Keeping Calm on the Road - clariman
I am finding it difficult keeping calm on the road these day.

What with idiots pulling out of junctions in front of me, making me brake sharply, then pootling along at well under the speed limit. Grrrrrr. I overtake as soon as I can and regretably take risks to do so. i know I shouldn't but I just lose my rag more and more on the roads these days.

And what with right lane hoggers on dual carriageways doing the same speed as those in the right lans, and refusing to speed up so you can overtake.

These people really are driving without due consideration to other road users.

Or maybe I am just becoming more impatient and meldrew-esque with the years!

Anyone else feeling like this? Road rage on my part I guess, I don't know. God driving is so stressful nowadays. What can I do to calm down. I fear the risks I take to pass some of these escargots will go wrong at some point.

Perhaps motoring is too cheap?

Sorry for rambling. Didn't start off that way.
Keeping Calm on the Road - DavidHM
There are idiots on the road. The challenge (which I sometimes fail) is to avoid becoming one of them.

My attitude to driving is that everyone out there is a worse driver than me, and that I am extremely fallible as well. Maybe I just love driving too much, but I'm quite happy to put up with other people being idiots and deal with it with good grace, knowing that most of the time, I will get a pass if I do something stupid too.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Nsar
I could have done without the goon in a Jeep on trade plates who parked on my bumper on the M1/A50/M6 run today. I moved over plenty of times but he didn't have the grunt to get past, just took up position 3 microns away next time we met bunching. I reckon he was on his mobile for more than 60% of the trip. Deserves to lose his job.

Sorry for ranting
Keeping Calm on the Road - clariman
There are idiots on the road. The challenge (which I
sometimes fail) is to avoid becoming one of them.

I seem to fail this challenge very frequently these days. Almost daily. Sigh.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Rob the Bus
Clariman - I guess we all have days like this. It's when the days turn into weeks, then months, then years that we have to worry!

I sometimes find myself getting so wound up by the actions of other drivers that I end up giving my cab window a good punch. Hurts like hell, which reminds me how stupid it is to get so wound up!!!! Doesn't stop me doing it though!

I 'm having my blood pressure monitored at the moment as my GP's quite concerned. When I went straight from work, it was reading around 170/130. Now I've been off work for nearly four months (long, boring story) it's miraculously dropped back down near enough normal. Bet when I go back to work it'll rocket again. That's why you never meet many retired bus drivers - they tend to die shortly after retirement. And that's why I'm getting out of this profession before it kills me.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Dave_TD
Rob - our most neurotic cab driver is an ex-bus driver, who came to us for a quiet life! Oh, and btw, she's 27...
She always seems to get the dirty end of the stick though, maybe some people are destined to attract it?
Keeping Calm on the Road - Rob the Bus
>>Oh, and btw, she's 27...

I'm only 29! I dread to think of the consequences to my health if I stay in the job for as long as some of the guys at work (35 years!!)

It's really frustrating because I absolutely love the job, but it's the deterioration of driving standards coupled with the increase in traffic that's the (literal) killer.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Dave_TD
Come and do this then, I'm 30, been doing it for over 4 years, and loving every minute of it.
The hours are flexible, you only get a few punters at a time to annoy you, you can go which way you want, at the speed you want, and the cash lands in your pocket every 15 minutes all day long! Of course, something like 55% has to go straight out again at the end of the week, but you never have to budget strictly for cigs, drinks etc, just stop and get some whenever you're running low and you're near a shop!
Keeping Calm on the Road - Rob the Bus
Dave, as I've mentioned before elsewhere, I've done both private hire and hackney and didn't really enjoy it. I don't know whether it was the companies I worked for, or the fact that I had to do my own book-keeping but I was glad to give it up! I also got fed up with ferrying the eejits about on a Friday/Saturday night!

Thanks for the tip though! ;-)
Keeping Calm on the Road - bartycrouch
I find driving quite relaxing - perhaps because I haven't been doing that long and it requires all my concentration - I haven't got time to worry about any other problems!

But why do some people pull out of junctions in front of other cars and then a. Take a mile to get up to the speed limit or b. never get anywhere near it. You would think that if they are in such a hurry that they nearly cause accidents they would want to get a move on.

Don't see what the cheapness of motoring has got to do with it though, poor driving seems very democratic to me!
Keeping Calm on the Road - Gen
It's galaxy and radio 1 which causes you to feel this way, just flick to radio 4. faster the music the more aggression. Works for me. In fact I listen to audiobooks since 1 hour in the morning and one at night about finishes a story.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Obsolete
Clariman: Yeah I used to get angry too. It really used to cheese me off when some toe rag did something wrong which inconvenienced me. Problem is that by getting angry you become a potential liability and you get stressed. Driving just becomes an unpleasant chore.

