As we all reel from the controversy surrounding the Yummy Mummy post last week, do you ever stop to think how bizarre cars are? How we zip around suspended above the ground in our little metal boxes. Lost in our own little world with one eye on the traffic and the other on what’s for dinner? How cars allow us to go further and do more in a day than we are actually biologically capable of?
No wonder the roads are a heaving pit of heat and aggression.
But there is no excuse for the way some drivers behave. They cut you off, they tailgate, they slam in and out of traffic, they go 90 in a 60 zone. I just can’t stand the injustice of these imbeciles getting away with causing havoc. Argh, they make me so angry I could… drive aggressively myself?
No wonder the road are a heaving pit of accidents and casualties.
So just how do you let a driver know that their driving is unacceptable without becoming a screaming maniac yourself? What do you do to make sure they understand that good drivers rule the roads, not bad? Try these tips for starters.
1. Do not use hand gestures
Once I was so annoyed at being cut off that I immediately fired off the bird. I was instantly ashamed and so attempted to make it seem like I was merely adjusting my rear vision mirror. With my middle finger. So, instead of a brief middle finger salute, what they got was an ongoing insult that seemed to go on for kilometres.
My advice is that unless you’re giving a ‘heya, thanks’ hand raise to nice people, please just keep both hands on the wheel.
2. Do not tailgate back
The ‘eye for an eye’ approach to life does not work on the road. As tempting as it is to speed up and tailgate the tailgater – yeah, you like that cowboy? You still feel like Schumacher, do ya? – resist that powerful urge. Besides being dangerous and juvenille, you won’t be able to keep up and then you will just look really very small and foolish.
3. Slow down
So, in your trusty rear vision mirror, you’ve spotted a crazy gaining from behind. This is where I suddenly remember that the speed limit is the fastest possible limit, not the slowest. I slow right down to 40, maybe even 30. It’s never for long – that driver is past you and roaring away within seconds – but just knowing that I’ve provided a small hurdle of frustration in their day is often enough.
4. Try The Box
If you’re really lucky, other like-minded drivers will have spotted the hooligan as well. Working together you can then form a box around the culprit, trapping him inside as if he’s being followed by a traffic jam all of his own making. It’s great fun and, since you’re all only driving at 40km per hour, unlikely to end in tears.
5. Give a little wave
Of course, who could really be bothered constructing The Box? Just let the maniac glide on past and give him a little wave as he goes. ‘Yep, there you go, zipping in and out of traffic. You must be so ace at Mario Kart.’
Really, in any driving situation, the ‘heya thanks’ wave just works. On long journeys I’m often in danger of getting RSI my left hand is bobbing up and down so much. And don’t even get me started on the barely-perceptible finger-salute… love them country drivers.