The Selfish Driver

Road RageDriving should involve co-operation, not a contest. There is no doubt that my point of view has been influenced by four decades of driving experience, 25 years of collision investigation and daily observation of what goes on around me when I drive. Yes, I am one of "those drivers." I use the right hand lane, do my best to follow the speed limit and feel like a rock in the stream. I have come to expect to see constant examples of sloppy, selfish driving and am pleasantly surprised when I see someone extend courtesy. It should be the opposite.

Yes, I make mistakes when I drive. We all do, that's part of being human. What I object to is driving behaviour that says "I'm important, you aren't. I'm in a hurry, get out of my way!" I also shake my head at drivers who don't signal, can't stay between the lines on the roadway, fail to practice safe space margins, won't wait their turn or choose not to practice any of the other rules of the road. These are not mistakes, but are deliberate decisions that reduce everyone's opportunity to avoid or mitigate the driving errors that inevitably happen.

What kind of messages are we receiving to change the attitude of drivers? Stay out of the left lane so that drivers who want to exceed the speed limit are not inconvenienced. No to automated speed enforcement! When was the last time that you saw flashing red and blue lights at the roadside to indicate that the road rules were being enforced? Yes, there are plenty of ad campaigns against various bad behaviours, but I think that they are largely ignored or are considered to only apply to other drivers.

Better road design does play a part in the solution. However, we cannot expect the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to create the equivalent of a cattle chute that removes any opportunity to make a decision and provides an impenetrable barrier to keep us from crashing into each other. We have to accept the responsibility to make the choices that put other road users first and think a bit beyond our bumpers. Ultimately, when everyone does this, it will result in a safer driving environment that gets us all to where we are going safely and efficiently.

 

 

Comments

The selfish driver

"What kind of messages are we receiving to change the attitude of drivers?"

I remember when the police were not too busy to pull someone over for some of these behaviours, and give the driver a warning.  Today, excessive speeding is largely ignored unless it is on a main road.  Everytime I drive I see a least a half dozen vehicles with only one head light, or tailight.

I can't help but wonder if some of the more serious infractions would be reduced, and more consideration increased, if the police took the time to address some of these smaller infractions.

I'm sure the police would say there are much higher priorities, but there are ways to take some of the pressure off.  Speed averaging cameras in places like the Malahat would make an immediate difference in the number of serious accidents, and would also be much, much less expensive the the current "solutions."

The Selfish Driver

 Personaly I consider them more of psychopaths than rude and selfish,.  and wishing for an overworked police force to do something we all should be doing is senseless.

  If some one were to pull a weapon on you, you are within rights to defend yourself, why is it that when someone uses a 4000 pound weapon, their vehicle, to threaten you, it is the accepted norm to walk away. It is a sad comment on our society when we no longer stand up for ourselves but have to hire people to do it, if they have time (our police).

Respect is not something given, but earned.

Something to think about.

Re-testing Drivers

I'm a proponent of re-testing drivers. Not sure what the period should be before re-testing but certainly people that gain points or have serious violations should be a candidate. How about ever 5 years?

I propose a re-test should include a complete knowledge test and a driving test. Its easy to forget the rules of the road and to repeat bad habits.

Changing people's attitudes? I don't know. Maybe growing older is a key.

Lots of signage and PR compaigns seem to have a limited effect on driver performance and appears to me to be a waste of money. Professional drivers receive additional training to secure their licenses and seem to me to be considerably better at safely negotiating the roads. The worst are the "N" licensed drivers.

Driving is now a right where it used to be something we earned and valued.

Re-testing drivers?

I don't see it as drivers being tested in the first place, a few questions on a computer, then a quick slow speed drive around the block, and poof,,, you can now drive, I hear you don't even have to parallel park anymore,,, to me this is all a joke and one reason there are so many selfish drivers.

There should be a minimum of 40 hours in class where attitude & consiquence are taught. I also think training on private property on distracted driving, DUI, skid & higher speed handling ect, not a quick slow speed trip around the block. This may eliminate the passed on bad habbits & incorrect driving from Mommy & Daddy that now assume they are seasond pros when the exact opposit is true.

Then I would agree with "re-testing"

That's Not the Case Today

I think that any GLP driver will dispute with you the description of their testing as "a few questions on a computer, then a quick slow speed drive around the block."

