STOP. Back up. Everyone look out.

When my dad was teaching me to drive, I argued with him about something and he said,

“Listen to me: I’ve driven in reverse farther than you’ve driven forward.”

It was a disarming statement that made me laugh. I think about it sometimes and chuckle. I saw something today that made me think of it again.

I was driving home and merging off of I-495. I took the Route 7 exit. If you stay on the exit, to the left, you go towards Tysons and on Route 7 West. If you take the immediate right exit, you would take Route 7 east towards Falls Church. I take the 7-West exit.

While staying left, I saw someone who had taken the 7-East exit. They hit their brakes suddenly and stopped and then pulled onto the shoulder. Their reverse lights ignited and they started backing up. On an exit, on an interstate highway.

I bet my dad has still driven in reverse more than I have driven forward, but I’ve never seen this kind of behavior anywhere else but in the Washington DC metro area. What is it about people in this region?

What is so terrible about turning around? Isn’t that what you’re supposed to do? If I take the wrong exit or I make a wrong turn, I don’t slam on my brakes, endangering everyone behind me and myself, and reverse.

Why do people here think they can just stop and have everyone get out of their way because they made a wrong turn? It’s a uniquely “DC thing.”