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David S. Wallens
David S. Wallens Editorial Director
11/8/23 11:58 a.m.

It’s a cool, dark evening with motorists buzzing down I-4, the main route across Central Florida. Rush hour has come and gone, so traffic is moving along at a fair clip. Orlando in our wake as we head east. Soon, I’ll be home.

I’m driving my early Miata–figure about 4500 rpm to keep up with traffic–and somehow I got …

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Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/8/23 12:00 p.m.

That CR-V is giving off some serious Big Altima Energy™.

Mr_Asa GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/8/23 12:03 p.m.

I hate I4 with a passion I rarely apply to other things in my life.

Went to visit my gf's family the other weekend in Titusville.  From St Pete you pretty much drive straight across.

I made up an errand in Lecanto, then took surface roads across the state in order to avoid I4.  Probably should have taken 192 across.


berkeley I4.

Colin Wood
Colin Wood Associate Editor
11/8/23 12:12 p.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

I used to be petrified to drive I-4 (I got caught in one too many accidents), though I've since gotten more comfortable after I drove in L.A. traffic.

Even then, I still try to avoid I-4 if I can help it.

Tom Suddard
Tom Suddard GRM+ Memberand Director of Marketing & Digital Assets
11/8/23 12:32 p.m.

It's basically like driving in LA, except everyone is 40 years older and driving bigger, heavier cars.

msterbee Reader
11/8/23 1:07 p.m.

Come to my neighborhood in Detroit and you will revise your opinion of what awful and dangerous driving looks like. 

Toyman! GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/23 1:15 p.m.

I can't imagine that I4 is any worse than I26 in South Carolina. 

The fast lane running 90. The slow lane running 60. Oh, you wanted a middle lane? Funny boy, we don't spend money to fix the gargantuan holes or fill the ruts that are literally worn into the asphalt, much less add another lane. 

The 100-mile stretch of I26 between Charleston and Columbia had just shy of 900 crashes that put almost 1200 people in the hospital and killed 33. I pretty much don't drive on it anymore. Hwy 176 parallels it and you stand a much smaller chance of crashing or getting stuck in traffic for hours. 

bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand UberDork
11/8/23 1:26 p.m.

I remember I was in Tampa for work and had tickets for the 500 so it was easy to just run across I4. I had a 90s base Corolla as a rental. 

Holy cow. I had grannies blowing my doors off at 80-90 MPH. My poor Corolla couldn't keep up. It was just crazy. I've been all over the US and that is easy top 5 roads I want to avoid. 

aw614 HalfDork
11/8/23 1:32 p.m.

The Championsgate exist is the worst! If I have an autocross at OCCC, the drive there early in the morning isn't bad, coming home almost always is a stop and go mess. I think I've only been able to get by that mess during the day without traffic only once. I left an autocross at 3pm on Sunday and the slowest it got through there was about 50 mph rolling traffic, but I was surprised I didn't get stuck. 

Once I get past Championsgate its usually smooth sailing when I come home from the Orlando area, a bit aggressive and fast, but I rather deal with that than sitting in bumper to bumper traffic from pretty much the convention center to Championsgate. 

That being said, since I live 15 miles north of I75 and I4, sometimes its just as fast to go home via the back roads via the Turnpike into Clermont and take SR50 to I75.

Both times on my trip to and from New Smyrna Beach back in late Sept, I took I75 to SR50 and up some route that takes me through the same roads I would take to go to a Martin Sports Car Club autocross. Outside of dealing with people driving 5-10 mph below speed limit in the back roads, its not a bad drive that is scenic and has some fun central Florida rolling hills. And the part of I4 I got back on near Sanford and Lake Mary wasn't bad. 

RonnieFnD Reader
11/8/23 1:38 p.m.

By the time racing is done at Orlando BMX I'm usually headed home around midnight on Saturday.   I hit a stopped wall of traffic every time as soon as I get on I 4.   How the hell does it manage to stay stopped 24hrs a day?  Then when you get out my way in Tampa you have the wonderful malfunction junction....the crown jewel of the I 4 experience. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/23 1:42 p.m.
msterbee said:

Come to my neighborhood in Detroit and you will revise your opinion of what awful and dangerous driving looks like. 


AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/23 1:44 p.m.

also, i-85 through Greenville SC is a bit of a nightmare as well

Lof8 - Andy
Lof8 - Andy GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
11/8/23 1:52 p.m.

#1 Deadlist Road, 2021

I drive it frequently.  Its always terrible, its always under construction.  I do everything I can to avoid it when possible.

TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/8/23 1:52 p.m.

