Thursday, 13 March 2008

Monday 5th November 2007 - A Weekend in Luxury.

Just spent a very nice weekend relaxing at a friends wedding, a thoroughly pleasant experience all in, our friends company, the location and the event itself.

To get to the lovely venue of Babington House though, we had to drive across the majority of England, which while it was undoubtedly worth it, it meant we had to experience some pretty awful driving in both terms of traffic and also time spent on the road.

Unfortunately we haven't had much luck on the roads over the last 12 months, having been involved in two serious car accidents, neither of which I hasten to add, were our fault

I now find it hard to be anything other than concerned for the future of driving cars. Let me start from the beginning and move from there. I was a late starter, big into my cycling when a kid, I would cycle everywhere and I mean just about everywhere, sometimes gone for days on end and even once cycling Lands End to John O'Groats when younger and fitter than I am now. So when I turned 17 and started to learn to drive it didn't hold the same excitement as I think it may hold for other new drivers, I already had my independence.

I eventually passed my test after I turned 30, when my partner started encouraging me to drive her car. We were free to alternate in our drive of 2.3 miles to the Sainsbury's where we used to live in London.

Since we left London our driving requirement and miles have rocketed, no longer can we travel anywhere by train, well we can but it can take an eternity, cost a fortune and since we have a little one on board now it can be very hard to accommodate all her bags, babies don't half take a lot of luggage!

With my partners new job came a company car and with a newer car and the extra miles we were covering I began, shock horror, to enjoy driving. That all came to a very sudden end when last year, just approaching Christmas we were involved in a very serious traffic accident after a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction came over the brow of a hill on the wrong side of the road and hit us head on.

The accident, without going into all the details,left my partner who was driving at the time, with life threatening injuries and me with some bad cuts, bruises, broken fingers and most significantly from my perspective some mental scars.

Then just a few weeks ago, after we were both well onto our way back to normal life, well as normal as we could get after the injuries we received, I was involved in another accident, where the driver in front of me was hit by an oncoming overtaking car.

This has compounded the already developed lack of trust we both gained for other drivers and that unwritten agreement that they won't cross the line in the middle of the road unexpectedly.

This leads me to the purpose of this post; even in the relatively short time I have been driving, cars have jumped forward light years in comfort, performance, safety and now even size. It leaves so many drivers with an air of invincibility, a feeling of "it will never happen to me". I am obviously a lot more aware on the roads these days as a consequence of the accidents and I see too much bad driving going on. People seem to have almost forgotten about the use of the indicator. Acceleration in modern vehicles encourages people to over take where previously they would have never considered doing so. Mobile phones are distracting people whilst they drive, it may be against the law in this country but I see people using the mobiles whilst driving on a daily basis.

The worry is that is that as a responsible driver, you are no longer in control of your destiny on the roads. Its a concept that the irresponsible driver probably never considers. So while I don't want to ban cars or peoples enjoyment of driving cars, even if I am in favour of greener alternatives, I just hope that some people can start thinking beyond their personal desires whilst driving and consider how they may affect someone else life by their reckless actions.

Next post I promise a positive post!

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