Driving a car is not difficult, anybody can do it. People from remote parts of the jungle can drive, stupid people can drive, old people can drive when they are unable to move any part of their body apart from their eyes which barely work anyway. Just because you can drive, doesn’t mean that you should.
Like everything else in life, some people will be good at driving and some people will be terrible at it. It’s a fact that some people who drive cars were born to travel by bus. Unfortunately, everyone thinks they are a good driver even when they are far from it.
You can spot a bad driver straight away due to their posture; hunched over steering wheel with their face an inch from the windscreen. They drive along, petrified of absolutely everything on the road. They are too afraid to take their eyes away from what’s ahead of them, so they don’t look in mirrors and therefore have no situational awareness of what is alongside or behind them. Instead, they plough on regardless, completely unaware of the carnage they leave behind in their wake as the people around them take evasive action to avoid their complete incompetence behind the wheel.
It’s a fact that some people who drive cars were born to travel by bus.
Bad drivers wall of shame
There is always one idiot who tries to merge onto a 110kph freeway at 50. It is blatantly obvious that this won’t end well but that doesn’t stop them from trying. It isn’t only dangerous for the car trying to merge but also all those behind as they are forced to slow down as well, making it impossible for them to merge at a sensible speed. Inevitably some impatient tosser will pull out from the back and try to go around everyone else which isn’t only dangerous but downright stupid. There is a reason it’s called merging, not smashing.
Something else that you come across far to often is somebody driving at 50kph in a 110 zone. At least on a freeway you can go around them (even when they are chugging along in the outside lane) but when you are driving at 110 on a single lane road and come around a corner, it is just plain dangerous. It’s the same as coming across a stationary object when driving at 60. Driving at half the posted speed limit isn’t “safer” for anybody, it’s fucking stupid.
Then there are the idiots who pull out right in front of you, forcing you to hit the brakes. You would be safe to assume that they pulled such a stupid manoeuvre because they are in a hurry, maybe their child has just been taken to hospital or there’s some other emergency. Thats why I struggle to comprehend why the majority of people who are so desperate to pull out in front of you and nearly cause an accident then seem to drive under the speed limit.
Don’t even get me started on people who can’t stay in their lane despite the fact that their car is the smallest thing on the road. Driving in a straight line isn’t hard. If you can’t do it, you shouldn’t have a licence.
Check this post from OverQuill for more standard bad driver behaviour.
Why don’t the police do anything about it
The police won’t do anything about it because they fear being labelled ageist, or dangerousist, or something equally as stupid that all the do-gooders will call them. The truth is, if somebody shouldn’t be driving because they are a danger to everyone else on the road then they shouldn’t be allowed to drive regardless or whether they are old, young, white, black or purple.
I’m not supporting hoons but to illustrate my point, remember back to when Lewis Hamilton had his car impounded under anti-hoon laws for doing a burnout in Melbourne. I can guarantee that a Formula One World Champion is a much better driver than 84 year old Daisy who happened to be driving past at the time, terrified of the road and completely oblivious to her surroundings.
If I was to look at a navigation map on my phone whilst driving, or swipe to a different song on my phone, Mr Policeman would flash his lights and slap me with an instant fine despite the fact that doing so is still far less dangerous than terrified Daisy chugging along in the outside lane. But that doesn’t matter because there’s a law against even touching your phone whilst driving a car, even when stopped at the traffic lights.
Even if the police did pull Daisy over, its not like they can fine her for sitting too far forward or being as scared as a puppy during a fireworks display. that means she can continue on her way causing carnage on the road.
Fix the driving test
The truth is that cars are dangerous machines capable of killing within seconds. Driving them is a privilege, not a right. If you need to pass a competency test to drive a car, it isn’t enough to just make sure that you are capable of driving, it should include a section where you need to prove you are confident and not terrified every time you get behind the wheel.
To do this, driving instructors should be forced to take all potential drivers to a race track. They should be required to drive around the track under a set time. Nothing too crazy but just enough to prove that driving a car doesn’t completely terrify you and you are capable of handling it like a normal person.
They also need to include a part where they test whether people drive like a completely selfish douchebag so that the driving instructor can beat it out of them before giving them a licence.
I bet that taking these dangerous, oblivious drivers off the road or at least training them better, would lower the road toll much more than any of the awareness campaigns that the Motor Accident Commission tries.