Show me how you drive and I’ll tell you who you are

Everything you need to know about a nation, you can learn from how it does two things:

1. Queuing, and
2. Driving.

Both measure the people’s ability (and willingness) to function in a reasonable system without breaking it.

In fact, I am willing to bet that road etiquette in particular is an excellent predictor of a country’s prosperity. The correlation is massive and conclusive.

This is not because driving well makes people richer (though the reduced repair and insurance bills may help), or because being rich makes people drive well (though not wanting to ruin an expensive car may help), but because being civilised makes people both better, i.e. more considerate and responsible drivers, and richer.

The zero sum obliviousness of chaotic traffic reflects a general outlook on life that also translates into chaotic, zero (or negative) sum, more or less dysfunctional societies.

You can judge an individual’s character by their driving style as well. Assholes on the road tend to be assholes in other situations too, and the timid or chaotic are still timid and chaotic outside their cars.

It’s a great personality test.
If you want to learn a lot about someone in a tiny amount of time, take a ride with them.

(P.S. Yours truly is a fast, but considerate and respectful driver, and only rarely screams at others, wishing to smear their genitalia in jam and seat them in a beehive.)

(P.P.S. In case you were wondering, I’m in Italy now, which is special for its mix of entropy and actually working quite nicely, both on the road and everywhere else.)