Coming home from work today, I was behind this car in Atlanta traffic, and it struck me that there would be a number of challenges facing even the most experienced driver if they were to find themselves behind the wheel.
Turning would be different. You could easily underestimate the position of the car now that you would be sitting closer to the right wheel than the left. Assuming the position of the brake and gas pedals is switched, you would have to get accustomed to that. And if it was a manual transmission, you would be even more challenged. If you are good at checking over your shoulders, that process would not be as simple as you might think. Blind spots are reversed, and your brain just doesn’t catch up right away.
The biggest adjustment would be if you wanted to pass on a two lane road. There would be no way to asses the dangers of moving into the oncoming lane in the first place.
This is why driving in adverse conditions, like heavy rain, or snow and ice, can be problematic. Not because cars can’t handle them, but because our normal driving leaves us in a state of simplified attentiveness. We have it mastered in most cases, and we think about many things while we are driving. When conditions get bad, we sit up, turn the radio down, and concentrate just a little harder.
Are you concentrating enough on your driving? How much do you rely on the other people sharing the road with you.
If we all turn our attention up just a notch or two, it’s possible we could reduce the total number of accidents on our busy highways.
And yes, I was at a complete stop before I even reached for the phone to take this picture, and no cars were moving at the time. Cars standing still also reduces accidents, but we just can’t get anywhere then!
Thanks, and let’s be careful out there.