Most drivers drive alone in their cars. Does it mean that each person has/use its own car?
Hmmm... they support driving with at least 2 persons (including a driver) inside a car - as I remeber they built special lane on I-10 (only in greater urban areas like in Phoenix) called "carpool" on a freeway just for such cars. But sometimes my car was the only one on this lane.
From my friend Chris (balfor) from Atlanta, Georgia:
Americans like their independence and that is reflected in our commuting habits as well. We don't want to carpool to work because we might want to go somewhere else after work. We won't 95% of the time, but we MIGHT want to.
And yes, typically if you have 2 adults in a house (husband and wife) then there will be at least 2 cars. Perhaps even 3 or 4 vehicles. (for example - you both have a car to commute to work, you have a pickup truck for any projects or work that you might need and a convertible for the weekends in the summer. 4 cars for 2 people. Quite a lot different than in Europe.) Oh, and you will frequently find the carpool lanes are also called HOV lanes (for high occupancy vehicles) and are reserved for vehicles like busses, carpools (even if it's only 2 people), cars with alternate fuels like natural gas and motorcycles.
Thank you Chris.
Can they park their cars right in Tucson? Hmm... in my (Polish and/or European) mind not at all. They just have so much space on streets and parking lots that - as you can see on my picture - they are not forced to park a car exactly and very close to a curb not mentioning "bumper-to-bumper" parking. Quite comfortable for me as a driver!
At some streets in Europe the driver of that car on my picture could even get a ticket for wrong parking (too far from a curb hehe).
From my friend LINDA (lmkluque) from San Diego, California:
The maximum distance from the curb that we can park (in California) is 18 inches. More than that and we can be ticketed.
Thank you Linda.
Hmm... 18 inches = 45.72 cm - almost half a meter. Can you imagine what would happen in Paris for example when...
Some folks think that in such powerful country like the USA people drive new cars only. Nothing more wrong. I could see a lot of old cars driving in Tucson.
It's a car country. So a car is a car = vehicle used to drive from one place to another, nothing more.
Like in most well developed countries they don't mind (hmm... at least not so much) whether they drive 3, 5 or 15 years old car, it just to be a little comfortable and never must been repaired.
In Europe it depends on a country: in Germany Switzerland, Austria they never (OK, very rarely) drive older cars (except fashionable old timers). They just love to change often their cars, every 3-4 years, I suppose. On the other hand, a surprise: in very well developed Sweden/ Norway I saw quite a lot of older cars in use hehe. Am I wrong?
I was very surprised when I read in a car magazine once that the average age of a car in use was larger in the USA (over 10 years!) than in Poland hehe.
Their cars are bigger than I used to see around Europe. Especially the smallest ones are at least one size bigger than in Europe.
Hmm... do they ever drive such cars like Toyota Yaris or Nissan Micra? I have never seen them there.
More: when they say midsize car they mean a car like Nissan Altima or Buick Century for example, hmm... it is rather big, family car at least in my (European and/or Polish?) mind hehe.
The parking places in Tuscon were much bigger than I used to see in Europe, at least in most European old towns.
There was no gymnastics needed when I got out of my car in parking lots in Tucson :-). We have smaller cars, smaller parking places and narrow streets in Europe.
It seems that quite many locals drive four wheel drive cars (4WD), usually big ones day and night as you can see on my picture. Why?
Hmm... maybe some of them really used their cars for off road driving - there are quite a lot of dirty/unpaved roads around.
Looking at traffic in Tucson I noticed that they used to drive usually quite large pickup trucks.
In Europe (even in warm Mediterranean areas) and even more in Poland they are much less popular at least for the three reasons, I suppose:
- unreasonable price,
- weather (snow, rains),
- they are unpractical (easy to steal unlocked/uncovered loadings).
And they are supposed to be mainly farmers' vehicles in European warmer countries.
Why are they so popular there - either in city of Tucson and in Saguaro National Park where off road driving is forbidden and where it never snows? Almost never to be more exact.
VOICE 1 (from the USA):
Americans generally like everything big because that means power and money. Its probably a cultural thing, because its not usually very practical.
Since when does someone need a 2300kg vehicle to take kids to school?? LOL
From my friend CHRIS (Balfor) from Atlanta, Georgia, USA:
Pick ups are used for more than just farm work. Many Americans do their own home repairs and a pick up is the ideal vehicle for getting supplies home.
Also, many people use them for gardening so they can bring large amounts of mulch, big plants, etc home.
Many Americans have trailers or campers, and a truck is better for pulling those than a car is.
And some people just like the way a truck looks. :-)
THANK YOU Chris :-).
From my friend KATHERINE (Callavetta) from San Francisco, California, USA:
4WD vehicles are another big cultural issue here in the US now. People buy these huge things that are major gas guzzlers and then drive them around the city, never even going off road or in the snow.
Thank you Katherine.