Car owners are constantly demanding more from their cars and eagerly measure the increased leg- or elbow room and bigger boot spaces while comparing swatches of the seven extra trim colours. It's a pity they often forget the most basic driving principles, Jasmine suggests.

ABS, crumple zones and all sorts of electronic driver aids are now expected on even the most basic of models. Brilliant things, yes, but surely all our first-class drivers could be even better if they applied the basics first?

Basics like the humble indicator have for years been accepted as a means of signalling the intended direction of travel. Yet, drivers now expect one to, while tracking the speed of the car in relation to the direction in which the wheels are slowly turning, quickly calculate that the car is about to move ahead of you.

And activating your indicator is quick and simple, merely requiring a finger to flick the switch and not akin to harvesting a kidney. It still seems as though some people inflate the task to that of stopping the car, opening the boot, screwing the indicator's light-bulb in, getting back into the car, taking the corner or changing the lane, and then repeating the procedure, but this time unscrewing the bulb... I wonder if hand signals are still in use and whether anyone has a clue how to decipher them?

I am convinced that the trusty indictor stalk has been re-commissioned to serve as a perch for the equally disused cell phone hands-free unit.

It amazing how many people still insist on chatting to their pals or sending long messages while weaving across the road, without using their brake-lights, of course.

Brake lights in working order would be appreciated, too. While many people may be blissfully unaware that their brake lights are not in tip-top shape, playing "Guess how fast this old fart will stop" is something I'd rather not do.

Especially when Sunny and I are dressed to the nines and ready for a night out on the town with the girls. I'm sure, though, that any guy checking his rear-view mirror and seeing some girl pointing her freshly manicured nails in his direction (while dispensing choice words of advice) will be startled into action.

And of course, with tailgaters not resigned to BMW's and beefed-up Golf 1s these days, even the unassuming, courteous following distance has been forced to take a back seat on the local "street racing" avenues.

Modern conveniences and legislation are making passenger cars safer than ever. Thus it's a pity that drivers are fast becoming as unsafe as those lost goats and sheep that wander onto rural, and not-so-rural roads. And they too have the means to cause a nasty dent.

Catch you on the freeway, Jasmine . . .

Original article from Car