Monday, 29 November 2010

Why people drive like twats

A post by the increasingly excellent cycling blog, at war with the motorist discusses how good a driver most people are: Good enough to stay alive, but nowhere near as good as they think they are, the same is true of people's perception of themselves as lovers and investors. The reason is that there is no feedback when driving is concerned. You don't notice, as a car driver, when you drive too close to a cyclist, pull out on an approaching car, change lanes on a motorcyclist or otherwise discombobulate another road user. Therefore, you have no data points which cause you to conclude that you're a fucking liability.

By definition, if they did not see or did not recognise, the driver will never have been aware of the situation. They will reach their destination assuming that they had done a great job, oblivious to the bad driving that had been recorded. That’s probably what happened in 52 out of the Monash group’s 54 “events”.

And when the driver does finally notice that they have just been in a near collision, they can congratulate themselves for having the skill to have avoided an actual collision.

Thus reassured of their own driving skills, on the few occasions when they do get some feedback, they find ways to dismiss it.
This of course tallies with my experience as a cyclist, in which I've found the two most consistently dangerous classes of driver: Women in big cars and men in white vans. The former just look blankly when you tap on the window to ask "do you realise you nearly killed me back there?" (perhaps they're paralysed by the justifiable fear that I'm about to kill them); and the latter are just ignorant thugs who don't like having their aggressive incompetence pointed out. there is always the same reaction "Get a car". Such wit. Funnily enough the "Boy racer" cares about his car enough to not want it bent, and thinks about his driving a lot. I've never been scared of or by them when cycling, and the oft-cited London Taxi driver is fine, so long as you give them a wide bearth and assume they're always about to throw a U turn.

I know I'm a crap driver. I detest driving. That's why, most of the time, I'm safe and when I'm not, I apologise.


JamFactory said...

Trouble is it is very hard to say sorry and convey the meaning properly.

On the whole I find London taxi drivers pretty good, it costs them a lot of money if their car is out of action for even a few hours. They tend to hold back if I'm cycling in a situation where I am likely to need to pull out (usually another taxi dropping of a fare in the cycle lane). As for the rest, I see at least one utter twat every single journey.

Jackart said...

Au Contraire "sorry" can be adequately expressed with a simple hand signal, palm out all four fingers pointing up, just as the opposite of "sorry" can be equally simply expressed. Guess which a cyclist is more likely to see?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

I'm happy to try and do the decent thing by cyclists - live and let live, and all that.

I ask only two things in return - (1) that they obey the rules of the road (ie the law), such as stop at red lights, drive/ride on the left, signal your intentions in advance, show the correct legal lights, follow the marked and signed lane discipline etc., and (2) don't react like Attila the Hun when you think (rightly or wrongly) that someone has failed to act as you wish them to.

If we can agree on those things, maybe we have a deal.

Jackart said...

1) Do motorists obey the laws of the road? No, because most speed limits are too low. This means some people speed where it isn't appropriate, in towns and residential areas. As for the perpetual whinge about red lights. It's envy, nothing less from motorists trapped in their silly boxes. We don't stop at some red lights because it is safer not to. Please, Have a look at who gets killed where in london whilst cycling. Typically it's people who ARE waiting for the lights to change.The law needs to change to everyone's benefit it's arse.

2) When someone makes a mistake and you're in a car, it's an insurance claim. When you're on a bike, it's a probate valuation. That's why I kick the shit out of motorists who aren't REALLY apologetic. You know I have NEVER been shouted at by a cyclist? If you're being shouted at by cyclists, it's because you're driving like a cunt. If you don't think you are driving like a cunt, it's because you're so incompetent that you don't realise you're a cunt.

Sorry to prick your bubbe ;-) Your points sound reasonable, but they're not.

Mark said...

Actually the weekend yachtsmans points are reasonable.

Reasonable that is, probably everywhere except cunt central (i.e. London).

Please stay there!

Jackart said...

So you're telling me you never speed? Ever? So until ALL motorist keep within the speed limits, fuck off with your twattish, ignorant and dangerous nonsense about obeying red lights. Cyclists get killed waiting at red lights. CYCLISTS GET KILLED WAITING AT RED LIGHTS. so, when safe, we go through them.

As for the Attilla the hun stuff If you don't know why you're being shouted at, it's because you're not a good enough driver to know what you just did. All drivers, with the possible exception of those who also ride motorbikes and cycles regularly massively overestimate their competence. They're good enough to aviod cars, but often just aren't aware of bikes.

So. If you complain about being shouted at by cyclists, QED, you're a bad driver.

Mark said...

I'm so sorry. You'll just have to put up with all the total cunts on the road until one of them kills you.

Shame whoever it will be won't notice.

You never know, it might even be at a red light.

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