Blog : I’m falling out of love with driving

Fed up with driving

I don’t know about you, but as time passes (and I get older), those moments of sheer joy behind the wheel seem to be getting fewer and further between. It was a thought that hit me today sitting in the passenger seat of my new Bangernomics purchase (an old Mercedes-Benz, by the way) and being wafted along by my son.

I was happy, comfortable and, most significantly, relieved that it was he who was driving and not me. It’s a far cry from the younger me. Back in the 1980s after I passed my test, I impatiently counted down the moments between drive. More often than not I’d be inventing a reason to go somewhere – anywhere – in the car, and enjoying the feeling of freedom and empowerment that it brought me.

Yes, I loved my cars, and even in those formative years, I drove some very interesting (by today’s standards) motors that amused, entertained and fascinated. But I think as much as I adore mechanical pieces, the real magic in driving was reserved for travelling. And freshly unleashed on the roads, armed with a new driving licence, it felt like the world was at my feet and every journey delivered something new and exciting.

Throughout the 1990s and 2000s and into the 2010s, that excitement never dimmed – because, along the way, I discovered banger rallies. Pan-European driving, and the friendship with others who shared the same passions were quite a thing. It was another chapter of my driving life that kept me sane in an increasingly chaotic world.

Fast forward to 2023, and everything seems different and a whole lot less satisfying. Perhaps it’s because there are few corners of our little island that are left undiscovered, while European travel these days – as wonderful as it is – has become more difficult and costly due to this and that. But I think more than anything else, the trouble I’m finding is that it feels like everyone out there is just as grumpy as I am, treating driving like a means to an end and not the wonderful gift that it really is…

The state of our roads doesn’t help. Constantly dug-up and potholed, if we’re not swerving to avoid gulleys and craters, then it’s a sense that we’re being kettled by millions upon millions of cones into ever decreasing spaces. Narrow lanes, badly designed slip roads and junctions seemingly designed to set drivers against each other, while speed limits seem to have been decided by non-drivers from an office with a random number generator.

These days, I prefer to drive overnight, and although traffic volumes are mercifully light once the sun has gone down, road closures are a constant issue. Again with the cones…

Other drivers don’t help. I don’t know about you, but since the pandemic, people seem grumpier and more combative than ever, and either fighting irrationally for their tiny place on the road or bimbling along national speed limit A-roads at 43mph. Woe betide you if you pass them on a clear straight, though, because they’ll be aggressively tailgating you come the next 30mph village, where they’ll resent not being able to do their same self-imposed 43mph.

I despair, too, at the increasingly fortress mentality that many drivers seem to have. The depressing rise of SUVs is probably responsible for this. Drivers feel safe and cocooned from the world around them, and with that seems to come a lack of regard and thoughtfulness for those around them.

Yes, climate control, double glazing and a high seating positions can be wonderful things, but you cease to be part of the world around you, observing what’s going on outside with a disinterested lack of engagement. In an older car without those creature comforts, you drive with the windows open – you hear the sounds, smell the fragrances, and feel part of things. As such, you lose that imperious sense of isolation that leads you to lose sight of the wildlife and humanity that surrounds you.

I dread driving in town, too, and maybe that’s why in looking for somewhere new to live right now, my internet search leads with ‘isolated farm houses’. Enduring roads that are choked up with large and unweildy vehicles filling spaces designed for Austin 1100s and Cortina Mk2s is no fun at all. More than ever you need to co-operate with your fellow driver to make your way. Instead of helping us in that aim, they are happy to just glower down at you from whatever SUV they’re PCPing for £700 per month.

But more often than not, you can’t fit between gaps, feeling imprisoned by the machine that was designed to liberate us. There are parking restrictions everywhere, and if you do admit defeat and head towards a public carpark, you’ll need to load in some clunky app on your smartphone in order to pay handsomely for the privilege. In this more than anything else, I feel we’re being gouged by the greedy. Fuel prices – yeah that’s tough and hitting us all – but compared with the parking companies, those who set the price of unleaded are like a benevolent grandparents.

