A few years ago I wrote a fanfiction called Highway to Hell about road rage on a European highway. It described how the heroine was stuck behind a truck and had the hero of the story flashing his lights to get past her, much to her annoyance.
But this summer I drove 6400 kilometers in nine different US states and I realized how strange my story must have been to you Americans (at least if the traffic in your state is anything like the traffic I met). The highways we drove on were like a train ride: Everyone was going around the same speed and you were just cruising along. No one breathing down your neck and honking the horn to get past you and no one driving like snails and turtles, stopping all traffic. The traffic was nothing like my story – it was so nice and cozy that 6400 kilometers felt like a … well, vacation 🙂 .
Yesterday I was driving home from Denmark, through Sweden, and let me tell you – the traffic in Sweden is nothing like a train ride. You are allowed to go 110 km/h or 120 km/h on the Swedish highways but people will be going at anything from 70 to 170. With two lanes it means you have to dodge the slow traffic in the inner lane (and sometimes in the outer lane because the bus going 80 *must* go past the bus going 70) and the blinking, honking fast travelers in the outer lane. So if my story Highway to Hell confused you when you read it, it`s unfortunately a correct description of how things are here. And if it scared you, you should probably think twice about driving on Swedish highways.
It`s not just in Sweden people drive like crazy but Swedes have been known to believe they are invincible in their so-very-safe Volvos. And they have a reason to feel safe because less people are killed in road accidents. Unfortunately, the people who are killed are now no longer sitting in their cars (they are safe there). It`s the pedestrians and the two-wheelers who are killed – probably by people driving safe cars, and driving too fast because they feel so safe.
So one could blame Volvo for making their cars too safe but really, that would be silly. Especially when Volvo makes cool adds like this one. I could forgive Volvo anything after I saw the add yesterda. It made me chuckle – but then I truly hate German techno 🙂
(Are you tired of German techno? Try some Swedish metal!)