How To Be A Better Driver

That’s it. I’m on one now. I’ve had enough of other people’s bad driving and I plan henceforth to be more pro-active about it. It seems like every day I encounter some numpty who presumably got their driving licence at the Pound Shop.

Just now I am road-testing an in-car camera courtesy of those good folk at the RAC. Whilst I generally take the view that there is far too much of this camera snooping going on, when your insurance premium and no-claims discount is at stake then, well, call me a hypocrite but maybe these little dash-cams have their place.

There will be a review of this RAC item soon. All I can do is put the misdemeanours of others into words. The camera records live action in the event of an accident but users can also save sections if they feel like highlighting bad driving, for example. I cannot show you actual footage just yet for two reasons. The first reason is that, although I can get results from memory card to computer I have yet to master the art of getting the movie to the website.

The second reason is that the device has a microphone. I did my first dash-cam test on a long run out in a Jaguar XF Sportbrake R-Sport (review next week) the other day, taking Mrs DriveWrite for some of Winston’s finest fish and chips at Weston-Super-Mare. We had a near-miss with one of the above mentioned numpty’s. This individual was scorched by laser-eyes and a battering barrage of explosive expletives that would have put a seasoned sailor to shame. Playing back the recording later, we found that the language had been picked up by the mic. Good job I didn’t swear as well. I’m not sure if it might be prudent to switch the mic off.

So if you do any of the following in the vicinity of yours truly then expect to have your automotive shortcomings exposed to the world:

Do not sit in a side-junction looking at me with that stupid, vacuous cow-face as I approach from a distance and then pull out when I am almost upon you. Especially don’t do this if you intend to pull away at a snail’s pace.

As traffic police are as rare as hen’s teeth these days I won’t be averse to broadcasting your use of mobile phones and the like. Also, middle-lane sitters beware – the end is nigh. Don’t you ever watch the news?

Do not cruise Marlborough High Street at two miles per hour in your ridiculous giant car looking for a space and then shunt about trying to get it into a tiny slot just to avoid shifting your enormous carcass a few metres on foot to get to Waitrose.

On a motorway, when, as we all do, you get boxed in behind a slower vehicle, do not think that the simple act of putting your indicator on gives you the right to shift lanes immediately without first checking your mirrors. It’s amazing how many people do this. I suspect that it is often the case that they know other drivers will back off. It’s brutal and it’s dangerous.

When driving behind a slower car on a single-carriageway, try looking way up the road to see if it’s (a) clear, (b) there are no on-coming vehicles and (c) you won’t instantly come up behind yet another car. You might save yourself two seconds but you could also die horribly, possibly taking others with you.

So be warned: I’m on the case. Certainly, I like driving fast when I can and, yes, I find some of the many rules and regulations of the road galling, but we have to share the road with all sorts of other motors, bikes and people. Bad driving gets all motorists a bad name and costs us more on insurance premiums. Not on my watch, People. I’ve got a camera.
Geoff Maxted