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The Israeli Driver

The Israeli Driver

The Israeli driver

Volumes can be written about the Israeli driver, but I will try to hit the main points fast, which is the whole point about Israeli driving anyway.

The basic premise of the Israeli driver is simple: he needs to get somewhere and you are in his way. Everything else ensues from here.

While at the lights, the Israeli driver will peep into your car to make sure you are not busy with your cellphone, the radio, your kids or the mirror. If you are, he calculates, you might not be ready to shoot forth the millisecond the light turns green. If he spies that you might be at fault here, he will beep you several seconds before the lights turn green, to make sure you will not waste his precious time with your lingering.  

You are not allowed to slow the Israeli driver down by asking other drivers or pedestrians for directions. You are expected to be independent, especially after Waze became vogue. If you are slowing down searching for a store or a restaurant, the Israeli driver will let you know you should have been prepared in advance.

You are not allowed to slow the Israeli driver down by trying to park. Parking is a natural activity, but not if you happen to be in front of an impatient Israeli driver. Ideally, from his point of view, if you are on the road at all, you are expected to be constantly on the move.

The Israeli motorcyclist is designed to surprise you to a pre-heart-attack condition and relish the effect!

You should not take the right side of a lane as you were taught in driving lessons, because he might push into your lane on the left. It’s better to make sure you control the center of the lane.

When on a highway, you should not be surprised if you are passed on the right or the left regardless of road conditions. Always be on the watch, especially for the out-of-the-blue motorcyclist… He, more than anybody else, is designed to surprise you to a pre-heart-attack condition and relish the effect!

The main roads are packed with cops checking for velocity, but not for the zigzag driver, who gets away with (almost) murder, so speeding is usually not a grand idea. That said, we speed, of course. Special programs like Waze warn us in advance about police presence and cameras, making it easier to press on the gas between warnings. Nowdays the roads are so packed that speeding is a fantasy, especially in the Center. It is ironic they install the cameras in places where congestion forces you drive at 20 km/h.

The typical zigzag driver is a male aged 16-32 . In his view the road is a glorified skateboard arena. He zigs and zags between the more law-abiding cars, making the more sedate driver’s blood curdle. Though on most occasions he (and you) emerge unscathed by his acrobatics, there is no guarantee. The outrageous accident rate might be partially due to that particular driver type. These guys, who see themsleves as master drivers, are never caught by police. Police can even observe this dangerous driving first hand, but they do nothing, since it doesn’t register on their speed trackers.

The worst case scenario for the Israeli driver is the two lane inter-city road, like  Route 90 . When I lived in the Arava I drove this road countless times, one of few women who did so regularly.  Every time I made it safely to my destination I blessed the Great Spirit. Not to be taken for granted.

It is ironic they install the secret cameras in places where congestion forces you drive at 20 km/h while the zigzag driver moves between lanes unhindered.

Woe to you if you happen to drive a bit slow on the fast lane. Sometimes it is dangerous to cross lanes back to safety, but that does not make a difference to the impatient Israeli driver behind you. He will tailgate you, blink his brights, press the horn, sometimes even touch your car to make his point clear. Whoever is sitting in his passenger’s seat will hear juicy language, especially if you are female… As a woman some will even let you know you were supposed to be cleaning the kitchen rather than treading on what they see as their exclusive playground.

All that said, the Israeli driver, like the Israeli person in general, can be very nice and helpful, benevolent and friendly, as long as he is not behind a wheel... 

As a result and sometimes as a cause for the behavior of the Israeli driver is the misearble lot of the Israeli car. 

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