“Get out of the way”, “I can’t believe he just cut me off”, “old people shouldn’t be on the road”, “kids shouldn’t have a license”, or “I would love to give her a one finger wave”. Yep, you’ve guessed it; road rage at it’s ugliest. It seems like no matter what state you live in or what coast you live off of people just get more carless on the road. Some drive as if they’re on their way to a funeral and others as if they are competing in The Indianapolis 500. Any way you look at it, our safety is at risk every time we get behind the wheel.
Is our society becoming increasingly rude or are they just impatient? These are two questions that I constantly ask myself every time I’m driving. So I’ve listed some things that may be helpful to consider before we venture out. I’ve written tips for both sides of the coin. The so called “rude” driver and also the so called “clueless to the rules” driver.
1. I’m late-get out of my way-this is probably one of the main reasons why people speed. They need to make a 30 minute trip in 10 minutes but with heavy traffic and unpredictable detours they don’t have a chance. But in their minds the faster they go the better chance they’ll have at getting there on time. My suggestion is leave earlier. Yes, leave your house earlier than usual. It’s better to have some time to spare and arrive safely than risk other people’s safety as well as your own. And honestly, rushing increases your chance of accidents and ticket which will make you late anyway.
2. Move over-I own the road-Some people don’t realize that their personalities shine through in the way that they drive. And this is really apparent when they cut others off. It’s rude, inconsiderate, and carless. There’s nothing wrong with changing lanes, we all have to do that but when you purposely dash in front of someone it puts everyone at risk. My idea? It’s very simple, drive at least 2 car lengths ahead of the person before you enter their lane. Not only does this ensure safety it also shows consideration.
3. Bumper to bumper traffic?-Depending on the season this driving style can cause a larger than life accident. When people follow too close they aren’t allowing enough space in case the “oh no” happens. Not only can they hit someone from behind this type of fender bender usually has a domino effect. Not only are 2 cars damaged, each car ahead can be as well. Allow enough distance and that’ll prevent you from getting too close for comfort.
4. Speed impairment- Speed limit signs are posted for a reason and although I don’t suggest speeding, I do suggest keeping up with the flow of traffic. Not to exceed the max of course but not so slow that you start a funeral procession. This goes hand in hand with driving in the wrong lane. Not everyone has a desire to exceed the limit, at least I don’t, but I do have enough sense to stay in the right lane allowing others to pass as needed. This shows much consideration for others.
5. Signal then switch-I think that this may be an oversight when it comes to the average driver but it’s so important to make a priority. Since we can’t read each others minds we don’t know when they’ll be changing lanes. Car manufacturers made that little switch for a reason, please utilize it.
6. Break addict-it’s a stereotype that only the elderly are guilty of this last bad driving habit. But I’ve witnessed people of all ages that are guilty. Sure in certain situations it should be ok and understandable such as winter driving or any bad weather that would impair your visibility. But on a normal day to day drive, pumping the breaks will do nothing but cause frustration in your fellow drivers.
I don’t claim to be an expert driver and yes I’ve had a ticket or two but through those experiences I’ve gained insight and learned a lesson from it. Keeping safe on the road should be our number one priority when getting behind the wheel. Not only should we follow the rules of the road, we should use common sense, practice patience, be considerate, and as the saying goes arrive alive.