Image courtesy of Graur Razvan Ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Every week, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) take time out from their busy schedule to offer up motoring tips via the pen of Britain’s top advanced driver, Peter Rodger.
And this week it involves one of the most important things that you can do on the road; and that is AVOID CONFLICT. And AVOID ROAD RAGE.
And it’s not always them; sometimes it is you.
Have a look at some of these pieces of advice and see just how many relate to you.
Not every thing that happens is deliberate. A lot of things that people do (that annoy you) are mistakes. Give them the space to sort things out and make allowances.
The horn on a car is not to be used as a sound of annoyance – it is an instrument of attention: to let people know that you are there. If other drivers decide to use it as a sign of annoyance then don’t just join in the ‘fun’ – let it pass and leave them to it.
How many times have you had your lights on full beam when driving along a dark motorway or road and then forget to turn them down when another vehicle approaches? Never? Then you are probably a liar! It is easy to forget that you have them on, so if someone has tem on driving at you, remember that they haven’t remembered. If you retaliate by putting yours on full as you approach, that is only going to increase the risk of an accident.
When you are at a busy junction or a merging lane, when safe, let traffic in or across you. There are people who speed up inside merging lanes deliberately, but there are also people who are new to the area and don’t know that the road merges. Set an example for other road users. You will look the better driver. And one day, that person in the wrong lane may be you.
If another road user is driving threateningly, try to keep some extra distance between your car and theirs. Don’t react by braking, accelerating, swerving or reacting instantly; this will only increase the chance of an accident whilst winding up the other driver at the same time. This includes when someone behind you on a country road is trying to speed while you are maintaining the speed limit. Let them pass. It’s their look out!
Plan as far ahead as you can before starting your journey and also when you are driving. Try to anticipate and predict other people’s actions and mistakes on the road; this will allow you to cope with them more easily.
Rodger said: “Even the best drivers make mistakes, so try and cut people some slack when they do so. Road rage doesn’t improve the situation, and puts you, your passengers, and other road users around you at risk. The best thing is to stay calm and continue to drive sensibly as not to worsen the situation.”
A late starter on the road (passing his test at the age of 31) Kevin drives. He gets into the car, starts it, and drives. No matter what car, it is being on the road that matters, and enjoying the feeling of being there. A passionate writer about many subjects, and author of an as-yet unpublished book based on his misspent youth in a pop band in the 80's, he works as a freelance copywriter in the North-West of England.
Away from his laptop keyboard, Kevin is a dedicated husband, dad, grandad and AFC Wimbledon football fan currently attempting to indoctrinate his 4 year old grandson into the music of his youth by playing The Jam on repeat throughout the house. He also performs stand-up comedy under the name of AFC Baggy and is the current Preston Comedian of the Year.
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