonymous said...

OT: Did you see the new article officially announcing that the government has the technology to seize control of cars remotely, accelerate them to 120 mph and crash them into palm trees, removing annoying reporters?


Anonymous said...

If you want a real "shit your pants experience", try driving in Cairo Egypt.

Anonymous said...

Florida is flatter than a pancake.

I haven't driven in Miami but I have driven in Tampa and I found it very disconcerting. It's not just the drivers, it's the way the geography affects your vision. There is nothing on the horizon to break up your line of sight, so it is easy to lose focus on what is coming in front of you.

This is something I was able to appreciate coming from hilly Los Angeles county, California.

Maybe the geography is part of the problem in Miamia, too?

By the way, I live in Austin, Texas now. We had an awful lot of fatalities last year and the main roads are crowded. But, in general, people are in less of a hurry. I don't worry about rage rage like I did in So Cal.

Anonymous said...

RZ, Boston is the big leagues of driving. My cousins from LA refuse to drive when they're here; they aren't tough enough. They call me the Road Warrior.

The problem with Boston is that the roads in the city are not in a grid pattern, but radiate out from Boston Common. There's also only one major highway running north/south through the city, Route 93, and one from the west, Route 90. Open road is at a premium, and we're more than willing to fight for it. This creates our well-know road chaos.

But we're usually in the top 5 for accidents, though the crackdown on the Hispanic staged insurance fraud accidents in Lawrence and Lowell has reduced that some, we're always in the bottom 5 for accident deaths, even though we're usually last in seatbelt use. Probably because nobody can go fast enough to kill someone!

Anonymous said...

As a Life-long Bostonians, you make a good point about the rudeness of your average Bostonian. The natives, as parochial a lot as exists anywhere, don't stir about much to meet new people, and they get mad when I say that Bostonians make New Yorkers look like Norman Vincent Peale! They feel the title "The Hub of the Universe" is fitting.

Steve, the BPD has cracked down on red light running in town, but it's still the norm in the 'burbs.

Anonymous said...

"Here's a question: When I first drove in Boston, on trips around 1985-86, six cars would turn left after the light turned red. They'd honk at you if you were fifth in line to turn left and failed to turn. On recent trips to Boston, however, it's much more like everywhere else when it comes to turning left on red -- two cars are about standard. How did that change?"

I wonder if that might have been related to the epidemic of "chain-snatching"? I know someone who left Boston around that time, partly because of the then-high crime rate, and she mentioned once that stopping at a red light could be risky back then- thieves would reach right into the windows of stopped cars to rip jewelry off of drivers' necks.

pat said...

There is a wonderfully written scene in Tom Wolfe's latest big novel "Back to Blood" about driving in Miami with Cubans.

It's the first chapter so you can read in using the Amazon "Click to Look Inside" feature without having to buy the whole book.


candid_observer said...

One of the weirder aspects of driving in Boston is how a road will go from one lane to two lane without any dividing lines to define the lanes. Mass Ave is maybe the worst in this way. In practice, the way it works is that if the road seems wide enough to handle two lanes, then drivers will use two lanes, and when it narrows so that it doesn't seem able to handle two lanes, then drivers converge into one lane. Worse yet, sometimes Mass Ave gets wide enough that it seems capable of handling three lanes, and that is what some drivers will do -- but not others.

It's a recipe for fun.

Anonymous said...

"But Italians are closer to Berbers than they are to Swedes - at least racially."

Some of the southern ones.
At any rate, this is another case of the truth of degrees of variation. So, even if there is no simple white race or black race or whatever race, there are degrees of variations.

Maybe we can measure this by using a particular race as the center race. All other races will be measured by how much they deviate in degrees of variation from this center race.
It's like IQ had 100 as the average and numbers above 100 are higher in intelligence, and numbers below 100 are lower in intelligence.

Suppose we use Sadat the Egytpian as the example of the center race. So Sadatian Egyptianness would be 100.

Suppose Ethiopians differ in genetics from Sadatianness by 5. So, they would be the 105 race.
Suppose Congo blacks differ from Sadatianness by 10. So, they score 110.
Suppose the groups that evolved and remained in Africa have the numbers-of-difference added to 100, whereas the groups that left Africa and evolved elsewhere have the numbers-of-difference subtracted from 100.
So, if Arabs are different from Sadatianness by the factor of 5, they would be the 95 race.
If Italians differ from the Sadatianness by a factor of 10, they would be the 90 race.
And if Swedes differed by a factor of 15, they would be the 85 race.

That way, we can speak of one human species with genetic connections across the spectrum but with different groups who differ in degrees from the 'center' by a varying degrees.

Anonymous said...

