How To Drive: Lesson 1



In spite of one of the most demanding driving tests in the EU, people in the UK drive with incompetence unmatched anywhere else in Northern Europe.

The highway code, along with the plethora of road-signs, cameras, regulations and admonishments we are bombarded with result in nothing but confusion, fear and paralysis.

My aim is to boil the essentials of motoring etiquette to a small number of simple principles.


Principle 1:

No manoeuvre should cause any other road user to deviate from their course, be that by needing to change speed or direction.


i) Good manners help road-users keep calm and unagressive, minimising stress.

ii) Causing a change in speed or direction raises the prospect of causing an accident, opening you to prosecution for driving without due care and attention.

iii) There is often a domino effect – if you cause one road-user to deviate, that in turn causes others to do the same. Hence the ripple effect of braking vehicles on a  busy motorway for example.

Examples of scenarios where this principle is key:

i) Entering and negotiating a roundabout. Keep to your lane unless the lane you are moving into is clear. Do not ‘straighten’ roundabouts out when there is other traffic around you.

ii) Changing lanes on a dual carriageway or motorway. Check that there is not a faster moving vehicle approaching from behind in the lane you plan to move to. If necessary, speed up so you can pull out, overtake and pull back in before the approaching car is forced to slow down.

iii) Overtaking on a single carriageway. Do I need to explain this?

Key skills required:

Anticipation, smoothness, spatial awareness, vehicle familiarity.


More anon…



About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

3 Responses to How To Drive: Lesson 1

  1. Longrider says:

    Indeed. I have to change course or speed as a consequence of others’ failure to anticipate on a daily basis in the UK. Rarely so in France.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: