7 signs you’re a bad driver

Amy Bairstow
Amy Bairstow
7 signs you’re a bad driver

Ever feel like you’re surrounded by truly awful drivers on the road? Around 80% of drivers believe they’re more skillful and safer than the average driver - which doesn’t really add up when you think about the maths.

So what are the signs you might actually be the bad driver? Aside from having a bad driving record, there are a few other indicators. We thought we’d round up a handy checklist so you can see how you stack up.

Sign #1: You don’t wave to thank other drivers

It’s the small, subtle move that can magically melt tension on the road. The ‘thank you’ wave is a surprisingly important aspect of civilised driving. In fact, the NRMA's 2021 Courteous Driving Survey found that drivers’ number one irk is when other drivers fail to give a ‘thank you’ wave. That’s even ahead of inconsiderate mergers and sudden brakers!

Sign #2: You ‘forget’ your indicator

Do you treat your blinker as a choice rather than a requirement? Are you accustomed to the sound of screeching brakes behind you? If so, you’re a wild child, a free spirit, and frankly - a menace on the road. If you’re regularly surprising people with your decision to turn, this can be a clear sign that you might just be the problem.

Sign #3: Your parking is… questionable

Look, we all have bad parking days. No one will judge you too harshly for straightening up your car a couple of times, or even conducting a 50-point turn à la Austin Powers. But if your approach to parking is too relaxed or unruly, you might be the one walking away whistling, completely oblivious to the sheer carpark mayhem you’ve just caused.

Sign #4: You’re an uncooperative merger

One could argue that merging symbolises how cohesively our society works. That is, it works like a dream until some jerk called Terry rocks up to ruin everyone’s day. Are you the Terry? Perhaps you like to barge in like your life depends on it, or maybe you like to block others out for that mild sense of satisfaction.

Either way, here’s a refresher: It works like a zipper, Terry! A zipper!

Sign #5: You’re the last to turn on your headlights

While others turn their headlights on as dusk falls, you fight the dying light as if you’re in a Dylan Thomas poem. You scoff when someone flashes their lights at you through the inky darkness. You cruise on, willing the kangaroos to stay away through sheer stubbornness alone. You truly like to live on the edge, leaving everything up to chance - including whether you’ll miss your street or not.

Sign #6: You’re a tailgater

Can you read the sunglass brand of the driver ahead of you? Can you smell the coffee they have in their cupholder? If so, congrats - you're a first-rate tailgater! And oh boy, you’re sure putting a lot of faith in those brakes. Why would you waste all that precious time leaving a 3-second gap when you could be up close and personal with the chrome badge in front?

Sign #7: Your passengers look worried

The final, crucial sign you might be a bad driver is your passengers’ look of concern - if they’re brave enough to get in the car with you. Maybe they slam their foot down seconds ahead of you, or are constantly bracing themselves as you drive around corners. Yet the passengers of poor drivers don’t always show their terror so clearly. Sometimes they’ll quietly suggest that actually, that other driver did have the right of way just now.

Have you noticed any of these signs in your own driving? If not, then you’re probably in the clear!

So - are drivers getting worse in Australia?

With all jokes aside, we just might be. The road toll has been increasing in the past few years, with the risk multiple times higher on regional and remote roads. So let’s stay safe out there, and do all we can to keep the risk low on the roads.

And if you are on the search for used cars in Sydney, Carma makes it easy to find exactly what you’re looking for - be it a 5-star ANCAP safety rating or rear parking assist to help tame that carpark anarchy. Explore hundreds of used cars online now, all with a 3 month warranty, detailed pre-listing inspection and an extended coverage option to match.

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