It seems many drivers in Port Elizabeth are under the mistaken impression that an indicator will magically open up the lane next to them… and that the car they are about to sideswipe will magically disappear.
Well, to all you budding wizards out there, it doesn’t work like that. There needs to be ample warning to the vehicles around you that you intend changing lanes. No, that does not mean moving across into the next lane, just about hitting the other vehicle, and only then indicating your intentions. And please don’t act so surprised when there is a lot of hooting and “sign language” at your attempt at wizardry.
Firstly, to safely change lanes, there needs to be sufficient safe space. The vehicle that you are trying to sideswipe is a solid object, not an illusion created by some mysterious force. That vehicle has other vehicles in front of it and behind it. Where must it go? “Oh, you must just slow down and let me in.”, I hear you say. Sometimes that isn’t possible, when the vehicles behind me are too close for me to suddenly brake or slow down, without endangering myself.
Secondly, take note that when your car is alongside another vehicle, it is not always possible for that driver to see your indicator. Think about the car’s body and how it holds your windscreen and car doors in place. It also happens to be a solid object, which can obstruct certain angles, i.e. “blind spots”. If you don’t understand that, think of an “invisibility cloak” hiding your indicator. Hence the need for making sure that the other drivers are aware of your intentions. Because if you don’t, and you decide to swerve into their lane and indicate at the last possible second, all they see is some idiot about to hit their car.
So think before you act, and make sure that others are aware of your intentions. Trying to force people out of your way leads to unnecessary stress for all drivers and needless accidents.
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