I’ve been a little frustrated of late when driving around my home town and my frustration lies in the road positioning of other drivers. I’m noticing more and more, how when it comes to turning at road junctions, getting into the correct lane when entering a roundabout and adopting the correct position when preparing to reverse a vehicle, that some are forgetting what they’ve been taught and are doing it all wrong.
The question is how can we learn or remind ourselves to adopt best practice on our road positioning when driving, to ensure our safety and that of other road users.
This is where conscious driving comes in. Many of us drive the same roads within our towns, day in and out and there is then the temptation to become complacent without even really realising it is happening. I’ve noticed on junctions where traffic is liable to pass either side of a vehicle, then drivers position themselves at times, so the lane closest to them, on their side, is partially blocked. Now, I have my own thoughts about why this is and I think for some, it may be, that having lorries, buses and cars thunder past either side of their vehicle – so they are sandwiched in the middle, can make for a feeling of anxiety and/or vulnerability. I get it. But to keep traffic flowing and to maintain optimum safety we must ensure our positioning is correct. So how can we do this?
Basic Principles: Slow down early. Plan ahead. Anticipate possible hazards. Constantly observe. Think about your position in relation to other road users and where you are. Ask your Driving Instructor for guidance and get to know the reference points in your car.
E.G: When reversing round a corner,you turn your head over your right shoulder and look out of the window and you will see your rear windscreen wiper and a part of that will sit on the kerb, if you keep that section on top of that kerb, you will be in a straight line. So if starts to go on the pathway you’re too close, if it goes away, you moving further away from the correct position.
Another example and a huge bugbear of mine with other road users, is when a vehicle cuts the corner off a junction when turning right and crosses into my lane. If you remember that when you approach one of these junctions, you have to cross the oncoming traffic,then if you position your driver side wing mirror with the corner of the centre line of the road you are turning into, then, when you do set off, you should automatically be in the correct position for your maneuver.
There are many tips and hints that your driving instructor can give you on your lessons, whether you are just at the start of your driving journey or if you are having a few refresher lessons to brush up on your skills and it is well worth tapping into their knowledge to help you to carry out the basic principles of good road positioning.