Sunday, 28 November 2010

A plea to all drivers, re: inertia

This weekend I drove up to East Yorkshire.

On the way, it occurred to me that there may be some driving instructors out there who are omitting a very simple piece of advice from their lessons, and depriving a nation of some essential car knowledge. 

Next time you're poodling along the road in your car and need to slow down (perhaps you have found yourself to be 1mph over the speed limit, or you are approaching a speed camera at 30mph, and know without doubt that you will get caught for a crime you are not committing, unless you drop to 25. Maybe a rogue leaf can be seen making its way towards the kerb and threatens to flutter into your path), just think: could this action be achieved by simply removing my foot from the accelerator? Do I really need to touch the brake pedal for absolutely no reason, repeatedly, and cause a wave of blinking red light panic to ripple through the cars behind me, thus slowing an entire lane of traffic?

Consider this, over braker: is your aim to frustrate the car behind you into yelling "WHY ARE YOU BRAKING? WHY? WHYY?", when you're on a long, straight, otherwise stress free road with no one in front of you? Or would you rather just slow up by, you know, withholding your foot from the pedal which causes speed to build, and saving the driver behind from giving herself a brain haemorrage from banging her head against a metaphorical brick wall?

The answer, of course, is "Why, yes that does sound better".

PS. London and the South East - I've seen the future. It's white, cold, falls from the sky in flakes, causes endless news reports, a plethora of boring Facebook photo albums and makes already shit drivers a lot worse. You have been warned.


Hails said...

To look at it from another perspective, I actually used to get told off by my passengers for braking randomly on purpose to piss off people behind me who were driving too close. ;) I realise that this wasn't the safest way to tell them to overtake or back off, but I was prone to doing stupid things in a bout of road rage. Probably best I don't get the chance to drive any more.

And re: Facebook snow photo albums, oh my God, WHY?!!!!! Why do people get so surprised at the sight of snow every winter and feel the need to take multiple pictures of the exact same snowy scenes they posted pictures of last year, and the year before? I almost wrote something to this effect on my status, but decided it was more tactful not to. Thank you for providing me with an opportunity to vent.

Anonymous said...


Are we the same person?

My other road "favourite" is the person who brakes when a car comes towards them on the other side of the road - when the road is clearly wide enough for two lanes of traffic with white lines between the two directions of flow.

And the drivers that get overwhelmed just being in the car. We were driving to work about a fortnight ago and a woman just stopped in the middle of the road because she couldn't cope with going from A to B. In the end, she limped over to the kerb and sat there, waving her arms in the air and shaking her head.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Road rage. Pure and simple. We all live it. We all love it.

Re: boring Facebook photos. Octogenarian American actress Betty White was hosting Saturday Night Live and came up with this zinger in her opening monologue:

When I was young, looking at someone's vacation photos use to be a form of punishment.

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Hails - I too employ the 'scare braking' tactic for those who get too close, however I make sure I'm not guilty of it myself (too often). And yes, the facebook snow albums will be making an appearance this week - I can feel people reaching for the 'create album' button now... lord help us.

soup - YES! That's what people were doing! OMG A CAR! *braaaake*. Don't even know what to make of that woman who just got out and sat on the kerb. Bit odd. I use my car horn way too much.

And don't even get me started on people who hesitate at roundabouts.

Unbearable - I love that quote because it is so, so, so true. I edit and caption my photos into a sort of story to at least allievate some of the boredom.

Rockabilly Hippie said...

ha! I love it. You read my mind! Although if it's at night, every time they hit their brakes (sometimes up to 45 times a minute!) I'll flash my brights. It's a pretty fun game and it relieves your tension :-) Keep on truckin!


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