Are Wichita drivers really the worst?

It has been said, many times, sometimes at great volume, that Wichita drivers are the worst on the planet. There are days that I tend to agree.

I took a short trip down Seneca to 31st Street a short time ago, within the last hour or so. During that two mile drive, I twice had to slam on my brakes to avoid vehicles pulling out in from of me, one of which was a large truck. On two more occasions during the same drive, I observed people putting on their turn signals – in the middle of the turn they were making. I once watched a man texting as he drove. He was riding a motorcycle.

If it isn’t the high speed lunatics, it’s the “how slow can you go” morons.

Obviously, there are tragic results to bad driving, but I would rather not dwell on that, nor the obvious problem of impaired drivers. We have enough simpletons on the roads to make a simple trip to the grocery store into an adventure, with throwing those topics into the mix.

As many of you know, I rode motorcycles for many a year. As a confirmed biker, I rapidly learn from the beginning that a cyclist’s only friend on the road is himself. The “other guy” ain’t gonna look out for you, so you damned well better look out for yourself.

Many long-term bikers, myself included, develop a sixth sense of self-preservation and to use a motorcycle’s inherent superior braking, acceleration and maneuverability to keep themselves alive with the shiny side up.

Unfortunately, most folks don’t drive like a seasoned motorcyclist, they drive with little understanding of “defensive driving” and awareness of the potential consequences of even a momentary lack of attention.

If I could just teach Wichita drivers a few things they would be:

Traffic signs and signals are not “suggestions.”

It really isn’t a crime to use your turn signals.

The speed limit is the “maximum” allowed, not the “minimum.”

Store parking lots are not the place to practice your bumper car skills.

Wichita drivers may not truly be the worst on the planet – Chicago drivers hold that “honor” – but they are truly bad.

So what is it with Wichita drivers?

William Stephenson Clark


Filed under Kansas, Psychological Disorders

36 responses to “Are Wichita drivers really the worst?

  1. itolduso

    In other parts of the country, notably LA, Atlanta, etc, they get removed from the gene pool rather rapidly. They do not “suffer the fool” in those places, they just run them over.

  2. I checked demographics for Wichita after I read this thread header. I thought I would find Wichita has an aging population and I thought I could pass along some of the blame to that. I didn’t find what I expected!

    Median Age of Population 33.4
    Males 32.3
    Females 34.6

  3. wicked

    Are Wichita drivers really the worst?


    • wicked

      Especially in the winter on ice and snow.

      Or at the corner of Luther and Victoria, where no one knows about right of way, yielding, or stopping at stop signs.

  4. I haven’t driven in enough other cities to make a judgment. I run into bad drivers in Wichita and agree with what you’ve written about them, I just don’t have a comparison.

    One of my bigger ‘peeves’ is those who don’t get up to speed on the entrance ramps.

    • wicked

      Or those driving in the right hand lane who can’t move to the left lane so those who have gotten up to speed on the entrance ramp can actually merge into traffic.

      • 6176746f6c6c65

        Or those in the inside lane who sit on the bumper of those in the outside lane who would gladly allow the entering traffic to “merge” if only they could move over…

  5. indypendent

    I have lived in many cities throughout the country due to my husband’s corporate life and Wichita drivers are not the worst but they are not the best either – LOL

    I have two pet peeves:

    1) drivers when merging – they tend to follow the merge lane until there is no more road and then just pull into the roadway without even looking over to see what the situation is. I guess they figure if they run out of road we are the ones to watch out for them?

    As has been mentioned by several here, there are drivers on the roadway that will not move over when someone is merging or there is no where to move when someone is merging in – so it really complicates the situation.

    2) someone on a side street will sit and watch me coming down the road and then decide to pull out in front of me just before I reach them. This would not bother me so much if I had not just watched them watching me – so I know they see me coming.

    Sometimes the danger from drivers is not from their driving but from what they do to other drivers. About two months ago, my daughter was behind two trucks that got stopped at a red light. The guy in the truck in front of her gets out, goes to his truck bed and gets out a big baseball bat, he looks directly at her (she was freaking out wondering WTF did she do) but this guy walked up to the truck in front of him and started swinging the bat at that guy’s truck. This guy then went through the red light, turned and sped down the road. So, of course, the bat wielding guy follows him down the road. My daughter was just glad they were both gone – but as she looked down the road to the right – there were 2 police cars off the side street and had both trucks pulled over.

    Someone must have called 911, which my daughter was thankful because everything happened so fast, she did not even have time to react.

    So – the danger is not always from some vehicle in motion – it is the unstable person behind the wheel.

  6. Another of my peeves —

    I am in a left turn lane but I need to turn right quickly after my left turn (my destination is on the corner). The drivers facing me who are in the far right lane have a red light but are making their right hand turn preventing me from getting into that far right lane of the street I turn onto.

    I know that by law I am to turn into the inside lane, and that they can make a right hand turn on red, but in this particular instance — when their light is red, my left hand turn light is green, they should stay put and not on the new street they’ve turned onto, where they block me from getting into that far lane after I’ve made my turn.

    • wicked

      If more people would follow the driving laws, life would be easier and there would be less accidents.

      Good luck with that.

    • smv1978

      Making a right turn after making a left turn at a four lane intersection in under 200ft cannot legally be done. After turning left you need a minimum of 100ft to signal and change lanes then another 100ft to signal for your right turn.
      The person turning right on red is turning within the letter of law and in no way at fault as long as they maintain their turning lane. The person making the left turn, turns into the inside lane and the person making the right turn, turns into the outside lane making the turns at the same time.

