I passed my driving test in 1987 and have been legally driving for 32 years, but my driving experience began in 1985 when I used to take my mum’s 1978 Mk 1 Ford Capri 1.6 out joyriding / street racing with my friend Leroy, who drove his older brothers Mk 1 Ford Escort 1.6. We were both 16, both studying mechanics, both loved driving and could both handle a car at high speeds.
I have driven in North America for 10 of those 32 years and now consider myself a seasoned veteran behind the wheel. I have had 4 accidents in 32 years, 3 were not my fault and 1 was. The one that was my fault came about by my own impatience in Christmas traffic. I checked my mirrors, looked for oncoming traffic, then attempted a U-turn. As soon as I moved, a motorbike hit my front wing. Luckily no one was hurt, but the reason I mention this is that although I had checked my mirror, saw there was nothing coming, and I was in standstill traffic, the motorbike was traveling at least 30mph. The time it took me to look away from my mirror, check oncoming traffic and maneuver, was enough time for the bike to be about to pass me. One last check of my mirror (Think Bike!) and I would have had the reaction time to slam on my brakes. I can boast that for 27 years, I had never caused an accident. However, that one accident, in which fortunately no one was hurt, greatly improved my driving by increasing my awareness of all the bikers sharing our roads and highways.
I have driven over 650,000 miles so far in my lifetime. As someone who loves to drive, I have noticed quite a few drivers who have formed bad habits, and some seem oblivious to what the road code actually is. With over 32 years of driving experience, I feel compelled to share some information that only experience can provide. Things not necessarily written in a book, but which will increase the overall fun in your driving experience. In upcoming posts, I will attempt to share everything I know about cars and driving.