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Idiots Drive 4x4s

Posted on Sunday 17th June 2007 at 00:00
If there is one thing that really annoys me when I'm on the road, it is people who think that they can overtake me whilst remaining in the same lane.

Earlier I went for a drive for the first time since last Wednesday. There wasn't any particular reason for this absence from the road, save the fact that I'd not had any work or other engagements in that time which should have caused me to need to leave the house. The only reason for mentioning this is that I normally driver every day or every other day, and so the long period without driving was unusual and thus altered my perceptions upon taking control of my vehicle once more.

I enjoyed that drive. I was heading for the cinema at Longwell Green, which for me means a few miles spent on the faster part of the Ring road. Faster still on a late Sunday afternoon, when the roads are fairly clear and one can take full advantage of the duel carriageway speed limits. My car only has a 1.25L engine, but nonetheless it felt powerful, refined, controlled. As I came off each roundabout and accelerated from 30 to 70, I marvelled at how smoothly the car handled and how forcefully it leapt forward with even the smallest nudge of my foot on the accelerator pedal.

Although I'm pretty sure I wasn't speeding, I arrived at the cinema earlier than expected; sadly a common feature of an enjoyable drive. After the film I returned to my car and set off on my return journey. Once more, I found myself feeling powerful and masterful as I fed the wheel into exactly the line around each roundabout that I was after. As I indicated off the roundabout I increased the revs to around 3,500 rpm before shifting up into 4th gear.

I'd just executed a smooth and precise change into 5th, of a variety that even Michael Schumacher would have admired, when I glanced in my rear view mirror and discovered a 4x4 sat right on my tail. It had come up behind me after the roundabout and was now threatening to swap bumpers. I was most annoyed, especially as I was already doing 70, and was just muttering something rude about the driver under my breath when I spot the vehicle moving to the outside of the lane.

Had I been in the left hand lane this wouldn't have been a problem in the slightest, but I was already in the overtaking lane and passing Sunday drivers by the dozen. There were no more lanes for this guy to move into. Having manoeuvred his monstrosity over until his driver side wheels were in danger of running onto the grass, he then proceeds to accelerate rapidly, coming towards me like he was going to run me off the road!

Luckily at the very same instant a chance gap opened up in the other lane and I was able to pull over nice and quickly, just in time to see the bloke speed off into the distance. Fortunately I'd been paying attention and had had a little forewarning of what he might be trying to do. But he didn't know that. There was no way he could have possibly known that I was watching him. Supposing I hadn't been? Supposing at the very moment he decided to charge me, I'd been fiddling with my radio or turning up the heating or something? Supposing I had had no idea he was even there? He'd have come up behind me and either gone straight into my boot or else slap bang into the central reservation.

What a prat!

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