Six terrible driving habits

NOEL BURLAND
stuff.co.nz

How do we fix our driving problem?

Quite simply, we can’t fix it. But we can take measures to improve our driving out there so the risks of accidents and fatalities is minimised.

The tourist driver issue is another matter, but these are the most common things I see and read that contribute to New Zealand’s road issues.

Indicating

Some drivers have a complete inability to understand how to correctly use an indicator.

Roundabouts, for example, are notorious for near misses and accidents. There are people out there who can’t fathom simple rules around indicating at roundabouts; or they simply don’t care about the rules and just do their own thing.

Slow drivers

who plod along either blissfully unaware or deliberately holding up a line of traffic in perfect conditions, who are known to speed up in passing lanes and straight pieces of road.

Slow drivers often ignore slow vehicle bays or other safe places to let faster traffic through, even when the law requires them to do so. It can cause frustrated drivers behind them to attempt overtaking maneuvers that have a higher element of risk than what they would normally try.

Tailgaters

These people can get so bad that they’ll actually tailgate drivers doing the posted speed limit, because they think they’re entitled to travel 10-20 kmh above the speed they should be doing.

Impatient drivers

Impatient drivers are the ones who can’t be bothered stopping at red lights, stop signs or even pedestrian crossings, because having to stop on the road for longer than 20 seconds at a time is a massive inconvenience to them.

A sense of entitlement

Drivers with this problem are usually quite pushy in traffic and they tend to act like they own the road and that everyone else should get out of their way. These drivers are known for cutting off other drivers, often when they have absolutely no right to do so.

They can use things like tailgating as a means of intimidating other drivers into getting out of their way or do things like park in stupid places outside schools because they think they have an entitlement to be there.

Poor judgement

People who make glaringly bad mistakes behind the wheel. Obviously no one’s 100 percent perfect behind the wheel of a car, but there are some very poor pieces of judgement behind the wheel that are as much, if not more, a contributor to the road toll than speeding and alcohol are.

Probably the most glaring error people can make is misjudging the speed of oncoming traffic when pulling out of an intersection.

Others for example, include failing to stay in their own lane or taking corners too fast.

So there are six things that I think are wrong with our driving behaviour.

Sadly the police seem more interested in nabbing the low hanging fruit, by parking up in passing lanes, straight pieces of road and at the bottom of hills hoping to nab drivers who are travelling a tiny bit too fast, a practice commonly known as revenue gathering.

They’ve thrown so much weight and resources behind targeting speed and alcohol that it seems they don’t want to bother punishing other driving errors that are as much if not more a contributor to the road toll that speed and alcohol are.

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