February 7, 2017

"This clip has been making rounds lately in social media channels, sparking a sense of awe, and a little envy, at the attitude of the Korean drivers."

"One YouTube clip may not be enough to give a general description of Korean driving in general but it does paint a good picture of people working together in a time of emergency."

37 comments:

Big Mike said...

Korean drivers do not have much in common with "me, me, me!" American liberals. In more conservative areas of the US this would not be unusual behavior.

traditionalguy said...

That's not fair. Makes me wonder what is the % of African-American drivers on Korea's roads?

Nonapod said...

South Korea is pretty ethnically and culturally homogeneous. In such situations people are more likely to be on the same page when it comes to the best way to solve a problem I guess.

Michael K said...

Try that in Chicago.

Paul Kirchner said...

Yes, but have you seen the videos of Korean tow-truck drivers racing to the scene of an accident? The first one to arrive gets the business. This video gets pretty wild starting at about 1:30:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC0aOZZDjq4

Original Mike said...

"In more conservative areas of the US this would not be unusual behavior."

I have a friend who was visiting California once with a couple of other Wisconsin buddies. They were in the mountains after a fresh snowfall and got stuck in a line of cars behind a car spinning his wheels stuck in the snow. The other cars were blowing their horns at the lead car. My friend and his buddies were dumbfounded. They did what you do in such situations. They got out, walked up to the lead car and gave him a push.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Michael K said...

Try that in Chicago.

Racist!

( Next you'll probably suggest Try that on a golf course. )

Michael K said...

"They did what you do in such situations. They got out, walked up to the lead car and gave him a push."

Have you seen the video of Democrats on an escalator ?

jaydub said...

I have to laugh. Anyone who has spent any time there knows that Korean drivers are extremely agressive, in your face and unpredictable - they don't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs. A part of the problem driver frustration because the number of cars on the road is occasionally more than the number of parking spaces available (in some cities, like Pusan, the number of cars sold is controlled and you have to prove you have a parking space before the local DMV will give you a license plate.) They are also litigious as hell. Most US companies provide transportation or drivers for their employees just to avoid court hassles because, in any accident involving a foreigner, the non-Korean driver is automatically at fault. Always. Those people in the video pulled out of the way of the emergency vehicles because that was the only way they were going to get out of that tunnel.

n.n said...

Without a lawyer present? A sense of awe, and lot of envy, indeed.

It still happens in America, if conservatively.

Fernandinande said...

So there was a Chinese woman driver up ahead?

"We argue that residential exposure to ethnic diversity reduces social trust."

mezzrow said...

I have seen exactly the same behavior on the Mathews Bridge in Jacksonville, Fl for an accident at the top of the span. I was one of the drivers opening a lane in the middle for the ambulance/wreckers, etc.

Other drivers walked forward up the bridge and helped the accident victims while emergency personnel were on the way. Many drivers of all ethnicities were involved, btw.

Bad Lieutenant said...

I've seen Koreans directing traffic in the parking lots of their Korean (Asian) food markets. Militant ain't in it. They could have given the Kempetai lessons.

To be fair, people here will often do what they can to mitigate in like wise, but situational awareness is key, i.e. seeing what's happening and what folks are doing. Tech could help there.

damikesc said...

It'd be great here...but, sadly, such co-operation does not seem all that likely in a mutli-racial society.

In more conservative areas of the US this would not be unusual behavior.

I wouldn't praise us that much...but I know with a bad wreck here, about 7 guys or so got out of their cars and flipped a car back onto its wheels with the occupant inside being OK (bleeding, of course, but conscious and not apparently paralyzed)

Che Dolf said...

Nonapod said... South Korea is pretty ethnically and culturally homogeneous. In such situations people are more likely to be on the same page when it comes to the best way to solve a problem I guess.

"In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance." - link

Curious George said...

They don't do that in North Korea. Because no one owns a car.

Angel-Dyne said...

Big Mike: Korean drivers do not have much in common with "me, me, me!" American liberals. In more conservative areas of the US this would not be unusual behavior.

I suspect that, as suggested above, it's more of a homogeneous/diverse thing, rather than a liberal/conservative divide. I've had the good fortune over my lifetime of living in the parts of the U.S. where people can be counted on to act like the people in the video.

Also, where the people would be much less likely than Koreans to get back in their cars and immediately cause another accident by driving like maniacs.

Michael E. Lopez said...

Horseshit.

Things like this happen in the United States *ALL THE TIME*.

Original Mike said...

"Have you seen the video of Democrats on an escalator ?"

I have now. Thanks!

exiledonmainstreet said...

How many people who think this shows that Koreans are more helpful and less selfish than Americans also applaud leftists who block roads and cause delays at airports? A ambulance containing a critically ill patient was blocked by New Haven protesters a few days ago.

SteveM said...

I agree with jay dub @ 10:11 am. I've been to Seoul once, and the taxi driver didn't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs. I also recall him driving on the sidewalk to get around another car. I was never so glad to get out of a cab in my life.

Roughcoat said...

Them Orientals are inscrutable. They got lots of scrutz.