Quick = 45 minutes on the road being checked multiple times for the same skill.

The Class 5 road test (for experienced drivers) may not include parallel parking at the discretion of the examiner.

Ahh

Thanks! So they have lenghtened the time of the road test, that's at least a start, do they actually test the driver if they can handle the vehicle, or just survive on the road. One reason in my opinion they should have skid and higher speed training, to see if they can actually handle a vehicle before they are given a licence. That's just my opinion, It's the same for class 1, your not tought or tested for more than if you can survive at slow speeds in traffic around town. Yes instructors take you on the hwy, but you never learn to know the feeling of your trailer starting to pass you on an icy road until it happens in real life. Lucky for some it comes naturally, but for some prior experience may help to avoid a situation. Maybe it's just me, knowing how fast a situation can arise and knowing some have had zero experience to regain control, be it a car or semi.

Rude and Selfish Drivers

Here on Salt Spring, we don't have passing lanes and the roads are narrow. But what really gets me i​s the drivers who do 55 on the 80 km highway that we have here.  They tend to hog the centre line so that if there was a safe place to pass, you can't get around them.  Plus, I'm sure they never look in the rear-view mirror or they would see the other drivers behind them - getting more frustrated all the time.  There are driveways and places where there is a wide space on the side of the highways to pull off and let others by - but most of them don't do that.  To me, this can be a major cause of road rage. 

I asked one police man about it and he said to get their licence - I did once and called it in but the woman at  the recption said nothing would be done.  So, it seems I have no recourse.  Yes, it is very rude and un-co-operative. 

And I agree, there should be driving tests every 5 years.  I know I have developed some bad habits.  Even taking a driver training class once in a while would be good for everyone.

Rude and Selfish Drivers

After having driven about 2 million miles a few things stand out. Many B.C. drivers are some of the worst that I have ever enountered.

Twice they have attempted to run me off the road, once along a 400 foot cliff --that I consider attempted murder.

Many times in an effort to pass they will tailgate at less than 1 car length at highway speeds no matter what lane I am in--that I consider reckless endangerment. Normally I drive about the speed limit, and sometimes have need to pass, but I will not pull in front of the passed vehicle until it is safe to do so- usually about 6-8 car lengths minimum, which seems to enrage many drivers attempting to pass me.

What happened to the rule, that if you wanted to pass that you signalled either by flashing your lights, signalling or both--I just about never see that any more.

I every one of us took a bit of responsability in calling these rude characters-it may help, but it appear no one cares enough to do anything but bitch and pass the buck.

Another neat thing that could be done for tailgaters with many of the new cars which have built in rear facing cameras -- set it up so that pics of the offender could be taken along with the speed and distance-these could be forwarded to motor vehicles and if you got more than a set amount -you would end up walking.-quite simple to do, and we could all take some of the responsability for making our roads safer.

Just a couple thoughts---IT IS YOUR WORLD , TAKE PART IN IT-

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Selfish driver

Selfish drivers are very frustrating and yes, re-training and testing would be a good thing.  Every profession seems to have periodic checks on knowledge and ability but we seem to think that once we have a licence we are good to go for life.  Everyone has bad habits but they take great offence if you try and point them out.  As a professional driver trainer I never try and improve any one elses driving without their request because it doesn't do any good.  People need to recognize, through training, the press or some government program that it would be beneficial for them to want to voluntarily improve.  One thing is for certain, you can not improve someones driving by honking at them or yelling instructions at them from another vehicle so please people, quit trying to do this, you only piss these people off and risk becoming a victim of road rage.  You can not police these people yourself, just make sure you look within your own vehicle to make sure you are doing the best you can by driving defensively and patiently, you can improve traffic starting with your own vehicle.  Unfortunately, there is a lack of concern with the powers that be to consider traffic problems to be worthy of spending any money or resources on to police so I don't see any improvement happening any time soon.  The more patience you show inside your own vehicle is the only improvement we may see for a long time.

@Check Ride I remember seeing

@Check Ride

I remember seeing and hearing a big guy commenting to a driver with this ...

"The signal lights not work on that piece of shit or are you just to stupid to use them?"

Sometimes it just feels good to yell at a selfish clown.

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