Whether you are the sort of person that regularly sleeps through your alarm, or are the type that is ready with so much time to spare you end up browsing Facebook and losing track of time, you have almost certainly found yourself running late before you’ve even left the house at least once in your life.
When you’re running late before you’ve even hit the road, it can be tempting to try and make up some time on the journey, but this is never a good idea. Before you had a car, you might have found yourself picking up your walking pace, or even breaking into a bit of a jog if you had a train to catch or exam to take, and the chances are, this never caused a problem. When doing this, you’re only really putting yourself at risk, and even then, that risk is of a grazed knee and bruised ego. Once you take to the wheel of a car though, everything changes. You not only have yourself to think about, but also your passengers, and everyone around you, whether they are travelling in another vehicle, walking down the street, or even minding their own business sat on a bench at the side of the road.
In reality, speeding is unlikely to see you arrive at your destination any sooner. It can be easy to forget this though, when you are feeling flustered because you’re running late. There have been many road safety campaigns on the subject, such as Road Safety Scotland’s Better Late Than Dead on Time campaign, but it is sometimes easier to remember when thought of as an everyday scenario. Most of us have been in that situation where the car behind you performs a risky overtake and speeds off down the road, only for you to catch them up at the next set of traffic lights and wonder “was that really worth it”. For all their efforts, they will get to their destination perhaps a second or two quicker, yet they have risked the lives of several people to achieve this minimal gain. Try to bear this in mind next time you are running behind.
The same applies at traffic lights. It can be tempting to keep on going when you know you could have stopped, or to sit and wait in the yellow box in the hope it will clear. You can never assume the action of other road users though, and while you might think it’s safe to take an extra few seconds to go through the junction, if somebody going in the other direction assumes it’s safe to go a few seconds early, it can easily result in an accident, which in turn, can affect your insurance as young driver.
Whether it’s your boss, your BFF or a hot date you are on your way to meet, give them a call or text before you leave and let them know you’re running behind. Nothing is more important than your safety on the roads, so just remember, it is better to be fashionably late than dangerously on time.