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Driving in Vancouver Sucks

Take some meditation classes if you plan on driving in Vancouver, because you will literally go bonkers!!!




I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time.  Vancouver driving is unlike ANY driving I’ve ever experienced in my entire life anywhere.  Hands down.  Just ask American expats + anyone who’s visited Vancouver.  They will all say that it’ll make you want to tear your hair out!!!  Even though Los Angeles is a big car city + infamous for it’s road rage – Vancouver has unleashed a beast in me that has never been seen before!!!!







I’m really into lists as you all know, so here is a list of reasons why driving in Vancouver bites.


In my opinion a large part of the vehicular craziness is due to the high population of people who are new to driving in Vancouver.  Like their first-time-behind-a-wheel-driver.  If you see a sticker on the back of a car with a “N” or an “L” – pass them, pass them, PASS THEM!!!!!Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 6.45.48 PM











“L” means Learner’s License.  “N” means Novice License.  When I first moved to Vancouver I asked Jeff what the stickers meant because these stickers are on like, 70 PERCENT OF CARS IN VANCOUVER!!!!  I’m not even joking!!!  These drivers are so timid + hesitant – I find it to be just as dangerous as aggressive driving!  Beware of these new drivers!!!  I’m glad I grew up in Los Angeles where you learn to drive defensively, because you never know what these new drivers are going to pull!  Keep your eye on them!


Oh lord, help me.  When there’s a backup of cars it’s because no one in this city knows how to merge!!!  It’s like, c’mon you chickens!!!  Get in there!!!!  JUST GOOOOOO DAMMIT!!!!  It’s like, “What?!  Do you want a royal invitation?!  GO!!!!!”








I am a freeway gal.  Los Angeles born + bred.  Take the 101 to the 405 to the 110 to the 10 to PCH.  Y’all Angelenos know what I’m saying!  You HAVE to watch the SNL skit “The Californians” because it’s hilarious + it’s real – we talk like that.SNL The Californians

There’s totally a major lack of freeways in Vancouver so it’s all street driving which equals lots of traffic lights which equals lots of red lights which equals totally no fun.


Constantly getting stuck behind multiple big ass semis driving on the streets suck.  They’re gargantuan, they accelerate slow + they’re blowing out all their grody diesel fuel at you.IMG_5855


So you’re driving down the street.  People will turn on their left hand turn signal AT THE LAST MINUTE causing you to slam on your brakes + then get stuck behind that jerk.  Sometimes they won’t even put on their turn signal + just decide to stop.Screen Shot 2012-09-28 at 8.52.31 PM

And when they make a right hand turn, they make a REALLY WIDE + PAIIIIINFULLY SLOW turn, so you can’t even inch around them + have to wait while they try this really super difficult (sarcasm) maneuver rrrreeealllly sloooooowly.


Pedestrians jaywalk like it’s nobody’s business in Vancouver.  But they’re not even smart, fast jaywalkers like in New York.  It’s like they’ll wait for a car to get closer + THEN they’ll decide to pop out into traffic!  And then they won’t even run, or feign urgency.  They’ll walk real slow + real deliberate.  That’s when I give them the horn + make them dance!!!


So, Vancouverites don’t know how to drive?  Well, guess what happens when an approaching ambulance, or fire truck’s sirens + lights go off?  THAT’S RIGHT.  CHAOS.  People won’t pull off to the side like they’re supposed to.  Or if they’re in the middle of the intersection they won’t stop + stay where they are like they’re supposed to, they’ll proceed with their turn!  I need this following image on my steering wheel.Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 8.02.47 PM











With rain comes limited visibility.  Pair that with horrible drivers?  FUGGEDABOUTIT.  Game over.  SAVE YOURSELF!!!!


Vancouver speed limits are badly in need of review.  I mean it’s like they’ve been keeping the same speed limits that they’ve had since 1947 or something.  Plus, no one seems to understand that slower vehicles stay to the right!!!!  For god’s sake!!!  Oh, and if you own a BMW, Mercedes, Audi or a Porsche in Vancouver that means you drive EXTRA slow.  Yeah, makes total sense.











Jack Nicholson is NOT AMUSED.

I honk at other drivers like I get paid per honk.  I wave + flap my arms about like a chicken with ADHD + shake my fist + scream, “CURSES!!!!!” every single time I step into my car in Vancouver.  And I come up with the most colorful expletives during my blind fits of rage, it’s like lucky charms turrets syndrome coming out of my mouth.  I actually surprise myself at the creative swear word combinations I come up with.  I’ll take a moment to pause during my fit + think proudly to myself, “Not bad!!!”.








Well, thanks for listening to my rants + raves.  I just had to get it off my chest.  When driving in Vancouver take lots of deep breaths + don’t bother to ask yourself in anguish, “WHHHYYYYYY???!!!!!”.  Because there’s no use.

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. kenneth '' Dad's - Papi '' nishino #

    Hi, Nan, whoa time out U need 2 chill daughter dearest,
    U live in Vancouver, U choose 2 live in Vancouver so go
    with the flow and enjoy its a great city 2 visit….LOL !!!!!!!
    but i hear U no freeways slow traffic too many stop lights
    but it’s just as crazy here in LALA-Land…hehe…LOL !!!!!
    Keep The Faith, stay at home take care of Baby Fayle,
    Jeff and Meg’s….Live The Dream,…will be there SOON!!!
    Luv U
    Miss U

    February 6, 2014
    • Yeah Baby Fayle needs me to go to anger management!!! I definitely don’t miss the traffic in Los Angeles! I guess it’s a trade up, huh? Love you!

