When Driving is Like Sex

    Isn’t it strange how whenever anyone thinks of a learner driver in the process of undertaking a driving lesson, the mental image that immediately comes to mind is of the driving school car doing what we the more senior members of society call a three-point-turn and how part of that image is that of the learner shuffling the steering wheel left and right with a kind of shy awkwardness?
        Too busy to driveIs it because we associate the ‘feeding’ of the wheel with a learner driver that we almost immediately after passing our driving test re-invent the method of steering? Whatever the reason it seems that nearly every driver drops what is given to be the ‘correct’ steering method very shortly after passing their test and very soon are crossing their arms, steering one-handed and indeed, since the advent of cell phones, steering with their knees!
        Image wise, driving has always had a certain roughy-toughy kind of decadence attached to it, and if we have a slightly rebellious attitude towards what we do on the road it somehow makes us feel proud of ourselves. It is that pride that helps us to justify what we do as being something that is harmless. This is where the perceived ability comes in, which, as the rest of us know, is considerably higher up the ladder than reality. You see, we all can think we are good drivers while we are getting away with our poor ways. “I’ve never had an accident in 15 years!” is a common one, but it usually just means that the driver has been lucky enough to have got away with it for so long, but will have had countless ‘moments’ along the way.
        Every time you have to brake suddenly, swerve to avoid someone or something, or had to take some form of avoiding action your bad habits have been exposed, and you only get exposed when you make a mistake.
        The trouble is that when we get away with mistakes for long enough they cease to be mistakes and then become ‘normal’ occurrences. When that happens, and we do have a collision because of the way we drive, we cannot always accept that we are at fault and that we may be lacking somewhere in the driving skills department.
        It’s a bit like sex really.
        We can get a real kick out of it in terms of enjoyment, and unless our partner says otherwise we all think we are doing it rather well. What if our partner does tell us that we are doing it wrong…..? Wow, that opens up a big old can of worms doesn’t it? We have to deal with all the hurt and damaged pride and probably, unless several partners tell us the same, we go into self-denial thinking “I am right and everyone else is wrong.” The same with driving, “How can I possible be wrong? I have always been a safe driver!”
Julian Smith