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SUV and some 4WD drivers learn to drive

March 18, 2013 | By | Add a Comment

4x4A couple of days ago I almost had an accident. I wasn’t speeding, I had a three second gap, visibility was good and road conditions were normal. So why did I nearly have an accident…… Because the SUV I was following suddenly swerved from one lane to another – no indicator, minimal brake lights and why because literally right in front was a broken down vehicle. I pulled up in time as did the drivers behind me but it reinforced to me that there are a good number of drivers on our roads who honestly musty drive thinking no one is behind them.

As another case in point a little while ago my wife broke down and not being far away I turned around to do the gentlemen thing. Upon arriving I was horrified to again seeing cars and unfortunately most were SUV’s and 4WD that came speeding up to the car and at the last minute cut around the car again causing those vehicles behind them into a difficult situation. This was despite the fact that there was at least 400 metres of clear road ahead of my wife’s broken car and hazard lights etc were flashing.

The issue for me is not beating up on SUV’s or 4WD’s many debates have occurred on the safety of these vehicles with most studies such as those from the Monash Accident Research Centre showing that while 4WD’s may keep their own occupants safer they increase the danger for other users on the road. Likewise I am not going to make this about female versus male drivers although I have to say that most occasions I encounter such behaviour is around school and school times with females driving.

The issue for me is that people seriously seem to not be aware of others on the road. When my father taught me drive he made one comment to me that has stuck – drive for not only yourself but all those around you, look not just one car ahead but several, be aware of what is in front of you, beside you and behind you. I also have a truck licence and in driving such a vehicle where side mirrors are all you have you learn to adjust your driving and particularly focusing on the fact that those behind you cannot see beyond you.

So what do you do, you leave a little more space, make sure you indicate early and use your brake lights well ahead of time to let those behind you know what is going on. So to all those SUV and 4WD drivers – and we know that since June 1994 sales of such vehicles have increased by around 370% (ABS 2008) – who don’t think of others please at least drive knowing that many of us in sedans cannot see too far beyond you and adjust your speeds and timing.

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