I used to read a lot of Ask Ripley and this encouraged me to learn to keep calm. It also encouraged me to foresee what someone might do, and to position the car accordingly, so as to avoid a nasty situation. The two work together to make driving more pleasant and less stressful.

I hope I don't sound smug or arrogant but it works. Usually! Tell youself that you are better than the idiot who does something dangerous and that you know better. He can have his accident when you are not around. The Premier of North Korea drinks his own urine. Doesn't mean you have to do likewise.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Richard Turpin
The answer is, you just overtake on the inside. Everyone is doing it now. Certainly don't get angry. That does not pay. What I find most puzzling is people who flash thier lights when I have overtaken them in a safe place, causing them no inconvenience at all. I just assume they are testing their lights.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Dave_TD
Richard T -
Yep, I do that all the time. It's surprising a lot of them actually notice you AND judge it worthy of a flash, but they can't judge the speeds and distances well enough to work out what lane they should be in.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Rob the Bus
Mr Turpin (or can I call you Dick??), I think that they are flashing you to let you know that it is safe to move back in. They may be copying what lorry and bus/coach drivers do, thinking that it looks cool when they do it. If only they knew the truth...
Keeping Calm on the Road - Dave_TD
The Premier of North Korea drinks his own urine. Doesn't mean you have to
do likewise.

Now THAT has to be the best tangent I've seen anyone go off at on here!!! ;-)
Keeping Calm on the Road - Obsolete
I had to add something interesting as even I was getting bored by my posting ...
Keeping Calm on the Road - DenisO
It's all very simple. Buy yourself a motorbike, put yourself in touch with your own mortality and you will become the most defensive driver in the world. If you don't you will die. Pretty powerful motivation in my book.

I would make it compulsory for every driver to spend at least a year on 2 wheels. I think this would improve standards out of all recognition. It's not so safe outside your ABS, ATC, ABA equipped cage you know.

And to those people who undertake. THIS IS STILL ILLEGAL in this country as far as I'm aware. If you do it for whatever reason (queing traffic excluded) I hope you get prosecuted.
Keeping Calm on the Road - THe Growler
Roger that.
Keeping Calm on the Road - THe Growler
Another thought on that. My father always said leave half an hour earlier than you think you need to. That way if something untoward like a flat or a jam occurs you can tell yourself you're just using up the extra time you allowed and you can take it easy so no worries. Then if your journey is smooth, you can have an extra cup of tea at the other end with the time you saved. Granted this is many moons ago, but to this day it's stuck with me. His insistence on this caused the whole family to develop the habit of punctuality as a by-product as well.

When I was taking my daughter to school in Manila if I left the house at 7 like everyone else it would be 9 before I got to the office (distance 23 km) in the morning rush. By leaving at 6.30 Pre-Lemming Time the journey took literally half the time and I could sit in the school canteen and share breakfast with her and go over last night's French verbs or whatever, then still get into the office ahead of everyone else.

Great if you have a big day or a meeting ahead of you. You're ready to rock while they're still seeing if the Powerpoint slides they were up till 0200 on are working.

If I can psych myself into not being in a hurry it makes a whale of a difference to my tolerance levels, and a lot easier to shrug off the A-types. Undoubtedly good time management breeds a feeling of being in control anyway, which in itself fosters a more relaxed mood. And I am not a patient person, ask Miss Philippines**. Sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious (Tom Peters said that).

** I tell him if he doesn't be patient on the road, he'll be patient in the hospital...Growlette ;@)

Keeping Calm on the Road - terryb
Growler - I had the same instilled in me from an early age and, like you say, it sticks. I still leave at least half an hour earlier than necessary for important appointments and it really does help you to treat the idiots with the contempt they deserve rather than descending to their level and you arrive more relaxed.

Mind you, where the M25's involved, an extra hour and a half can sometimes be cutting it fine!

Keeping Calm on the Road - terryb
Roger that.

Is that in the RAF sense or Capt Pugwash sense of the term Growler?

Keeping Calm on the Road - Ian (Cape Town)
On a serious theme there are horrific crashes here, because of the lemmings who persist in driving up the 3-laners at 80-100kmh on a 120 limit road In the centre lane!
The fact is, you can see 2 kms ahead, and the inside lane is (a)EMPTY; and (b) in good condition (probably 'cos nobody uses it!)
My 'record' is 38 cars 'undertaken' in 12 kms. [Oh, and it's lega here, though still and appaling driving technique]
Keeping Calm on the Road - RichardW
>And to those people who undertake. THIS IS STILL ILLEGAL in this country as far as I'm aware

Nope. We've had this discussion before. The Highway Code says you SHOULD not undertake not you MUST not undertake (an important distinction - only MUST is backed up be specific legislation). Similarly it says you SHOULD not use a mobile.... I think that the police / CPS can use the highway code to show that you were driving without due care / not paying proper attention / dangerous driving etc. I very much doubt however this would be the case unless they saw you cutting across and back a busyt motorway.