Getting out onto the motorway offers a temporary respite – and it really is fleeting. There’s little joy in hustling down the three-lane blacktop these days. ‘Smart’ motorways strictly monitor speeds, while the drivers around you, who’ve long since forgotten the ‘keep left unless overtaking’ rule, travel in 67mph closely-packed convoys in the outside lane, minds in neutral, thinking about anything but the grind of the damned motorway.

There are more annoyances I could come up with, I’m sure, but for now, I’ll just contemplate the day when we get autonomous cars that actually work, and do away with the rubbish bits such as commuting and going into town. It’ll never happen, of course, and any carmaker that tells you otherwise is living in cloud cuckoo land. That’s a shame, because taking away the boring stuff might well just allow us to enjoy those special occasions where the road ahead does clear, and we can once again go somewhere for the sheer hell of it, rather than because we have to.

For now, however, I think I am going to let my son do more of the driving while I plan and save up for a nice road trip away from this small and crowded island of ours…

Fed up with driving

Keith Adams

55 Comments

  1. If I had written this article myself it would probably match Keith’s opinion word for word. As I get older I hark back to the days of Cavalier’s, Cortina’s etc. Despite advances in automotive technology & build quality, I find driving nowadays less pleasant than the days in my Viva HC, Datsun Cherry’s and so on.

    There are hardly any cars (Hybrid, EV, SUV or otherwise) that I yearn to own. Also the volume of traffic, tight parking bays and road conditions is depressing. It’s likely I will use my Bus pass more often!

    • I completely agree – I used to love driving, but these past 3-4 years it’s become more of a chore than a pleasure…….maybe it’s because I’m now an official grumpy old man – I remember my granddad, a driver during the war, then a bus driver, then up until his retirement a lorry driver giving up driving because he found the roads too overcrowded, and his fellow drivers too aggressive – and that was nearly 30 yrs ago!

  2. SUV= Slow Unwieldy Vehicle (which blocks your view ahead for overtaking).
    Car park ticket machines are often programmed to recognize your mobile phone number and recall what you last parked and where. I went to Nuneaton station in a Mitsubishi and called the CP operator. Computer said: you want to park a Jaguar in Westbury, don’t you. Couldn’t persuade the computer to change its mind, couldn’t talk to a human, went to the railway ticket office to buy a car park ticket – it was closed. We missed our train.

  3. One major reason to dislike driving now is the physical state of the roads, especially in urban areas. I spend almost as much time watching the actual road surface as watching the other traffic.

    And the increasing disappearance of white lines/lane markings. If you’re on a road which isn’t familiar you can easily get yourself in a mess because the white paint has worn away almost completely, and everyone is inventing their own lane system.

  4. There is nothing I can disagree with in this blog . After nearly 62 years and 1.5 million miles of ( mostly) pleasurable driving the fun has gone out of it. And I don’t have a smartphone ……

    • I’m another older person without a smmartphone. It’s almost like we’re being marginalised, or punished for not adopting the latest technology. The there’s all these touch screen controls! A friend admitted she doesn’t know how to adjust more than the very basics on her 2022 model, and only uses the screen while stationary. This is progress?

  5. Twenty odd years ago I could recognise a car 100 yards away. On some I could even determine the spec and/or engine by its wheels and trim. Today, I can’t even tell what make a car is until I see the badge. They truly are just white goods designed for PCPS.

  6. I have to agree with all of this, Keith. Sat in my garage is a lovely low mileage MG ZR that has been in the family from new since the end of 2006. Its in great condition and when I open the driver’s door it still smells like a new car. I clean it and admire it, but rarely want to get behind the wheel and drive. Why? Because the roads around East Devon where I live are riddled with potholes and if I drive at a slower pace to avoid damage to wheels, tyres and suspension, I am a hindrance to other road users (unlike a lot of other motorists, I am aware of this and usually pull over).

