OK, this is undoubtedly a bit of a rant if I’m honest. While I have been working to reduce the amount of stress on my life by practicing meditation, yoga and mindfulness techniques, it was 8:45 AM before something happened that really got to me today.
It’s a foggy morning over here so the drive to work was a little bit more treacherous, especially while making my way down some of the smaller country lanes. One would assume that other drivers on the roads would take the same extra bit of care while making their way through the fog too. Not so, as it seems.
At a roundabout I waited a little longer than some others would have to give way for a learner driver who was a little slow when pulling onto the roundabout from the junction to my right. The learner driver made his way slowly past me to turn down the junction to my left, which was the same one I was also aiming for. The problem occurred when two other cars followed into that same road.
Tailgating is not only dangerous, it is illegal. It amounts to dangerous or reckless driving and is very much an intentional form of intimidation using a 1ton piece of metal moving at speeds of upwards of 30 miles an hour. Stopping distances are a compulsory part of a learner driver course and they can be asked on any driving test, but it seems that some drivers dismiss this as an unnecessary use of space.
These two cars sped up behind this learner driver and proceeded to drive down this winding road, through thick for, less that tree feet behind. If anything had started the learner into simply tapping the break pedal, it would have resulted in a three car crash. But it seems that these two were in a major rush as they both overtook the learner, on left-hand bends over solid white central lines (meaning it is a no overtaking zone) and raced off into the fog.
While I bet that the learner was relived to have those two out of his rear view mirror, the maneuver they both took was equally, if not more, dangerous than their tailgating as they had no way of knowing if there was anything driving towards them from around the corner, such as a nice solid lorry for example.
We were all learners once. I know I hated it when someone was driving that close behind me when I was learning. Even for an experienced driver it can lead to feeling pushed into going faster than you would normally have liked to be driving.
Driving is dangerous. People have to learn out there in the real world which is why they drive with “L” plates, to let other drivers know that person may not be as confident as someone more experienced. We should treat these people with compassion, not annoyance. They are not in your way intentionally.
*climbs down from soap-box*