Driving sainthood: seven ways to become a more considerate driver

Of course, you’re already the World’s Most Considerate Driver. You may not have a trophy to prove it, but it’s definitely the case.

And OK, you might have the occasional slip, but that’s nothing compared to those other selfish drivers out there.

So obviously, this article is for other people, to help them on the path to driving sainthood.

1. Please don’t hog the middle lane…

Let’s start with an obvious one.

You’ve seen it plenty of times. A relatively clear motorway and  one car pootling along at 55mph in the middle lane. Does the driver fear an ambush from highwaymen or barbarian hordes? Does he only feel safe with tarmac on either side? We’re not sure.

Hogging the middle lane is slightly annoying because it forces other people to make an entirely unnecessary overtaking manouevre. So this one’s really easy: please keep to the left when you can.

2. …but don’t be a middle lane enforcer

OK, middle-lane pootlers can be irritating, but middle-lane enforcers are even worse. These are the drivers that harass middle-lane pootlers by tailgating, headlight-flashing, gesturing and other unpleasant tactics.

Maybe the middle-lane pootler up ahead just isn’t particularly confident on the motorway. If so, is bullying them likely to help? Nope, didn’t think so.

3. Do acknowledge other people’s kindness

Small kindnesses — such as letting people out of junctions, or giving them a bit of time when they’re parallel parking — make the motoring world go round. And to be fair, most people show their gratitude through the hazard light flash, a mouthed ‘thank you’, or the minimal-effort option of lifting a finger from the steering wheel.

But then, there’s always that guy, who never gives any acknowledgement. Because, you see, it’s his divine right to proceed from A to B with minimal impediments.

As it turns out, other people aren’t just a backdrop to one’s own driving experience. So don’t be that guy.

4. Don’t dawdle at the fuel pump

You’ve just filled up the car at the fuel pump and there are several drivers waiting their turn.

They don’t want to be there. A queue for a fuel pump isn’t a very interesting place.

For that reason, please pay for your fuel, return promptly to your vehicle and be on your way.

There are better places to:

  • check your hair in the mirror
  • reply to a text
  • faddle around resetting your trip meter
  • sort out your Sat Nav.

Also, to avoid dithering, please have a clear idea of which chocolate bar you’d like to purchase before you get to the till.

5. Do understand that we don’t share your musical taste

We know that sometimes, driving means playing your awesome banging tunes. We know how much you love them.

But here’s the thing: researchers have recently made a startling discovery about music in cars: not everyone likes the same things that you do. Yes, we know it’s hard to believe!

In addition, scientists have discovered a direct relationship between how loud you play your music and how rubbish it is. Basically, if your ICE is making the whole street vibrate, it’s almost certain that you’re listening to a load of old tosh that no one else wants to hear.

Do everyone a favour when you’re driving round town or sitting in traffic: turn it down a bit. Thanks.

6. Don’t park in the blue badge bay (or other places where you shouldn’t).

Picture this situation: the supermarket car park is full, but there are three empty spots for blue badge holders, another two available for parents with small children and two empty electric charge points. You don’t have a blue badge, a small child or an electric car.

Would it be so bad if just this once…?

The answer is yes, it would be that bad. Because, (a) you can’t magically predict who else is going to show up whilst you’re inside, and (b) you’re encouraging other people to do the same.

So unless you’ve got some genuine life-or-death reason, be considerate. Stay out of the designated areas.

7. Finally, for the love of everything holy, don’t tailgate

Every so often, there are surveys about annoying driving habits. Tailgating always comes in the top few.

If it’s so universally detested, why do people still do it? For various reasons, we guess.

  • For the high-powered eurobarge in the fast lane, it’s simple bullying to get what he wants.
  • We’ve also mentioned the righteous rage of the middle-lane enforcer.
  • More generally, tailgating is used to extract revenge for some driving sin committed by the driver in front.
  • In very rare cases, it’s because the tailgater is trying to read your car sticker that says how much you hate tailgating.

But mostly, we suppose that it’s just sheer absent-mindedness and a need to be close to other humans. At any rate, stop the tailgating and your karma will instantly improve. You’ll get a raise at work, be invited to fantastic parties and attain the pinnacle of human happiness.

The WVS blog covers a wide range of automotive topics, from the contentious to the light-hearted. We are an independent garage specialising in all the VW group marques, including Audi, Volkswagen, Skoda and SEAT. WVS provide services, repairs and MOTs, delivering a main dealer level of care at affordable prices. To book your vehicle in, or for any enquiries, get in touch.