My Driving Style: What Is It?


Everyone has a driving style. Even if we were all taught by the same instructor, we would all develop our own personal habits. Some are good, and some make me wonder whether the cliché about finding a licence in a cereal box is true for some drivers. Driving abomination, not style. But anyway, let's not drift away and start ranting.

I'm still not a proud owner of a full UK driving license at the time of typing, but I've had lessons for a whole four months now - equating to about 22 hours of practice. I'm now - without trying to be all big-headed - pretty competent at driving now, and it's just a case of waiting for my test. This means I now fully know my driving habits. Put it this way: I have to control them while with an instructor...

1) Speed may be a nice drug, but it's all about the acceleration

There's a fair stereotype that gets knocked around all the time that 'all petrolheads tear up the motorway at dangerous speeds'. While I've just paraphrased my own imagination, I'm sure you've heard something along the lines of it from some Daily Mail reader at one point. The yoof are such an inconsiderate, dangerous bunch, aren't they? Well, come at me, male sibling.

Let's open the taps every now and then!
I'm a petrolhead, so yes, I'm not one for dawdling at 55mph on a 70mph dual carriageway. But pure speed isn't my kick; it's how I get to that speed that excites me. You see, a lot of people will join a fast-moving road, and be happy to carry on accelerating like an oil tanker. Not only is that a buzzkill, it's actually pretty dangerous. Come on, give the gearbox a workout! Stay in the lowest gears until you physically see the engine's valves jump out of the bonnet, and then perhaps consider a change. The engine noise, the G forces, and the faces of shock when people see a learner car actually outpacing continental drift is enough to make my day.

Luckily, this isn't one I have to hide away from the instructor. You are actually taught to get to speed as quickly as possible, with the idea being you do not disturb the flow of traffic. As long as you stay within the speed limit, you bury that goddamn gas pedal to the carpets and beyond.

2) I'm lazier than [insert witty simile here]

While I enjoy driving, there are times where you can't just mash your foot down and enjoy the wonders of acceleration. Locations that pop into my mind for an example of this would be every urban area in the world. Town driving is urgh. Just urgh. It's the only adjective that works.

Towns involve you constantly stopping and starting (bye-bye clutch leg), constantly looking out for pedestrians, and constantly imagining you winning a fight with that white van man who just cut you up. It's hard work, it's a chore, and it's no fun. To compensate for this, I like to be as lazy as possible. For example, if a light is red, I will glide up to it as slowly as possible in the vague hope that it might turn green before I stop - therefore getting rid of the need to do the whole mirrors-handbrake-neutral-first gear-find biting point-check mirrors-set off thing. If that was a mouthful to read, imagine doing it in real life every 30 seconds in a town centre.

Generally, if I have to come to a complete stop, I groan internally.

3) If you overtake me, I will be looking at your arse for a looong time

Not literally, of course. Though it has already put a weird mental image in my mind - great. No, what is mean is that if you overtake me, my primeval competitive nature gets sparked into life. I will prove to you that overtaking me was a complete waste of time by tailgating you for as long as possible.

I bet you felt real proud overtaking the Corsa whip, eh?
It sounds like a dick-move, and that's because it kind of is a dick-move. It isn't necessary, it doesn't achieve anything, and it probably aggravates the driver in front. But I see it as a bit of a passive-aggressive 'f*ck you'. Now naturally if that driver then proceeds to drive way over the limit after overtaking, I can't carry on tailgating. But to the guy in the bronze Mini Cooper S earlier today, I hope you and your turbo hot-hatch felt proud about overtaking a 1.3l diesel Corsa today. I'm sure you felt so manly, as a nice little compensation.

I have more minor habits, but I don't want this to end up being drivel more pointless than Sepp Blatter's Fifa victory speech today.

See ya soon, random reader.