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How do you apologise when driving?

By cranky - 29 February 2012 20

My trusty steed has a wiring issue which causes the high beam to randomly activate when using the indicators with the headlights on.

I really annoyed a lady this morning when following her when the high beam flicking on and off was enough for her to change lanes and be obviously annoyed at the flashing lights in her rear vision mirror. Pulling alongside, I attempted to say sorry, and point at the dashboard, but it raised the question.

Is there a method of indicating ‘sorry’ when driving? When you inadvertently cut someone off, pull out when you shouldn’t, fail to indicate when you should?

I don’t know of an established standard/method/action, but it would certainly reduce the potential for road rage, pay back, and annoyance between drivers, but it could be a good thing.

What’s Your opinion?


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20 Responses to
How do you apologise when driving?
Henry82 5:10 pm 29 Feb 12

Just fix your lights. At least then you can’t fail an inspection.

BiffLoman 4:04 pm 29 Feb 12

I just give a sheepish wave… with my cloven hoof.

HenryBG 3:35 pm 29 Feb 12

The obvious solution would be to stop using your indicators.

I doubt anybody will really notice.

(Except on roundabouts, where you really should do your best to indicate the precise opposite of your intentions).

Simmi 3:26 pm 29 Feb 12

An essential part of driving is communicating with fellow commuters and I’ve always thought we should have an ‘apology’ signal on cars for instances like the one described.

Maybe a horn that plays La Cucaracha could be a good one.

Sleaz274 1:34 pm 29 Feb 12

Nothing wrong with the courtesy wave at all, whenever I back off to let people in or something like that it’s nice to get a wave across the rearview mirror as acknowledgement that we are all in this together and little courtesies are appreciated.

I’m on the motorbike 9 times out of 10 and for those who don’t know we nod at you as sometimes our hands are busy, so if I get a wave, like a lovely lady in a black barina yesterday who headchecked and saw me accelerating up to her rear panel, indicated and gave me time to back off a little so she could move in, I gave her a nice direct nod of acknowledgement in return. All rather civilised.

It does sound like you need to fix those lights though that would be annoying because australian’s take flashing of lights and horn use as an aggressive, rude gesture. In many other more becoming countries these tools are used for far more mundane things like letting people in, indicating that you are overtaking or moving quickly, letting people know you are filtering past, friendly acknowledgement etc etc…

c_c 12:42 pm 29 Feb 12

You we’re driving illegally at the time so best way to make amends would be to get off the road.

MERC600 12:33 pm 29 Feb 12

I’d be gettin those lights fixed PRONTO, or you will find yourself sharing your car seating space with a tyre lever at a red light.

trevar 12:08 pm 29 Feb 12

MsCheeky said :

Maybe slapping yourself in the head?

+1

I think that would probably effectively communicate your apology; I would certainly interpret it that way… and now that I’ve read this post, I will probably also be able to tell you read RA!

Thanks for asking, Cranky; I’ve often wondered the same myself, and unlike BenMac and what_the I occasionally make mistakes, so I will be slapping myself in the face whenever I do from now on!

M0les 11:25 am 29 Feb 12

Erg0 said :

Based on my experience, the most common way to indicate you’ve done something wrong on Canberra’s roads is to hurl invective at the innocent party while making obscene gestures in their direction.

Yes, I’m usually thanked with furrowed brow, bared teeth and a raised middle-finger.

But seriously: Smile and wave regardless of what they’re expressing to you – works fine either way.

(Oh – and get your blessed lights fixed sharpish!)

what_the 10:46 am 29 Feb 12

Erg0 said :

Based on my experience, the most common way to indicate you’ve done something wrong on Canberra’s roads is to hurl invective at the innocent party while making obscene gestures in their direction.

Most accurate post ever.

AnimosiTy 10:41 am 29 Feb 12

lol.. I like that.. slap your self in head! rofl!
I think people need to get less worked up over minor inconveniences in their day! :/
DONT hog the right hand lane! right Hand lane is for people who want to go faster and pay speeding fines, get your ass in the left lane. sit onthe speed limit in the left lane

Erg0 10:39 am 29 Feb 12

Based on my experience, the most common way to indicate you’ve done something wrong on Canberra’s roads is to hurl invective at the innocent party while making obscene gestures in their direction.

MsCheeky 10:33 am 29 Feb 12

Well, yes, fixing the lights would be good. I think under the circumstances, I wouldn’t have had them on this morning, unless we’re talking when it was still dark.

But it’s a good question. We all make mistakes on the road and a universal apology gesture would probably calm some of those situations. Maybe slapping yourself in the head?

what_the 10:33 am 29 Feb 12

Yeah, as pointed out, probably better not to piss people off in the first place when it’s completelyy avoidable. But generally the wave does it.

BenMac 10:23 am 29 Feb 12

I assume this will be a common answer, but maybe you could FIX YOUR LIGHTS.

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