Drivers: I Have Some Questions…

Ok so this post has been bubbling away for a while since I’ve been doing more urban driving. I’ve noticed in the 15 years or so since I’ve had my licence, that the standard of driving has fallen dramatically and I wonder why. Almost every time I go out someone in my vicinity causes a near miss.

Now I know what you’re thinking… the common denominator here is me! You’re thinking I must be a bad driver and that’s why I have so many problems.

Well in those 15 or so years I have had 1 accident, and this was probably 10 years ago.  I knew the road well, it was one I have used all my life. In 30+ years of travelling along the road only once have I encountered a car that tried to turn a single line of traffic into a double line of traffic and that happened to be when I got caught out.

I would say I’m a fairly cautious driver but not dangerous. I occasionally go a little faster than I should but only on roads I know well and only if it is safe to do so i.e. not heavy with traffic or in bad weather. I would say I’m a considerate driver and that’s why driving nowadays is so frustrating to me.

So I would like to ask the following questions:

To all the drivers who sit in the fast lane until they almost reach the end of their exit slip road and cut the 2 or more lines of traffic to make their exit – Why do you not just move over in time, safely like the rest of us??? Is your spatial awareness so great that you can 100% accurately gauge the minimal distance between the cars you’re slotting between or do you just close your eyes and hope for the best???

To all the drivers who refuse to join the queue and get into their lane but drive to the head of the traffic and force their way in, do you not realise all you are doing is creating more traffic????? Why can’t you just wait with everyone else? Why are you more deserving of cutting into the traffic than the rest of us who waited patiently only to be put further and further back by all the cars who cut in?!! It might be news to you but we are all trying to get somewhere!!!!!!

To all the drivers who sit in the left hand turn only lane at the roundabout and go straight on, why can’t you just wait in line like the rest of the traffic??? Why do you need to create more of a bottleneck in the junction and block the traffic up so no one can move on the roundabout????

To all the drivers who sit in the straight on only lane at the lights but then turn left, effectively cutting into the traffic and forcing the drivers over who waited in the left hand turn lane, why could you not just wait in the left hand turn lane like the rest of us????

To all the drivers who waiver out of their lanes at roundabouts and cut you up, could you please look in your wing mirror before moving over and indicate what you are about to do so the rest of us know!

To all the drivers who stop on feeder lanes – do you have any idea how dangerous that is????? A feeder lane is there for you to build up speed and move into the traffic. When approaching a feeder lane you are adjusting your speed accordingly and not expecting a stationary car to be blocking the lane. The traffic which you are feeding into are expecting you to build up speed and join which you can do if you have adjusted your speed. It is harder to do this when building up speed from a dead stop.

To all the people driving in bad weather conditions please use some common sense. Adjust your speed and make sure you leave more space between cars. Make sure you have all your lights on to assist with seeing you and try to stay in your lanes. The spray from the road teemed with the rain make it so much harder to see other vehicles so lets all make it easier to be seen and drive safely and if needs be slowly.

To all the drivers who do not seem to understand the road signal ‘Merge in Turn’ let me explain. That means that cars go on a one for one basis. I.e. 2 roads are merging together so therefore you should let the cars into the traffic in turn and merge together. It doesn’t mean keep going and stop the cars from merging in by speeding up and then claiming they cut you up.

To all the drivers who go straight over mini roundabouts without even looking to see if a car is turning when they have the right of way – could you not just turn your head for a millisecond and check if you have the right of way before cutting someone up???

To all the drivers who pull out in front of you forcing you to break hard only for you to see a clear road in your rear view mirror, could you not just wait another second to let the car past and move into clear traffic?????

To all the drivers who indicate right and a roundabout and then turn left across you, can you please spare a thought for the rest of humanity when you do these things? I know you want to make money from us by forcing an accident and claiming damages from the insurance company but some of us have lives. We need our cars and to not be scared to death by idiotic drivers. All you are doing by making false claims is putting up the cost of insurance for every other person on the road, making more people less likely to be able to afford insurance and potentially causing someone who has a genuine accident the problem of not being able to make a claim. So yes you earn some money from us but at what cost???? No one wins in the game of insurance fraud.

