Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Car indicators

This morning found me in the car waiting at a traffic island. Another car driven by a chap with a big beard approached from the right with his left-hand indicator going, suggesting he was about to turn down the road where I patiently waited. As far as I know the beard isn’t relevant.

Anyhow, instead of assuming beardy would actually turn left I waited, just in case. For some reason the subtle clues which tell us these things had come into play, suggesting to me that waiting was a good idea. The clues were right. He carried on across the island and if I’d pulled out we’d have hit each other.

Far from unusual, happens all the time, but a chap is bound to ask if indicators are really worthwhile. We can’t just believe them and carry on regardless so we don’t. If an approaching car is far enough away we go, if it isn't we are more cautious but we trust indicators at our peril.

We have moderate our faith in indicators with defensive driving and those subtle clues which generally keep us out of accidents. In which case why bother with indicators?


Sam Vega said...

"In which case why bother with indicators?"

So if we are involved in a minor collision we can self-righteously shout "What the hell's the matter with you?! I was indicating! Look, my indicator's still working, so you are definitely in the wrong!"

Anonymous said...

A delicate art deciding 'is this chap a prat'. Road positioning tells a bit, the kind of car too, beards, trilbies and dark windows are a clue too. BTW, when I cycle I wear a helmet - not because it is any use but it protects against lawyers, indicators are a bit like that.

A K Haart said...

Sam and Roger - yes, much of it is being seen to do the right thing just in case. Defensive driving but not as we were taught.

Demetrius said...

In modern cars you seem to be a cocoon. Also, they are full of things to distract never mind mobiles etc. notably sound levels from music. In the last decade there seems to have been to me to be a radical increase in the number of high risk things by other drivers. Once occasional they are now routine.

A K Haart said...

Demetrius - I agree, drivers are too insulated from the world outside. A chap I once knew said all cars should have no driver's seat belt and a large spike in the centre of the steering wheel to make us all drive very carefully.