Wednesday 24 April 2024

Infuriating driving mistakes you need to stop making (seriously, please stop!)

Driving is supposed to be fun. At the very least, it’s not supposed to make you want to tear your hair out. But there are so many drivers out there who don’t seem to have any common sense. Here are some infuriating errors I see on the road every day.

Not accelerating enough

When you merge, you’re supposed to be going at the same speed that the traffic in that particular lane is going. I get that you’re trying to be cautious, and I can appreciate that. But here’s the problem: not going at the same speed means you’re more likely to cause an accident. Don’t underrate the need to accelerate. Whether you’re moving onto the highway, or just moving from a stop and into moving traffic, hit the gas. Entering slow is just going to frustrate others. And, y’know, possibly cause a crash.

Misunderstanding amber

I have to fight the urge to copy and paste “AMBER DOESN’T MEAN GO” over and over again. I don’t want to be hyperbolic by suggesting that 90% of drivers don’t understand this. But a big part of me doesn’t think that’s actually an inaccurate figure. So let’s clear this up. If the lights are changing from green to amber to red, then stop when amber shows. Don’t try to beat the lights. Be ready to stop. When they’re changing back, don’t go before the light actually turns green. Amber means prepare for the change. Amber doesn’t mean go. Amber doesn’t mean go. Amber doe-

Driving without insurance

You’d think this wasn’t that common. And I’m sure “common” is probably the wrong word to use. But I’ve been involved in a couple of (minor) accidents where it turned out the other party didn’t actually have insurance. Needless to say, it made everything more complex. (They also got in a heap of trouble with the law.) Insurance is for your safety, other people’s safety, and, y’know, for not going to jail. Don’t go driving without it. Look up affordable auto insurance if you think the costs will be too daunting.

Getting distracted

Thankfully, I’ve not been seeing as many “Pokémon GO causes car crash!” headlines as I used to. But I’m still seeing a distressing amount of headlines about drivers causing chaos because they were on their phone. In fact, I can’t step outside without seeing some idiot on their phone while they’re driving. If you’ve not got both hands on the wheel and both eyes on the road, you are doing it wrong. (Unless you’re taking your hands off the wheel to change gears. But that doesn’t require you taking your eyes off the road, so it doesn’t count.)

Thinking blind spots are a thing

So someone has crashed into the back of you. Sure, it was probably their fault. But whatever the case, you didn’t see them because they were in the “blind spot” of your wing mirror. “Blind spot” has become one of the most dangerous phrases in all of driving history. It’s used so often and by so many people that you’d think the blind spot was actually a thing. But here’s a knowledge bomb for you. If you have a blind spot in your wing mirror, you’re using your mirror wrong. Repeat after me: vehicles don’t have blind spots. You just have your mirror adjusted incorrectly.

** This is a collaborative post

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