How does a true Gentleman driver behave in a car? Intelligence and elegance are cartainly innate and instinctive virtues, but there is a number of etiquette rules and good manners to which every Gentleman behind the steering wheel can refer to in order to refine his ways, making them even more correct and classy.
The concept of Driving Etiquette dates back to the early 1900s, spontaneously given to regulate the traffic of horse-drawn carriages. Over a century later, the bon ton for drivers has evolved along with technology and has defined itself country by country, based on different habits and needs. But some rules remain timeless and universal: here are our favorite ones.
A Gentleman does not flick between lanes in slow moving traffic.
Overtaking a friend always gives satisfaction, but it is a certain nobility: a simple “Au revoir” along with a gentle gesture with your hand (even better if wearing driving gloves).
A Gentleman accepts responsibility if he is at fault: if he does something wrong, just says “I’m sorry”.
No car lover, especially the ones into classic cars with delicate interiors, would dare to smoke inside the cabin, especially in the presence of passengers. It is allowed only with the top down.
A Gentleman dips his headlights well in advance: better make mutual respect and security shine instead.
A Gentleman knows how to create a calm and pleasant environment around him, even in the car. He will put his traveling companions at ease or he will leave on his own, if he wants to hear only the voice of the road.
The art of driving and good road education want you to not occupy the center of the roadway, something that would cause unpleasant peaks of insults from other drivers.
A Gentleman drives only if sober.
A Gentleman driver will always fasten his and his passengers’ seat belts, as well as fixing the rear-view mirror (and his tie or bow tie, of course) before leaving.
A Gentleman lets other cars pull into the flow of slow traffic.
A Gentleman never, never, never plays loud music with all the windows down. Never.
A true Gentleman will open the car door to seat his lady and will give her hand to get out of the cabin as well. A now rare but always pleasing attention, reflection of what used to happen when getting out of carriages just two centuries ago.
A Gentleman's car is always clean: lustrous dashboard, no papers in compartments or over the seats, as well as no hairy, gaudy, or rocking gadgets.
A Gentleman doesn’t double-park, nor does he park sideways or occupy more than one parking lot with his car. He also tries as much as possible to not create traffic jams or slowdowns.
In addition, a Gentleman's car is always in order: punctually inspected, the documents are well collected in an elegant case.
Photo credits: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman © 2018