Awful driving habits
Because I have a bit of a commute each day I spend a couple of hours in the car, and come across some bloody awful driving habits that seem to be deeply entrenched in New Zealand.
1/. People driving the the right hand lane of the motorway, under the stated speed limit or in a way that obstructs traffic behind them (doing exactly 100 km/h despite left hand lane being empty). Why people do this I cannot fathom. There is definitely a bloody minded aspect to it because if you flash your headlights at them they slow down and refuse to budge. The worst thing about this is that often the left hand lane is either empty, has traffic moving at the same speed or is even moving faster.
Do people feel safer in the right hand lane? Do they not care, or do they not even think about it? The road code clearly states that the right hand lane is for passing and in every other country I have driven in that’s what it gets used for. Obstinate drivers are actually placing themselves at risk – in the right hand lane you’re at more risk of being hit by a vehicle coming the other way (yes, trucks can make it through the medium barrier), and by causing other drivers to pass on the left they are risking accidents caused by weaving traffic.
It’s also just inconsiderate, if you want to cruise along at 80km/h on the motorway, chat on the phone, or day dream go for it, just don’t do it in the right hand lane – it’s for passing, use it and if possible get back into the left lane. And if someone flashes their head lights at you, don’t be a silly prick and slow down and refuse to move on the basis that you are within the law, because actually you aren’t…
2/. Indicators… you know, the little orange flashing lights on the corners of the car, operated with the stalk thing on your steering column? This clever invention was designed to give plenty of warning to those around you of your intentions. Why do people suddenly decide to use their indicators when they are already half in your lane and you have utilised the ABS? I guess it would help a bit if when you did use your indicators that the person in the lane into which your trying to turn didn’t see it as some sort of threat to which counter measures need to be taken – i.e. accelerating into the gap to prevent you from turning.
If everyone just exercised a bit of common sense, this war of attrition with indicating could end, allow turning cars into that gap in front of you, and then I hope people will start to indicate because maybe they aren’t indicating because they are trying to avoid a pre-emptive strike!
Three seconds warning people, not one second, or two, or none at all, three…
3/. Smokers… the roads aren’t an ash tray, there’s one in the car, use it. What is it with smokers? Look if you want to kill yourself it’s a free world, and I suppose I can overlook that I’m subsidising your higher health costs, but what makes you think you can dump your dirty stubs everywhere? You’re already giving the big finger to authority isn’t that enough? You don’t have to use the world as an ash tray as well!
The driving in Auckland has improved as I guess we are maturing and discovering slowly that if everyone works cooperatively on the roads and shows a bit of courtesy, the traffic and the journey will be better for it.
The best driving I’ve seen was in the South Island, people driving slowly actually pulled over to let you past and everyone was polite and friendly, but there were so few cars around that sometimes you wonder whether there’s been a nuclear strike and the rest of the population has been wiped out.