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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
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Driving Issues. - February 17th 2016, 02:22 AM

A long time ago, I made a thread asking people whether had any advice as to how to deal with the initial excitement you have when you first get your probationary license, after you leave your Learner's Permit. I fell into the trap that many people fall into when you realise that at your control, you have a machine that can get to 62MPH faster than you can say the words "this machine can get to 62MPH." Once I got that out of my system, I sincerely improved and returned to my old trodden habit of driving like a grandfather. I do not speed, I still do not know how to do a burnout and I do not like Green Eggs and Ham . However, I still do not think I am a very safe driver. I have some issues that need to be rectified, and which I would like to get your advice about.

The first issue is blind roundabouts. When I enter a roundabout, especially when there is a house on the corner, I watch the corner early to see if anyone is here, but by the time I actually approach the corner, I haven't slowed down enough, because subconsciously, I figure that if I do not see anyone now, there cannot be anyone there and I want to just go through. If someone is actually there, I doubt whether I have slowed down enough to act on time. Maybe treating the roundabout like a stop sign may be a consideration but that is unpopular!

The second issue is the much more dangerous issue, in driving line. Sometimes, when I am driving in a straight line, I find myself veering to one side, or staying too far on one side of the lane. I am thinking that life is good and then all of a sudden, I hear myself running over the cats eyes on the dividing line. I do not know how to figure out how far left in the lane I am, because the drivers seat is on the other side of the car. If I feel I am too far, I correct myself and next thing I know I am too close to the right hand side! The same goes for the treatment of parked cars. My father, when he was supervising me, drilled it into my head, that I should be making room for parked on the right hand side. Now, when I am driving on my own, I make a bit of room for the parked cars, but then see oncoming cars on the left hand side, and so I correct myself to make some room for them and then it goes on the same battle. On entry to roundabouts as well, for example I find myself entering and nearly hitting the retaining wall on the drivers side or the kerb on the passenger's side and quickly darting back. Driving line is by far my biggest risk of crashing.

I also get distracted by beautiful girls on the sidewalk and in other cars, do you have any advice on that? LOL.

And how do you deal with tailgating? I asked a policeman whether he had any advice and he said that I should just pull over and let them pass and "they don't become an issue", which is theoretically true but I tried it once someone was tailgating me, pulled back in and YET ANOTHER a person got too close! I know it is easy to dismiss, but I think tailgating is a borderline criminal thing to do. I do not know what goes through someone's head, that they are willing to get so close to another car that I have to look up to see their fucking bonnet in my rear vision mirror. Can you imagine what that looks like from their point of view? No sane human being would get that close to a car at 30MPH.

Thoughts on those and other points? Cheers.


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Re: Driving Issues. - February 17th 2016, 02:35 AM

I agree in treating a roundabout like a stop sign is a good idea, drop your speed greatly etc, don't come to a stop of course but just roll through slowly if it's clear.

As for your driving line and daydreaming off, I'd be guessing you drive an auto. That's a major problem of driving an auto, you're not forced to focus on your driving. If you're driving a manual and you're having this issue, then there's a really bad habit forming. I'd say go practice driving in some tight city streets a lot and learning to become very precise.

As for looking at girls etc, they don't exist. That mixed with a bad driving line can lead to a serious crash. Just get off the road if you're that bad with it. I know you most likely put that line in as a joke but nah. Coming from someone that wants to ride a bike and knows about the dangers of car drivers not having full attention on the road, it's too easy to kill someone like that.

Now as for tailgaters, I come from a racing background. So tailing someone at like 150 - 180mph+ etc I have no qualms about but doing that does teach you just how big your car is, knowing the space you control etc. As for getting rid of them. Just drive faster? I can't really give advice on that one.

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Re: Driving Issues. - February 17th 2016, 01:35 PM

I had the same issue with roundabouts, until I got into a crash and became a lot more careful. That's absolutely not a solution though!
So, what I suggest, and something I've found useful recently, is a little thing that monitors your driving. Your insurance company might be able to help you, I got mine from my insurers to see if I can lower my premium in a couple of months. It plugs into the car and activates when the engine is on. Using a kind of pendulum inside the device, it monitors how harshly you brake, how fast you take corners, and how safe your driving is. Knowing I have something in the car that is monitoring my driving has made a big difference and I'm now very aware of how hard to hit the brakes and how much I need to slow down when going round corners.

