Have you changed your driving style? Enthusiasts share their stories

90% of the time I drive easily. For the other 10%, I enjoy taking the engine to the redline.

BHPian SS-Traveller recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Many, many years ago, I would have called myself an enthusiastic driver. Initially, though, my limit was what an Ambassador 1.5L petrol (attempting doughnuts with it, ending up with a burnt clutch and broken axle), a Morris 8 (great off-roading vehicle), an SS-80, a Rajdoot 175, Yamaha RX100 (the leg guard would scrape the road on turns before the foot pegs did) or a Vespa 150 could do, but as I moved on through a series of cars (no more bikes) later, I would happily drive them to the limit, scare the life out of other road users, break them and fix them, and look forward to the next car I could buy with my money.

Then came family, but that never deterred me - except, I did not associate further with fast bikes (this also had to do with a bad back that bothered me over the years). Our road trips took care of my enthusiasm to drive (and drive at the limit of the car). A few (well, numerous!) close shaves later, it dawned on me that I could actually kill my family and myself by doing what I was doing. One such close shave was this one.

This was probably the turning point in my style of driving. I decided to get trained to be a safer driver. It is another story that, in the process, I went through a course to be a low-risk driving trainer. Many call me too staid and slow on the roads, but my Point-A-to-B times are not much more than other drivers' - in fact, sometimes better for multiple reasons. It has been over 9 years since I changed my driving style to careful and steady from fast and furious, and I have never regretted it.

So this thread is to find out whether you consider your driving pattern to be the enthusiastic & risky / Fast & Furious style, or whether are you safe, careful, staid, or boring; also, let's hear whether you have transformed from one to the other, and how/why.

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

Voted for "none of the above".

Can it be a little bit of both? I am a calm & disciplined driver in the city and when there is heavy traffic. However, on the highway / open road, if I am in a good car, I love to bury the pedal into the metal. I love acceleration. I love to corner, but well within my limits, my car's limits & the road's limits. Fast, but never risky. Fast, but safe enough. Fast, but keeping enough safety gaps around. Fast, but never rash. 90% of the time I drive easily. For the other 10%, I enjoy taking the engine to the redline.

I enjoy driving. Period. At any speed, whether low or high. Any car, be it an S-Presso or S-Class. Thanks to the job, I drive almost all new car launches in India on all kinds of roads. I cherish these experiences, regardless of the speed or how "tight" the car handles.

Admittedly, in my younger days, I did have my fair share of fast-and-furious racing. Quit a long time back. It's too dangerous, the roads are too crowded and even an inexperienced sleepy cab driver in a yellow board Innova Crysta has 150 BHP on tap.

Here's what BHPian Eddy had to say on the matter:

I was never the fast and furious type, but I have slowed down even further. Age, wisdom, family responsibilities and some mishaps in my circle all led to the change.

Edit: Also, the stringent speed limits and instant challans within Delhi have also contributed. I am now very happy to set the cruise control to 50/60 and make it a relaxed drive.

Here's what BHPian androdev had to say on the matter:

Experience, enlightenment and age have taught me to be a more considerate and risk-averse driver. I have adopted a certain driving philosophy of not to inconvenience other road users, most importantly not to cause any harm to others due to my actions. However, my love for driving, my curiosity to understand these machines and my desire to own and experience beautiful cars have only seen a steady rise.

I enjoy driving a hybrid to get the maximum fuel efficiency and I also enjoy taking a fast corner in a sporty car to flirt with danger (to the level a sensible person is allowed to). For me, being at the wheel is the exact opposite of being bored. I suspect this feeling will only grow stronger as I get older.

Here's what BHPian Night Raven had to say on the matter:

While I have enjoyed most of the Fast and Furious movies, personally I prefer to be like Jason Statham in Transporter. Respect the car, drive within speed limits, be precise and be a gentleman while driving. Do stunts only when it is a matter of life and death. In all my 19 years of bikes and cars, I can say I drove pedal to metal only once. That was when I was called to the hospital around midnight to resuscitate a baby who refused to breathe. Didn’t enjoy it at all and I made a promise to myself and my wife I wouldn’t ever do it again. I try my best to start early so that we can drive relaxed, and even if we are running late I tell myself a delay is far better than a disaster.

Here's what BHPian GeneralJazz had to say on the matter:

I would say I have mellowed a lot from the F&F style. I always used to drive "enthusiastically" and I always used to be the driver in my friend's group. Driving in Kerala means pulling risky overtakes if one wanted to get going, and I used to get a rush while doing so. Also, if someone were to overtake me, I used to consider that as a great personal insult.

Over 15 years and nearly a lakh km later, I'd say I have toned down quite a bit. A few close calls helped with the toning-down process!

Some of the things that have changed over the years:

  1. Adapt my driving style to the limitations of the vehicle I'm driving, a concept that was alien to me a decade ago.
  2. I take more time to plan my overtakes now so as to reduce the risk.
  3. I take into consideration the comfort of the passengers in my driving meaning fewer sudden accelerations and jerky braking
  4. Learn to anticipate the behaviour of other road users. It's an ongoing process and each close call and narrow miss is a valuable lesson.
  5. If someone is trying to overtake me, almost always I let them. It's not to be taken as an attack on one's ego.
  6. It's not my responsibility to "teach a lesson" to bad drivers. My grandfather used to have a driver, who, whenever faced with bad drivers/riders, used to remark "There's a lorry waiting for him". I know it's a dark and twisted thought, but it really helped me cool down in several situations. Let someone else teach them a lesson.
  7. Last but not least, enjoy the drive.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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