    If I drive on smaller roads I experience some appalling risk-taking behaviours from others because they are impatient. One driver on the opposite carriageway overtook a car in front of them and headed straight towards me. Thankfully I wasn’t travelling at the maximum speed permitted on that stretch of road because I know it has a few blind spots, which enabled me to take evasive action and save a head-on crash. But it doesn’t inspire my confidence to want to drive more regularly than I do.

    Driving to work would now not only prove to be more expensive than using a bus, but to guarantee finding a parking space I would need to arrive there by 7:45am at the latest. Also, payment for parking is now via a smartphone app only, so having a collection of old coins in the ashtray is no longer accepted, which is inconvenient for me. Then there’s the hassle of driving through the middle of Exeter during rush hour, which is quite stressful and the term “rush hour” now comfortably extends to several hours rather than just one. Therefore, sitting on a bus and nodding off while someone else gets all the hassle seems far more appealing to me. Admittedly there’s then a one-mile walk from the bus stop to my place of work, but I don’t mind doing that as its healthy.

    Even at the weekend I look at the car and say “maybe next weekend… if its not raining and there are no idiots about”. Thankfully the classic car calendar is not far from awakening from its deep sleep which means I will end up with a ‘genuine’ excuse to take the car out and meet up with like-minded enthusiasts.

    A friend of mine with his 1960s and 1970s classic sports cars, which he does drive with speed in mind and every day for his work visiting patients near Dartmoor, now finds frustration that much newer, smaller engined “snot box” hatchbacks are able to out accelerate him with little effort. When motorists of these much newer cars – usually bought by people with no passion for cars – follow him, they usually like to travel three inches off his rear bumper to tell him that he’s a hindrance to their progress and there should be no place on the road for him today. He hates it and has resorted to buying a Nissan Quashqai as his main car – a well made, but incredibly boring car that has no visual presence or passion in its design or appointments compared to his MGB GT, Triumph Vitesse and recently sold last-of-the-line Volvo 940 Celebration.

    Yep, you aren’t alone in falling out of love with driving.

  7. I agree with everything you say , though i still enjoy taking a road trip and i have one of these SUVs you hate , a new qashqai .its probably one of the best cars ive ever had and its a crossover not an SUV. Anyway , back to my point , how come driving standards are so bad and yet the driving test and theory test are far more difficult than we had ?
    My son is going through it now and i thank god i didnt have to learn everything he is .
    Maybe one of the problems is modern cars ,even basic ones , are far more capable than they used to be in terms of acceleration and speed and power . A good example is the engines in my sons car and my qashqai . his is a fiesta from 2005 with a 1.3 engine ,producing 75 bhp. the engine in my qashqai is also a 1.3 but produces 160 bhp .

  8. I agree with some of Keith’s gripes, potholes, parking machines, SUVs (and the women driving them who dont know how big they are!), the aggressive nature (noticed its more the women these day than the men) and avoiding the lunatic delivery drivers that will stop anywhere! However I haven’t fallen out of driving just yet, probably because working from home means I don’t go out everyday having to tackle these awful issues.

  9. Agree with Keith 100% when I was young there was nothing more I wanted to was to pass my test get a car and escape from the dull village where I lived.I’d think that each year my annual milage would be about fifteen to eighteen thousand miles a year mostly for pleasure. But now fifty years later and having moved to Somerset after I retired the poor state of roads and increased traffic has lessened my enjoyment of driving so much that I only drive when I have to

  10. I drove from Manchester to Malaga and back last summer. What a pleasure it was once I was outside the UK. I hardly ever go for a drive just for pleasure these days in the UK as the roads always seem busy now. Long gone are the evening drives round the Yorkshire Dales on sunny summer evenings that I used to indulge in when I started driving. But motoring through France and Spain in a Chrysler Ypsilon 1.2, avoiding motorways as much as possible, I found good roads with little traffic and tiny villages which provided far nicer surroundings for refreshments than any motorway services.

    It reminded me of road trips to round Europe with my parents in the late 60s / early 70s in a Triumph Herald, which was also 1200cc, even down to the lack or aircon – which I did miss when the temperature reached 100f (I’ve never got to grips with this newfangled centigrade scale!).

