As driving instructors we experience all forms of road rage on an almost daily basis. We therefore develop a rather thick skin when it comes to aggressive driving behaviours but should this be the norm? On occasion it can really get on top of you and your learner which then affects their driving and your own teaching.
The Royal society for the prevention of accidents (RoSPA) has this to say ‘Driving, whether for work or leisure, can be enjoyable but at times is stressful and demanding. Good driving requires a responsible attitude to other road users as well as a high level of concentration, observation and anticipation. The reality is, however, that everyone makes mistakes.’
This is true, everybody makes mistakes, although it seems that it is hard to remember this when the ‘Red mist’ settles. Learners make more mistakes than most and are therefore subject to more aggressive driving than others. We frequently experience Tailgating in response to not being as quick as other drives may like.
Tailgating is responsible for 1 in 8 accidents (Highways England) Mr Leonard (head of road safety at Highways England) said: “Tailgating makes the driver in front feel targeted and victimised, distracting their attention from the road ahead and making them more likely to make a mistake.
“If that leads to a collision, then people in both vehicles could end up seriously injured or killed. We want everyone to travel safely, so the advice is – stay safe, stay back.”
Any type of aggressive road attitude is not going to help a client learn, it in turn causes a distraction and becomes a detriment to their immediate driving. So sadly beeping your horn will unfortunately not help us pull away quicker, tailgating will not make us go any faster, swearing will not move us out of your way. It is all a distraction and therefore an impact on driving and more importantly on road safety.