Bad habits

Drivers need to put a little more thought into what they're doing on the road

It’s simply amazing, the amount of bad driving habits that occur on a daily basis in the neighbourhood.

In the span on only a few days, there have been the usual number of fender-benders and what seems to be on the uptick is near misses, close calls and general driver grumpiness.

One driver’s experience alone sums it up. They almost T-boned a mini van that jumped out into traffic at the pedestrian-controlled green light at Paradise Mini-Golf. The driver of the van didn’t really see beyond the one vehicle that was turning onto their street — narrowly missing being hit by the other vehicle beside it in the other lane.

Then, only moments later, the same driver that almost hit the van was being tailgated by another driver in a long, construction-related lineup in Parksville.

Seems the tailgater had someplace to be — and fast. They didn’t even see the first driver’s backup lights when they threw it into reverse to try and get them to back off.

Now, that would be escalating the problem, so we cannot recommend that as a solution. But drivers need to remember a few rules before they get behind the wheel.

One, know where you are going and how long it’ll take you to get there. Leaving a trip to the last minute can lead to speeding, tailgating and stress no one on the road needs.

Check your emotions at the car door. If you’re angry and otherwise emotionally disturbed, stay out of the vehicle. We can all see you flipping out in there — and it isn’t pretty.

Put the cell phone and sandwich down. Try to resist these distractions. Think you can get away with it? Keep going, your luck is bound to run out. Too bad someone else will likely have to pay for your mistake as well.

Make eye contact with pedestrians and other drivers so they know what the heck you’re going to do. It’s polite and allows for people to connect once in a while — and not in the two-car-fender-bender way.

 

— editorial by Steven Heywood