  11. Agreed. I have lived in Devon for many years, and used to go out on day trips etc.
    Before I go now I have to take various things into consideration.
    Can I afford the petrol: Where can I park: Can I afford to park: Can I get there and back in a day: Should I take a Pic-Nic:
    Nah, too much hassle, I’ll sit in the garden and listen to the continuous traffic, read a book and drink some wine. Even the pubs hold little attraction any more.
    Depressing innit!

  12. I completely agree with this. I am the same. The amazing sense of freedom and fun has gone. I live in Manchester and I dislike driving here and anywhere in-between here and the South coast. Horrendous traffic, angry people, some beyond angry and actually crazy, poor quality roads. SMART motorways are a real stressful drag, the endless changing limits and the HGV drivers that want to drive through your car if you dare slow for a gantry that they know has no camera. But, get me abroad and I am a happy bunny. I just drove 600 miles in Iowa and it was lovely. Also the M6 Northbound by the lake District (out of peak summer obviously). British people are quite rude, no matter how they perceive/delude themselves, and it shows in how they drive. I think there are now just too many people, too many on the roads in the UK. We need to find a way to get our heads around it so we don’t lose something that we have enjoyed.

  13. You would probably enjoy Australia. Some of the same problems are surfacing here too, though not to the same extent.
    Part of it comes down to an ever-growing population trying to occupy a finite space. The result in the cities can seem like an automotive version of Tetris in peak hour. We avoid the cities as much as possible; we’re fortunate we can. And when that ever-growing population demands services of a government that doesn’t find it politically expedient to raise taxes, the result is poorer service in some ministry or other, usually applied in rural areas where there are fewer voices to complain.
    Although I am no longer driving, I see so much more traffic on the roads than 20 years ago, and a much worse standard of road behaviour.
    But there is one exception: when I am out on my mobility scooter, folk will usually stop and let me cross the road. Especially younger drivers!

  14. A very thought-provoking article – thank you. I recall when I’d just passed my test in the mid-‘80s and I got stuck in a brief traffic jam on the motorway – I thought I was properly grown up, now.

    I still enjoy driving, although as daveh says, it’s more of a novelty now I’m working from home. Although the car I drive is an automatic it’s still reasonably involving to drive.

    Perhaps the answer is to buy an old-skool manual car – one that really takes an effort to drive. I recall driving a mk2 Volkswagen Polo after having driven much newer cars and it was a shock to have to actually drive properly – and, after I’d scared myself with some late braking and resultant understeer, great fun. All the old skills came back and it was fun being in tune with a machine. There’s a lot to be said for older cars.

  15. There is one motorway where the traffic is fairly light and the scenery is fantastic and this is the A74(M)/ M74 between Gretna and Wishaw. Obviously the road can be prone to snow and storms in winter, but at other times, it’s great to drive on and the scenery around Beattock and Abington is fantastic. Also the A70 from Lanark to Ayr is worth a look.

  16. Everone commenting here seems to be of a similar age – myself included. Its a state of mind – 40 years ago I remember may Father making a similar lament. Driving will still be the wonderful liberating experience it always was if your new to it. There seems to be a very unhealthy obesession with nostalgia at the moment. There is page after page on Facebook of old giffers (my age!) banging on about how awful things are now and how wonderful they where in the past. Thing is those same rose tinted spectacles carefully calibrated to 20/30/40 years in the past where all the rage then as now. How can we ever move forward if we are always stuck in the past?

    • You’re bang-on correct there Paul. It’s definitely an age thing rather than a road or traffic thing.
      I recall being 20 years old and driving in crazy Paris traffic and then in crazy London traffic on the same day (with a hovercraft journey in between) and absolutely buzzing from the experience !

    • 100% agree. There is also a difference between driving occasionally (for leisure purposes) and commuting. Far fewer people, including myself, do the latter these days because we work from home. Consequently, my enjoyment of driving has increased because I don’t do it as much and never at rush hour!

