Driving home on autopilot


This is an editorial collaboration 

As soon as the clock ticked over to 4pm, it was home time. I quickly packed up my belongings and left work, excited to start my three day weekend with my family. One day each week, Little Mr spends the day with my Mom over at my Parent’s house in Staffordshire whilst we are in work. As I work near Birmingham, I spend a good hour (sometimes more) travelling to my Parents house avoiding the traffic hotspots around the M5 and the M6 along the way.

Tonight I realised as I was driving home that I didn’t actually remember making conscious decisions to go a particular way home. I was on autopilot. I just drove the way I always drive without really thinking about it. How dangerous is that? The said could be the same for actually driving my car. I’ve been driving for ten yeas now (although I proudly passed my driving test back in 2001, we won’t mention how many times it took me to pass) and now when I get in the car, I’m mostly on autopilot and my hands seem to know what they’re doing and my feet move over the pedals and push down and up responding to the traffic flow in front of me whilst I’m attempting to keep a little one entertained in the back and making sure I’m out of harms way on the road.

Whilst I was in a queue of traffic this evening, one of the lights on my dashboard popped up and I ignored it. There’s so many lights on the dashboard that pop up over the course of a normal car journey; arrows appear left and right for indication, a shift symbol to remind me to change gear, a seatbelt warning when I first get in the car. There’s loads of them that it made me think whether we actually pay any real attention to them at all or are we putting ourselves in danger by ignoring them.

We bought a new car last year and only today I’ve realised that I’ve been driving my car nearly one whole year without having read the manual or learning what the lights on the dashboard mean. If something serious popped up, I’m not sure I would realise or know what to do and with driving around with my precious cargo in the backseat, it’s made me dig out the manuals and refresh my memory. You can test your dashboard light knowledge here.

blinking light

It only takes a few minutes to remind yourself of what those little blinking lights mean. Test yourself and stay safe!

It turns out the light on my dashboard was to tell me I need a new bulb. I’ll be buying a new one tomorrow.

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