Congratulations, you’ve passed no one knows how to drive!
My brother in law, Craig, recently asked me to take him out in my car for some practise before his driving test. Having not taken any lessons since October, he was understandably nervous as he slipped behind the wheel. However, once we’d driven round a nearby industrial estate a few times he seemed to quickly gather his confidence and got down to the nitty gritty of reversing round corners, three point turns and reverse parking.
I received a text message this morning with the great news that Craig had passed his test on his first attempt – and deservedly so, his driving was nigh on immaculate the last time I was out with him. However, the attitudes of some of the other drivers on the roads while he was out practising with me got me thinking about the ability of others on the roads. While out with Craig I witnessed people cutting him up, swerving in and out of lanes around him and generally showing little to no courtesy to a new driver. All of this in spite of the fact that I insisted he get the car up to speed and keep it there (hazards permitting) so as not to cause disruption to other road users.
Usually in the passenger seat I’m relatively unobservant, taking the opportunity to catch up with some email on my phone or clearing up the clutter that I find lying around the foot well – it’s surprising the stuff you accumulate in the motor during your daily commute! However, while being decidedly concentrated on Craig’s driving and that of those around him I was genuinely disturbed to observe the manoeuvres attempted by other road users. As I’m sure you’re aware, if someone is performing a reverse park manoeuvre when you approach – they’ll stop and you should be able to pass safely around them. Many drivers do appreciate that learners can take a little more time and will wait, which is great if not a little pressing for the learner in question. Passing while demonstrating how effective your horn is and showing us ‘the bird’ is a new one even for me and I’ve been driving for quite some time, but this did indeed happen!
I did a bit of research used Google and found out that around 11% of UK drivers think they would fail their driving test if asked to re-sit it tomorrow. Pretty alarming I’m sure you’ll agree, although I think the actual figure would be somewhat higher than that. The thought that one in ten of the people around me claim they’re not as good behind the wheel as they should be is a little worrying to say the least.
I think all of this leaves some interesting questions unanswered, should we need to sit several re-tests throughout our driving career? Are the penalties for being a bad driver adequate? Why am I allowed to supervise a learner driver but not allowed to use our kitchen food processor without my wife’s supervision?
Answers on a postcard please.