Road Rage Response

This started out as a comment on Matthew’s blog post, but I then hit the word limit and decided that it probably worked better as a proper blog post!

So, if you haven’t already, go and read Matthew’s blog post, and then pretend that you’re reading a comment on his blog. (Except that here it’s not in a really tiny font which you need a magnifying glass to see 😉

Gosh, I didn’t realise you were so judgemental – how awful 😉 Seriously though, I do the same kind of thing. I think driving brings out the worst in people – when I’m driving I’m irritable, short-tempered, impatient, selfish etc. Don’t really know what it is, but driving definitely has some kind of effect me on other things don’t!

I think it’s something to do with stress levels – driving is actually quite a stressful experience for me. There’s something about always having to be alert and watching out for all the other idiots on the road which raises the stress levels.

Having said all that, to mention a few of your points… there are good reasons for not doing 70mph, mainly petrol consumption. I think the ideal speed for petrol usage is around 56mph. Although I do sit around 70 on the motorway! I do go faster occasionally, mainly when overtaking (if a car is doing slightly less than what I want to do, I will speed up so I don’t hold up the cars behind me).

I also feel the need to defend my choice of car. I own a Saab 9-3 which has a 2.0 litre turbocharged engine, producing about 154bhp. It’s not exactly a monster, petrol-guzzling engine but it’s probably more than I need. The petrol consumption isn’t too bad if you get going – I reckon around 40mpg on the motorway, 30-35 otherwise. (It usually hovers around 35 on the computer thingum).

So why do I drive it then? Well, because it’s a good, reliable car which will hopefully last. Recent problems aside, Saabs are generally known for lasting a long time – apparently the guy who services my car said he services another similar 9-3 which has done over 400,000 miles!

To my mind it was more environmentally sound to buy a car that had already been made (it was second-hand), almost ten years old, but still had plenty of life left in it – even if it wasn’t quite as efficient as a smaller, more modern car. [Apparently building a car accounts for 1/3 of the carbon emissions of its lifetime!] And it is a very comfortable car, well-designed and made, which despite its age is still in very good condition.

Aaaaanyway. I pretty much agree on all the other points – a pet peeve of mine is people who drive inconsiderately. But yes, I am guilty of being judgemental when driving, and that’s not a good thing 😦

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3 thoughts on “Road Rage Response

  1. Nice to have your take on the issue Phill! I take your point about getting a good quality car that will last a long time as opposed to buying a brand new car, and I’m much in the same position in that respect – I can’t see myself ever buying a car brand new, no matter what it is.

    And, just to clarify, my objection to large engine sizes only just includes cars like yours, but is mainly aimed at much larger engines. A 2.0 litre engine is pretty standard for a large or heavy car, and 154bhp is fine if you’re going to actually need to use it regularly. That said, I’d like to see you justify a turbocharger… It’s all about supply and demand, the way I see it. If you *need* it, fair enough, but otherwise it’s just a waste.

    And yes, I am being deliberately provocative in both my original post and this comment.

  2. Hi Matthew, I guessed you were being a tad provocative but I decided to run with it anyway 😉

    I really don’t think it’s worth buying a new car (as in brand new) – they have their share of problems as well, and to be honest a good quality second hand car will do just as well for a fraction of the price.

    What exactly is it about turbochargers that makes it worse? Given the petrol consumption is pretty good surely it doesn’t matter whether it’s turbo or not? Anyway, the answer is – I didn’t really have a choice, it was a second hand car! I didn’t pick the engine.

    And it is useful to have on slip roads etc, especially on some slip roads where you have about 2 metres before you’re on the road! Being able to accelerate fast in those situations is a definite plus 🙂

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