Driving is one of those skills that almost everyone is convinced that they do better than everyone else. While there are many good drivers out there on the roads, let’s face it, there are some pretty awful ones too, and it always seems to be the bad ones who get noticed as they tend to draw attention to themselves.
There are many bad habits and sins that car driver exhibit, and these fall into a few obvious categories that describe the different ways that a bad driver can get it very wrong. These include:
Thundering along in a car which can weigh anything up to three quarters of a tonne of steel and plastic, and at speeds of up to 120kph – and that’s if they are driving at legal speeds – just sounds bad on paper, so when it happens on the road and the driver isn’t paying attention, then disaster can’t be far away.
Whether it’s gazing at a mobile phone, reading a SatNav, reading a map book, or just gazing around at the countryside fleeting by, not paying attention may get you killed. In the States alone, each day about 9 people are reported to have lost their lives because of the driver’s distraction. When driving you need to be focused on the road and everything around you, not on sending a text. You need to concentrate on the road if only to avoid those drivers who aren’t!
Surprisingly enough, speeding may not be the most common cause of car accidents, but the devastation that a speeding car tends to create makes an accident far more horrific. Speeding is a problem because reaction times are reduced significantly and the driver’s ability to prevent something going badly wrong is diminished. Speed limits are there for a reason, so the best plan is to stick to them, not only because otherwise you are likely to get high speeding fines, but you can get seriously injured.
Parking done wrong
Recent investigations have identified around 4,700 parking facilities in the UK, comprising about 1.2 million parking spaces, designed to take average sized cars comfortably. Typically, an average car, such as a Ford Mondeo, measures around 4.5 metres long and 1.7 metres wide, however many modern crossovers and SUV’s are considerable bigger, leaving less room.
That means extra consideration when parking your motoring 4x4 behemoth, leaving enough space for the cars either side of you for other drivers to be able to actually get in their car. Other parking sins include parking on the pavement – those are for pedestrians – parking in specially designated bays such as those assigned to the disabled, and parking across two or even three bays. Let’s have a bit of courtesy when leaving your car.
Wrong position on the road
Driving a car on any modern road is pretty easy since signage and a few rules of courtesy make it obvious where you should position your car depending upon the circumstances of where you are on the road. With rules that easy to follow you would think it hard for anyone to get it wrong, but it seems that the bad driver can constantly mess it up. Hogging the middle lane of a motorway, or incorrect positioning at a junction may seem innocuous enough but they can be frustrating at best and dangerous in some situation. And all because they didn’t listen properly in their driving lessons.
Indicating sins are fairly self-explanatory but actually form two different problems: not using them and not turning them off! There is no excuse for not using indicators – that is, indicating – where you want to be on the road but it is something that many don’t seem to have mastered. While there is no actual offence for not indicating your driving intentions, failing to indicate can be seen as committing the offence of careless driving, and that will attract the attention of the police. Give other drivers a chance – give them a clue as to what you intend to do.
Lack of simple courtesy
Nobody likes disrespect and being respectful to other drivers on the road can lead to all sorts of complications. Not letting another driver out into the traffic stream is very bad form and very rude. Let’s face it, one more car length is hardly going to make a difference to your journey so why not smile and let them in; there is a growing trend in road rage and simple courtesy is the best way to defuse it.
Throwing litter from a vehicle
The world is not your litter bin and while it is easy to toss sweetie wrappers and fast-food cartons out of the windows, its ethically unacceptable. Despite it's social and legal ramifications, the ease of ditching rubbish makes many do it without thinking, but the rise in car dashcams and police websites where such film can be uploaded, and increasing fines for littering, make it an activity that is just going to cost you money.
Driving is considered a high-risk activity at the best of times and every driver has what amounts to being a potential lethal weapon in inconsiderate hands. The key to good motoring is to think at all times: think about your speed, your positioning, your parking and of those around you, and then you can truly call yourself a good driver.