You know the sort of discussions – there are experts in every bar, every workplace, every social gathering. Everyone has an opinion about who's unsafe on the road. I had listened to a friend for years as he complained about other road users, then one day I had the chance to sit in his car. What I witnessed simply horrified me, and that's after a safe and totally uneventful journey (in his mind at least).
We started this short trip with him sitting too far from the wheel to really be in control. I noticed his mirrors were not adjusted properly – they just couldn't have been. I noticed immediately that his steering technique was woeful; in fact, it looked like it was deliberately designed to provide as little real control as possible.
This man doesn't speed. He believes he's a good, responsible driver because he doesn't speed. Sadly, he proved to me that he has no roadcraft skills, which, quite frankly, are far more important than speeding. Good roadcraft ensures that you're doing 35kph in a 60 zone when there's a little boy and a dog on the road – it's that sort of stuff. My friend though seemed oblivious to almost all impending danger. He didn't slow down when we passed a truck parked with the door slightly ajar. He didn't make room for the car entering from a filter lane. He didn't even seem to see the person nudging out of a driveway. He was most often in the wrong lane and thoughtlessly blocked someone who was trying to squeeze through a gap to get an ailing car off the road. He didn't mention a single one of these incidents afterwards and I don't think, to this day, that he was even aware of any of them. He did mention everyone else speeding past him though.
Is this you? Is it someone you know?
Hey, do you know the one thing that ALL Australian drivers have in common? We're all above average! Think about it!