Today as I drove to work, I saw my life flash before me.
I seriously believed I was about to be involved in a serious car accident. Two cars beside me were so close to colliding (a collision which would have involved me and possibly two or three other vehicles) and I am still astounded they missed each other. Thankfully for us all, the accident was avoided. Without going into details, I can say it was only a combination of hard braking, quick lane changing and a large amount of luck that saw us through unscathed. There followed loud greetings with horns from numerous vehicles in the vicinity and much animated gesticulation. It made my heart thump a few decibels louder I can tell you!
What scares me is that I share the roads with these people on a daily basis and not only are they putting their own lives at risk (and whoever is unlucky enough to be travelling with them) they are also endangering me! It continually astounds me that so many drivers are so agressive, so impatient and so incompetent.
And so here follows, a substantial list of some of the dangerous driving practices I see regularly on the road. This is my chance to get it off my chest... Feel free to join in by adding your experiences to the comments at the end of the post.
Bad drivers and what 'cheeses me off'
(Aussie term meaning what gives me the s**ts!)...
Dangerous lane changing - zig zagging between cars in heavy traffic at great speed with limited space (more often than not to little or no advantage)
Cutting across three lanes to avoid missing a turn off. Check the signs people.
Tail gating. The practice of driving at full pelt within feet of the car in front is crazy.
Does anyone realise that undertaking is actually illegal?
But then, what alternative do you have when the right lane (the fast lane for Australia) is blocked by some moron driving at 85kmph (in a 100km zone), refusing to budge!
Swapping lanes into the lane in front of me, and then slowing down.
Cutting into limited space between cars, when there is more than enough space after.
Overtaking on double lines (illegal in Australia and all other countries I have visited)!
Beeping when the lights have JUST changed.
Patience people! Patience!
Overtaking dangerously and then turning at the next intersection!
And then there's the tunnel. The speed limit is 80kms an hour. Not 65! What is it with people who decide (because we all know there are speed cameras in the tunnel) that they have to go at least 10km UNDER the limit? Funnily enough, these are often the same people who charged past earlier breaking the land speed record!
And speaking of that, don't you just love the people who INSIST on doing 80 on 100km country roads and then when the opportunity arises to pass - you guessed it -THEY SPEED UP! ARRRRGGGGHHHHH!!!!
Drink driving? Don't even start me on this one!
Get a taxi. Get a bus. Get a LIFE!
OK, I'm guessing you are sensing a little of my frustration by now. Certainly it is difficult to stay calm and be patient sometimes. But these are the times when patience and tolerance is required most.
And yet, how can you be tolerant of this sort of behaviour...
Just last week, as Ames was driving along the Geelong-Melbourne Highway to work, she noticed a fellow driver with a large book balanced on their steering wheel. Yes - believe it or not - this person was READING as they headed down the highway at 100kms an hour! Aye aye aye!
I have seen people putting on make-up and people getting changed! I know someone who eats his breakfast (a bowl of cereal complete with milk) as he drives to work as he is always running late! I have even seen someone driving at 100kmsph, eating KFC AND puffing on a cigarette (yuck) - yes all while in 'control' of a vehicle. I have no doubt if the mobile had rung they would have answered that too!
These people are out there. They share our roads. They forget their manners and they neglect the most rudimentary laws. They don't carry guns, they aren't crazy terrorists. These are people like you, like me, forget that the vehicle they are driving is as good as a loaded weapon. Breathe people breathe.
Drive carefully... and I will endeavour to do the same!