► News  »   How to Drive like A Gentleman, Part 6

How to Drive like A Gentleman, Part 6

Steve Whitaker 11th October 2013
by Steve Whitaker

Here at Kahn News, it's always a pleasure to receive correspondence from our favourite expert on the etiquette of the road, Quentin Cholmondley-Silverstone. This latest missive arrived in our Inbox this very morning:

My dear fellow gentlefolk,

It has been an inordinately extensive temporal elongation since I last entertained, edified and educated your good selves with one of my musings on the subject of gentlemanly behaviour when driving on the Queen’s Highways. With that in mind, one has been wracking one’s little grey cells (in the words of one’s estimable Belgian fidus Achates, Monsieur Hercule Poirot... who is dashed good company when one is riding on The Orient Express... I remember speaking to a delightful Miss Christie about one such journey...) for some more sage advice to impart. Read on, dear friend, for one’s thoughts:

When one is driving after dark, and a fellow driver flashes their headlights at you, they are to be most richly commended. Said gentleperson is attempting to aid you in not pranging your pride and joy and possibly doing yourself a most grievous injury. He or she has perceived that you have omitted to actuate your headlights and is attempting to inform you of this. For your own safety, it would be most propitious for you to amend the situation!

The motorway is an area where ungentlemanly behaviour is rife. There are several pitfalls one must carefully avoid. These perils would be apt enough cause for concern on the typical byways of this sceptred isle, but when excess velocity is supplemental to the equation, said potential crises are magnified:

Many drivers when cruising the motorways are wont to leave, what to some automobilists, is an excessive interstice between themselves and the vehicle ahead of them. They do this to ensure they have allowed enough space should they be forced into deploying their brakes severely. They most categorically do not do this to allow some blackguard to shoehorn their vehicle into it whilst overtaking.

Since one is of a mind to consider the issues of overtaking, one must make mention of the thorny subject of lane discipline. One must fix in one’s mind that the two right-hand lanes are purely for overtaking slow-moving traffic in the innermost lane. One should not be staying in, for example, the middle lane for an excessive period. If one happens to glance out of the passenger side window and espies a vehicle undertaking an overtaking manoeuvre, this is the greatest signifier that one is not only in the incorrect lane, one has been in the incorrect lane for an inordinate length of time!

Another issue relating to overtaking is rather too commonplace on the “A” roads of our country. These deviations from good conduct are most often perpetrated by drivers of powerful German motor cars from the Bavarian region of that country, specifically Ingolstadt and Munich. Drivers of these vehicles must be reminded that it is not encumbent on vehicles minding their own business and driving correctly in the opposite lane of the carriageway to move out of the way should you decide you are not willing to wait for a safe time to overtake a slow-moving fellow road user.

One last item for this occasion: please be fully cognizant that the interior of your motor vehicle is still a part of the outside world. You are still most obviously visible to those outside. With that in mind, one is most definitely advised to refrain from such ungentlemanly behaviour as digital nasal excavations (picking one’s nose)!

Until next time, dear friends, cheerio! 

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