This is a risky post for two reasons. Firstly, I’m leaving myself open to getting seriously criticised for my own driving should I break the rules I’m about to harp on about. Secondly, I’m probably going to generalise horribly and probably offend someone I know. Oh well. Stop middle lane driving… and I’ll stop moaning!
People who hog the middle lane
This causes traffic, encourages frustrated undertaking and is generally a quite simple rule of the road to obey. If you’re not overtaking, keep left. Not too complex is it? Seeing a lorry-shaped dot in the distance means you will have time to get back over to the overtaking lane when you need to, so stop using that as an excuse not to move over. You can now receive a £100 fine for hogging the middle lane and I’m all for this. Having said that, has anyone out there actually been fined yet?!
People who don’t indicate on roundabouts
There is little in life that requires less effort. Depending on your preferred steering wheel grip, you may even be able to indicate just by flicking out your little finger. There’s a quite dangerous roundabout near where I live and I’m sure the number of near-misses you see during rush hour could be dramatically reduced if drivers made the tiny effort required to point out where and when they plan to turn off.
People who pull out when you haven’t let them
Indicating in itself doesn’t give you a divine right to change lanes or pull out from a junction. You still have to check if it’s safe. I’m looking at you sports car drivers and white van men.
People who don’t say thank you
We had a discussion about this at home, the opposing argument being that if someone isn’t very good at driving they may need to concentrate on that rather than gesturing to show their gratitude. However, I believe in manners. I don’t think a quick hand or thumbs up up in acknowledgment is too much to ask, particularly if I have sat waiting for an eternity you to finally drive past.
People who stick out unnecessarily at junctions
Being from Jersey, I know what kind of roads actually require you to get your nose out. Essentially, if you have to stick your bonnet out of a reasonably standard junction purely because you are driving a ridiculously big car, your choice of vehicle may need a rethink. I am realistic about the fact I may never advance beyond driving a hatchback for this very reason.
People who get into a lane at the last minute
I appreciate that being warned a couple of miles before a lane closure may not require you to get into the correct lane immediately. But it does make me chuckle when a few fellow drivers are clearly feeling the same irritation as I am at the road users who think it’s okay to overtake the whole queue and then scoot across 10m before their lane officially closes. I enjoy being part of a team effort to block their route back in.
Of course, it’s not just people in cars who can cause road rage. There are the motorcyclists who weave dangerously fast through traffic. There are ‘roadworks’ with a million cones and no actual ‘work’ to be seen. And there are those speed bumps that are impossible to drive a small car over – regardless of your total lack of speed. The stupid thing about this post is that I actually do enjoy driving. What I don’t like is a few of the habits of the other people out there doing it alongside me. I’ve got a five hour drive to Cornwall later today. With the heat wave and the start of the summer holidays, it’s bound to be a fun-filled journey. If I’m lucky, maybe a few fellow travellers will see this and stick to the left hand lane if they’re not overtaking…