The death of road manners

Posted by Dylan Campbell at 2:20 pm on Wednesday February 20, 2013

thxwaveWhy is everyone on the road becoming selfish, mannerless twats? Road etiquette is receding quicker than Prince William’s hairline.

This morning, a taxi roared up the left lane next to me, like a giant white cockroach, torpedoing its way towards a parked car. The driver hit his indicator and wanted to evacuate via the right lane. Where I was driving.

I thought I’d be nice so I kissed the brakes, quite aggressively, and let the guy in. If I didn’t, he would have been spitting out bits of airbag. And beaded seat covers.

As I watched him slither his way into the gap I made him, I waited for a little wave of gratitude, or a flick of the index finger – anything. But there was nothing. Off he scurried.

Now, normally my attention span wouldn’t accommodate such a thing and I’d promptly get over it. But this morning, I found myself swallowing a lump of anger, washed down with a simmering sense of disappointment. I wanted to imprint my car’s badge into the back of Mr Taxi.

Basically, in Sydney at least, our fellow road users are becoming selfish, mannerless twats. Little flickers of driving etiquette are fading away. Particularly the “thank you” wave. And the way it’s all heading, we’ll soon be punching and stabbing each other instead.

Are people losing their manners on the road, or should I get over it?

Write your opinion below – no account needed. (Only a witty username.)

  1. Cootified said...
    Wednesday February 20, 2013 at 2:34 pm Link to comment Report comment

    You are right. People are impatient. More and more people are driving aggressively. My question is, how did this all start?
    I know when I drive now, there are an equal number of ‘rude’ drivers AND drivers you would think should not be on the road at all.
    Are these equal numbers some kind of indication?
    How many times can you be patient behind a person ‘dawdling’ down the street and stops with no indication at all (or worse veer off the road to turn somewhere without signal)….meanwhile the 5 cars behind has turned to 11 cars.
    Or the Taxi driver who veers on to your lane so he can catch his dinner?
    Or the drivers that have no idea how to queue around a roundabout.
    Patience is not limitless.

  2. PanAmGuy said...
    Thursday February 21, 2013 at 11:12 am Link to comment Report comment

    Bus drivers.

  3. Adza said...
    Thursday February 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Just some acknowledgement that you are doing the other driver a favour by letting him or her in not a sense of entitlement from other drivers.

  4. Parko said...
    Thursday February 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Couldn’t agree more. I travel in Sydney peak traffic every day, and more and more find that people don’t wait for a gap and just force there way into spaces that don’t actually exist. They’re relying on the other driver to jam on their brakes and avoid them. Bloody morons.

    Front mounted rockets aka James Bond seems like a good idea to deploy on those with no manners!

    Even more annoying than those who drive along with their arm dangling down the door. They’re blatantly advertising the fact that they’re driving with one hand on the wheel.

  5. alex said...
    Thursday February 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Adza – if you don’t thank someone for doing you a favour, then it means you are probably a selfish git and don’t deserve people to show u manners in the first place. So next time someone doesn’t let you in then perhaps they’ve had enough of people not thanking them and have made the decision to never let anyone in again.

  6. Panda said...
    Friday February 22, 2013 at 8:49 am Link to comment Report comment

    I actually though Sydney driver’s were quite accommodating, generally when one indicates and there is room to back off one appears to be able to change lanes as long as one doesn’t dawdle. I have done quite a bit of driving in Sydey over the last few years however I do agree the courtesy has reduced. Driving on the Bruce Highway were tailgating is the norm, even in the left hand lane, by black large 4wd suites in utes or chicks with disposable cars displaying ‘P” plates. Also found driving in Canberra and Melbourne are just as bad for discourtesy and tailgating

  7. roadrex said...
    Friday February 22, 2013 at 10:36 am Link to comment Report comment

    Pushbike riders are the worst. Arrogant prats. I think todays newer drivers are not being taught the advantages of road etiquette.Like pull into the kerb and wait to turn into a driveway on the opposite side of the street instead of stopping and blocking traffic. Not a law, just common sense that keeps the traffic moving. We have the laws we deserve, I’m afraid.

  8. combat-wombat said...
    Friday February 22, 2013 at 12:23 pm Link to comment Report comment

    The ones who stop to wave in the middle of a pedestrian crossing are growing in numbers. You can’t walk & wave at the same time? If I didn’t have to stop for you, I wouldn’t. So don’t be thankful, be somewhere else!

    But seriously, if you’re such a knob that you can’t even give someone a simple wave for letting you in, then at the very least, get on with it! If someone’s not gonna wave or say thank-you in some way, shape, or form, I’d prefer they just bugger off instead of piss-fart about while I’m stuck behind them thinking that I shouldn’t have made room for ’em in the first place.

    So yes, you’re right DC, people are losing their manners.

  9. Simon said...
    Friday February 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I get a bit jack of it when trying to merge on to a main road or freeway & the person you are slightly ahead of will not let you in because its their divine right to own the road. I still thank people with the customary wave, it shows maners & is not too hard to do.

  10. Handbrake Harley said...
    Sunday February 24, 2013 at 7:01 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It’s definitely getting worse on Melbourne roads- the degree of arrogant driving seems directly proportional the depth of the window tint. Interestingly- really high end cars like Porsche Aston or maserati are rarely a problem- maybe money and brains really do go together

  11. B Driver said...
    Sunday February 24, 2013 at 8:46 pm Link to comment Report comment

    I drive a school bus. It’s nothing special to have people cut me off at roundabouts, overtake me in SCHOOL ZONES (yes, some idiots do around here), speed up to cut me off at intersections. I drive on the Pacific Highway daily. The frightening ones are the fools who overtake me then pull back in sharply and brake. We sit on the speed limit, yet it’s nothing unusual to get a line of 10 or more cars banked up behind me the couple of kilometers between two of my stops. If these good, law abiding citizens are obeying the law, how do they catch up to a bus doing the speed limit? Sharing (?) the road with a bus seems to bring out the worst in a lot drivers.

  12. Black dog said...
    Monday February 25, 2013 at 10:03 am Link to comment Report comment

    Well i dont think its just on the road,seems to me that people are just getting more rude/selfish and downright stupid every day!

    or are we all just becoming a pack of winging sooks?

  13. internationalist said...
    Monday February 25, 2013 at 5:53 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Blame the computer-mentality where *speed is main priority.

    Everyone and everybody demands everything in an instant.

    Then you take this mentality outside where reality is the opposite and what do you get?.. a lot of rage. A lot of selfish, swift, uncalled for decisions.

  14. Catdog said...
    Tuesday February 26, 2013 at 10:11 pm Link to comment Report comment

    It’s the same in Canberra. Too many people doing 20 under the limit in the right hand lane. And too many fools tapping their brakes every 50 metres in free flowing traffic for no reason. The most aggressive drivers are the young females is my observation.

  15. Tumshyheid said...
    Thursday February 28, 2013 at 10:51 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Try living in western Australia mate…The road rules are…THERE ARE NO RULES!
    If you hit a traffic jam you just pull out and drive through the nearest back yard until you finsd another route.

  16. net said...
    Friday March 1, 2013 at 2:56 pm Link to comment Report comment

    Those damn roaches! Haha. Great article!

  17. spandau tango8 said...
    Monday March 4, 2013 at 2:43 pm Link to comment Report comment

    one of the abc motoring journos said that we are the worst drivers on the planet. True i guess, as Forest Gump said” stupid is stupid does”.

  18. SemiConscious said...
    Monday March 4, 2013 at 3:44 pm Link to comment Report comment

    manners are out the window…