I’m a highly defensive driver who is obsessive about following the rules and being as safe as humanly possible. I’ve never had a moving violation or an at-fault collision, but I failed my first driver’s test because I got so nervous I made a left turn from the straight lane at a stoplight.
I don’t make that mistake anymore, but I still feel like I don’t know what the hell I’m doing half the time. I’m pretty sure that I check my blind spot more often than is needed. I get overly concerned with who is behind me and what they are doing (this may be because I was rear-ended as a teen in an accident that totaled the car I was driving.) I’m always looking for threats, but I’m not really good at identifying what is truly a threat. This can be dangerous because it takes attention away from what’s in front. I wait a long time before turning which sometimes annoys other drivers behind me.
And when I’m lost, oh man. I drove into Philadelphia tonight to meet a new friend in unfamiliar territory, and somehow I ended up in oncoming traffic (thankfully I was at a stoplight and all cars were stopped, but Jesus Christ, where did the effing lane go?!!!) I feel like Philadelphia exacerbates all the pre-existing issues I have, because it’s completely counter-intuitive and the actual traffic patterns usually don’t follow the signs and markings. I feel like I have to drive through an intersection four or five times in Philly to really ‘‘get’’ what traffic is supposed to do there.
I get so frustrated because I try so hard to be good at driving. Really, you couldn’t ask for someone more mindful of other traffic. But I’m too mindful. Which is why ultimately I think I am probably a pretty bad driver. 90% of the time I’m ace, but the other 10% you’d probably be better off with a chimp. Especially at night. I’m a terrible night driver. I’m sure it’s all anxiety related.
So, are you a good driver?
Also, please stop honking at me. I’ll go when I feel safe.