Without wishing to put too fine a point on it, I am not one of life’s great shufflers. I object to the idea whole heartedly, in fact, especially in public places, in full view of the rest of the world…
I mean how much control can one retain over a vehicle if one decides to ‘shuffle’ it? (I’ve now said the word shuffle so many times inside my head that I’m beginning to lose a grasp on what it means).
What I’m talking about, of course, is the method of steering a vehicle that’s taught not just by every driving instructor in the land but also to our very own police forces – the hand-to-hand shuffle. And yet, as far I’m concerned, shuffling is the most cumbersome, plain wrong way to steer a car that there is – especially if that car that happens to have gone into a slide for some reason.
And so why, can someone please explain to me, is this clumsy, cack-handed, counter-intuitive driving technique still taught to every new driver in the UK? Who says that such a flawed method of steering a car is correct? Who invented the idea in the first place? And why, pray, did any one listen actually to them – and then decide that it was a good idea?
Having spoken to various police officers over the years, I get the mixed impression that some of them know damn well that the shuffling method is silly – although honourably they tend to put up and shut up to toe the line. But there are many others I’ve met who genuinely believe it works.
On the skid pad at Hendon I’ve witnessed officers being taught how to apply opposite lock using the shuffle method, and it looked so obviously wrong it was almost amusing. Amusing, that is, until you realise how difficult it is to control a car when it gets out of shape using this method, and that the average police officer has rubbish car control BECAUSE of the method they’re taught to use.
(And as for the fact that female drivers are statistically better at parking than men – which is what an NCP survey has apparently revealed this week – don’t even go there my friend. Don’t so much as think that it could be true, not even for one quarter of a single second…)