I used to blame I-4. Then i realized its not i4. Its a "straight" road, 3-4 lanes for most if it. Nothing really difficult. Its the drivers. The TERRIBLE drivers, the ones who's time it so much more important than everyone elses. The drivers that park it in the left lane regardless of how slow they are going, how many people they are holding up, how many people honk, cut them off, etc. nope, just gonna stay in the left lane. 

then there is the RIGHT lane. Got a on ramp coming up? You could be slightly courteous and give room to the people needing to merge on, but why would you do that?  No, lets just sit in the right lane and ignore the merging cars on your right. Yes, you could easily merge left and give room, but thats too difficult.  

think any enforcement will help? Nope. They park it in the left lane too. 


i used to commute daily on a terrible stretch of i4. The amount of crappy drivers ive seen is amazing.  But the road itself, nah, no probs.  So far ive managed to drive down a straight/multi lane road without loosing control. 

Feedyurhed UltraDork
11/8/23 1:55 p.m.

South bound I-75 in Michigan on a Sunday afternoon when so many people are coming home from "being up north" over the weekend at their cottages or just getting away. Slow lane is 90 mph, the other two lanes usually are 95 mph or over and are SUVs, giant pick ups and RV's pulling boats, campers, trailers, toys etc. Did that once, got caught in the fast lane, had an RV's grill in my rear view mirror. Had to drive 105 mph to get a space to move back over to the right lane. Never again.

Never new a RV could go that fast. I know they could not have stopped if I had to.

z31maniac MegaDork
11/8/23 1:56 p.m.

In reply to TJL (Forum Supporter) :

To be fair, it's up to the merging driver to speed up or slow down and safely make the merge.

DavyZ New Reader
11/8/23 2:02 p.m.

The old part of Hwy 101 in CA between San Jose and Gilroy was known as "Blood Alley" for all of the accidents there.  They finally reconfigured the highway and made it a genuine freeway, which did help matters a ton.  

Here in NC, I am not a fan of I-85 anywhere to the west of I-77.  It just sucks to drive that thing.  Also, I-77 through Charlotte (any-frikken-where) and going down to Rock Hill, SC.

Congestion, bad driving, expedient maneuvers, hot tempers, entitled idiots all add up to potential mayhem. 


TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/8/23 2:08 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

True, but there is no reason to be a schmuck and "stand your ground".  With everything, even a little tiny bit of consideration goes a long way.  Sometimes there isn't an option to "get out of the way", but you can make room to help accomodate. 

a younger me was THE ASSHOLE on i4. Anxiety fueled road rager. Got past that and for a long time now, im the guy that lets you in, makes room, gets out of the way, etc. id rather be the reason someone has a good day than be the reason someone gets all road ragey and pissed off. 

KozyB GRM+ Memberand New Reader
11/8/23 2:15 p.m.

I live in the 'burbs of Philadelphia and I've seen some Sh** around here (including, as mentioned in the article, being passed while in the left lane at high speed by a car in the breakdown lane).  Further, I well understand the comment about have to accelerate to supra-legal speeds just to get the right before being slammed by, for example, a Dodge Ram that thinks it's a Formula 1 car.  People are either not paying attention, are suicidal, or have not the barest understanding of physics.  Me, I'm just trying to get to my destination in one piece by preserving the safety bubble around my car.

aw614 HalfDork
11/8/23 2:22 p.m.
z31maniac said:

In reply to TJL (Forum Supporter) :

To be fair, it's up to the merging driver to speed up or slow down and safely make the merge.

That is too much to ask for, for many of the dumb Florida drivers. 

Woody (Forum Supportum)
Woody (Forum Supportum) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
11/8/23 2:24 p.m.

The only redeeming quality of I-4 is that you get to look over at Fantasy of Flight half way across..

I've been to the museum, and I've met Mrs. Weeks.

I'd highly recommend either one.


TJL (Forum Supporter)
TJL (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
11/8/23 2:27 p.m.

In reply to aw614 :

So many times ive had someone doing maybe 40mph when its time to merge into traffic(65mph+), then just slam on the brakes at the last second because they cant figure out merging. 

i guess i always assume the other drivers are drunk, stupid, asleep, staring at their phone, on a phone call, etc and account for it. I'll get out of the way so you go on and GTFO of my way. 

kaybat New Reader
11/8/23 2:28 p.m.

It's the reason i never go to Sebring, getting there is a nightmare.

ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter)
ShinnyGroove (Forum Supporter) Dork
11/8/23 2:34 p.m.

I agree that I-4 is the worst highway I've ever seen.  And that's because I get to see many of those people driving through Atlanta on their way down.  Little known fact: our HOV in the left lane of I-75 was put there specifically for Florida tags, since they're going to drive 50mph in the left lane no matter what.  The actual passing lane is for road-raged people with Michigan tags to go 95mph with a carload of screaming brats after not sleeping for 24 hours.

Nicole Suddard
Nicole Suddard GRM+ Memberand Marketing Coordinator
11/8/23 2:38 p.m.

I used to have to commute from Daytona to Lake Mary and back every day on I-4 and it made me want to d*e. We need to replace that road with a train.

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