What makes a bad driver?
Ever since I became a driving instructor 21 years ago, I always get asked the same question; “What’s the worst driver you’ve seen?” Once I started to work with Discovery Networks series Canada’s Worst Driver over their first 3 seasons, I tend to get that question asked a lot more. I also get asked; “Are they really that bad?” and my reply is generally the same; that they are worse in person than they are on the show. Why would any driver want to drive in such a way to make their passengers uncomfortable? Do they even realize they are putting themselves, their passengers and their vehicle at risk?
My job always has me watching people. I need to look out for the other driver to ensure they don’t put me at risk. This also gives me ideas of things to write in my columns. Recently, I saw so many drivers doing “unthinking” things that I couldn’t decide which topic to write about. I really wish I had writers block because then I wouldn’t have seen any bad drivers. Wouldn’t that be a nice problem?
So, what makes you a bad driver? Is it the training you’ve had, or didn’t have? Is it the vehicle you drive? Is it your attitude? Or is it your inability to stay focused on your own driving? Of the more than 9 million drivers in Ontario and 23 million drivers across Canada, rarely will you find people admitting they are bad drivers. I think we all need to look in the mirror sometimes and determine if we make other drivers respond to our actions on a regular basis.
We have to remember that if you keep doing the same things over and over again and it adversely affects other drivers, you must be doing something wrong. This means you must change your driving techniques and style. In other words, if plan A isn’t working, you need to move onto plan B. Plan B shouldn’t be plan A louder; repeating the same things expecting to get a different result.
Can bad drivers change their driving techniques? They can, provided they really want to. The answers come down to any problem we may have; we have to first realize we have a problem. It comes down to responsibility and logical thinking. Thinking in an adult state of mind may make someone want to change their driving techniques. The problem is that you can’t necessarily change them on your own. You’ll need professional help, not a friend giving you advice.
The participants on Canada’s Worst Driver felt this was their best chance to improve their driving ability. Think again. A professional, reputable driving school can do it without making you look bad on National television. However, if you do want your 15 minutes of fame, go and apply and see if you make it on the show!