To all the drivers changing lanes on a motorway or A road – just putting on your indicator does not give you the right of way to move across. You still have to check there is actually space in that lane for you to move into. If not where exactly are you expecting the car to go that you are cutting up??? It won’t magically disappear because you indicated and moved without looking.

To all the motorbike riders along the A40 that weave in and out of cars and squeeze through millimeter gaps, could you not just wait for a sensible gap? I’ve seen so many nearly get trapped between 2 cars and have almost had my car scraped by bikes squeezing up the side of my car.

To the motorbike rider I saw go around the back of a reversing car – could you really not wait that extra minute for the car to finish turning around and continue your journey safely?

To people driving in car parks, road rules still apply, if you reach the end of an aisle you still have to stop and check for traffic, you can’t just pull out in front of cars!!

The white lines in car parks are there for a reason, your car is supposed to be within the 2 lines with an equal if possible distance around it i.e. parked straight in between 2 white lines. It isn’t that hard.

If you have a great big car it would be amazing if you could spare a thought for the cars parked next to you and whether they will be able to get into their car when they return! I’ve lost track of the times I haven’t been able to get in my car on the driver’s side when returning to a car park but luckily have been able to climb over. Also we know you are banging our doors to get in and out of your car, you aren’t fooling anyone!!!!

To all the people who steal number plates so they can get petrol for free. It costs the best part of £100 to replace the plates and everyone else has to pay for their petrol. Why should I have to replace my plates at a cost so you can steal and drive up the petrol prices to cover the losses???

To all the people who steal cars – why???? They cost us a lot of hard-earned money, we buy them for a reason. We rely on them for our every day life. We use it for work, to take our kids to school, to go to hospital appointments and a million other reasons. What gives you the right to take it from us??? Why can’t you save up like the rest of us and buy yourself a car???  Why should we, after working hard and saving up be denied the right to our car because you want to take something that isn’t yours???

Do you have any idea how much time it takes to deal with getting a replacement car and getting your things back if it is recovered??? Do you have any idea how much time you spend with insurance companies trying to get a deal for the money back for your car, only then to have to spend more time looking for a replacement if you can afford it?? Sometimes a car is worth nothing to anyone else but you, as you can’t afford to replace it, so when someone steals it for fun and then leaves you unable to replace it, how is that fair???? Would you want someone to do that to you or someone you know????

To all the people who think it’s funny to stick a brick through someone’s car window, it isn’t funny. It costs people money and I’m damn sure if someone did it to you, you wouldn’t see the funny side. Damaging cars costs people money and it isn’t a joke, if you want to have fun buy a pack of cards don’t damage someone’s property.

I was a kid once and never felt the need to cause criminal damage to have a laugh. But it isn’t always kids, adults can be just as bad or worse if you add into the fact they are old enough to know better.

I sound like a grumpy old sod but I really do think if we all had a little bit more consideration for the people around us we would all have a better time of it. I like to go out, complete my journey and come home safely I don’t think that is too much to ask.

I jokingly put these observations as questions but lately as I’ve seen more and more bad driving, I have been tempted to pull someone over and ask why they just did that stupid thing. I suspect it wouldn’t be a clever thing to do but I really am curious as to what goes through their minds. I suspect not a lot, it becomes habit more than anything, a way of cutting corners in their mind to get to work or home that little bit quicker.

Sure some people have genuinely been caught out and need to cut in by mistake but the majority I suspect are doing it every day in the same places at the same time. I can’t help but wonder how many times they get away with it before their luck runs out and they have an accident. Not that I’m wishing it on anyone, but by the law of averages, who knows.

It takes one lapse of judgement one time to change your life or that of the people around you. We all tread that line from time to time. Maybe if we all took a second to have a rethink the roads would be a safer place for us all and that can only be a good thing.

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