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Ultimately there are there are two types of Boston Drivers:   (A) Those that know what they are doing and (B) those that don't. Within Category (A) there are two types:  Very Aggressive Drivers, and Less Aggressive Drivers.  Anything less than Less Aggressive just won't work here.

Drivers That Know What They Are Doing

The Very Aggressive drive in a manner that can be considered unpredictable, erratic, inexplicable or just plain dangerous. They are of course everywhere.

Less Aggressive  drivers simply do things that pretty much everyone expects - they just don't follow the conventional rules practiced in all other American cities.  Examples include:  cutting in the front of a long merge line, pulling out into traffic without allowing a safe distance, double parking in the North End, driving through a yellow light that obviously is going to turn red long after they've entered the intersection, entering a rotary without yielding to traffic within, making a left turn as soon as a light turns green cutting off opposing traffic... the list goes on and on.  These drivers are the majority.

Both very aggressive and less aggressive drivers' vehicles can be recognized by their Massachusetts license plate.

It should be recognized that many but not all less aggressive drivers can become very aggressive, even angry Boston drivers due to any number of factors, including any of the following are likely to set off a fit of rage in anyone......

  • Congestion/delays anywhere,

  • Construction road blocks/delays,

  • Double parking blockages,

  • Inability to find a parking space,

  • Problem drivers that don't know what they are doing

  • Pretty much any and all Pedestrians in general,

  • Pedestrians crossing the street without looking,

  • Pedestrians very slowly crossing at a legitimate cross walk,

  • Pedestrians even more slowly crossing to irritate you,

  • Pedestrians who may be crossing the street but aren't sure,

  • Ride share passengers who don't know what their ride share car is or looks like,

  • Students, groups of students*

  • Bicyclists, groups of bicyclists

  • Those on foot powered scooters,

  • Those on electric scooters,

  • Canadian  Geese,

  • Spatially disoriented and time-oblivious Ride-Share passengers

  • Logan Airport,

  • North Station, Patriot's Place or Fenway Park event,

  • Garbage Day on North End, Beacon Hill or Southie

Drivers That DON'T Know What They Are Doing

Those that don't know what they are doing in cars on Boston streets are fairly easy to identify.  Usually cars with out of state plates should be avoided at all costs.  This does not mean that drivers in  cars with MA plates do.   Nothing could be further from the truth.  Those could be rental cars, the 17 year old driver who recently received license, someone who never drives but had to pick up someone at South Station, etc.

Signs that you're near a driver you don't want to be near:

Driving too slowly in the left-most lane - This could be a sign that the driver to too scared to move from what is thought to be the safest place to be while on 90, 93, 95, 128, Storrow and Memorial Drive, O'Neil Tunnel and other fast(er) moving roads and highways.  Or, it could be a sign of simple obliviousness - a common trait here.  Many drivers do not pay attention to the 'Rules of the Road' and stay in the Passing Lane because they may pass another car sometime.

Making an erratic, last second move from the left-most lane to the right side exit, for example on 128/95.  Or an erratic last second move from the right-most lane to a left side exit, for example on Fenway exit off Storrow Drive. 

A driver approaches either a left or right side exit very slowly because does not really know if this is his or her exit; the driver will slow to the point of blocking multiple lanes exiting and not.  Turely an endearing behavior.

A driver staring a mobile device at high, medium or low speeds on any road or highway. 

Any car moving or stopped with Emergency lights on.


Regular pedestrians in Boston operate with a different worldview than say New York City-rs.  Our locals don't think anything will happen if wandering into the street whether or not in a crosswalk.  New Yorkers know something can happen to them if they wander into any street.  New York is faster, roads are straighter longer so you can build up a head of steam when lights cooperate.  Just can't do that in Boston. 


A pedestrian in Boston can cause cars to slow down or stop by exercising a heretofore maneauver assigned solely to Boston Drivers: the "Boston Pullout." 

A pedestrian see's a vehicle approaching;  judges that a half step into the street will cause most drivers to slow down, another step causes drivers to stop.  The experienced and aggressive Boston pedestrian will be able to estimate how best to exploit driver behavior.  From a driver perspective, one of the most aggravating is when the pedestrian does exactly this without making eye contact, or even looking other than that first glance.   

Student Pedestrians, Student Places


Students are the worst behaving pedestrians, particularly those hovering around Harvard Square.  Crosswalks favoring pedestrians have done irreparable damage to self-preservation instincts in the student intelligentsia.  Too many times, at least once a day, I've witnessed what I would call suicidal disregard for moving vehicles.   There seems to be an arrogance about the pedestrian here. 

Bicycles, Other 1 and 2 Wheel "cycles"

Many seem to believe that biking around Boston is a either a great form of transportation or exercise.  It may be both but it really a bad idea, its unsafe. 

Any car moving or stopped with Emergency lights on.

Everybody Else

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