• If we all agree most people don’t know how to drive, why do we base the U.S. driver’s education system on parents passing their bad habits and misinformation onto their children?
  • If we know there are four times as many accidents in winter as in the other seasons, why don’t the mandatory driving lessons always include winter driving techniques?
  • Why does the RMV’s official Driver’s Manual address the subject of correcting a skid in terms that require cognitive thinking under pressure (“steer in the direction of the skid”) rather than with the much more intuitive “steer towards where you want to go?”

The concepts of yield and merge mean nothing to many drivers. Building a traffic system that is based on the understanding of these concepts is thus doomed to failure. Driver retraining and real testing is the only way where the great majority of drivers will understand these points that improve traffic flow and make it safer. But don’t hold your breath on that one…

Anyway: Always wear your seat belts, because very few people devote their attention to their driving. And even if they do, even fewer of them actually know what they’re doing.


“There are two overall principles of being a driving ‘doer.’ First, pay attention to your driving. Set driving as your top mental priority when you are behind the steering wheel, allocating more brain power to it than to any conversation… song… details of your next whatever… or the meal in your lap.

The second overall priority for a driving ‘doer’ is to think about how your actions will affect other drivers on the road. This is partly about courtesy, but it’s more about enlightened self-interest to benefit the overall traffic flow. It’s bad enough to get into a clearly marked right turn lane when you intend to go straight. But making two dozen drivers pay for your stupidity is unconscionable. If you do make this mistake, you should turn and solve your own problem rather than make everyone else pay for your driving error.

One need not be a Skip Barber graduate, be blessed with lightning reflexes, or have a thirst for speed to incorporate any of the above suggestions into one’s everyday driving. If a few more people drove this way, we would spend a lot less time stuck in traffic, fretting…”

Car & Driver 2/04