After driving the roads of Ontario for about 40 years, it still surprises me why there aren’t more accidents when every day I witness some wild and crazy stunts performed by others behind the wheel. I certainly don’t claim to be a perfect driver, but for the most part, I’m a conservative, stick-to-the-speed-limit kind of girl.
I didn’t learn to drive until I was in my mid-twenties and, when I did, I took the driver’s ed course at the local high school in Sudbury. Some of the lessons I learned then have stuck with me over the years.
Never let the driver behind you drive your car. That’s one lesson I remember and still apply to this day. It’s hard to remember that sometimes, especially when I’m being tailgated, but I resist the temptation to travel at the speed that someone else thinks I should be traveling.
Several years back, I was on my way home to Burlington from Milton, driving along Appleby Line on snow-covered roads. I was driving slower than usual because of road conditions. One, two, maybe three motorists traveling in the same direction passed me.
Later that week, my brother told me that one of his coworkers in Milton said she was trapped behind a slow driver on Appleby Line and was tempted to honk her car horn out of frustration, but decided against it and instead waited for a chance to pass the slowpoke, who it turned out was me.
My response to my brother was, “What would she have said to me, ‘you’re traveling at the right speed, owing to weather conditions?’”
I was being true to that lesson I learned years ago – never let the driver behind you drive your car.
Recently, I’ve noticed that quite a few motorists are getting lax about following the rules of the road. Apart from the usual speed demons, there are the lazy turners, those who don’t use their directional signals or who come dangerously close to my front bumper while making a left turn onto a road where I am waiting at the stop sign to make a right turn onto the road they were traveling along.
There are also those who like to stay in the far right lane heading west at Clappison’s Corners and then speed up and pass motorists who are traveling in the left through lane. This week I observed one driver who did that, passing me and another motorist and, then a few minutes later, taking to the left-hand turn lane at Sydenham Road to pass another westbound vehicle.
Another pet peeve of mine is when I come to a full stop at a signed crossing before proceeding through an intersection and see in my rearview mirror that the driver behind me is following close behind without having come to a full stop.
These might seem like minor occurrences but they’re against the rules of the road, which most motorists follow. I think the roads would be a lot safer if everyone adhered to the same rules.