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Driving Etiquette in Adelaide, Australia

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The casual observer and even residents may find shocking the apparent discourteous and ill-mannered nature of the typical Adelaide driver. Below are just a few of the bizarre manoeuvres that drivers in the area practice with alarming regularity.

The Blocking Manoeuvre

There are two basic versions of this manoeuvre. The first occurs with traffic moving on multiple-lane-roads and is normally executed by slow drivers. It requires careful monitoring of the rear-view mirror and good timing. When a faster moving car approaches from behind and indicates that it will move into the fast-flowing lane, change lanes (preferably without use of the indicator), thus pulling out in front of the faster moving car. Make sure you time your manoeuvre so that the target vehicle does not have time to change lanes again and go around you. Then select a vehicle in the slow moving lane, preferably a large truck, and maintain a constant speed next to it.

A variation of this manoeuvre can be performed on a single lane road that is just wide enough to accommodate two vehicles side by side. When travelling on such a road never drive near the kerb, instead make sure that you hold a position in the centre of the lane. This prevents anybody from overtaking safely, particularly if there is oncoming traffic.

The second version of the blocking manoeuvre occurs in slow-moving or stationary traffic. It can also be quite easily executed and can achieve surprising results. When stopping at traffic lights, try to stop so that you block a side street. This should be done even if there are no cars currently in the side street. It's amazing how many cars can be queued up by the time the lights change and the traffic moves off again. If several drivers perform this manoeuvre in a row, traffic in the side street can be held up for a long, long time.

The Left Turn Manoeuvre

The object of this manoeuvre is to seriously annoy the occupants of all vehicles immediately behind you. There may be some danger of an accident occurring, but if this happens you can always blame someone else, because you were just doing a normal turn. When turning left make sure that you slow down before indicating your intention to turn. As you slow down pull as far to the right as you feel you can get away with, changing into the right-hand lane if this will improve your chance of achieving your objective.

The Right Turn Manoeuvre

This manoeuvre is basically the same as the left turn manoeuvre with the only change being that you pull out to the left as far as possible giving nobody a chance of passing you on your left hand side.

The Bluff

The basic principle behind this manoeuvre is to not let anybody else know what you are doing. When turning, do not indicate, or do so when you have nearly completed your manoeuvre. When turning against oncoming traffic, particularly when approaching a red light, make sure you do not indicate your intention until you are stationary and have trapped several other cars behind you, thus probably causing them to miss the lights altogether. Many variations of this manoeuvre are possible, including indicating your intention to turn and then not turning. Use your imagination to come up with your own variations now that you know the basic principles involved.

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