As to the less stressful - the best way is advanced driving tuition. This will teach you to anticipate much better what all the other idiots are going to do, and how to overtake much more easily and safely. Mind you, you need to adopt a laid back attitude also. One of the key points of advanced driving is that you end up with much more space from the car in front, which gives you much more time to see what they're doing, so instead of braking all the time you just ease off the gas etc. This makes your drive much smoother and helps you to plan the all important overtake.

Still, people who can't drive at more than 40MPH on a wide open country road should have the licences taken away....

Keeping Calm on the Road - volvoman
I don't think driving standrds have really dropped but I do think the increase in pressure and stress most of us have to live with, coupled with the increased volumes of traffic and seemingly nonsensical traffic schemes, roadworks etc. all manifests itself in the sort of stuff being protrayed in this thread. I'm lucky enough to only have to drive 4k per year, mostly at times which suit me and for non-urgent purposes. Unde such circumstances I guess I'm able to keep a lid on my frustration and just let the idiots get on with it. 2 weeks ago I was cut about by a moron in the Dartford Tunnel who undertook at excessive speed then swerved to change lanes right in front of me 'cos his lane was blocked up ahead by slower moving traffic. I saw him coming, I knew what he was gonna do and I could easily have accelerated and got closer to the car in front of me in order to block his manoeuvre. For a moment I was going to, then thankfully common sense prevailed and I decided to just drop back and let him go. Why should I be involved in or cause an accident just because of some other plonker ? I admit it's probably much easier for me than most of you who are mainly driving for work reasons but I would urge everyone not to get involved and let the antics of others adversely influence your driving. Just take a deep breath and let them go - the further they are away from you the better off you will be ! I wonder how many accidents have been caused by drivers reacting aggressively to the stupidity of others ?

Be safe all :-)
Keeping Calm on the Road - I P Freely {P}
At last, Volvoman, a voice of sanity and reason in the fog of aggression!
Keeping Calm on the Road - volvoman
Thanks IPF. Just returned from taking my wife to college. Came upon an upturned hot hatch surrounded by assorted police cars and ambulances. Can only guess at what happened but it looks like the young driver was going too fast (surprise surprise), mis-judged a pedestrian refuge, swerved to avoid it and hit 2 sturdy concrete pillars (about 18" diameter & 2ft high) on the pavement, uprooting them both and turning his car over. Didn't look like anyone else was involved thankfully and it was very fortunate that no pedestrians were waiting to cross !

Anyway, my point is that with one side of the road (residential) totally blocked by all of the above and zero visibility of oncoming traffic in either direction, certain other drivers were still behaving stupidly and dangerously in their efforts to pass without losing too much precious time. Sadly ironical to see a young man being stretchered into an ambulance having been involved in a serious accident whilst other drivers, who either just don't care or can't see beyond the end of their noses, struggle to pass ! They are the people to avoid at all costs - they don't care about anyone other than themselves and woe betide anyone who gets in their way and impedes their progress !
Keeping Calm on the Road - Andrew-T
Vm - I think your last sentence contains the nub: 'they don't care about anyone other than themselves'. Some like to blame Maggie T for encouraging this attitude 'there's no such thing as society' or somesuch. Can't point a finger at any cause in particular, but I'm sure the 'me first' mentality is much stronger than it was.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Dave_TD
One thing that amazed me in that Traffic Cops programme the other night was where the Accident Investigation Unit van, using blues and twos as he was arriving at the scene of a fatal motorbike crash, kept having to stamp on the brakes as car after car squeezed around the mangled bike and parked police cars to get through and on their way!
Keeping Calm on the Road - GS
Sound advice. Perhaps we should all be made to read Volvoman's observations before starting the engines in our vehicles.
Keeping Calm on the Road - Jon
Rob's post reminded me of when I shattered the windscreen of my Ford Escort by hitting it when in a mood. I was surprised it broke as I didn't hit it hard enough to hurt my hand. Maybe windscreens are weaker when hit from the inside.

I didn't tell the Auto Windscreen man how it got broken.

Has anyone else broken anything as a result of getting wound up?

Keeping Calm on the Road - dave18
My keyboard a few days ago (network went down, naturally the computer's fault.) When driving.. stamped on the accelerator so hard when doing a 2nd gear overtake (from 35...) in the old Polo that the cable snappped. Probably not directly my fault but I expected too much out of the thing!
Keeping Calm on the Road - Clanger
Sound thoughts VM. I'll just add that if it all goes wrong and you make contact with the other car, it doesn't matter a tinker's cuss that you were in the right and the other guy in the wrong. You've still got to sort out the damage, interrupt or cancel your journey and take a hike in insurance premiums on the chin, not to mention the stress and injury or worse ...
Let them get on with it, I say.


Value my car