Following the driving awareness course I did some months ago, I’ve continued to be a laid back, calm and patient motorist.
As evidence of this, I offer my late night drive on Saturday night across the Pennines from Manchester to Leeds in the atrocious snowy driving conditions affecting (apparently) most of the UK.
Luckily, the doom and despondency warnings had scared most punters off the road so I pretty much had the eastbound carriageway all to myself. Oddly, the westbound carriageway was gridlocked for 20 miles, but there you go. The luck of the draw.
Despite the empty road, I was happy to pootle back at about 35mph. I was interested to see that over a distance of 70 miles, this only worked out at an additional 15 minutes journey time or so. And I was much less frazzled than I might have otherwise been.
Not all drivers are laid back though. The impatience and aggression displayed by a minority are no surprise. But I was surprised this morning to experience rage and impatience from a majority of road users.
Roadworks were happening at a local junction. I drove through eventually after a bit of a wait at the temporary lights, but no big deal really. I parked in the local car park, and set out on foot to carry out errands at the nearby shops. It involved crossing the junction, but this time as a pedestrian.
All I can say of the experience is eeeeeek, and I’m happy to be alive now and writing this.
The effect of the slightly longer wait because of the temporary traffic lights was to induce impatient rage and Formula One style getaways from most drivers passing through. Squeals of acceleration ripped through the air as men and women attempted to recoup the ‘lost’ seconds.
It was scary stuff. Maybe I used to be like that. Even scarier thought. And it all seemed so pointless. There was a lot more to lose than a few extra minutes.