Successful driving through successful coaching – 250-388-6638 – Driving School in Victoria BC Canada

How does another driver know what I am thinking?

Posted in Fuel for the Mindful Driver, Questions and Answers

“Hi Ingrid

You taught our son how to drive (practicing with him, and modelling good driving, have made us better drivers as well). The following comes up for me when I am driving around Victoria, I wonder what your thoughts are?

How does another driver know what you are thinking?

When you are driving in your own lane, and approaching an intersection or a driveway, have you ever experienced
  • Another car racing up to a stop sign and then suddenly stopping at the last moment
  • Another car stopping well past the stop line
  • Another car slowly rolling into the lane or intersection without coming to a full stop (or slowly turning left as if to go in front of you)?

It makes me apprehensive that something bad is going to happen.

The problem is that you can’t know what the other driver is intending, so you have to prepare for the worst. Sometimes I have signaled with my horn at drivers, and had them shout or gesture to the effect that “Of course I was going to stop! What’s your problem?” Well, sorry sir, I am not psychic, I can’t tell what you intend to do, only what the evidence shows you are doing. And until I see evidence you are slowing, stopping, and aware of my car, I have to take precautions.
So, how would you drive so that other drivers know what you are thinking?”
  • By driving predictably, without sudden changes in speed or direction, or unconventional maneuvers
  • By signalling all turns and lane changes in advance
  • By slowing noticeably as you approach a stop or yield or crosswalk, and coming to a full stop at the stop line
  • By not rolling forward into a lane
    (if you need to move forward for visibility, move when it doesn’t threaten other drivers, and then come to a complete stop again)
  • By making eye contact with other drivers in intersections
  • By accelerating and slowing moderately, (no jackrabbit starts or nose-down stops).
“And one more thing – how do you know where to stop if there is no painted stop line?”
If there are no road markings, the stopping point at an intersection or a driveway is the imaginary crosswalk line where the inner edge of the sidewalk starts. You will come to a full stop here, and then, if you need to move forward for visibility (for example there are parked cars that obstruct your view of the lanes) move forward slowly when safe, and stop again to check for traffic.