      • Hi smv1978, welcome to PPPs and thanks for your input. As I said in my post, I’m aware of the laws, still one of my ‘peeves.’ The ones that annoy me don’t do more than turn and stop, they don’t continue on, they just turn and then stop. Sometimes a long line of them turn and stop. I don’t really see much reason for their behavior whether it is or isn’t legal.

  7. Freebird1971

    Another thing for Wichita drivers to remember, red lights and siren mean get the hell out of the way,it may be your house they are going to

    • indypendent

      Thanks for mentioning this – that just drives me nuts when I pull over to the right with my turn signal on and somebody behind me is honking at me like I’m the moron…

      Poor little fella – he had to put his brakes on rather than plowing over me…

  8. itolduso

    “Another thing for Wichita drivers to remember, red lights and siren mean get the hell out of the way,it may be your house they are going to”

    No, in Wichita, it means ….. go faster, I might outrun them….

    • indypendent

      I saw one man actually stop his car in the middle of the intersection and get out to see where the fire truck was coming from.

      Now that was pretty stupid. I thought the fireman driving the truck was going to lose it. He kept waving to the guy to get out of his way. The fire truck actually had to put on their brakes because they did not know what this fool was doing or was going to do.

      You just cannot fix stupid.

      • Freebird1971

        As you may know my son is a firefighter. We were chastting one day and he related that at LEAST once a week someone will try to beat the engine through an intersection and that one day some poor SOB is going to discover those big trucks don’t stop on a dime.

  9. G-STIR

    I ride a motorcycle , and put myself in the “think like an idiot” mode ala Will’s 6th sense; I’m convinced that practice has save my butt a lot of grief. I’m amazed at how many people think turnsignals are optional, and then there are the real stars: the cell phoners!

    I recently pulled up next to cell phoner after watching her wonder in to both lanes of Northbound Hillside south of Pawnee. I asked her if she was aware she was driving a car and not a GD phone booth, and since she wouldn’t presumedly drive drunk,why would she drive “phoned”. She got so mad she couldn’t talk , and I ,course laughed and split!

    • WSClark

      I tell you, Gee, when I saw that guy riding his bike while texting, I ’bout flipped. I thought to myself “that has to be the dumbest biker ever!”

      (For those of you that have never ridden, a motorcycle has controls in four places. Clutch – left handlebar. Throttle and front brake – right handlebar. Shift lever – left foot. Rear brake – right foot. Turn signals are under either thumb.)

      Riding a motorcycle with one hand taken out of the equation is suicide.

  10. wicked

    I try to always be a defensive driver. I’m not going to say I ever made a mistake in the 45 years I’ve been driving, because that would be a lie. But I try to be aware of everything around me. I’m especially that way when there are motorcylces. They make me nervous, just as some drivers do. Like the texting cycle rider, there are some idiots on 2 wheels out there.

    • wicked

      That should read ‘never made a mistake’. I need a new keyboard, hands, fingers, and brains.

  11. indypendent

    wicked brought up a good point – driving defensively.

    When the Kansaa law went into effect for all vehicles to have their headlights turned on when the windshield wipers are running was an eye opener to me.

    The comments on the WE Opinion Line were unbelievable. Maybe it is because I was used to turning on my headlights when my wipers were running because I lived in Tennessee for a few years and that was a law down there long before it came to Kansas.

    Anyway – when I posted my comment that it had nothing to do with what the driver could see by having headlights turned on – it was so other drivers could see them so it was a safety thing.

    I got hit with all these Big Government is telling us what to do and/or Nanny Government taking care of all the little ones – yada, yada and more yada

    Then one well-known Conservative Republican made the comment that he was not going to let anyone tell him what to do.

    I guess that sums it up right there – are bad drivers that way by choice? Do they really not care about others or themselves by being an accident looking for a place to land?

    Is it really that simple?

    • wicked

      I wasn’t even aware of that law, until one of my sons-in-law mentioned it. Of course it isn’t for the driver of the car, but for others to make it easier to see them.

      Those who don’t care about others really don’t even care about themselves.

      On a related note, by 26-year-old daughter finally passed her driving test today and has a driver’s license. Now she won’t have to rely on other people hauling her to work and back and everywhere else. Hopefully she learned to watch out for the other guy.

      • indypendent

        Congrats – does this mean you have your freedom back and are no longer in the taxi biz?

        I was happy when my kids got their drivers license – that meant my schedule suddenly got a lot less busy.

      • wicked

        Maybe one less taxi passenger, indy. Not sure about the vehicle availability, but she doesn’t live here, and she’s not insured on my car, so we’re one step farther ahead than before. 🙂

  12. Freebird1971

    Back in the late 70’s I worked as an EMT and we called really fast bikes(crotch rockets today) donor cycles.
    Driving an ambulance is how I learned to really drive defensively

    • wicked

      Oh, I’m sure you learned the hard way, Freebird, considering the way drivers ignore emergency vehicles in this city.

    • G-STIR

      Free- Did you notice that most of the “foolcyclers” don’t usually wear helmets?

  13. Freebird1971

    The sad thing was that I would guess about 75-80% of those killed were under 25 yrs old.

    • indypendent

      What’s that old saying? Oh yeah, youth is wasted on the young.

      They all think they are invincible. Even when presented the facts – there are still some who think it will never happen to them.

  14. itolduso

    BUT >>>>BUT>>>>>BUT>>> 25 year olds are immortal!!! Oh, wait…

    It really is too bad.

  15. tosmarttobegop

    LOL I am going to stay out of this, riding a motor cycle as much as I do.
    I think every four wheeled vehicle driver is mad and out to get me!