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Ask a Driving Instructor

Whether you are learner driver or an experienced motorist, you can email any driving-related question to info@wycombedrivingschool.co.uk and you will receive a personal response from Wycombe Driving School boss Audrey Wixon, pictured. The best questions and answers will be published on this website anonymously.

Audrey is a DSA ADI; DIAmond, IAM and RoSPA Gold Advanced Driver; Fleet Trainer; Observer for Institute of Advanced Motorists; & National Standard cycling instructor

Audrey Wixon - manager of Wycombe Driving School
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How can you teach a selfish driver a lesson?

Q: In the 40 years I have been driving, I have noticed a steady decline in the courtesy of other drivers. I know roads are busy these days but that is no excuse for those who charge around unwilling to give an inch. Is the modern motorist being taught to drive in an aggressive manner because our roads are so congested?
an aggressive driver A: Driving instructors do not teach pupils to drive in an aggressive manner - quite the opposite. New drivers are taught to co-operate with others because this helps assist the flow of traffic and prevent situations becoming competitive.

Unfortunately, some drivers can get so wrapped up in the progress of their own journey that they fail to work as a team with the other motorists and therefore miss the benefits that come with teamwork. As any football striker will tell you, it is much easier to achieve your goal if you involve the other players than it is to try and barge your way through alone.

One example of good teamwork is when you see converging drivers pass parked cars and each other without anyone having to stop, due to good timing. Another is when drivers in two merging lanes flow into single file like a zip, with cars from each lane taking turns to move forward. This sort of driving pays dividends for everyone but unfortunately, like you say, selfish driving does seem to be commonplace, perhaps because we humans are a naturally selfish lot. But while we can’t do anything about that, we can take advantage of the fact that most of us are natural born followers.

Next time you are crawling along in rush hour traffic, let someone in from a side road and I bet the car behind will do the same. Or if you are negotiating parked cars when priority is equal, give way to the oncoming vehicle and the other driver is more likely to want to take the moral high ground himself next time. You can’t force other drivers to be courteous but you certainly can influence their behaviour by setting a good example.

When you start doing other drivers a favour on the road, you will notice the goodwill seems to come back to you. I call it "Car Karma" - try it!
Audrey Wixon
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Wycombe Driving School - for driving lessons in High Wycombe and surrounding areas - including Amersham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Hazlemere, Stokenchurch and Princes Risborough. We offer successful, structured driving lessons, providing free theory test software and lesson handouts. Male and female driving instructors are available, providing both manual and automatic driving lessons.