A lot of things piss me off about Israeli drivers: aggression, road rage, not checking blind spots, the idea that a turn in either direction can be made from both the left and right lanes, failure to respect the driver with the right-of-way, honking as lights change, not signaling, etc. Those of you who have spent any time with me have already heard my rant about why I think this is so: I think that because Israelis have to pay double for their new cars (and significantly more for used cars as well), they drive with a smug sense of entitlement which basically says, “I paid $40,000 for this Honda Accord; I’ll drive in whichever way I choose.” If the anachronistic car tax was ever lifted (and being that it’s the number two source of revenue for the government behind income tax, it won’t be), we would be able to test the validity of my theory.
But I digress. Israelis are not only bad drivers. They are terrible parkers as well. I do think that parking spaces here are too small, but that’s really no excuse for taking two spaces or leaving three feet of the car jutting out into the driving lane. And there’s one thing about how Israelis park that’s plain astounding: in a “lot” type setup (i.e., not parallel parking), everyone backs in, as if it’s a frigging firehouse or car showroom. The whole world has to wait as Dudu throws the car into reverse and wedges his car between the neighboring Mazda 3s.
(More after the photo, which was taken this evening at a local supermarket.)
Now some will say that spending a few more moments parking when you arrive at the store means that you will be able to leave that much faster. Fine. But let’s say you’re at the parking lot for a supermarket. Going to the supermarket usually means coming back to the car with a cartload of groceries. Dudu has backed in his leased Ford Focus/Mazda 3, knowing as he buys his hummus that he will save three seconds on the way out. But then Dudu gets to his car, and can’t get to the trunk. Why, you ask? Because he backed his car in, and the cars parked next to him are too close to pass the cart through to the trunk side. So Dudu curses, and has to walk all of the bags over to the trunk. Funny thing is that about 75% of cars parked at supermarkets here back in. Complete idiocy. Classic Israeli.
Why the rant? Because a survey of accidents among high-tech firms here has shown that over 30% of accidents involving company cars occur in parking lots, specifically because of Dudu’s inability to maneuver the car in reverse. And as usual, it looks like nothing is being done to change the trend.
UPDATE: Two more rants to add:
- Gas prices will be going up tonight by over 5% to 5.47 NIS per-liter ($4.92 per-gallon).
- The infamous Ayalon Freeway will apparently not be a “freeway” for long, as the CEO of the road (yes, there is such a thing) declared this morning in a radio interview that the Ayalon will become a toll road within the next 1.5 years. (Here’s the Ayalon Freeway Wikipedia page. I guess I’ll update it to include the toll news.)