Getting that all important pass is a huge step – and something that all learner drivers covet. Some people argue that it’s not until you pass your test that you actually learn to drive, of course, we’d dispute that; however, there are some realities of driving that may have passed you by whilst you still had the safety of the L plates to protect you.
As you become an experienced driver certain things will become muscle memory and automatic. We genuinely hope that doesn’t mean you’re any less alert, but instead that you feel more comfortable and confident in what you are doing. That means you’re also more likely to pay attention to other things that may have escaped your notice whilst you were worrying about biting points and clutch control.
One such reality of driving is the fact that you can seemingly wait for days before someone will let you out of a junction. All you want to do is get to work, all you have to do is get on to the main road, but first you have to find someone that is going to let you turn on to that busy road. Finding someone, during rush hour, that is in good enough a mood to slow down and let you out can seem like looking for the Holy Grail.
It’s one of those challenges that often doesn’t present itself until you are driving alone. The simple fact is that many of us are busy and often in a rush. Slowing down and helping out our fellow man (or woman) is not always on our list of priorities as we battle the school run or fight our way to the office. So how do you encourage someone to take a second out of their day to do you a favour? Well, how about this for an idea ? try a bit of flirting :>) .
We’re not talking about winking, blowing kisses or anything as drastic but a nice bit of old fashioned eye contact and a cheesy smile won’t do you any harm. People behave differently when they know they are being watched, so if you are able to make eye contact with a fellow driver, they are statistically more likely to slow down and let you out. Equally, a smile will soften the heart of even the grumpiest driver who will no doubt reciprocate and feel obligated to be nice and helpful.
That said, some people do take flirting a touch too far and don’t use it to simply gain driving advantages when it comes to changing lanes are manoeuvring junctions. In a report conducted last year 41% of the 3,000 drivers asked admitted that they spent time flirting with fellow drivers when they should have been paying attention to the roads. A startling 15% had near-misses when it came to their flirtatious driving style.
It’s clear therefore that a bit of “common sense” is essential when it comes to the wink, smile, manoeuvre approach to driving. But what else can impact your ability to get let out when you need to? According to other reports if your car is particularly “flashy” you may find you have to wait longer than someone with a less ostentatious ride. Equally, if you do not look like you are paying attention then people are less inclined to stop to let you out, especially if they think it will take you a while to react.
Your best bet is to look alert (which you should be), lean forward (so that you look like you are ready to go) but do not actually edge out. Be visible, smile and acknowledge those who have taken the time to be kind.