Why do other drivers hate new drivers so much?

PUBLISHED: 09:29 03 June 2019

Ripping up your L plates might be exciting, but dealing with some other road users isn't (C) PA

Ripping up your L plates might be exciting, but dealing with some other road users isn't (C) PA


I'm a passenger in one of my children's cars for the first time: and I'm appalled at how badly other drivers treat people with P plates. What is WRONG with them? Didn't they get enough attention when they were little?

My daughter has just started driving her first car in Norwich - and what an education it's been sitting next to her as a passenger.

Firstly, it feels very strange to be driven by her rather than being her private chauffeur (I used to work a split shift, my other job involves driving her brother) secondly I'd forgotten how stupidly, dangerously, pathetically impatient so many other drivers are around new drivers.

However much it may feel like it, none of us were born with the ability to drive: all of us were learners once and all of us, at some point, were hesitant, slow and nervous on the road.

In truth, some of us were downright rubbish drivers for quite some time after passing their test which was, in some cases, due to the fact that those people hadn't been able to practice between driving lessons because neither of their selfish parents ever learned to drive AND YET LIVED IN OLD COSTESSEY WHERE THERE WAS ONLY ONE BUS ON A SUNDAY WHICH IS PRACTICALLY CHILD NEGLECT.

I imagine, anyway. I don't know, because that definitely wasn't me: I have always been a great driver, since I was born.

Anyway, as fresh drivers, the ink still drying on our licence next to our 'serial killer' mugshots, all of us had the same overriding, paralysing fear as we turned the key in the ignition.

Ridiculously, it wasn't being hit by an out-of-control lorry, or a drunk driver, or being involved in a hideous motorway pile-up, no: it was that we might very mildly inconvenience a more experienced driver than ourselves.

The mere thought of fleetingly causing another driver to add an extra few seconds to their journey due to my reticence at a roundabout made my toes curl. How could I live with myself if someone had to drive behind me as I did 29 in a 30? How did I sleep at night after taking slightly longer to reverse out of a supermarket parking bay than I'd hoped?

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The sheer horror and selfishness of it all. I was a monster, there's no other word for it.

Judging by some of the drivers I've encountered on Norwich's roads while riding pillion with Ruby, we share our Fine City with a host of psychopaths on the brink of going postal.

People who think it's reasonable to raise their middle finger and mouth obscenities because someone has waited a little bit longer at a junction than they would have. People who risk life and limb (theirs and, far more importantly, ours) by overtaking on single carriageways because someone is doing the speed limit. People who see 'P' plates on the car in front of them as an actual violation of their human rights or a challenge to be the very worst person they can be.

In short, pig-headed, half-witted, idiots who should be ashamed of themselves and who clearly have issues they need to distract us all from - and I have been speculating WILDLY about what they may be - or who probably collect roadkill so they can line them up in their dining room and pretend they have friends.

People who humiliate or frighten new drivers are the same ones who think it's funny to watch their kids chase pigeons or stand by while they watch them stamp on flowers. They're the litter-dropping phlegm hawkers that gob in the street without shame, swear relentlessly in front of their little kids and aim at puddles when they drive past pedestrians.

Leaning on their horn, screaming, gesticulating, hyperventilating - all because their hugely important journey to wherever they're taking their tiresome tantrum to has been very, very slightly held up by someone who is trying not to kill themselves and everyone else by paying attention to how they drive.

I used to be scared of bullies on the road, but now they're bullying my kid, I just want them all to suffer quite a lot of paper cuts that smart quite badly. I want birds to use them as a toilet. I want them to STOP DOING IT IMMEDIATELY. Thanks.

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