The recent election results seem to have thrown up some surprises that have been the subject of much media coverage in the past few days – with many theories, comments and ideas being expounded.  However, there are some similarities with the world of driving that could make for some interesting consideration and reflections:

People change their minds 
Numerous pollsters seemed to think that the outcome would be a Parliament with no party having a majority – as we know the reality was nothing like that. How did they get is so wrong?  One simple answer is that at the last moment, decisions people change their minds.Just like a driver at a roundabout who starts to ‘go’, then suddenly changes his mind and stops, leading to a collision from behind.  Should we really be surprised when decisions change, we all do it, and will continue to do so. The wise driver will be prepared for changing decisions and react accordingly.

People don’t always tell the truth
One possible reason for poll inaccuracies is when we’re asked how we intend to vote, we either give a deliberately incorrect (mischievous) response, or we unintentionally name the wrong candidate/party. Is that really any different to a driver approaching a turn with an indicator on, only to go straight past the junction?  How can we rely on such a signal when it may be at best given in error?   The only factor we can really be sure of is that the indicator bulb is functioning!

We leave things to the last minute 
Just as some voters will have intended not to vote, but then perhaps seeing predicted outcomes with a pang of conscience they decide to act hoping to sway the results, it is not uncommon for a driver to make a last-minute decision to change direction, leading to near-misses or collisions. It is a natural human trait to leave things close to the wire, sometimes the consequences are, at best a near miss, at worst a collision.

Some people get it totally wrong (no names but I’m sure you know a few…)
There’s no doubt about it, in the UK we do enjoy a relatively sane and predictable driving environment, particularly compared to other countries. Like ‘most’ politicians, ‘most’ drivers ‘play by the rules’. UK drivers follow predictable, logical routines – despite some fast and heavy traffic. Generally traffic flows well and without any major challenges. But when faced with someone who perhaps is less experienced or reads the scenario in a very different way to us, the ‘crash’ outcome catches some of us totally by surprise. No driver knows the ability, background or experience of the other drivers on the road.

Just like politics, the experienced driver will always give clear simple messages that others can follow and interpret. He will also have planned alternative strategies to allow for when things go off course.

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