OK, now I’m going to come clean and admit that I am probably not the worlds best driver. Clearly as I’m not a current, or ex F1 star there are people out there that are better drivers. I would though, like to think I’m a considerate driver and know what I’m doing on the road and how to handle most of the conditions we have in the UK. I do have 20 plus years under my belt now, and I suspect that time has tempered my driving. I know the desire not to get penalty points certainly helps!
Anyways, over the years I have noticed that people seem less able to ‘cope’ with what I would consider fairly standard conditions for the UK.
The first time I noticed this was after quite a bit of rain. Now in the UK, we get a lot of rain. This is therefore something one would think people could cope with. Ten years ago or so, if there was a large pool of water that stretched out along the road, not deep, people would drive through it. Most would know to take their foot off the accelerator and not to brake so as to avoid aquaplaning, and that would be it. However what I witnessed recently was traffic on a 70mph stretch of road come to a total standstill because people were stopping to move into the other lane which was clear of water (that alone should give an idea the water wasn’t deep).
Today, I saw a similar performance. There had been snow. Now the sort of level of snow I’m talking about was a ‘dusting’ on walls and grass. Little more than a heavy frost. The roads themselves were fine. No snow settling, no risk of ice. However other drivers were ‘skittish’ shall we say with brakes being put on, again on a 70mph stretch of road. This brought the traffic to a standstill when it wasn’t necessary.
I realise this comes over as a bit of a rant, but people not knowing how to drive in these conditions is a concern. We face them (particularly the rain) all the time in the UK.
There are other things that worry me with driving, but these are not weather related, they seem to revolve around indicating. There seems to be a common belief that indicating gives a right to pull out into another lane, rather than an indication that you want to and will look for a gap. Roundabouts seem to be either for indicating to turn off all the way around, or not bothering to indicate at all.
I cycle as well as drive, but please don’t think this is with a cyclists ‘hat’ on. Those who know me know I’m equally critical of other cyclists as well. I suspect in time I’ll put something up about cyclists on the roads as well, but that’s for another time!