Are You A Good Driver?

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.

If you’re going to ask me, I’ll tell you that I am a good driver.

If you’re going to look at my driving record, you will probably conclude that I am an abysmal driver.

Rare is the person that is an objective judge of himself.

With two people (me and Olives) participating the poll so far, 50% of the respondents claim to be better than average, and 50% worse than average. :smiley:

I base my “better than average” answer on the fact that I live in Ohio and use turn signals.

I’ve never been in a wreck, if that’s any indication. I’m a careful driver, which I think my boyfriend thinks makes me a bad driver. Sometimes I am a bad driver with him in the car because he’ll be harping on me about how I didn’t turn in front of that guy or whatever and I’ll make a mistake because I get upset. But normally a good driver, and no wrecks.

I am of course hoping to replicate that study in which the majority of respondents claim to be better-than-average. :slight_smile:

I used to think to think I was a below average driver, as I was a late bloomer and I didn’t start driving until I was thirty. I’ve upgraded myself to average. I’ve never been involved in an accident, I’ve never even got a speeding ticket. I don’t tailgate (not often, any way), I even use the blinky things when I make a turn. When it’s foggy, I even use my fog lights. Mr Boring and Mr Average.

NB I’ve booked some driving lessons lessons next year at the Las Vegas Speedway - I think I might break 65 :smiley:

I’ve driven at least 700,000 miles since 1973 when I got my learners permit, and I’ve been in one fender-bender and gotten a total of 3 speeding tickets in that time. And all those were in my youth. So I think I’m above average at this point.

I’m one of the best. I’ve never been in an accident that was my fault, or that I was ever the cause of.

It may be braggy, but I think I’m one of the best. I’ve never had an accident, I drive confidently and I know to accelerate through the turn! I’ve never had a problem with rush hour traffic, I’ve driven in some horrible blizzards (saying Oh, shit, ohshitohshit the whole way, but hey, it worked) and on some mountain roads I never thought I’d survive.

AND…I’m from Ohio and use my turn signals! I don’t poke along, and I don’t speed excessively. I don’t do things to make others mad, and I have never gotten a ticket…well, okay…one for having an expired plate…but it was one day, it was two days to payday and I was totally broke and my husband had just left me and I forgot you had to do it by your birthday, not just your birth month like the state I’d just moved out of!

I teach Drivers Ed, I practice what I teach. most of my problems are old habits that are hard to kill like the old signal AS you move instead of letting your signal blink 3+ times before you move over.

I used to be a very good driver, but at 59 I’m average at best.

Better than average. Close calls are rare and usually easily avoided. And the few accidents I’ve had were ones where there just wasn’t an “out”. Like the lady who slammed my rear while I was stopped at an intersection and shoved me forward; after the hit I steered, took my foot off the brake and went to the curb (rather than have her shove me into traffic)

What are the criteria we’re using for “good?”

I have a commercial driver’s license (tractor trailers) with a motorcycle endorsement. Although I haven’t driven commercially for almost 10 years, I’ve driven B trains and fuel tankers through the mountains.

I’ve never received a ticket. I was rear ended once.

I think I’m above average, but I don’t think I’m amongst the best drivers on the road. Just cautious.

Your own subjective opinion I suppose.

If we went by the fact I’ve never had a moving violation or caused an accident, one would think I’d be a very good driver. And I usually am. But I’ve had close calls that were my fault so I think I’m below average, or at best inconsistent. I’ve known some really horrific drivers though, so maybe I’m being too hard on myself.

Glad to see most people here are above average drivers. :smiley:

Yeah, there are a lot of liars here, aren’t there?

I started driving late, but I think I am better than average. My first few months driving were in the middle of a rotten Vermont winter, and I survived.

I follow rules. I don’t cut people off. I don’t rush yellow-changing-to-red lights. I don’t speed. Ever. I don’t go ridiculously slow, either. I stay within 5 miles of the posted speed limit. I yield at yield signs. I signal before switching lanes. I signal before a turn, not in the middle of a turn. I don’t drive the wrong way on one-way streets or one-way lanes in a parking garage. I don’t tailgate people with my high-beams on along well-lit city roads.

Every day I see people doing these things and it pisses me off. They are the reasons why I was terrified to learn to drive at all.

This is pretty much me, down to the only ticket being for an expired plate (a miscommunication between me and my dad).

I’m quite the defensive driver. I always drive when I’m going places with people (I rock at directions and knowing where I am). One of the best things my parents ever taught me about driving is “never trust the other person’s turn signal until they actually turn.” That’s kept me out of accidents more often than you’d think. Other people are stupid.

Defining “good” is important.

I’ve got a fair number of speeding tickets. Most of them for 37 in a 30, a few of them quite a bit worse. I don’t define speeding as “bad” driving - in fact, most people who I would define as bad drivers are those who adhere too strongly to speed limits.

I have great spacial awareness, and can see patterns and predict traffic better than most (or so it seems from the number of people who get stuck where I slip through). You will never catch me blocking an intersection, failing to signal, blocking the left lane, or otherwise driving erratically. Never been in an accident, avoided several.

Good drivers, I think, are those that you don’t remember. They drive smoothly and predictably, never interrupting the flow of things. How many times have you seen someone miss their turn and, instead of driving around the block, throw it into reverse?

I know of only 2 people that I have met in my entire life that drive well enough for me to relax without worry and not pay attention as a passenger.

One of them is not you, the other one isn’t either.