Maths: Actually useful for something – driving!
Those of who did not have a head for maths at school reasoned that our ineptitude was irrelevant because, frankly, there is no use for most of the stuff they teach once you get out into the real world. In a way that’s been proven to be true for many people; most of those who couldn’t sort out their algebra from their trigonometry have found some way to get on in life, putting one foot in front of the other, taking on sustenance and not hiding in a darkened room muttering about their times tables. But having a basic knowledge of maths can make a lot of things in life easier, and one of those things is driving.
Stop laughing at the back, because it’s true – you can be a safer, more efficient driver if you have a better grip on your maths. Take stopping distances, for example. You may be able remember the right stopping distances on paper (there is a cheat sheet here if you need one), but out on the road you might need to make adjustments all the time, due to changes in speed, road conditions, the weather – it helps to be able work these things out in your head.
Next on the syllabus: fuel economy. High fuel prices have us all thinking a little about how much we spend on petrol and diesel, and paying more attention to what fuel economy actually means. If you want to know how much a trip will cost you in fuel, you refer to your car’s fuel economy. But this is not a fixed value; drive more slowly, with gentle acceleration, and your fuel economy will improve, while if you are constantly on the accelerator for speedy overtakes, it will go down. If you want to know how far you can go between fill-ups, and want to make adjustments to this figure based on how you are driving, what do you need? Come on, one of you? Maths, correct.
Even parking – and it’s likely that half the drivers you know could do with a bit of help in this area – can be improved if you brush up on your maths skills. Why? Because parking is all about understanding angles and how they work and adjusting those angles based on the amount of space available – here’s a great guide which explains all this in detail.
So there you have it – maths is useful after all! So if you think boning up on your maths could help you be a safer, more efficient driver, maybe a distance learning maths course might be a wise use of your free time. That’s it, class dismissed!