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An Open Letter to the Crazy Drivers of Michigan

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Ann Arbor Michigan city at night

Photo: Emily Flores via CC

Hey neighbors,

I think that we need to talk.

It’s about what my family has started calling the “Michigan Dive.”

According to my dad, who coined the term after driving buses to Detroit and Ann Arbor and back, this, in its purest form, happens when you are coming up on an exit pretty shortly on the highway, and someone who didn’t want to wait behind you to exit in a calm manner flies past you in the other lane before diving across two lanes of traffic to exit.

Michigan Junction of I-96 and I-275

Odds are that red GMC is exiting
Photo: Ken Lund

I personally also attributed that to the people who fly up past you just to get back in the right lane and drive at a sedate pace again, but we had a disagreement on that one.

However, there was one thing we agreed on: the bad drivers up there (of which there are many) operate on one single imperative: “Me First.”

I have never been cut off so many times on the highway, nor have I seen so many people stamp on the gas in the right hand lane to avoid being passed. I think I would rather take a pointy stick to the ribs than drive on 23 near Ann Arbor at 8 in the morning.

I-96 in Michigan approaching US 23 near Ann Arbor

Abandon all hope, ye who exit here
Photo: Ken Lund

Now, don’t get upset, Michigan drivers (because clearly some of you have a problem with that). This didn’t really apply once I got into the Upper Peninsula—perhaps the comparatively empty highways have a soothing effect.

Also, to a point, I get it—around the more southern cities, there are a ton of you folks, and, let’s be frank, here, the highways are rough. I never would have thought of the Toledo area as being great for highways, but that switch from Ohio to Michigan on I-75 is immediately terrible and visible from a long way up the road (although that is handy, because you have time for a quick prayer for your suspension before it takes its thrashing).

Welcome to Michigan sign

The abandoned shredded tire on the left sure speaks volumes
Photo: Jimmy Emerson, DVM

I guess what I’m saying is, can we turn the Mario-Cart-Rainbow-Road levels of hostility down a smidge? Or maybe turn that hostility toward Lansing to get some of the state budget nudged toward the Department of Transportation—it seems a little worrying that the introduction to the 2015-2019 five-year plan is about how MDOT doesn’t make the budget, and it just reports what would needs to be done, and it has already closed eight facilities and cut staff, and oh god please give us some money we are falling apart over here.

I’d certainly appreciate it.

Thank you.

This is a actually one of a two-part series of open letters that came from my vacation, so if you would like to read my open letter to the over-anxious and mule-headed drivers of Ohio, click here.

News Source: Michigan Department of Transportation