  17. Can I just point out that whilst my 1.6 75bhp Mk2 Scirocco is totally outclassed in terms of straight line performance, it can manage to negotiate our new by pass at a steady 40mph. Including turning right at a couple of the roundabouts, the others it will still circumnavigate at about twice the pace of most moderns.
    Who says you can’t still have a little bit of fun

  18. My action: I strictly avoid cities and only drive in the countryside. For cities, I use public transport or bicycle (no bad option over here in Slovenia). Much better for my nerves.

    • Exactly – me too. Because I love driving, I don’t drive in London (other than to get out to the country). In town, I cycle or use the excellent and free public transport system. At 60, I increasingly dislike driving in the dark though still “give her the gun” when it’s clear, light and dry.

  19. Having been driving since 1987 I have always only driven to get somewhere so nothing’s really changed for me apart from the car has got much better (Jag XF now vs Metro City then) and I would buy a road blocking Range Rover in a heartbeat if I could justify the expense. The strange thing is that I love cars despite not being a keen driver.

    I take the travel mode of least resistance and in most cases for me that is the train which where I live is very good.

    However, just to add to the contrariness, I will fight to the death to keep the Jag

    Keith – Which Merc is it?

  20. One thing I loathe that didn’t exist 40 years ago, ANPR cameras and private parking companies. Back then, you only had to worry about a traffic warden if you parked on double yellow lines, but now you go to a supermarket and are a few minutes late, then a few weeks later a nice letter with a photo of your car arrives in the post demanding £100 or we can take more action if you don’t pay up. Seemingly you can take a chance and ignore these threatening letters, but if the parking cowboys decide to take it further, then it’s county court time and an even bigger fine and a CCJ that can affect your credit rating if you don’t turn up or refuse to pay.

    • Yes, I got a parking charge in an eye hospital car park over 4 years ago (was faulty ticket machine) but then still received a tirade of demands for £140 from various debt collectors (I ignored them all). Finally the letters stopped after mid 2021!

      • @ Hilton D, it’s pot luck as some will send out bailiffs or take you to county court to get the money, or these parking companies will give up and stop sending you letters. However, their demands are so fiercely worded that many people pay up out of fear.

        • My in laws received a fine when the parked in Southend Sainsbury’s a few years back. The machine wouldn’t take payment by any method, so they reported it when they went in. Anyway a few weeks later they got this parking fine, s they took it into the store and the guy on customer service said ignore it, we told the company who manages the car park. Thankfully 4 years later and nothing heard ever again.

          I think the worse one was years back with my dad in Bognor. We were staying at Butlins, and the car park was miles from where we were staying, but there was a small car park outside the back gate. My dad pulled in there, packed the car up and we went. Six weeks later the council send a fine. My old man was adamant there was no signs or machine. He challenged them, and they admitted that the signs were actually missing and the machine had been removed due to vandalism!

        • That’s right Glenn. The general opinion is that Private car park managers issue “Parking Charges”. Only Councils & Police can issue “Parking Fine penalty notices.” Apparently if the first debt collector fails in getting payment, they pass it to another, then another and so on. Eventually they give up? Hopefully

  21. I totally agree with you. I personally are getting fed up with roadworks at the moment especially around the West Midlands.I only drove two miles today and I was hit with two roads closed and 3 sets of temporary traffic lights…..this has been going on for at least four months. When you look at the folks digging up the roads they are mega chilled. I saw three guys staring at one guy in a digger the other day, and another one checking his phone. All while we are waiting to get to work!!!

  22. I know not to drive in certain places locally which clog up during the rush hour, but occasionally I get caught out.

  23. You should come and visit Huddersfield, where you lurch from one set of endless roadworks to another on roads so full of holes that you have to swerve into the path of oncoming vehicles to avoid shredding your tyres.

    The ring road is full of traffic lights which turn to red as you approach them, and cycle lanes (soon to be with cameras, of course) keep appearing at random, even though there are never any cyclists about.

