When Drivers Apologise
You’re probably familiar with the scene - riding alongside a row of parked cars and out far enough to give you at least a chance if a door should open unexpectedly. Behind you is another car, and it sounds like the driver’s getting impatient.
The row of parked cars comes to an end, but only because there’s a traffic island (a “pedestrian refuge”, no less) ahead. So you pull across slightly, but still hold the line - your aim is to go through next to the island bang in the middle of the lane.
Suddenly it sounds like that car behind is getting closer. You look over your shoulder. And again - this time looking right into the driver’s eyes. They pull alongside you . . . and then notice the traffic island and realise that there’s no-where to go.
This is not a good situation, and can only end in two ways - the driver will either come across anyway and barge you out of the way, or they’ll throw out the anchors & brake. Actually there’s a third option - the driver accelerates and passes the traffic island on the side of the oncoming traffic. Seriously. This happened to me a few months back.
Anyway, back to our story. Today’s driver went for the second option, braking hard and then following behind me again. In fact she hung a good deal further back and only overtook on a nice straight, wide, clear bit of road a hundred yards or so further on.
As she passed, she looked across and gave me the mimed hand-up, big shrug, wide-eyed sign of apology. It’s funny what a big difference this makes. I know that in an ideal world no-one would ever make a mistake on the road. But for now we’re all only human, and there seem to be two types of drivers:
- Those who assume they’re the perfect driver, and everything that happens around them must be someone else’s fault.
- Those who recognise when they get something wrong, and maybe learn from the experience.