Media diced and spliced what another hispanic said to fit the narrative. It never ends. Good for slate to point this out though.

Anonymous said...

Cubans may not have much to do with it. I lived in Florida a few years. Never had so many near misses. They simply do not understand the purpose of turn signals. If they use them at all, it is after they start their turn. These were not minorities of any sort, just white Floridians.

Anonymous said...

Shooting in Hiaelah.


Love's Orphan said...

It's not only the Cubans in Miami. the Nicaraguans, the Venezuelans and the Colombians don't know how to drive. Especially around Doral, Sweetwater, and Westchester areas. Every day there's an accident on I 95.

pat said...

An anonymous wrote a long comment on racial classifications. To which most regular readers would reply - "Of course".

It was fashionable in the seventies to say "Black is beautiful". Today blacks (actually more often mulattos) like to say "Race is a social construct".

Melissa Harris-Perry is an attractive half-black TV commentator. Before the sixties women who looked like her tried to "pass". She would have straightened her hair and maybe used some kind of skin bleach. She would have avoided the sun in the summer.

On the other hand in seventies she would probably have grown an "Afro" and worn a dashiki.

But today the classy half blacks are claiming that race is unreal. That's what they intend by claiming that race is a social construct.

The sociology term "social construct" is not much of a concept. It only means that a certain sign means something. So a "thumbs up" means good rather than bad. We could have all agreed that it meant something else and probably did in the Roman Coliseum.

So when they say that race is a social construct they mean that it has no basis in biology or reality. People are only black for example by convention. Huh?

The father of this notion appears to be Edward Lewontin. His argument was based on the Fst statistic in population genetics. He claimed that between group diversity was smaller than within group diversity and so there were no groups. Everyone was one race.

His statistical argument is not accepted by mainstream population geneticists. It is nowadays termed "Lewontin's Fallacy".

Lewontin is of course a Marxist like his buddy Steven Jay Gould. Belief that fundamental substratum of all issues is economic rather than biological leads Marxist biologists into some other odd notions. Things like Lysenkoism, spandrels, and punctuated equilibria.

Clearly the world is waiting for a new mathematical conception of race. It's hard to understand certain phenomena without tools like calculus or matrix algebra. We have no appropriate tools to use to describe race. Haplotypes are insufficient. As are SNPs. We need something that could allow us to describe Barrack Obama's racial identity quantitatively.


Otis McWrong said...

Weighing in from Miami here…I moved to Miami about 3 years ago from N. California. I quickly cancelled plans to sell my (very large) SUV and buy something sportier. Reason being that I’d want something large to hopefully survive the inevitable crash due to the way these people drive. I-95 between Fort Lauderdale and Miami has to be seen to be believed. Elderly whites/jews going 40 in the passing lane, snow bird Canadians going 30 in the far right lane, blacks on crotch rockets going 100 on the shoulder, tractor trailers with the driver texting, eight Haitians jammed into a 1980’s Toyota driving on the replacement fake tire, various tradespeople in vans or pickups with ladders falling off…and nobody ever uses a turn signal…it’s crazy.

All that said, Cubans aren’t the problem. Hialeah is an interesting inclusion and unlike other parts of Miami, is almost entirely Cuban. Maybe the issue is they’re old? As another commenter pointed out, Cubans are mostly older now and their kids are pretty assimilated. The worst drivers in terms of competence are the recent South American arrivals. The Miami area is sort of a referendum on the level of mayhem in Central and South America. Where there is mayhem, many end up here. Where things have calmed down, many leave. For example, Colombia has mostly settled down, so many Colombians have left. Now we’re awash in Venezuelans. Venezuelans are the worst drivers you’ve ever seen. They literally don’t have to know how to drive to get a license in Venezuela. It’s like getting a passport – you just fill out a form and off you go. They’re expected to figure it out on their own. Add to that their idiotic macho culture in which any display of civility or manners is viewed as weakness. Top it off with their haughtiness: Venezuelans have an extremely high opinion of Venezuelans and view everyone else as beneath them, especially other Latins and most particularly blacks. Interestingly, their obnoxiousness rarely escalates. They don’t seem to be offended when people are extremely rude back – it’s just normal to them.

Blacks of course are the most aggressive drivers though don’t seem to be particularly incompetent. They have complete disregard for rules or for their fellow drivers and are huge fans of tailgating but aren’t constantly crashing into trees or each other like the Venezuelans.

Truth said...

"Melissa Harris-Perry is an attractive half-black commentator..."

Dude, you ain't got a CHANCE: She'd toss you her keys at a restaurant and tell you not to scratch it.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


GOP whores out to big business that supports the Dems.