    I challenge anyone to drive around there without ripping your hair out and collapsing in despair as you ask yourself what possessed you to think you stood any chance of getting around Huddersfield by road.

  24. As a youngster I was car mad and from about the age of 5 watched intently ‘how’ my dad drove his Morris 1000, so that one day I’d be able to do the same. Aged around 10 we were on a family holiday in Wales and as a treat we went to Pendine sands, Dad let me sit in his knee & ‘drive’ (steer & press the throttle) our 1961 Vauxhall Victor which I managed to get up to 60 MPH before he forced my foot off the accelerator!
    I was lucky that a great friendly neighbour who was a driving instructor taught me to drive properly at about 14 years old (off road of course) and then passed my test first time in 1974.
    I too used to love driving (in my early days, way too fast but luckily got away without any serious damage), and even did a little bit of circuit racing, always looking for a reason (OK, excuse) to go out for a drive.
    Now I’m in my mid 60’s, like Keith (and many more of you) although I still class myself as an enthusiast, I do find driving a chore. There is too much traffic (often piloted by incompetents), too many poorly maintained roads and the cars are generally so capable, the challenge of driving, and driving properly is diminishing, so the sense of achievement from doing so is also reducing. I will continue to drive for as long as I am capable, and safe to do so as I would not like to give up the freedom that this grants me.
    I do however see a lack of interest in todays youngsters in learning to drive and owning their own car, they don’t have the physical need to actually go and see their friends, they can contact them by ‘phone and even see what each other are doing.
    Yes, I am becoming more of a grumpy old man, but the way things are changing I’m maybe not too sorry that I am at this stage of my life and not at the other end.
    I don’t want to get political, but I do feel that there is a push to reduce private car ownership, and this is not necessarily for the climate change reasons they’re hiding behind, it’s more about control. Once everyone has an electric vehicle, and the ‘powers that be’ can decide if or when it can be charged, our personal movements will be seriously reduced. Still, this may not matter as we appear to be being encouraged to live in 15 minutes towns, where ‘everything we need’ is within a 15 minute walk or cycle ride, so lovely drives in the countryside, simply for the pleasure of it will become a thing of the past…

    • You complain that roads are too busy and then moan that a perfectly sensible plan to reduce car use in urban areas is some kind of dystopian plan to control people’s lives. Sigh… Maybe it would be a good idea to lay off the right-wing nutter conspiracy theories for your own mental health.

      • Why do ‘nutters’ have to be right wing, there are plenty of people of all political views with a different opinion about the aims of government policies. And if you think that government and bureaucracy doesn’t want systems to encompass easier control over it’s priorities then Boxer the horse wouldn’t have gone to the glue factory.

        • Have you noticed the state of politics in the US? There are elected Republicans promulgating conspiracy theories like Jewish space lasers, lizard overlords, and pizza parlour paedophile rings. Elected representatives! Where the US goes, the UK almost inevitably follows. Pay attention. There are Tory moves afoot right now to reduce or eliminate scrutiny of government conduct, and your right to protest about it.

        • I say right-wing nutters because the 15-minute city conspiracy theory is a right-wing nutters’ theory.

          Agree with what Standhill says.

    • A town planning initiative intended to ensure no-one is isolated from the facilities essential to everyday life is not a totalitarian plot to control your movements. Let’s have no more repetition of this conspiracy lunacy on this site please.

  25. Well I guess I’m the same sort of age as many of you. So in our driving lifetimes we’ve seen and likely contributed to the doubling of numbers of cars on the road since the early 80s. Some of the same peeves – too many cars, too many traffic jams, parking restrictions etc. But here’s a link to some statistics from DfT (and of course you can prove anything with stats) which cover the amount of vehicle miles since the early 1990s. According to this, numbers of vehicle miles right now are actually lower than before the pandemic. Make of that what you will! https://roadtraffic.dft.gov.uk/summary

  26. I totally agree about potholes. Working in Nottinghamshire, the council proudly maintain the highways to the legal minimum standard and the result is a moonscape. I would rather spend another £100 per annum on council tax than £300 on replacing tyres and suspension.
    When I was learning to drive I was told to take my driving line from the nearside kerb. Now it’s weaving around to avoid holes.
    Two more things that grind my gears are about the design of modern cars. The B to C pillar area is now designed to look sleek by reducing the height of rear doors. Do the designers not think that adults may have to exit the back seats? Or perhaps drivers might want to see out through windows? I can understand thick A pillars, but reducing window sizes behind the driver make manoeuvres more difficult. This is one area the Maestro excelled at.

