I got a chance to drive in many different countries and overall, I’m very proud that most of my driving habits are obtained in Ireland. Majority of everyone is nice and understanding behind the wheel but Dublin has the biggest concentration of wankers on the road. They are extremely individualistic and selfish, they ruin Irish drivers image and kind of follow the rules of the road but follow it to their own interpretation of it. As for much of my working time at the moment I spend behind the wheel, I decided to share my unspoken drivers code, which if followed by everyone would make the world better place.
Rule 1 – Never hog lanes
I know how tempting it could be to stay on second lane for the rest of your journey, but there is always someone who is actually going to use that lane for driving faster. If you a hypermile person, who try to reach highest mileage possible, don’t overtake and if you do overtake do it faster.
Rule 2 – Use as much space as your car needs
Sometimes it’s hilarious how “big” somebodies car can be. Cities are cramped enough already, do your best. Use as little of parking room as possible, be mindful of space on the road when in you’re traffic. If you end up almost on the yellow square make sure there is no meter space in front of you, that meter could be half of another vehicle, stuck behind that might be risking to be smashed by the Luis.
Rule 3 – Always show where you go
Side indicators are there for a reason, if you move into another lane then indicate, if you exit a roundabout then indicate. There are number of people highly dependent on your signals, other drivers, pedestrians, cyclists. Choosing when to make a special occasion to use them, is a wrong take all together. It has to become automatic to your driving routine. Some drivers think it’s ok to show your turn only after they see green light. No!. In cities one needs to plan lanes way in advance.
Rule 4 – Never multitask
Sometimes on my way in the morning I see ladies doing their make up, using rear view mirror, on motorway, driving 120kph! It sends shivers down my spine, and what makes it worse sometimes there is little one in the backseat without seat belt It’s ok to risk your own life, I like adrenaline too, but maybe take up paragliding or white water rafting instead.
Rule 5 – If there might be a need turn on your headlights
Human eye cannot see that well once lighting conditions change, let’s say you and your car exit the tunnel and all of a sudden the increase in light makes you temporarily blind. Then car in front of you does not have lights on, distance before you can see the vehicle and therefore reaction time decreases. Same goes for early morning (often fogged windshields), rain and fog affects visibility. In some countries headlights turn on every-time you start your engine, and therefore is a great reason for it.
Rule 6 – Don’t be a JELLY
It is hard to find parking in the city and if someone finds it, don’t block them or worse take the spot yourself. It is extremely bad karma and causes illness to those who abuse it. If you are jelly because car in front is smaller than yours, get a smaller car. There aren’t that many benefits of driving one, so be nice to those drivers who do.
Rule 7 – See speed van, let others know
Speed cameras are extremely inefficient way to stop people speeding. Many studies have been conducted on that matter and when it becomes to business venture it opens pandora’s box of greed for the owners, who gets punished most of the time are tourists, who don’t know that hidden 2 mile strip of 20kph reduction. In some countries drivers enter into secret club where they flash lights for upcoming cars after they see speed cameras.
Rule 8 – Don’t forget to say thank you
Ireland is great for this, after someone on the road did something nice to you, it is equally nice to flash hazard light for a second or wave a hand as a sign of appreciation. It can be a first good gesture a person can receive in an entire day.
Rule 9 – Missed a Turn, Wait
Don’t make others pay for your navigation mistakes, if you slammed on the brakes don’t think everyone would just give in. Many cars have dash cameras, don’t cause an accident because you can face serious problems for yourself if it’s recorded. Patience is a virtue.
Rule 10 – Don’t be too slow
Slower might in theory be safer but in reality has a way bigger impact. If your driving stops lets say 30 cars behind you on the Cork to Limerick road, you can slow traffic and then the entire journey takes 30 minutes longer for everyone, you just wasted 15 hours that could of been spent with your family maybe some dad missed their child’s play in school.
Rule 11 – Don’t jump Lanes
When merging traffic from slip road onto motorway I sometimes see bat mobiles jumping two lanes and I don’t mean bat mobiles of 90’s, not the ones everyone tries to forget. Usually, a car which was so kind to let you in the first lane by slowing down, blocks the visibility of the second lane. Speed limit on motorway is 120kph and the driver has to slam on breaks. You probably don’t see the fear of people in your rear view mirror, having to decelerate to 80kph in split second. Don’t do that.
Sometimes I am a wanker on the road too, I express my opinion of others driving maybe not in a nicest way possible but as for the things mentioned above, I believe by sharing these good practices we will make Ireland a (this one is for the readers abroad) safer and nicer place to drive.