I had to make a short car journey the other day. This is something I don’t like doing; I’d much rather reserve the car for long journeys and either walk or cycle the shorter ones. However, it wasn’t practical to do anything other than drive.
The journey should have only taken about six minutes in the car. It would have taken me thirty minutes to walk and between ten and fifteen minutes to cycle, however, this time it took twice as long to drive because of learner drivers.
I know learner drivers have to be on the roads, and I don’t have a problem with that. After all, I was once a learner! So I know what it is like to be behind the wheel of a great lump of metal which you, as a novice, are trying to manoeuvre through the streets. This highly powered contraption which responds to the movements of your feet and arms.
It can be quite daunting.
You are in control of something which has so much power it can destroy property and ruin lives in the blink of an eye.
So what’s my rant here?
Well, I came across two learner drivers, with two completely different driving styles. The first was a young man who was either incredibly sure of his vehicle or who hadn’t got a clue about the width of it.
I recall as a learner being told by my instructor to drive nearer the kerb, because I had a tendency to drive towards the centre of the road. However, the young man in front of me was going so close to the kerb that his instructor was visibly breathing in every time he passed a parked car.
I have never seen anyone drive that close to anything before. At least not at driving speed except F1 drivers! We’ve probably all come with in a coat of paint of a car when slowly negotiating a narrow lane or a road with cars parked down both sides, but we would do it slowly to ensure we didn’t deviate from the line and bump into anything.
But the young man in front of me didn’t even lift his foot off the accelerator. And he wasn’t just dealing with parked cars like that; he did it to cars approaching from the opposite direction.
Needless to say, I backed off – just in case!
Fortunately, he turned off mid way through my journey, and for four hundred yards, my journey was learner free!
However, as I approached the roundabout at the end of the road, I joined a queue behind another learner.
I couldn’t actually see the driver because they were too short and their head was hidden by the driver’s head rest. All I know is this driver was far more cautious than the one I had just followed. We sat waiting so long for a space the driver felt was big enough to pull into that a spider had spun her web on my wing mirror!
And when the learner eventually pulled out, it was very clear that the car was never going to get out of second gear!
Fortunately for me I was taking a different exit from the roundabout, so didn’t have to follow the learner all the way to my destination, otherwise I think I may still following them now!