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Having Courtesy on the Road

Anyone who has been driving for any length of time has a complaint about driving. People drive too fast, people drive to slow. Those idiots don’t know how to merge. The light is green and no one is moving. Did that person really just cut me off?  We could go for ages and ages about everything we hate on the road. But where is the good?

Is there any good when you are surrounded by people who don’t have the mental capacity to turn on a blinker? I’m getting frustrated just thinking about all the hazards on the road. I need to take a deep breath and step back to see the whole picture.

Driving is good. Before cars (and phones) you would probably spend the majority of your time with your family and you’re only contacts would be your neighbors. Most people worked on farms because they didn’t need to travel far to do it and it provided for all of their needs.

Because of cars we are able to do so much more. I wouldn’t mind having that closeness of neighborhood that used to exist before modern transportation, but at the same time, look at how the world has grown. Cars have enabled us to expand how we work and how we live. Who knows if we could have ever been able to enjoy things like curry and sushi without modern means of transporting items and paychecks rather than harvests.

The thing is, we lose sight of all that the invention of cars has done for us. Since it is part of our everyday culture, it’s lost the magic. Now when people get on the road they don’t marvel at where the car can take them, the only thing that matters is getting where you need to be, and getting there as fast as possible.

This can change. We don’t have to live in a world where people flip each other off and honk on their horns out of anger. We can change that. But it has to start with you.

Think about everything that bothers you when driving and start becoming the kind of driver you would like to see on the road. Let people in, instead of blocking the intersection. Slow down when you get around neighborhoods. Use your blinker well in advance, even if no one is around. Smile at other drivers rather than ignoring them.

We’ve all seen those ads that ask us to pass on service. We can do that on the road too. If we let someone in, they might be a little more forgiving to that driver who just cut them off. If we smile rather than flip someone off they might have a harder time getting mad at you.

It’s all about recognizing the drivers on the road as individuals, rather than just a group of things that exist purely to annoy you. We can have more courtesy on the road. The world can be a safe place to drive. But it has to start with you, and it has to start with me. Together we can change the world, or at least the road.

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