Ironclad said...

Uh - I have lived in Seoul and I can tell you that it doesn't always work that way. When there was a huge rainstorm that shut the city down (and caused several deaths from mudslides), I was sitting in the upper floor of a building overlooking a major intersection where the lights had all gone out down the streets, I have never seen such chaos and literally there were 4 streams of cars from each side trying to push the others out of the way for almost 2 hours. I saw people cutting in front of emergency vehicles too - even the police finally gave up in disgust and left.

Scott said...

jaydub said...

I have to laugh. Anyone who has spent any time there knows that Korean drivers are extremely agressive, in your face and unpredictable - they don't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs.
2/7/17, 10:11 AM


QFT. I spent every bus ride up to and from Osan AB praying. You could not pay me enough money to drive in South Korea.

Balfegor said...

Re: Jaydub:

I have to laugh. Anyone who has spent any time there knows that Korean drivers are extremely agressive, in your face and unpredictable - they don't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs.

I wouldn't say drivers are quite that bad, but let's just say this is not what I would have expected from Korean drivers. Seoul drivers are so aggressive, they won't even get out of the way for emergency vehicles, like ambulances. Trying to find a video of it -- I know there was a video on some TV show that did a ride-along with EMTs a few years ago that sparked some public conversation about how drivers need to get out of the way of emergency personnel -- but I can't find it. The problem is, if I search for "Seoul ambulance blocked by traffic" I get too many hits, and none of them is the video I'm looking for.

Balfegor said...

Re: SteveM:

I agree with jay dub @ 10:11 am. I've been to Seoul once, and the taxi driver didn't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs. I also recall him driving on the sidewalk to get around another car. I was never so glad to get out of a cab in my life.

Seoul cabbies are terrible. I've never felt myself in active danger quite the way I've felt being driven by cabbies in Washington DC, but that's probably because I don't use cabs all that much in Seoul.

Michael K said...

I've been to Seoul once, and the taxi driver didn't follow lanes, lights or traffic signs. I also recall him driving on the sidewalk to get around another car.

Rome is exactly like that.

J. Farmer said...

When you have countries with high degrees of ethnic homogeneity, you tend to have high levels of trust and cooperation. See Northern Europe as another example. Unfortunately, the Northern Europeans are in the process of throwing it all away in favor of mass third world migration. The East Asians have yet to be infected with the diversity blue pill that so infects western societies.

Bad Lieutenant said...

J-Farm, you're cherry-picking. China is not high trust; I don't think of Korea as higb trust, I don't think of India as high trust. Arabs? Is there a lot of high trust going on in Africa? Even within Tutsis or within Hutus? I don't know that Irish or Scots are all that solid.

Craig said...

This thread is unreal:

"Korean drivers do not have much in common with 'me, me, me!' American liberals."

"That's not fair. Makes me wonder what is the % of African-American drivers on Korea's roads?"

"South Korea is pretty ethnically and culturally homogeneous. In such situations people are more likely to be on the same page when it comes to the best way to solve a problem I guess."

"Try that in Chicago."

"such co-operation does not seem all that likely in a mutli-racial society."

"When you have countries with high degrees of ethnic homogeneity, you tend to have high levels of trust and cooperation."

It's like some of you didn't even bother to read the quotations Professor Althouse elected to provide. (Or are so one-tracked that you can't see anything without wondering, "Does this provide grist for my small-mindedness viciousness?")

Jon Ericson said...

Could you please re-phrase that for clarity?

Jamie said...

I'm always impressed when people act in concert for a greater good.

My husband's favorite city to drive in is Rome: "one hand on the wheel, one on the horn, and one out the window gesturing wildly." The problem is, I always (used to) get stuck with nothing but the rental car agency map to navigate us all over the place...

Gahrie said...

Rome is exactly like that.

Naples is even worse.

Michael K said...

" "Does this provide grist for my small-mindedness viciousness?"

Says the man whose car tires would be stolen while he was calling the Chicago Motor Club,

I was standing at the rental car shuttle island at Midway Airport about ten years ago. I turned around and my $300 dollar coat was gone. It had been tucked into the handles on my bag.

J. Farmer said...

@Bad Lieutenant:

Is there a lot of high trust going on in Africa?

No, and Africa is one of the most ethnically heterogeneous places on earth.

Even within Tutsis or within Hutus?

As Bob Putnam's research has demonstrated, in ethnically heterogenous societies, you don't just have lower levels of trust between different ethnic groups but within members of the same group. The Rwandan genocide was a result of competing ethnicities living in the same nation.

I don't know that Irish or Scots are all that solid.

The Scots and the Irish have their own nations, except for Northern Ireland, which has been a hotbed of separatist violence in Europe. And just a couple of years ago, the Scots almost voted to succeed from the UK. They didn't want to live in the same nation as the English and the Welsh.

J. Farmer said...

@Craig:

It's like some of you didn't even bother to read the quotations Professor Althouse elected to provide.

And why is a quote of mine included in that list?

Jon Ericson said...

Because he's "a chocolate asterisk" like Cranklube.