  27. I wouldn’t mind the number of cars on the road being reduced if it makes life more pleasant for those of us who choose to drive. Most of the parking restrictions and high parking charges have been brought in because parking spaces are becoming rarer, particularly in the major cities and town centres. 40 years ago, it was quite easy and cheap to park and even in inner London, there were places to park without restrictions.

    • 40 years ago there were half the number of cars on the road than there are now. There was less need for parking restrictions.
      And we should learn to not complain about the amount of traffic nowadays, because we ARE the traffic.

  28. To add further insult to injury to my friend’s increasing dislike of driving, last night while driving home in his Quashqai, he was confronted by another evil enemy of 21st Century driving – road rage. He overtook someone who was riding a moped/lower powered motorbike in Exeter, leaving him plenty of space, when the rider decided to chase after him. My friend stopped and when the rider drew alongside him, his door was yanked open by the rider who then started issuing verbal threats. No reason was given what had upset him in relation to my friend or his driving, but the verbal abuse just got worse. This was despite the fact my friend was wearing his community nursing uniform. The rider then said he wanted my friend to drive to the car park at the end of the road. When my friend calmly enquired why, the response was related to inducing physical violence on him.

    My friend and his vehicle were then photographed by the rider and a threat to get the police involved. When my friend said that was okay and started to phone the police himself, the rider then rode off. My friend did report the incident to the police and they have advised him to log it, as well as always keep car doors locked at all times.

    I really hope this is an one-off incident for him and that it doesn’t become another pet hate for anyone else against all the other reasons that have diluted our enjoyment of driving.

  29. I don’t think road rage is anything new, but it has definitely increased in the last 30 years. I’ve had two nasty encounters that were totally unprovoked: the first one involving me stalling at a junction, which annoyed two chavs with shaved heads behind me, who decided when I got going again to sit on my bumper with their headlights on and horn going. Luckily they lost interest when I pulled into my road, but it wasn’t pleasant and they could have caused an accident if I had to brake suddenly.
    More serious was an incident involving a foreign registered lorry on the A590 in Cumbria, a road notorious for bends and gradients west of Greenodd. I slowed to about 40 mph for a bend on a gradient and Duel style, this lorry appeared on my tail with his horn sounding. I had to endure this dangerous idiot in a full size Scania sitting up my back for 6 miles until the turned off, but every time I slowed for a bend or gradient, the horn would go and the HGV would move up dangerously close. Scary and normally on a straight road, I’d accelerate and beat the driver as HGVs are speed limited, but not on a road like the A590.

  30. I live in Northern New Jersey, USA, a mix of urban-suburban. Indeed driving has become too much of a chore, too many fools on the road, too much traffic. My most fun in driving is outside urban and suburban areas. Last year I did a 10,000 mile cross-country trip and my favorite driving was on rural back roads with few other cars on the road.

  31. I drive in a city where speed humps are king. The only time I get any pleasure out of driving now is on the very rare occasion that I get an open country road to myself.

  32. Population increase equals more congestion. I have regularly driven up the A41 from London to the M40 since 2000 and more and more housing estates have been built between Aylesbury and the M40. Every estate means the road becomes more suburbanised with low speed limits, roundabouts and more traffic. What used to be an enjoyable drive is now a chore.

  33. We know that we keep going out and buying more and more cars. Just look at the stats.
    Then we complain that driving isn’t enjoyable any more because of all the other road users out there. Who would have guessed that one follows the other?
    Like I said last year, don’t blame the traffic – you ARE the traffic!

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