Everyone ELSE on the Road is an Idiot

(These are not idiots. These are children dressed up as
traffic signals in the Kiyrat Bialik Purim Parade.)

In honor of the fact that I'll take the first driving lesson en route to my Israeli license tomorrow, and the fact that the theme of the Purim Parade in Kiryat Bialik this year was road safety (really), a post about Israeli driving etiquette.

To drive in Israel, remember one simple rule:

Everyone else on the road drives like an [insert term: idiot/maniac/nephew of a monkey/Polish grandmother].

You, of course, drive very well. Every Israeli, personally, is a good driver. You keep a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you, only talk on your cell phone in case of an emergency (for example, if your friend needs to figure out what plans are for Saturday night now), and pay close attention to all the cars around you.

On the other hand, OTHER Israelis are dangerous drivers who must be snapped into consciousness through skillful application of your horn. Other Israelis do not stop at intersections and pull out into streets without looking and must be honked at so that they do look. Other Israelis jabber on their cellphones constantly, even about stupid little things like Saturday night plans when their friends don't need to talk about them right now, and must be honked at with your free hand. Other Israelis must be honked at so that they notice you cutting them off. Other Israelis don't start moving when the light is about to turn green, so they need to be honked at so that they don't waste a precious second of potential movement. Other Israelis tailgate you, ignoring the "Keep your Distance" sign that you have clearly placed on your bumper. Other Israelis drive too slowly, and so you are forced to honk your horn, flash your lights, or tailgate them (safely, of course, because you're a good driver who pays attention) so that they don't keep you from making the next light. And other Israelis insist on honking their horns at you for no good reason, which is extremely rude.

To recap, if you want to be Israeli, you must be an extraordinarily good driver (like every Israeli) to make up for all of the crazy maniacs driving on Israeli roads.

If this doesn't make logical sense to you, bear in mind that the crazy drivers are not like you. Israeli men will tell you that women are the worst drivers, although of course they're wrong. Israeli women will tell you that Russians are terrible drivers, and Russians will explain that Arabs drive like maniacs.

So when you're on the road, remind other drivers to keep their distance and show a little bit of respect for the other drivers on the road! You may need to maneuver slightly into their lanes so they can hear you shout.

Sign on a rear window: "Keep your Distance-- Lawyer in Car"


  1. Beirut is the same way. Hmph...

  2. I'm wondering how you description of Israeli driving differs from your stateside experiences -- 'cause I'm not seeing much difference between driving in Israel and driving in, say, Chicago!

  3. When we made aliyah, the roads frightened me so much I never used my license and it died.
    ps I must get that sign for my daughter.

  4. Very funny. I like the whole "nephew of a monkey" term! Will definitely use that one next time I'm in a traffic jam on the Ayalon.

  5. Driving in Israel is an experience, but I received good training here in LA so it is no problem.

  6. You will like this annecdote from my blog: (this is a true story)

    One of my kids asked the other: "What's an idiot?"

    Other kid's answer: "Any driver that isn't Ima."


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