Argentine Driving

Buenos Aires Travel Blog

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both my driver and the guy in front of him are in the middle of 2 lanes

Honk!  Honk!  Honk!  Swerve!  Yell!

 

Drivers in Argentina almost look like the ones from India.  The lines on the roads are completely disregarded and weaving through spaces barely fit for a bicycle is a must.  When I first came to Buenos Aires, I didn’t realize that I would actually be in danger driving in a taxi, but after the driver realized where I had to be after listening to my “spanglish”, it was off to the races.  Every taxi ride has been a thrill thus far in this city.  Whether we are crossing Avenida 9 de Julio or just Paraguay or Borges, the drivers love to skim corners and cut others off without mercy.

This bus almost hit us!

 

I was always taught as a child to “stay within the lines”.  I think the Argentines never learned this in elementary school.  Maybe they were taught: “disregard the line” or better yet “there is no line”.  I’ve seen full-length buses cross over white lines and cut others off without even a hint of an apology from the driver.  It’s almost second-nature.

 

Some things I’ve noticed while in Buenos Aires is the difference in the traffic lights here than the ones in the States.  The lights here go from red to yellow to green and back, while the ones in the States go straight to green once they have been on red.  I was a little shocked when I was crossing the street the first time on a yellow light, because I had originally thought it was going to turn red, and the car closest to me roared to life and zoomed right past.

Yep, still driving in the middle.
  We were warned by our professor, Kirk Bowman, that pedestrians do not have the right of way over here and he was absolutely right.  The drivers here sometimes seem like they should be in the video game Grand Theft Auto, where one can get points for running innocent bystanders over.  I’ve noticed that if the light is still green or on yellow, those who cross the street are pretty much “fair game.”  They gun the engine and try and zoom across the street before you can cross the road.  It’s almost like they are purposely trying to hit you when you walk.   

 

I’ve got to admit though, I have not been in an accident yet (knock on wood).  They might do things that make me cringe every once in a while, but the taxi and bus drivers here always get me to where I need to be without fail and without injury.  Hopefully it stays that way. 

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both my driver and the guy in fron…
both my driver and the guy in fro…
This bus almost hit us!
This bus almost hit us!
Yep, still driving in the middle.
Yep, still driving in the middle.