They say the key to good comedy is timing. I’m not really sure who “they” are, but it’s an accurate statement. It could also be said that the key to surviving on the road is also about timing. Sometimes the timing is good and sometimes not so good. Drivers have to time their maneuvers in traffic to remain safe. Sometimes our timing doesn’t happen while we’re driving.
How many times have you washed your vehicle only to have it rain the next day? It’s about timing. I do like my vehicle looking clean so I tend to check the weather forecast before I wash it. This includes during winter weather as well. Washing my vehicle in winter helps to keep the grime off the vehicle helping it to look its best and to help keep the lights and windows clear. However, washing the vehicle on a cold day on the way home from work is just not good timing. Everything can freeze on it as it sits in my driveway overnight and makes opening the frozen doors the next day more difficult. I tend to wash it on milder days or at the start of the day so the vehicle doesn’t just sit there and get frozen.
Each time a driver makes a turn across the path of oncoming traffic they have to time their maneuver. Judging the speed of the traffic is a huge part to making a successful turn. Just because you know the speed limit, don’t assume the oncoming traffic will be doing that same speed. You can judge the speed of other vehicles as they pass stationary items alongside the road. If it appears they are moving faster than the other traffic, they’ll reach you sooner. This means your timing with making a safe turn may be off. (More info about judging vehicle speed and movement can be found here.)
Sometimes timing isn’t very good when you’re driving in poor weather. I often hear about vehicle crashes during an ice storm, snow storm or during a very heavy rain storm. The rough part is that the bad weather can be over in a day or two. At least the roads can be drivable in many cases. Was it worth driving in those conditions or could you wait?
The commute I make to my office each day is roughly 90 minutes and the drive home is longer. I have a plan that if the weather is bad that in some cases I can either work from home if I haven’t left yet or, if the weather gets bad while I’m in my office, to stay the night in my office. That wouldn’t seem so bad if I worked at a hotel, but sleeping in my office at least would allow me to avoid the timing of the severe weather. So far I haven’t had to go that far, but I’m prepared for it.
And I thought of this one to finish off this post. For those who sit in a drive-thru, timing plays a role. If you sit with your window down, especially in the rain, no one shows up to collect your money or to provide you with your order. The moment the window goes up, someone shows up. I often wonder if they’re watching you just to throw your timing off.