“1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem in the course of a year.” - Mental Health Foundation
That was a quote from the website of the Mental Health Foundation. This invariably means that one in four drivers on every English or Welsh road is distressed to the point of disorder. Scary times indeed.
We are all shaky about leaving our little wards with mentally unstable individuals. Distressed personnel are most times hard to comprehend or get along with. So what would such a person do behind the wheels of a modern car? Well, we’ve all seen other drivers stop without signalling to tell other road users their intended stop. We’ve seen drivers change direction at junctions without signalling to other road users. Sometimes we see them leave such signals too late, such that it makes other drivers brake harshly or stop suddenly, swerve to avoid the collision or worse run off the road and cause a collision.
Our motorways are no different. We’ve seen speed racers on motorways cutting in front within a few yards of overtaking, thereby panicking other drivers and causing them undue stress and anxiety. Next thing that is force out of innocent moths are a string of expletives, swear words and finger gestures that makes any family wary of human demeanour.
A learner driver recalled seeing an experienced driver stop in the middle of a busy roundabout, step out of his car, walked to the car immediately behind his own and goad him to step out for fight. Appalling? Yes! Disgraceful? Absolutely! Insane? You bet!
So we know there are crazy drivers out there. And judging by the statistics, if the three cars in from are sane, you must be the odd one out. Now if you are that person, driven to the edge of despair, annoyed beyond human endurance and battered by the troubles of modern living, yet distracted by an array of sometimes confusing traffic signs, often misconceive. How are you managing to stay sane in a world in a constant flux of madness?
Where things have gone innocently wrong, thanks to poor or late judgement, how do we resolve a potentially explosive outburst of rage and acrimony? The simple trick is to remain calm. You might want to do the following.
- Leave home early. That way, you are less stressed on the road.
- Leave home with the resolve to drive better than before.
- Leave work with the understanding that other travelers also need to get back to their loved ones and that they might just as well be heading to start their own work shift.
- Have a good sense of road discipline if other drivers want to overtake, let them. It is not a drag race.
- Obey traffic lights, even if you are a cyclist. The lights are designed to encourage a fair and steady flow of traffic depending on the time and day of the week.
- If on the rare occasion you are unfortunate to be involved in a collision, or witness one yourself, please do stop to exchange details and assist to resolve the matter amicably. It is the law.
Above all, make sure your vehicle is road worthy and fully insured for the road. The Leicestershire Constabulary is working hard to reduce collision. Help them by driving better. You do not need to be that fourth insane drive.
Related Article: Driving on Country roads