You are driving merrily on the highway at around ninety five kilometer per hour when you notice a car stopped on the side road just ahead of you. A better driver would then consider the possibilities of what that driver is going to do. Then, just as you have predicted, at the time when are so close that you can clearly see the driver, the driver suddenly pulls out onto the highway right in front of you!
Apart from all the not so nice things that you want to say to him/her, you now have to take evasive action. Can I swerve out to pass? No, I can’t – vehicles coming my way! So you hit the brakes so hard, your legs muscles go into a spasm. After everyone in the car nearly had their eyeballs pop out, there is this awful smell of burned rubber. Your car suddenly has a limp because all four your tyres have a flat spot as a result of the harsh braking. Ditto to all vehicles behind you.
Guess what happens next…moments later, when all the drivers and passengers in the queue behind recovered from shock, the driver who pulled in is now doing around fifty to sixty and is in no rush to speed up because hey there aren’t any other drivers behind me because I refuse to look in my mirrors.Sound familiar?
Now although this scenario is portrayed in a humorous way, the real life consequences may be serious or deadly and it happens all too often. Drivers please make sure there is enough space for approaching vehicles before you pull out onto the road. You will need to accelerate harder when you take a gap, so traffic on the main road are not slowed by your actions, but not so aggressive that you lose control.
Try to keep your speed constant. Use the car’s cruise control for that. When you are on a slow joy ride and you are in no hurry, then keep as far left as possible. Keep an eye on the traffic behind you. When you see traffic building up behind you, pull over where it’s safe to let drivers who are on tight schedules pass.
They will thank you for it!
Daniel NaudéRoad Safety Coordinator