Seasonal Drivers in South Florida: How to Deal

Season is in full swing in Boca, and city traffic is at an all-time high…which means seasonal drivers in South Florida are also at an all-time high.

How to deal?

By using a little driving etiquette. I had the opportunity to test drive a Ford Expedition for a week and between the size and power of that vehicle, I was truly tempted to become a little more (cough, cough) aggressive on the roads of Boca Raton.

Seasonal Drivers in South Florida - Modern Boca Mom

Let’s face it, seasonal drivers in South Florida are irritating, even maddening sometimes…but there are ways to take the high road (pun intended). 

Driving etiquette is a “thing” says Dannie Fowler, certified Etiquette Consultant and owner of The Etiquette School of Florida. So, I asked her for some tips to make seasonal driving a little easier on residents and us parents especially…

How do you suggest parent drivers diffuse tension in the car (especially with kids in the back seat) while dealing with seasonal drivers in South Florida and traffic?

Always have distractions during rush hour, which during season can sometimes be the entire day! Little ones have short attention spans and need to switch gears frequently. Snacks, drinks, an iPad, music they like or something that can lull them to sleep are all good options.  Preparation is key.

Children and adult passengers alike will pick up on your mood. Energy is infectious, so keep calm as best you can. Aggressive or irritated behavior won’t get you anywhere faster and could end up causing an accident. Take the time to explore Ford’s advanced safety features, such as the Blind Spot Information System (Blis) and the Driver Alert Safety System.

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Chivalry isn’t dead, albeit a bit modified these days. How do you suggest drivers be chivalrous on the road with the assistance of technology?

Whatever you do, try not be engaged in multiple tasks, such as talking on the phone while using GPS or heaven forbid, texting. When your attention is side-tracked, you tend to make last minute decisions, and that’s when drivers cut other cars off, move too quickly, slam on breaks, and forget to turn on their turn signals.

Allow others to enter or get off at exits. Ford’s Active Park Assist feature can help you quickly move into parallel parking spots, so you don’t have to hold up traffic on busy streets, like those in Mizner Park.

Also remember, if you need to make a call or send a text message, you don’t even have to touch your phone with SYNC3 and MyFordTouch, which are features present in all Ford vehicles on the steering wheel.

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When driving during season, it’s expected that your commute may take longer than usual. How do you suggest drivers make passengers more comfortable?

Think of your passengers as your guests and how you can make any ride a pleasant ride. Traffic can make even the nicest of us grumpy!

For older passengers, show them where all of the electronic controls are, where the USB ports are located, and ask their music preference. Use driving time to have conversations with your passengers. Ask questions, learn about their day. Sometimes, the best time for conversation is in your car with minimal distractions.

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It can sometimes be nerve-wracking to be a passenger (especially a mom) in a car that’s being driven poorly. You essentially have no control over your or your kids’ safety. What’s a good way to ask a driver to be more cautious without offending them? 

Always approach a touchy subject with “I” statements instead of “you” statements:

  • “I’m so concerned about how crazy this traffic is.”
  • “I hope you don’t mind driving a little (slower, calmer, etc.) than usual. The children (and I) get a little nervous otherwise. I would really appreciate it.”
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Never fault the driver. Once you judge someone, they can become defensive.

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How can you best deal with inattentive, out-of-state South Florida seasonal drivers who are unfamiliar with our roads and parking lots?

In South Florida, we live every day with tourists and seasonal visitors…and new construction. It is part of our lives.

Take a deep breath and remember, it is better to get there safely!  Courtesy is important on the road.  Ask yourself, “would I rush past, push from behind (tailgate), insult, or otherwise scare someone who was lost or elderly if I was standing next to them?” The answer is (hopefully) most likely NO.

So why would I do that to someone in a car who could potentially harm me or someone else with their large metal vehicle?  When you drive aggressively, that aggression stays with you when you leave your automobile.  Learn to relax, adjust the air, the music, the seats, and breathe…kindness is important everywhere and ESPECIALLY during season.

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Sponsored: All opinions expressed in this blog post are my own and not influenced in any way by the sponsor. Any statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with provider. Please refer to this site’s Disclosure for more information. I was given the use of a 2016 Ford Expedition for the period of one week for the purpose of this article.