How to avoid c**ks, and also avoid being one on the road this CNY!
Singapore - Ah yes, it's that time of year, where you whip out your Chinese New Year game face, and then proceed to tell the rest of your friends and relatives that you are doing better than them.
From geriatric drivers taking to the roads to show up at their relative’s houses in their big ol’ whips, to young and fresh new drivers desperate to prove to said geriatric kin that they are competent drivers.
For those who are not married, it is time to duck and dive away from that “when are you getting married” question.
For our readers who are not Chinese, all you need to know… which you already do, is that this means utter mayhem, as almost every P-plater who had just passed a month-and-a-day back takes to the wheel, and the entire inventory from carsharing fleets are on our roads.
Maybe, just maybe. You are that new driver or that unseasoned one. Anyway, here are a few things you can do to prevent yourself from, being a c**k. Or if you know of someone who is already a c**k on the road, go right ahead and send this to that person.
It only takes a small handful of drivers to ruin everyone’s day. Here are some of our pet peeves.
Stomping on the brakes especially at the overtaking lane before switching to a lane on the left, and then one more before exiting the road.
So this is something which happens so often when you drive. Someone, usually on the right lane (whom you are driving behind) suddenly stomps on the brakes, and then cuts to the lane on the left, as they suddenly realise that they want to exit the highway. They do this, without caring about the fact that they are blocking an entire lane of traffic, and they selfishly have no consideration for other drivers.
You know that westward right hook on the PIE near Kallang Bahru? Many of these c**ks will end up pulling that manoeuvre there. They are a major contributor to the west-facing tailback.
They should - Look far-ahead while they drive, so that they can understand how traffic is forming further up on the road. Doing this, they will be able to spot the gaps between traffic that they can take advantage of, and then proceed to make proper lane changes… all this WITHOUT STOMPING ON THE BRAKES!
Disco! Disco! Brake! Brake!
Just this morning, I experienced one of these, of all places, on the right lane. The driver of the MPV kept “disco-lighting” the brakes at every hint of the slightest bend or the mildest of slopes, all of this while the road ahead was clear. So yeah, this person was also hogging the road.
They should - Bl***y learn to drive properly? Look, your vehicle will not flip at the slightest turn. You could simply lift off the throttle before some corners (of-course, taking in consideration, how the road crests and dips, and also if the corner tightens etc), and for other mild turns, you could even still keep your foot on the accelerator. Going down-slope? That's usually a good opportunity to save yourself some fuel - that's if you were to lift off… and not BRAKE!
There is this saying… that all highway traffic jams are usually caused by one person hogging the road. While this is not entirely true, it rather depends on the density of vehicles along that stretch at that moment. But what is true, is that within this mix, there are bad drivers who simply disrupt the flow; and without fail, you’d also spot someone hogging the right lane… which is supposed to be an overtaking lane.
If you are having a great time driving, with loads of room ahead in your lane, and then notice a few cars at a time overtaking you on the left, with some even cutting you off… you ARE the road hog.
You should - Bl***y keep to the middle, or even the left lane.
The Artisan “Sewing Machinist”
Have you noticed a good number of private hire or cab drivers pumping the accelerator pedal while driving the car? I bet that many of you were given a complimentary dose of motion sickness before leaving the vehicle… what you could call… a door gift. F1 driver, Lando Norris even publicly criticised a taxi driver’s style of driving.
While these people really think that they are saving fuel, when in actual fact, there are no fuel efficiency gains from doing this. If your dad or partner tells you to do this… simply tell him to take his foot and…
They should - Like not do it? It's not difficult at all to operate your accelerator pedal smoothly. Nuff said.
Dr. No… Lane Discipline
Ever been nudged out of your lane by the car beside you, when making a turn at a junction? A word to those who keep doing this, and then insist that they are right… There are dashcams in most cars, and you’d be liable if anything happens.
You should - check your lane markings when making a turn at the junction. Some of these have pockets, for you to place your car in. So check how they line-up. Also, when making turns, remember that you have to bear in mind that your rear wheels take a tighter line than the ones in the front.
So there is still a big difference between driving within the lane markings, and driving with only your front wheels within the markings.
The Roundabout C**k-a-too
There is not one, but many of those who practically live there. And they seem to thrive on screwing-up a system that actually works. There have even been dashcam videos of them taking the outermost lane, skipping a few turns, and causing accidents when the person on the inner lane exercises their right to exit.
They should - Align their vehicle, based on where they want to exit, before even entering the roundabout. The left lane is for vehicles which are turning off at the very next exit, the next lane for the next, etc.
So how do you survive?
Road sense is something which no driving school will teach you. It is something that comes, the more you drive, especially when you make it a point to be alert. Here are a few things I do while driving.
On the straights
Observe driver posture within the cars around you while you drive. Someone leaning forward, and looking out for something, is a good sign that they will begin to veer, suddenly swerve, or even hit the brakes.
Look at front wheels?
Look at the front wheels of the cars diagonally in-front, while on the go. Any twitch will mean that they could be swerving toward you - with the intention of switching lanes, or they simply have poor ability to stick to their lane.
This may sound wannabe. But that is what race car drivers do. If you are driving, especially on the highway, you can avoid a potential collision by knowing what is happening a few cars further ahead of you, and also where the road is headed. Doing this will also allow you to switch to a freer lane (and essentially get out of trouble) in the case of vehicles stacking up in yours.
Look out for telltale signs that the driver of a car could be trouble
I would not go down the road of certain makes, though there are tendencies, which you could discuss on your own. But a car sharing sticker, a P plate, or even a Private Hire sticker might be a telltale sign that someone might make a sudden turn, stop suddenly, or is simply unable to drive in an acceptable manner. So, make the call to lift-off the throttle if you need, or even go around them.
Wow! You actually made it this far! Well, all of this is definitely not going to change our road mayhem during Chinese New Year. You will still get your fair share of horrible drivers, out there, and you will still need to drive defensively. But if you feel that you know of someone who is absolute s*** on the road. Send this to them.
Before we go, if you are keen to get more mileage out of your tank of fuel, check this out.
Have a good Chinese New Year holiday!