      February 6, 2014
  2. Make that all of British Columbia. I think Nick Cage’s face is a perfect portrayal of my emotions while driving in BC!

    February 7, 2014
  3. SusanZ #

    Ohmygosh, you hit my one really hugely sensitive sore spot in this post…I lived in California (LA area) for over 40 years, then moved to Michigan a few years ago, and let me tell ya, I think drivers are worse in Michigan than in SoCal. They are THE rudest, the most distracted (…or maybe they just don’t give a flip about cutting you off without even looking to see if anyone is there and practically sideswiping you), and so much road rage, and if you are a pedestrian DO NOT even think about crossing if you see a car coming in the distance, because that car is going faster than you think and they won’t slow down for you and if it means running you over, oh well. We get many MANY pedestrian vs. auto patients in our hospital….and when I cross the border over to “oh Canada!” it is such a relief!!! The drivers are courteous and in Ontario road rage is all but non-existent (at least it is outside of the Toronto area).

    And my big news is that I landed!!!!!! YaY! and gave my notice at work so my last day there is Valentine’s Day. My hubby will meet me after work and there will be a big Valentine celebration to be sure! You have been part of my education process of learning more about Canada, my new home 🙂

    February 7, 2014
    • Oh I bet drivers in Detroit are aggressive! There’s no road rage in Vancouver. All the road rage coming from me + my frustration with all the bad driving here!

      That sounds like the best Valentine’s Day ever! Congratulations!!! And that’s such a sweet thing to say about my blog! Thank you!!! Canada is so similar yet so different from the States!

      February 7, 2014
  4. Brian #

    Interesting read. One thing, coming from Ontario, I have always been impressed by in Vancouver is the merging habits. Entering the traffic flow onto the LIons Gate always seems to be you, then me and so on alternating nicely. So different to here.

    February 7, 2014
    • I feel like the merging in Vancouver is almost too polite. I always give space to let a driver merge + always end up waiting because they look too scared to merge! I always make a “shoo shoo!!” gesture with my hand to signal them to JUST GO!!!!!

      February 9, 2014
  5. Hatecanadiasdriverstoo!!!!!! #

    OMG….I almost pizzed myself!!!! Seriously, one of the best blog entries I’ve read. I laughed and laughed. Then….a tear rolled down my cheek in sadness because I feel so bad for you having to deal with that. We were only there for a hot second and I went horse from yelling at other drivers. I was honking like it was my job, too. OMG the blank stares they give in return makes you want to choke someone… people-just drive!!!!!!!! So glad I read this…tooooooooooooo funny! Miss you!

    February 9, 2014
    • Hahaaaaa!!!! I knew you were going to be picking up what I was laying down! Tell it, sister!

      February 9, 2014
  6. K.G #

    Are you sure? I drove before in Vancouver and Torrance and now Im living in Seoul Korea. I tell you what Seoul is the worst place to drive..Taxi drivers f***ing rude they don’t move at all in heavy traffic,don’t give a damn.. bus drivers they cut in EVERYTIME..with NO signal. Well people in general DON’T f***ing signal. If you put on a left(right) signal when you turn, you’ll be laughed at. Plus every traffic sign is a red light every meters..speed limit? 30mph cameras every f***ing milimeter and people drive like Fast And Furious. Don’t give a damn and if you drive within the speed limit people come out and yell at you..swear at you..and EVEN try to KILL with their weapons no joke you gotta see the news. It’s on the news.. Korea is a hell on earth no doubt.. I even had a driving experience in Bangkok city, which has a Guiness record of heaviest traffic jam in the world, I personally think s*it seoul is the worst place to drive. I hate it so much and so sad that I’m f***ing stuck in here. I guess you are living in paradise.. so envy you

    October 25, 2015
    • Okay maybe I should say Vancouver is the worst place in NORTH AMERICA for driving! I’m so sorry you hate living in Seoul! Well, I hate living in Vancouver. It looks like paradise, but it is slowly sucking away my soul!

      November 13, 2015
  7. Newtovan #

    The drivers are generally OK. Courteous? No. Every once and a while someone will let you in but most people don’t. The way the roads are constructed here is beyond me. Makes no sense. There need to be freeways because the population of people that commute by driving their own vehicle is too high for ‘city’ roads. The lack of left turning lights… What the hell is with that? Causes so much more traffic alone. The pedestrians and cyclists not paying attention. Seriously. It’s not a fun city to drive in. On top of that, it’s expensive as hell and there is no parking anywhere, so be prepared to pay $9 an hour some places to park.

    December 1, 2015
    • Yeah you summed up my opinion of driving in Vancouver perfectly!!! And you have to pay for metered parking well into the evening hours! Public transportation is looking better + better every day!

      December 2, 2015
  8. If you claim Vancouver has the worst driver, you’ve never taken a drive in Montreal.

    April 30, 2016
  9. Rachel Zimmers #

    Ugh googled this topic after almost getting into a crash at the lions gate bridge. Looked it up and over 1,000 crashes occur there every year!

    I have to agree that even LA traffic is better. I’m enjoying my time working in Vancouver, I mean the city has a lot to offer…but the drivers are atrocious.

    October 12, 2018
    • RIIIIIGHT!!!!??? I have waaaaaay more road rage here than in LA! It’s mostly the merging that makes me insane. MERGE PEOPLE, MERGE!!!!

      October 17, 2018

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