Do you get annoyed by other drivers on the road? Which of these bad habits do you think is the most irritating or dangerous?
- Not signalling at roundabouts
- Not waving ‘thank you’ when you let them go ahead of you
- Sitting in the middle lane on a motorway at 69mph, not overtaking anything
- Getting too close to your boot
- Driving too slowly when you are in a rush
Most drivers will have witnessed most of these behaviours on the road at some point. But could you honestly say that you have never done any of the above?
According to a recent survey of European motorists, 74% of UK drivers believe that they are ‘attentive’ on the road, whilst 48% believe themselves to be ‘courteous’. Similar figures were found amongst other European nationalities.
Looking at those figures closely it would mean that for every 10 cars that you encounter on the road, perhaps three would display inattentive behaviours like those listed above, whilst at least five would be discourteous.
Does that sound right to you? Or do you think that the drivers who were surveyed were being a tad optimistic about their driving skills? How would you rate your own driving skills – are you attentive and courteous? Are you a better driver than others on the road, or worse than most?
An honest answer would be to say that your behaviour behind the wheel is very much like your behaviour elsewhere. Your mood can affect how you drive, as can your priorities – if you need to get somewhere quickly you are more likely to drive closely behind the car in front; if you are angry you are more likely to drive aggressively.
It is easy to lose concentration, and courtesy often gets forgotten in the heat of the moment or when your attention is not fully on the road.
Being inattentive or discourteous is something that all of us will do at some point in our driving careers – perhaps next time someone displays one of the bad habits above you will give them the benefit of the doubt and assume it’s a one off, because in truth, you probably do the same sometimes.