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Texan Drivers in Arkansas

Arkansas Drivers, I Apologize.

Texas Drivers, Get Used to it.

By: Emily Skillestad

Freshman year I packed my bags with all my clothes that were not nearly thick enough or warm enough to withstand Fayetteville winters (what is a coat?), and made my way to the great state of Arkansas leaving behind the familiarity of home, aka Texas, aka where queso is called queso.

Now when one goes off to College, they expect plenty of things to be different: People, food, freedom, etc… What the admissions office at the UofA won’t tell you however, is that you’ll have to relearn how to drive when you arrive in Fayetteville.

The first thing you will notice about the driving in Arkansas - it is dark, really dark.

The street lights one tends to take for granted in Texas are gone and you have to rely solely on your headlights, I know, it is a strange new world out there. Along with your inability to see, take out the street medians, and add in turn lanes. Turn lanes are the length of the entire street, and traffic from both directions can use them. Talk about a recipe for disaster.

I hate to break it to you Texans, but your love affair with Speed is going to have to end. If Speed were a person they'd be charming, fun, and always make sure you’re on time, but they stayed in Texas and long distance rarely works. Get ready to experience withdrawls from the 80 mile an hour speed limits because Arkansas lacks in speed, but do not get too bummed out because Arkansas is only trying to keep you and the roads safe.

For someone being from Texas, snow it this mythological element you only see in movies, photos, or anything to do with Santa Claus.

However, SNOW IS REAL, and let me tell ya, Texans can’t drive in the rain, let alone the snow. I’m not ashamed that I’m afraid to drive on ice, I call that common sense! Or I just blame my parents for raising me in a place that lacks a major season. But hey, find an Arkansan, make friends with them, and you’re set for snow days. These Arkansans are born with four wheel drive.

The snow isn’t the only natural element that will affect your driving. There are these things called “hills” in Arkansas. Imagine the gently undulating plains of Texas as a piece of paper, then scrunch up that paper. This is a huge adjustment, not only for one’s legs, but for your car as well. After three years of driving around Fayetteville, my brakes have been replaced more than the rest of my family combined.

Driving may be more difficult in Arkansas but it has its charms, especially in the fall because you don’t quite get scenery like that back at home. Even if Texans and Arkansans disagree on what constitutes good roads or driving, we agree on the most important thing:

Oklahoma is still the worst.


  • chris

    Great articleIam from NWA my self raised there, driving is great there ,especially in the hills..being here in south Texas where you can see for miles and different. You are right..Texans can not drive in the snow would be disastrous. day i hope to make it back to the casual slow driving on those dark hilly roads.

  • Nancy Vassiliou

    Really great writing. Journalism major? You would be a good one. ??

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