The 10 Things You Learn Driving in Palm Springs

Flickr / Pixabay
John Weiss / Flickr

Driving in The Coachella Valley is different than driving elsewhere. You will have to be on your toes at all times (not literally, as you probably will be on tires) and throw out everything you know about driving – because Palm Springs driving is weird.

Spend some time driving in The Desert and this is what you will learn:

1) No One Remembers That Their Car Has Turn Signals

That little wand sticking out of the driving wheel, that is a turn signal – which can be used by other drivers to alert you about what they intend to do with their vehicle. You might as well pay no attention to yours anymore – since no one else in The Coachella Valley does.

2) Parking Spot Lines Are Not Mandatory

Bad-parking job
Westfield Palm Desert in December is especially fun.

3) The Man in the $200,000 Sports Car Will Only Drive it 35 mph

Rich old men are found all over Coachella Valley roads.  They are easily spotted as they are in their shiny, new mid-life-crisis-mobiles. Sure, that Lambo they are driving can get to 100 mph in 5 seconds, but no one will ever know for sure as these fellas tend to drive their cars as slow as they possibly can.

4) Four Way Stops are Apparently Optional

You are lucky if most drivers even aknowledge your existance at a four-way stop. My unscientific study of the four-way stops on El Paseo in Palm Desert shows that 3 out of 4 cars do not even stop at all.  it is more of a slow roll-and-go because pedestrians and other cars can go to hell!

5) This is Something That is Considered Normal

Truck i 10 tied down

Seems completely safe.

6) The Worst Driver From Every State (and Canada) Finds Their Way Here

Miraculously, the worst driver from every city in every state and Canada finds their way to The Coachella Valley for a few months out of the year. Curious, do they do any sort of training and testing of drivers in Canada or do they just give licenses out like Halloween candy?

7) Cathedral City is the Worst

For as bad as traffic on Highway 111 can be, it does, on occasion, flow through some cities (Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells) that were smart enough to widen the main highway as much as possible. Some years back, Cathedral City leaders said to the hell with that and made the road narrower (technically that stretch is East Palm Canyon and not Highway 111, but everyone still refers to it as Highway 111 as it should be Highway 111. The whole thing is so stupid that it makes my head hurt, and…oh, fuck it, let’s just move on).

8) You Will Have to Exit Your Car to Get a Burrito in Palm Desert

Your belly is screaming “feed me” as you drive to the back of Del Taco only to find a dumpster and a brick wall. Where is the drive-thru?  Nowhere.  That is where it is.

9) If it Should Rain Longer than 5 Seconds, Everything Will Flood

The Coachella Valley is a desert – and deserts do not handle rain well. If you should be on the roads when it starts to rain, you may soon find yourself looking to build an ark.


10) There Are Lots of Crosswalks Painted, For No Reason Whatsoever

In way too many cases, people do not use crosswalks.

Please, use crosswalks.

Thanks for checking out Cactus Hugs. Take a second and like us on Facebook.