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post #8 of (permalink) Old 30th November 2005
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Originally Posted by AndyF1
I'll kick off with the winter phenomenon of people who can drive perfectly daylight. But when darkness falls on unlit roads, they are scared witless and drive at no more than 45mph, slow down for bends in the road and brake at the first sight of oncoming headlights.
That has to be one of my pet peeves too, especially the week after the clocks go back. For years on end, there was at least one bad smash on my route home that week every year without fail. If anything, there's been an improvement because it hasn't happened the last couple of years. Then there's the fact that, at the first sign of drizzle, it seems like everyone in this country forgets how to drive. It's not like they don't get enough practice.

The fog light thing is seconded too. With the rears, I always thought it was just a case of people turning them on at the first sign of fog then turning them off again at the car's next MOT, but I once saw someone turn his rear fogs on because light rain had started. No amount of flashing or gesticulating could pursuade him to turn them off again either.

Front fogs are, unfortunately, a fashion accessory. I blame the days when BMW charged extra for just about everything, including door handles. Front fog lights originally said 'my BMW is better than your BMW' but the mentality seems to have been adopted by other drivers. It's only ever likely to go away if they make front fogs compulsory on all cars, in which case they might just lose their poser value. I used to get really wound up about front fog light abuse, but tend not to bother too much these days as long as they don't appear any brighter than the car's normal dipped beam. If they're significantly brighter, then the driver behind can expect a dose of my rear fogs until such time as he stops following me or has the sense to turn his fronts off.

My biggest beef is lane discipline. Mostly the motorway middle lane ('the inside lane is just for trucks' mentality) , and occasionally the outside lane. I find it particularly annoying on long motorway slip roads, where so many people automatically take the right hand lane because they're 'turning right' at the end of the road. Yes, but so is everyone else - exactly what is that other lane for then?

A couple of other bits: People who take the line of least steering effort when going straight on at roundabouts, and (while we're on the subject of roundabouts) people who indicate right when going straight on. Then on normal junctions, people who think you have to slow to 5mph before applying any more than 1/8 of a turn of the steering wheel. Oh, and the muppets on the A5 who think the double white lines are advisory rather than compulsory. Anyone with half a brain cell knows that's one of the rules of the road that you don't break, ever.

Oh, and finally (for now at least) people who accelerate when you try to overtake them on the motorway, only to drop back to their previous speed once you're going a good 5-10mph faster than you really wanted to go. Still, they're not as bad as the ones who keep overtaking you then slowing down again.

Though to be honest, I don't think driving standards have actually deteriorated significantly over the last few years. I think the real problem is that traffic is progressively getting heavier, and many of our roads are already at well over 100% working capacity. But the only solution the government is prepared to come up with is to price the poor to middle income groups out of being able to use the roads at peak times. Funny how they came out with that one about a week after they were re-elected. I wonder why they didn't mention it earler.
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