Pet peeves when it comes to drivers' behaviour

Irritants on the road

Everyone has a pet peeve related to driving, right?

I know what mine are, but I was curious about what others might say if I asked, so I did. My faithful weekly newsletter readers responded without hesitation and I want to share their thoughts with you.

The top complaint involved space margins between vehicles. Dislike of drivers who follow too closely was equalled by drivers who move in too soon after passing. Drivers who try to bulldoze others out of the way received special mention, along with those who force other drivers to make a gap for them to facilitate a lane change.

Anticipation, planning and preparing ahead of time will prevent you from finding yourself in the wrong lane at the wrong time.

A close second goes to drivers who do not signal or who do not give adequate signal time. A defensive driver always signals, even when they think no other traffic is around.

A variation on this would have pedestrians point their way to safety. Signalling drivers you wish to cross by pointing along the crosswalk may increase the possibility they will yield.

Third place is speed related, and if you grouped all the related behaviours together, this peeve should probably top the list. Between simply traveling over the speed limit and being slower traffic that fails to keep right received enough votes to come first.

Special mention was made of drivers who accelerate to the speed limit at the start of a passing lane and then slow back down again after it ends, along with inappropriate speed limits—either too high or too low.

It's now a toss up between noisy exhausts and failing to come to a full stop in the proper place. Not stopping properly is one of the behaviours I discuss in “Don't Let This Become Your Default Setting.” Bad habits can be both dangerous and hard to break.

Cyclists who don't follow any traffic rules received a vote. It will be interesting to see how the Motor Vehicle Act will be amended to reflect modern cycling considerations. That currently has enthusiastic support from municipalities, and health authorities are also lending support.

We must not forget daytime running lights. The common problems here are not being operational or not having lights on the rear of the vehicle when they are needed.

In a way, I've saved what might be the best observation for last.

One commercial driver expressed the thought many drivers fail to take the time to analyze before acting. If you are aware of what is going on around you as you drive, you may never find yourself in an unsafe situation.

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Tim Schewe is a retired constable with many years of traffic law enforcement experience. He has been writing his column for most of the 20 years of his service in the RCMP.

The column was 'The Beat Goes On' in Fort St. John, 'Traffic Tips' in the South Okanagan and now 'Behind the Wheel' on Vancouver Island and here on Castanet.net.

Schewe retired from the force in January of 2006, but the column has become a habit, and continues.

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The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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