Thursday 23 January 2020

Why do we blame bad driving on everyone else?

You have your say

Be careful out there: drivers give their views - on other drivers
Be careful out there: drivers give their views - on other drivers
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Lots of you went to the trouble to answer the questions I posed in an article last week: 'Are you as good a driver/car owner as you think you are?'

Strangely only a few held their hand up. In most cases the focus of attention was on the poor quality of other people's driving.

Are we that good that we don't examine where we might improve ourselves?

It has been a revealing insight into how people view and think about what's happening on our roads.

Here's a small sample of what you said about your fellow road users.

• I do the regular checks on my car and have done so since I started driving 30-plus years ago. I like to keep to the speed limits and be courteous to other drivers. As I got older I decided I'd rather be a bit late than not get there at all. Safe driving."

•If exiting the roundabout at 9 o'clock and 12 use the left hand lane, unless the road markings suggest otherwise. This is the part a lot of drivers don't know."

• I'm not exactly your typical Irish driver, being an Englishman living in Denmark, but I'm seriously considering translating your piece into Danish for local consumption.

Roundabouts have mushroomed in Denmark, but the country has no traffic-island tradition and a lot of drivers do all the wrong things. Tailgating is a serious problem here, too, as is hogging the outside lane.

My pet hate is people who gradually creep up on you as though they intend to overtake, but just sit there two-and-a-half metres behind you, expecting you to speed up and exceed the limit, even though they have masses of room to overtake.

I am not a good parker, but it hadn't occurred to me to take lessons. I'll do just that though, and I also need to train driving on ice."

• Dreadful article. Complete waste of space."

• I have to say I agree with everything you wrote. I consider myself a courteous and safe driver. Also having been a car mechanic for a long time I would be aware of maintenance.

However, one thing that is a big problem with today's drivers is lack of awareness and safety. Like lots of parents, I endure the rush-hour school run and every morning I come across at least five to eight drivers with no lights on; we all know how dark it is at 8am still. Also why do people insist on driving with parking lights instead of their headlights?"

• I think part of the reason for the windscreen washer bit (dirty screens/windows mentioned in last week's article) is the lack of water on the forecourts beside the pumps. You used to be able to top-up at the same time as filling your tank, now you have to pull away and have a euro ready for these vendomats for air, water and fragrance. Bring back the old green watering cans."

• I drive from country to suburbs every day. I find the standard of driving is much better Monday to Friday than at weekends. I would rather drive 1,000km on weekdays than 100km on weekends. Please, if you are driving well below the allowed limit at least pull in as tight as you can to the kerb/ditch. And indicators work on weekends too.

On egress from side roads, faulty traffic lights. I was taught the 'one-in-one' principle. In heavy traffic let one in and move on. This speeds the flow dramatically, but the side enterers have to abide too. Same for someone turning across you, it frees traffic on the opposite lane too."

• An aspect not mentioned in your article: A good driver should not only eliminate driving errors, but also take into account the potential errors of other drivers and thereby minimise the risk of accidents on the road."

• I despair at driving and drivers. I wait to leave my road some days counting up to 30 cars before one might let you out.

I'm 65 years old, driving since I was 18 with no accidents and I think I'm a good driver."

ecunningham@independent.ie

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