Confessions of a Bad Driver

Confessions of a Bad Driver

It was Henry Ford who said ‘don’t find fault, find remedy’. Sorry Henry but there is no remedy for bad driving. It just happens. Every time I drive.

The fact that I exchanged my Spanish driving license for a UK one without anybody testing my motor skills is a mystery. The least I expected was a cautionary:

‘By the way, we drive on the left’.

Nope. Just a payment of £43 and I’m given legal permission to crash. Into the nearest lamppost. On the left. 

I’m trying very hard to become a better driver, but the ‘left hand path’ is not an easy one to follow. Below are my personal pet peeves:

Magic Roundabout

I drive into Swindon’s ‘Magic Roundabout.’ It’s magic alright as I disappear into a myriad of satellites and face a powerful orbital force that refuses to let go.

Two hours later I’m ejected feeling I’ve been abducted by a giant circle crop.

Now I expect the ‘UK road authorities’ to design and build roundabouts. I do not expect them to do it while taking acid. Yes, these babies were built in the 70’s and all I can say is that someone must have been tripping. Pun intended. 

Deer Crossing, 2 ¼ miles

When I see this sign, I get nervous, anxiety rises and panic sets in. I can’t do fractions! Even if I could, what am I supposed to do?

1. Prepare camera for a wildlife photo?

2. Buy ingredients for venison stew?

3. Start crying because another Bambi might lose his mother?

All of the above? 

Besides, I know nothing about deer, but one thing for sure – they can’t do fractions.


Only in the country known for its indirect language and understatements does the word ‘diversion’ (meaning: a recreation, a pastime) translate to:

‘Leave the M3 at junction 4 (Frimley, Camberley) and try finding tiny misplaced yellow signs that you must follow all the way to Guernsey and back. Re-join the M3 at junction 5 (Hook, Odiham)’

The fact that there are no work crews to be seen I guess is none of my concern.

Still, Guernsey is a nice place.

Think Bike

Now I’m all for green-peace-lovin’-seven-generations-sustainability-wear-flowers-in-your-hair-and-save-the-dolphins-while-you’re-at-it malarkey.

But it takes a special kind of person to type ‘THINK BIKE’ on the electronic sign on the M1.

Yes! I’ll cycle to work! I’ll cycle back! Never mind it’s 90 miles (London to Northampton) and I might arrive a little late, or in an ambulance. It’s all for the carbon footprint. Or lack of. Or more of. Not sure of.

Yes! I’ll be considerate towards cyclists. While on the M1. Hang on … are cyclist allowed on the M1? Is there a cycle lane? Does it have priority? Are the Dutch taking over? And where is the sign for ‘Cycle Crossing: 2 ¼ mile’?

Welcome Break

A ‘welcome break’ is when your boss is sacked for financial fraud.

A ‘welcome break’ is when you get an instant pay rise in return for your silence.

A welcome break is NOT having to walk (or run depending how desperate you are) eight miles through a maze of shops and restaurants while holding it in only to find a sign that says ‘Closed for Cleaning’.

A welcome break is NOT finding the toilets are open but there is a ‘Male Attendant Cleaning’. Call me suspicious but isn’t that an invitation for the local weirdo to hang around the LADIES ROOM with a toilet brush?

And finally, a welcome break is NOT reversing the car and crashing into a black litter bin. On the left.

As a driver, I like to quote Henry Ford who also said, ‘Success is 99% failure’.

I’m working really hard at getting through the 99%.


Sonia Aste is a writer who is tryin to ‘step it up a gear’.

This was published in Riverside Newsletter (Toastmasters International). 


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