(Note: The learner driver is 17 years old.)
Since December I have started to learn to drive. On the whole I think I’m doing pretty great, and my driving lessons have helped me be aware of the road. Now when I’m a passenger, I’m very observant as to road behaviour and actions of other drivers. I am now aware of things that many experienced drivers have probably forgotten about or do not notice now. I hope to turn this into a recurring series, so let’s start with my biggest pet peeve about driving –
Dear drivers – do not park on the road. I know it’s legal but it’s severely annoying for a learner driver.
I’m trying to control my speed and it’s hard enough as is. I do not like having to slow down and swerve around countless cars before returning to my side of the road. Oh, but that’s the easy part when compared to when a car is heading the other way. Now I have to slow down, stop, get into first gear, wait for the cars, pull away, and then swerve around the car before finally getting on my side of the road again. Oh wait, there’s another parked car on my side. Joy. Here we go again.
Hiltingbury Road is the main offender
I cannot state how annoying and potentially dangerous this is. It’s only a mild annoyance if it’s on a residential neighbourhood road, but on a long road it’s dangerous. Hiltingbury Road is the main offender here, with lots of parked cars on both sides with lots of drivers on both sides. Theoretically the cars can just drive past each other no problem, but because of the parked cars everyone has to control their speed, figure out who has the right of way and painfully swerve past both each other and the parked cars. An easy situation just becomes really, really hard for no reason other than the fact that people want to park on the road. I know it is helpful for learning how to adapt to any situation on the road, but it’s a situation no one should really need to be in.
Emergency vehicles need access
Let’s look at when it’s a good thing to park on the road. Emergency vehicles are fine, as are quick deliveries. Otherwise there’s no good justification. Eastleigh has residential areas where residents park on the road, but they are clearly marked so people expect that. My road is hard to get into anyway and has several blind spots, so parking on the road and blocking the view is highly irritating.
Parking on sharp bends
There are such things as parking bays. I don’t see why cars are parked on roads. Shops have parking, houses have driveways and there is no reason why cars should be in a position where they risk damaging themselves and others. I understand why sometimes there’s no choice but the same cars being parked in the same part of the road every day need a really, really good excuse.
The worst part is when they’re parked on bends. Some bends are very sharp and it’s very hard to see around cars. I don’t know how many cars are around a corner, and it’s even worse when there’s a car in the way blocking the view. It’s dangerous and not worth the risk.
So, drivers, unless you have a really good reason, please don’t park on the side of the road. An accident WILL happen.
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