I’m 24 years old, and I get a fuck load of abuse from my friends due to the fact that I don’t yet have a driving licence. Up until now, I’ve managed to convince myself that it really doesn’t matter too much. I can get the bus! I have lots of friends who drive! I like walking! The excuses go on.
Did you know that the average age to pass a driving test in the UK is 23 for a female? This is what I cling to when I’m explaining myself but, at 24, I’m creeping away from the average – so something has to change. I’m on the road, I have my L plates, and I’m well on my way to getting that licence that I’ve managed to avoid for so long.
Am I happy about it? I suppose so. I mean, journeys will be much more convenient when I can just go whenever and wherever I like. But the one thing I’ve learned, above everything else, is that the other people on the road are absolute fucking wankers. Seriously – I’ve never been one for anger issues, but just a few short weeks behind the wheel has changed that forever.
Cars are wonderful things. They can take us to where we want to be, and they can let other people know what we plan to do with their handy built-in indicator feature. Is this feature a new invention, you may ask? No! Indicators have been on cars for decades, so why the fuck does the entire country seem to have developed such an allergy to them?
I don’t like taking risks or living on the edge. I’m the ‘safest’ person I know, therefore I like to wait for a good gap at a roundabout. This is all well and good when people indicate – if you’re coming off at the exit before I’m joining, I can go! But they do not fucking tell you. It’s not much effort. It’s the flick of a wrist at most, and being such a load of wankers they can’t be out of practice, yet the action seems to evade them.
I also pride myself on sticking to the speed limit most of the time. Unlike the stereotypical learner who drives at 10mph pretty much everywhere, I have no problem with a bit of speed. I drive at 30 in a 30, 40 in a 40 and 60 in a 60 – but it would seem that seeing L plates on the back of a car just screams “overtake me”, no matter how fast I’m going at the time. It sounds like something you’d hear on Grand Prix racing. The revving of an engine, the sound as the car passes, and the gentle slowing of the revs as they settle back in front of you like the smug “I have a driving licence” bastards that they are.
I did achieve some level of satisfaction last week when I reached the top of a hill and found a speed trap on the other side – because the idiot who had overtaken me must have been caught, as he was going at least 80mph, which is just ridiculous. To the people who feel the need to speed past when we’re near houses or schools: get a fucking grip. You won’t bully me into speeding when there could be kids about, no way. Dirty your conscience, but leave mine alone.
So what have I learned from my driving lessons so far? Well, I’m a lot angrier than I thought, though my mood does improve the second I pull back onto my drive. Also, most of the road-based human population are utter dickheads, though I already had my suspicions about that one.
When explaining to others why I hadn’t learned to drive at the age of 17, I garbled a load of rubbish about how I was saving money, saving time, saving energy. Now I realise the only thing I was saving was anger. Perhaps I need to buy a punch bag before I head out again.