The problem with roundabouts is that not everyone is considerate. Okay, you can see some of the bend on that blind one, and it looks clear. But say there's someone coming down there, they can see that the road is clear for them, so they just accelerate and speed right out, without even thinking that you might be there and don't have enough time to react. It happens a lot, so be aware that there are a lot of shitty drivers out there.
Always prepare for the worst possible scenario. If other drivers get impatient, that's not your problem. Better a few dirty looks from people than getting hurt, or worse.

With driving straight, all I can say is that you NEED to focus. Do not let your mind wander. If you're in the car alone, I used to find it good to talk to myself. So I'd be saying "Okay slow down a bit here to get round the corner, someone might be crossing the road. Alrighty, all good. Traffic lights up there might change so be ready for that. Children running towards the park, keep an eye out in case one runs onto the road. Parked cars up there, other drivers will have to give them space so be careful you don't hit them."
In keeping up a steady stream of things I need to do or be aware of, I am focussing entirely on my driving and there's no room to think about pretty girls or cars. The fact is, you're in a really powerful vehicle that you have to be in complete control of at all times. One wrong move and you could kill someone. So you need to focus and not allow yourself to become distracted. It's that simple.

If someone is driving up behind you, I guess the policeman was right. Remember though that they are at fault. If you have to brake due to an emergency and they run into you, you are not liable for that. They should be leaving enough distance. Personally, I get quite annoyed so I will sometimes deliberately drive a little bit under the limit. Say 27 in a 30 zone. If they're behind me for a long time, I'll take some random turns and double back on myself to lose them because no one wants another car up their backside.

At the end of the day, people are idiots. And a lot of idiots learn to drive. Not everyone on the road is dangerous, there are a lot of good and conscientious drivers. But the world isn't perfect and there will always be those who don't think about others and think the laws don't apply to them. So be aware, stay focussed, and don't let those people turn you into another statistic.

PM me if you ever need anything.


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Re: Driving Issues. - February 18th 2016, 08:01 PM

Roundabouts -

If you hit someone in a roundabout (e.g. you're entering it and someone is already in it) then you'll be 100% at fault and liable for any damages. But that said, you don't need to fully stop unless people are obviously already there. I would just suggest slowing down enough so that if you see someone there already in the round about OR about to enter from the left, then you can stop (hence, yielding). Roundabouts are all about practice though. I drive in 5+ a day usually because of how my city is structured, and I find it easy, but you see other people blindly pulling in without even looking at me (if didn't trust people to be fucking idiotic like that and therefore was able to anticipate it and stop, they'd have caused a lot of accidents by hitting my car by now), so that's a lot worse than stopping. I'd rather deal with a newer driver who's not comfortable with roundabouts and is way to cuatious than the typical idiots who think that they have the right of way over people already in the roundabout or aren't paying attention


Lines -

Um? Focus while driving? I'm not sure how far your drifting though. As long as your staying in your lane, it's not that big of a deal. If you're so inattentive while driving that your tires are crossing into other lanes then obviously you need to get that under control.


Girls -

Don't let girls distract you. I mean, sure, check them out, but if you crash your car and your only excuse is "I saw a cute girl" then your screwed. That said, everyone gets sort of distracted at times, and as long as it isn't interfering with your ability to drive and make good judgements, then whatever. You don't have to be singularly focused on driving. Hell, I make friggin phone calls while driving (through my hands free system of course) but I'm still focused on what I'm doing, still focused on the traffic, speed limit, road conditions etc etc so obviously as long as driving is still the priority, then your solid.



Tailgaters -

DEMONS BEHIND THE WHEELS! Just kidding, but actually I really hate tailgaters. I honestly don't give a fuck if people speed or if they pass me or others, especially on the highway. Tailgating is SO dangerous and it forces me against my will into a dangerous situation because some gigantic douche bag can't slow the fuck down and wait for an appropriate time or place to pass or allow me to move into the right lane. Where I live, people drive 100 - 125 km on some of the highways and if a tailgater hits me (or another car), that can be fatal. Needless to say, tailgating infuriates me.




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