Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Driving Skills: And All You Need to Know About A Person

You can learn all you need to know about someone by the way they drive. A car. On the road. Around other vehicles of motion.
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I discovered this and can attest to all of the things I'm about to say because I used to be one of these people...
When you're sitting behind the wheel, inside a car, "anonymous" to other people, it means you can do just about anything and not have to worry about facing the other individual. This is why it shows people's true integrity.
You might not say straight to someone's face, "My time is more important than yours, buddy!" but you say the same thing when you speed down the highway cutting people off. You just do it clandestinely, kind of the way people bully online. Its an easy way to hide yourself, but still show your true colors. Yep, I was one of those speed racers until recently...
As I've grown up and matured, I've noticed how much my driving has changed. Now, take note, I am an assertive driver. I have never had a single speeding ticket, and I've never been in a single car wreck. Knock on wood.  But I definitely have had my days of reckless, rude, and inconsiderate driving. I'll give you a few examples.

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First of all: have you ever been driving and some dude in the lane next to you butts in front of you, barely missing your bumper? Stupid, right ? So, you swerve around into the left lane to go around him. More often than not, you cut someone else off just to avenge yourself. And so the cycle continues. With every driver thinking they're more important than the next.
I used to get so angry when cars would slide in front of me, so I would do this and slide into the next lane quickly, efficiently, and rudely, without a care for the cars I may have "slipped" in front of. Be honest, that's what they are to you. To me. Cars. We don't see them as drivers, people, with heartbeats and feelings. We see them as cars, as we are seen as a car to them. I've never caused an accident of course, but I've done some dumb maneuvers just to prove my point to the driver who cut me off, who probably won't even remember he did it five minutes later. I mean, it's a little ridiculous. This kind of move is the "I'll show you!" attitude. People who like revenge and who always want to be right.

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The next scenario is the hypocrite. These are they who HATE letting people merge, EVEN when merging is part of the lane change...not to mention the law. Say, someone is trying to merge and they have their blinker on. You're the car they manage to slow down a whole 2 seconds as they abide the traffic regulations, and yet you're thinking, "No, idiot! Find your own highway!" while trying your very best to run them off the road, or tailgate them just to piss them off.  Somehow, ironically, when the time comes for YOU to merge into a lane, it becomes the most important thing in the world for you and you feel a burning hate towards anyone who doesn't immediately let you in!!! And when the person behind you tried to kiss your bumper, you brake check them and flip them the bird because, you're important. Ha ha...funny how it would be so simple if every car in a merging situation magically went every other, and traffic could flow like a river in a Pocahontas film. That's why I was a hypocrite, wanting my way, but so carelessly avoiding giving others their way when it was the nice thing to do. Do you fall into this category?

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Maybe you're the "must go faster " folk. You have to drive 90 mph everywhere you go, regardless of the speed limit. You endanger hundreds of innocent lives by speeding around town because you feel like a hot shot. Or you're incredibly impatient, like myself. Either way, if you were to crash and hit someone else, you'd both be killed. What if you killed someone else, but you were to live? What if you caused an accident, but got by unscathed and unaffected? If you fall into this category, you likely think you deserve to be one step ahead of everyone else. And you're gonna get there, no matter what.
Word from the wise, slow down.

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Maybe you're too slow. Maybe you're lazy and have a chip on your shoulder about it, so you make a point to drive 10 miles slower than the speed of traffic just for kicks. Or you simply love attention, and some is better than none. You typically attract the negative kind. So, making everyone mad by going snail speed is your style. Unless, of course, you're the mini van creeping across every speed bump and pot hole and corner turn in the valley...I feel for you. Some people will never understand what it takes to keep the baby in the car seat calm. I do. I do!!!!
(see my other post about the dude that honked at me )

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Maybe you're the, I don't care how hard you've worked on your life, I'm gonna cheat my way to the top, driver...For example, you speed past a crammed lane full of people, perhaps in an exit lane. Then you hurry and slip in last second, causing a car to slam on their breaks, so you can get off the exit. Maybe you even cause an accident, But you don't know, or care, because you got want you wanted. For a guy, this might be screwing someone over at work to get that raise or promotion, for a woman, it might be screwing work....using that female appeal to get what you want. Congratulations, your mother and Jesus are probably very proud of you.

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Maybe you're the "traffic laws don't apply to me". This translates to "I'm special" in just about every aspect of life. Ask yourself this: if it was the middle of the night or no one was around, and no one would see, and you pulled up to a Stop Sign, would you stop? Or keep rolling? Keep on driving full speed? (here is where integrity is key) If you don't think it really matters, because you're just one driver, and it's just one Stop Sign, you belong in this category. It might seem like a silly rule to you or me, but these silly rules keep basic systems functioning. A bunch of simple rules, all combined, form a society, a happy little machine that performs in harmony.  If everyone decided at once that they didn't need to stop at a Stop Sign, the world would go to chaos. What makes you so dang special?
Gah, it's embarrassing how s p e c i a l I can be when driving, especially when I'm grumpy. Grumpy drivers go from a level 1 Special Syndrome to a level 10 Arrogant SOB in a heartbeat.

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If you just don't EVER use your rear view mirror, you probably don't even realize there are other cars on the road. The self-absorbed driver. You're the type who thinks you should have your own reality TV show, that's how cool you are to yourself, while those of us inside of REALity are shaking our heads and rolling our eyes.
If not, and you genuinely just don't pay attention to stuff, then you're just an air head. It's okay, at least you're not a jerk about it. But seriously, it's a green light. Go.

Whether you squeeze into crammed lanes without using your blinker, or run yellow lights because you're just so dang rushed, your behaviors on the streets reveal more about you than you would like to admit. The truth is, these qualities transfer over into all aspects of our lives. If we are impatient on the road, we are impatient in our homes, at work, at the grocery. When we don't abide a traffic law we find silly, we find ways to avoid rules at home, we disregard God's laws for worldly popularity, we are dishonest in our dealings with our fellow men when it benefits us.  If we think car mirrors are for checking our makeup, we are more obsessed with ourselves than is healthy.
Basically, we are how we drive.
You'll agree with me. One day.

When I came to terms with how my driving reflected me as a human, it calmed me. Real fast. I know it's hard to want to see it, and most people won't ever learn to change their driving. (Because they're special, remember?) But for those of us who do, we retain that integrity. We can be the elite of humans, who drive like competent grandma and grandpa's, who let people merge and who stop at Stop Signs on abandoned country roads. Our wild teenage years of racing around town and wreaking havoc on the road and being selfish behind steering wheels, a92nd everywhere, are far behind us as we drive a mild 4 miles over the speed limit, slow at red lights, and pause for pedestrians. Yes, you and I, we are the impatient people who are always in a rush, and we will have a weak moment or two when getting to the gas station is suddenly Our single greatest endeavor, but we have learned that being kind, even anonymously behind the wheel, is as important as saying out loud, "You matter too."

Next time you take a drive, maybe you'll think a little bit more about it and about how you're not the most important person in the universe.

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