Safety lesson for bad drivers

sheppnews.com.au

Almost any time I get in a car I am likely to encounter a bad driver on the roads.

The most common thing that irks me is people who fail to indicate properly.

It’s almost like they think other drivers can read their mind.

If I am going to move in any direction, I make sure it’s safe first, do head checks and indicate before moving, not after starting to move.

Getting through roundabouts is a lottery because for some reason some people who are turning right at a roundabout fail to indicate or only indicate halfway around the roundabout. You have to be super vigilant to avoid a collision.

I remember a recent journey on the Midland Hwy when I had a near miss because of someone’s bad driving. I was travelling towards Mooroopna in a 100km/h zone, with no-one behind me, and there was a driver wanting to turn left onto the highway in front of me. Instead of waiting for me to pass, the driver snail crawled onto the highway, causing me to slam on the brakes. I’m sure many people have had similar close calls or worse.

It’s not just in Shepparton. Everywhere I go, people don’t seem to understand road rules or can’t realise there are other people on the road.

Another nuisance is people who tailgate.

So many people seem to do it. I can understand the frustration of being behind a slow vehicle, but sitting less than a metre away from them isn’t going to change anything.

A general rule for drivers is if you can’t see the licence plate of the car behind in your rear view mirror, it is too close.

Do they still teach the three-second rule in driving tests?

I try to avoid tailgating at all costs. I had it drilled into me from my father of British heritage, who told me if you did that on the tiny, slippery roads of the United Kingdom, you would crash into the vehicle in front of you as soon as its driver braked.

There is also no courtesy shown by most drivers when you let them pass on a small street with room for one vehicle or give them space to merge. No-one waves. No-one thanks you.

Why are we all in a mad dash rush ?

Ultimately, we want to get to our destination without a collision that could cause injury or damage.

Yes, failing to indicate and tailgating may seem minor compared to drink or drug-driving, but they can cause just as much trauma.

At the end of the day, 90 per cent of motor vehicle crashes are the result of human error.

We need safer roads and a good police presence, but to really reduce deaths on the road, everyone has to take responsibility for their driving.

Declan Martin is a News reporter.

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