If you’re reading this there’s a high chance you’re a courier driver or, at the very least, interested in becoming one. This choice of career puts you among the most frequent road users in the UK, which also means you’re front and centre to some of the country’s worst driving habits. As a courier driver, understanding other drivers’ bad road habits will not only give you a heads’ up and remind you to expect the unexpected, it can also make you more aware of your own potentially problematic behaviour.
Do you do any of these? Of course you don’t…
Last Minute Decision Making
The most important piece of advice for any road user is to read the road ahead. That means being aware of the vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists around you and knowing your route – or at least paying attention to the SatNav. Last minute decision makers, that is, people who are either distracted, confused or just plain rude, can be extremely irritating when they make a rapid lane change or swerve to make their turn off. It’s not only infuriating it can also lead to serious accidents.
Keep Calm and Keep Left! Consistently rated as one of the most heinous of all crimes, failure to keep left slows down the flow of traffic, causes undue road rage and, at its worst, can contribute to the risk of accidents on motorways. For a concept so simple, it’s gob-smacking how many people are oblivious or inept when it some to this. As per the Highway Code, if you’re not overtaking, stay in the left-hand lane. If you are overtaking, do your business then return to the left-hand lane when you’re a safe distance ahead of the vehicle behind. Simple, yes? You’d think…
Pedestrian Safety and Etiquette
As a courier driver, you’ve no doubt seen your fair share of near misses when it comes to pedestrian safety. While, of course, the onus of responsibility for their own safety lies with the pedestrians themselves, it’s perhaps not as commonly known as it should be that, according to the Highway Code, it’s mandatory for a vehicle to give way to any pedestrian who has already started crossing a road (this includes vehicles turning left and at intersections). But at the end of the day, law or no law, it’s plain good sense and decent humanity to acknowledge that one should always be hyper-vigilant when it comes to pedestrians. Because a huge lump of fast-moving metal never came off second best in a meeting of the two.
How many times have you seen this one as you’re cruising along the motorway or through city traffic? Some drivers seem to only have two modes of driving: foot flat to the floor on the accelerator or foot flat to the floor on the brake. Braking at the last minute causes jerky driving that is not only dangerous, but it also dramatically increases fuel consumption and causes undue wear and tear on a vehicle.
Be Part of the Solution
We all know that some motorists are beyond help and reason once they get behind the wheel of their vehicle – which is why, as a courier driver it’s so important to not only be super aware, but also to lead by example. Spread your good driving sunshine around – you never know, it just might rub off.
Norman Dulwich is a correspondent for Courier Exchange, the world’s largest neutral trading hub for same day courier driver work in the express freight exchange industry. Over 5,400 member companies are networked together through the Exchange to fill empty capacity, get new clients and form long-lasting business relationships.