If I could easily express how much I don’t like urban driving, I would. I’m probably going to express that a fair bit right now, but my articulation is not always the best so I guess this is sort of a warning before the incoming mess.
Anyway, I don’t like driving in urban areas. I already have issues with driving as it is but generally if I’m having to drive around a lot of other people I find it to be a much more stressful affair. I am by no means a good driver. I am still learning and even when I am eventually on my full license I imagine there still will be a lot to learn. That said, I try my best to be a safe and predictable driver.
Driving a car (and other similar vehicles) is a privilege in a lot of ways and it’s something I think a lot of people should be careful with as you’re engaging with and using something that could significantly impact someone else’s life if you’re not careful. There are plenty of things you need to be aware of and I think too many people decide to not be aware of these things. Often it seems that they don’t treat driving as a privilege but rather a right and they don’t think about the possibility that there are other people out there who happen to exist and are also alive and that you need to be careful (confident, but careful) because there is a real possibility of doing some serious damage every time you’re in traffic.
Now that I think about it, being able to travel is a right everyone should be entitled to. Being able to drive without supervision is a privilege. But I digress.
As I’ve been driving around I see people ignoring speed limits, especially those that involve slowing down in certain areas such as around Sydney Airport. I see people also ignoring the upper speed limits and going well beyond them. I see people on provisional license driving dangerously, such as going about ten to twenty kilometres above a speed limit and weaving in and out of traffic just to get ahead.
I see people not indicating or deciding to force their way into oncoming traffic, causing others to need to suddenly slow down or stop. I see so much pointlessly aggressive driving and I wonder as to how some people got their licenses.
When you go from a learner license to a provisional license, it does not mean that you’re a good driver. It doesn’t mean that you can drive in a fucked up way. It means that a governing body believes you are qualified to continue your learning unassisted. When you go from a provisional to a full license, it still does not mean that you’re a good driver; It means that a governing body believes that you have completed your learning period successfully. There still remains a lot of experience to get and a lot to learn, and you still have to be careful. You don’t suddenly get to be an asshole.
Yesterday whilst heading into the city to grab my camera I was almost in an accident which is not unusual to be fair. I’m certain I’ve created some shitty situations myself and I deal with a lot of people doing some dangerous things such as almost merging into me and due to some of the prior-mentioned things. Yesterday was a little more interesting than usual, however.
I was going the speed limit and had to move to the middle lane of the side of the road I was on. The left was going to become a left turn only soon and I had to keep going forward, so I changed lanes. Did the usual things; checked for safety, indicated, changed. Had to slow down whilst doing so too as the lights ahead were changing and I had to stop. I try not to run red lights as doing so is dangerous.
There was a truck somewhere behind me by about fifty metres. The driver decided to move into the lane I was moving into after I started changing. They didn’t indicate. They then noticed I was slowing down and suddenly moved to the right lane without quite slowing down until they were closer to the lights and as such almost hit me. Decided to honk loudly after. As said earlier, I’m on a provisional license; I’m still learning. Not sure what I did wrong as there was plenty of space and reaction time.
Lights change and the truck driver started honking at me again. Me being the shit that I am decided to wave goodbye because apparently I decided to not think. Was it worth it? No.
Anyway, they drove forward to the next intersection and then cut off traffic whilst they made a left turn from either the middle or right lane; not sure which, but it wasn’t the biggest truck. It could have easily done the turn from the left lane, but apparently it was easier to cut off traffic and make the turn instead.
I don’t think I’m a good driver, but I do my best to make sure I do turns from the correct lane. I do my best to pay attention and reduce the chances of causing or abetting accidents, and I do my best to not fuck up other people’s lives. If there is a situation where you decide the best course of action is to not indicate when changing lanes and keep going at a high speed and not pay attention to traffic slowing down, you’re an asshole.
I got lucky. I’m still alive and the car is still fine. It could’ve been worse for me, but there are plenty who are unlucky and due to someone deciding driving safely and predictably doesn’t apply to them, end up fucked up.
You are not the only person on the road. Don’t be an asshole.
The time it took to write one thousand words: 21:25:13
This was slower than I thought it would be but I feel that is a good thing. I thought a little more about what I was writing which, considering the subject at hand I feel was more important than being completely free.
Written at home.