Why are there so many bad drivers? Excluding the stupid and oblivious ones, the obvious answer is because it’s easier and the chances of being caught are slim. When these asshats inevitably create conflict, bad drivers aren’t discouraged by the bird. Odds are when they get it, they give it right back with a shit-faced grin and the gumption to go agitate the next reluctant participant.
On a slightly deeper level, turd-knockers are “rewarded” instantly, where as good drivers have to earn their rewards through time and tolerance. And even then, their rewards amount to little more than lower insurance premiums and a statistically greater chance of not having accidents.
The prime reason for being a good driver, assuming one would otherwise not be, is to lower your required insurance premium. Insurers love this. They award good drivers because it’s a fine marketing point. ‘Our drivers have the lowest premiums out of any other insurer‘, because they deny drivers with too many incidents.
A good driver, in their eyes, is simply the result from a statistics formula based on a largely arbitrary period of time, in which no law enforcement or fender-bender incidents occurred. It was created to increase profits by profiling drivers based on their individual histories, into various risk-tiers. Just like wall street does, but with a different formula.
In actuality, the formula used not a good indicator of truly good (i.e. skilled) drivers. There ought to be another way to distinguish themselves from the rest. The current good driver “rating” basically indicates the lucky ones, which in a fiscal sense, matters not to insurance (a.k.a. investment) companies.
Creating distinguished driver achievements “awards” and making them available for any driver to earn, would fill this void. They would need to be like certifications and renewed every so often. Each would carry a point value translatable into a statistical percentage which insurers could use to lower a certified subscribers premium.
vehicle handling skills
steady-as-she-goes pacing master
traffic ebb & flow regulator
Ok, so yeah, everyone makes mistakes and as such, there exists a way to make amends. Traffic school is that way. However, as anyone who’s taken traffic school knows, it’s a big joke. For some, traffic school is forced on really dangerous drivers who probably won’t change their habits anyhow. Others, it’s an optional way to get back to a blank slate. But It’s not a skills course, it’s a classroom lecture packed with videos and umpteen factoids that would never turn a bad driver into a good one. Under the current system, only time can do that.
While the current good/bad driver system isn’t completely broken, it is inadequate Distinguished Driver Achievement Certifications (DDAC) would introduce an honest structure of superiority to good drivers.