Confessions of a Warwick driving instructor...
I HAVE an admission to make. Yep an admission. I very rarely make any of these. Even when the evidence is stacked heavily against me, so listen up. Hopefully this little read will inspire you make this admission too because I think it is something we are all guilty of.
I am a bad driver.
Yes, there it is. I have said it. I am a bad driver. I have made mistakes when I am driving that were completely my fault and will probably continue to do so until I hang up the car keys for the last time.
It's quite a weight off my mind to make that admission really because it helps explain a lot. In fact, I am of the firm belief that we are all bad drivers and the sooner we all admit it the better off we will be. Go on, say it to yourself.
Now let me wind back a little bit. You and I are not bad drivers all the time, obviously. Some people are bad drivers more often than other people. Some people make you wonder how they ever got a licence.
I am a human being and as one I make mistakes, I sincerely hope there are a few extra-terrestrials living among us and reading the Warwick paper, but if you are a human being you make mistakes too.
One of the biggest mistakes we can make is to think we are perfect when we drive and not admit our mistakes to ourselves when we make them. This is a path to complacency.
My great writing companion, (Google) is full of quotes and definitions about complacency. I love this one - "A feeling of smug or uncritical satisfaction with oneself or one's achievements.”
To me that is a great definition and in the context of this column and my earlier admission it means to avoid complacency you should be critical of yourself and the way you drive.
People have often asked me about my experience as an accident investigator and if I saw any trends that accident victims had in common.
They were hoping for an answer like "they all had two heads” or "they were all Manly supporters”, but alas, there is no simple answer except they were all humans like you and me.
Sometimes they were just unlucky but in the great majority of cases, they had become complacent.
Complacent about speeding, complacent about obeying road rules, distraction, fatigue, complacent about driving whilst impaired.
Complacent about their licence and their life.
Remember you are human. Admit your faults and try to fix them. Strive to be a better driver every day and don't let your guard down against complacency.
Be safe out there and enjoy the rest of the Christmas season and I sincerely hope you have a happy and prosperous new year, and many more of them - just keep an eye on the smug, hey?