A ‘thank you’ wave is simple and makes sharing the road satisfying to all concerned.

A ‘thank you’ wave is simple and makes sharing the road satisfying to all concerned.

Two types of distinctly different types of drivers use country roads – those who are on a quiet drive peacefully enjoying the scenery, and those who are simply getting from point A to point B in as short a time as is safely possible.

Those enjoying the scenery are likely to be strangers to the area, another reason for them driving more slowly and carefully. Whereas the faster drivers are normally on their home turf and know the road intimately.

Unfortunately the two types of drivers often get in each others’ way. Those who want to get on with their trip in a reasonably short time find themselves being frustrated by the slow movers.

And the person who wants to wander along and enjoy their drive often find their mirrors full of other cars’ grilles, sometimes with stupid tailgating putting both drivers at risk.

Both types of driver have a legitimate right to be on the road and to travel at their own pace – but they should each show suitable consideration to one another.

May I suggest that the person who wants to travel slowly should look for a safe opportunity to move over and let others pass? All the more so when a large queue forms.

If you are one of the quicker drivers and are stuck behind slow moving traffic don’t get impatient. There’s no surer way of irritating a slow moving driver than to sit right on their back bumper – and guess who will get booked if you run into the rear of the other car…

The biggest mistake can be for the driver of the faster car to try to get past not only the vehicle causing the holdup, but also two or three other cars at the same time. That can lead to the second car in the convoy moving out to overtake just as an impatient driver tries to jump the queue, sometimes with fatal consequences.

Motorhomes are often notoriously slow so when I’m doing a road test on one I like to move over to let the quicker guys past. Once you set your mind to doing so it’s surprising just how many opportunities there are. It’s unusual for there not to be a chance to get out of the way every few minutes.

It’s very pleasing to see how grateful other drivers are when you do let them past. Almost invariably you’ll get a friendly wave, something that makes everyone involved feel better. A driver who’s feeling good is a better and safer driver – so everyone’s a winner and isn’t that what life’s all about?

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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