When it comes to seeking advice about driving online, there’s plenty of resources available to you. You can learn everything from how to manage your car anxiety and how to control a skid— but there is one driving problem that is tougher to tackle: other road users.
Other road users can be a cause of a huge amount of stress when you’re trying to drive. In fact, it could be argued that the majority of the issues you may experience while driving are due to other road users. Unfortunately, you can’t control how others react, but there are a few key changes you can make to your behavior that can mitigate the impact others may have on you…
Avoid aggressive drivers
Aggressive drivers are extremely dangerous. You may find yourself opting to ignore aggressive behavior — such as tailgating — when you encounter it, but that may not solve the problem.
Instead of ignoring aggressive drivers, take evasive action. Do whatever it takes to free yourself from their proximity; slow down so they can overtake, or change your route so you don’t have to deal with them. Aggressive driving is a leading cause of accidents, so don’t ignore it: see it as the threat it is, and do all you can to put distance between you and the perpetrator.
Motorcyclists can be very difficult to deal with on the road. From cutting through lanes to being less obvious in your mirrors, motorcyclists are the cause of a huge amount of stress.
However, it’s important to try to remember that motorcyclists are uniquely vulnerable on the road; you can learn more here about how accidents are far more severe for motorcyclists than car drivers. To try and accommodate this, it’s best to always give way to motorcyclists even if the rules of the road do not require you to. Additionally, keep a window rolled down when driving in rural areas— you’re more likely to be able to hear a motorbike before you see it, so this should help you stay aware.
Keep your distance from truck drivers
When driving behind a truck or lorry, it’s important to keep your distance— a car length at least, and more if you can manage it. The reason for this is that truck drivers often don’t have access to a rear view mirror; they rely on their side mirrors alone.
Reliance on these mirrors alone is is usually sufficient, but can cause a blind spot directly behind the vehicle. As a result, you should keep your distance if you want to be sure that the driver of the truck is aware of your presence. This is particularly true if you are intending to overtake; the truck driver needs to be aware of your presence before you pull out, so they can decelerate if necessary to allow you to pass safely.
Learning to manage how you respond and react to other road users is a key component of driving. If you keep the above advice in mind, you should be able to improve your own driving experience and ensure that your time on the road is as positive as it can be.