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Posts Tagged ‘safe driving’

Scary times

A comment posted by Holemaster earlier about a little old lady in his neighbourhood who still drives around on an old Triumph, prompted me to post this story about The Granny. It’s an an incident which occurred in May of last year, which was emblazoned on my mind for quite a while and which my mind seems to have forgotten mostly, so I had to go back to where I had documented all that had happened.

This weekend I went to Kilkenny and Waterford with my grandmother. I was hoping to drive as she had mentioned that to me when she asked me to go with her. What I forgot was that she can be a sly old boot and that she is THE worst driver in the world. Without exception.

So Saturday morning she picked me up in torrential rain. By the time I got out to the car, she was already safely settled out of the rain in the driver’s seat, so I thought I won’t make her get out in the rain, we’ll make a start and I’ll get her to pull in somewhere along the way and we can swap. Fine. So off we went. It took us 3 and a half hours to do a journey most people would do in 2. In fairness we stopped for a coffee on the way for 20-30 minutes. Apart from driving appallingly slowly (sometimes as fast as 20mph :shock:), her driving was ok.
We had a lovely day at her sisters house, I met my grand aunt and some second cousins for the first time and they were all lovely, we ate lots and generally had a nice, civilised evening.
Sunday we had dinner in one of the cousin’s houses in Waterford and then headed home. At 8pm. I’m not sure if it was as a punishment for not staying an extra night (I said I wanted to go home since I had barely planned to stay one night, let alone two) or punishment for telling everyone I was driving her home, or just to save face but she wouldn’t let me drive home. And that’s where it all started to go horribly wrong.

It was 8pm. She was tired. She can’t follow road signs (“sure how can anyone read those yokes?” – big blue signs on the M50!) so I was navigating the whole way down and back, basically driving every inch of the road with her.
She doesn’t really ‘get’ roundabouts so goes very slowly around them almost coming to a complete stop at every exit even though I’d told her we were going right.
She doesn’t really ‘get’ lanes on dual carriageways or motorways either.
Mirrors? What would I be looking in them for?
Indicators are used sporadically.

Numerous times I had to let a roar at her that we were too close to the kerb (I almost grabbed the wheel off her at one stage), too close to the verge (we hit a rock on a gravel verge at another point), to stop weaving between lanes, NOT to stop in the middle of a motorway just because she almost took the wrong exit and to please change lanes because she was driving on the wrong side of the road 😯

To top it all off, when she dropped me home to my house, I was standing in the open passenger door talking to her, telling her to try not to get herself killed on the way home when she decided she was done with me and took off in reverse. With me still in the open passenger door. So I slammed it before it hit me and left her to it.

I swore to myself and to others afterward that I will never, ever get in a car with her behind the wheel again and so far I haven’t, though I have driven her in her own car on a few occasions.

I had forgotten just how bad it really was until I re-read this. What I do remember is shouting at her when we were almost home and she was driving down the wrong side of the street, that she ‘wouldn’t be happy til she had the pair of us going home in a box’!! Eeek!

So Holemaster, keep a sharp eye out for old ladies behind wheels and handle bars 😀

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Ever seen someone try to parallel park…badly?

It’s a cringeworthy moment and yet I have to watch. I can’t tear my eyes away, hoping that this time she (invariably it is a she) will turn the wheel the correct way so that she is not doing the same manouevre a hundred times and wondering why it still keeps producing the same results!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

I will confess that my parallel parking was a bit hit-and-miss until I read a very simple guide. Somewhere. And ever since it has been as easy as pie!

So in the interests of promoting woman drivers and their reputations and giving them the same smug and self-satisfied feeling I get every time I parallel park first time without the in-out-in-out-in-out of some drivers, male and female, I am going to share my knowledge. Share the wealth as it were 🙂

Here we go:

  • Drive until you spot a free car parking space. Indicate to turn into the space and come to a stop alongside the car in front of the space. Unless the space is two or more car-lengths long, you cannot drive into it ladies. You must reverse.

That’s you in the yellow car!

  • Wait for the a$$hole driver behind you to get out from directly behind your bumper so you can actually park.
  • Indicate into your space
  • Slowly reverse the car, turning the wheel so that the back of the car is turning into the space

  • Keep an eye on the back end of the car you are alongside of (that’s the lovely pink one)
  • When the back of that pink car is level with the middle of your (yellow) car (between your door and the rear passenger door) start to straighten up the steering wheel. Yes I know your car is not in the space yet, but trust me here.

  • Keep a close eye on the front of your car as well as the back as you reverse in.
  • Hey presto! You’ve parallel parked!!

(Diagrams with thanks to Lifehacker.com)

Don’t believe me? Go, try it, do it now!! It is that easy. Gone are the days of driving until you find three spaces together so you can drive into one of them, then giving up when there are none and going to a multistorey miles away from where you need to be, or worse going home after at least half an hour’s frustration. Now you can park in the first space you see!

I challenge all of you who are afraid of parallel parking spaces to go out there and try this two or three times and then come back to me and tell me how wonderful I am 🙂

Safe driving.

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