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Amy Carpenter profile

Amy Carpenter

September 12, 2019

Driving advice Young driver stories 6 min read

Hello everybody, I’m Amy also known as Amie to some and today I’m here to blog about one of my recent driving experiences which I would explain as a nightmare from hell. One experience some of us might’ve experienced but is never really spoken about is dangerous drivers, and more importantly, how we, as new drivers, deal with them. Not indicating, dangerous manoeuvre and dangerous speeds across main roads and motorways. I recently had to deal with a dangerous driver situation, and I wanted to share my experience with you all. Now I’m not saying I handled everything perfectly and you should all do what I did – but if I can help at least one person who may end up in a similar situation, then it’ll be a blog worth writing!

Building up my confidence

I have been driving for just over a year, and whilst I’ve built up a fair bit of skill and confidence in that time, motorways are still a massive fear of mine (I took a Pass Plus course to try and conquer my fear, but they’re still pretty intimidating!) Never-the-less, I decided to pluck up the courage and drive my family down to Weston-Super-Mare for a day out! I was driving down the motorway, listening quietly to the radio whilst my family were having a natter in the car – nothing too distractive! My concentration was completely on the speed and safety of my driving.

via GIPHY

Where it all went wrong

I was driving along the motorway and decided to overtake the car in front – switching to the inside lane to do so. All of a sudden and out of nowhere, a car from the middle lane came over to the inside lane in front of me, braking harshly and slowing down to around 30mph! There was nothing ahead of the car, no emergency vehicles, accidents, roadblocks. I had no idea why they slowed down, but I knew that sitting behind them wasn’t a good idea – clearly, they were driving recklessly, I wanted to get out the way.

I decided to go back into the outside lane, so indicated left, checked my mirrors and blind spot and pulled over, however as I did this, so did the driver in front and this time, he hit my car and took my front bumper off as he swerved in front of me! I was in complete shock – what on earth was going on?! I braked as the driver hit the front on my car, which in turn almost saw the car behind drive into the back of me. Luckily, they didn’t, and I whilst I was shocked, I was glad no one was hurt. Unfortunately, my shock quickly turned to anger. I have a brand-new car, and this reckless driver has just ruined it! How can someone drive so dangerously, especially on a motorway?!

The wrong turn

I could still see the driver who hit my bumper, and they clearly had no intention of pulling over. They stayed at 50mph on the inside lane after hitting my car, so I made the decision to follow them. In hindsight, this wasn’t a good thing to do. The driver could have been very dangerous, and I had no idea what I was up against. I called the police from hands-free in my car and gave them the registration details, and where we were heading. I followed the driver all the way to Exeter, which is a bit of a detour, to say the least. The driver finally stopped and pulled over. Without thinking, I rushed out of my car to confront them – again, not the best idea! Luckily, as I did get out of my car, the police turned up too.

via GIPHY

I wasn’t aggressive or nasty towards the driver, but more, confused and sad, as to why he had done what he did. The police warned me that following him was a dangerous thing to do (which I realise now wasn’t the right thing to do) so I wouldn’t recommend anyone doing the same if you’re in a similar situation. Instead, make a mental note of their number plate (or ask a passenger to write it down) and tell the police – then let them locate the car and deal with it.

The police found out later that the driver was on his phone when it happened, so clearly wasn’t concentrating at all on the road! It was such a scary, upsetting and angering experience – I knew then I had to make a claim for the damages to my car – nightmare!

Onwards and upwards

I’m super thankful that the claims process was super simple! Whilst my car was being fixed, I was given a courtesy car which helped a lot. The insurance company and garage fixing my car were great and made the scary experience a little bit easier.

My advice for young drivers on the road in awkward, angering, frustrating or upsetting situations is to remember to stay legal at all times – don’t break laws by speeding to chase the person and don’t let your emotions affect the way you drive. There are hundreds of cars on the motorway at all times, so you need to ensure that the reckless driving from individuals doesn’t negatively impact everyone who is driving safely. If you’re reading this, I really encourage you to keep that in mind. It’s hard not to let your emotions take over. Mine did, and I know it could’ve been a lot worse.

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Amy Carpenter profile

By Amy Carpenter

'Hi guys, I'm Amy and I'm 21 years old. I passed my test in January 2018! I already feel super confident and love the freedom of being able to drive wherever I want. I'm here to blog about my driving experience and give some great hints and tips to you all.'  See more posts by Amy

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