Reposted from the blog Scott Marshall aka "The Safe Driver"
Check out more of his work at http://safedriving.wordpress.com/
I love driving. To be honest, it relaxes me. I know it doesn’t for a lot of people. For the 21 years as a driving instructor, I’ve spoken to many people who hate driving with a passion. Why? If there’s something they don’t like about driving, why not find out how to fix it? I’m sure it would make them feel better.
As I drive, to work, to soccer, to take my kids anywhere, I see a lot of angry drivers. Why are they so angry? Do they take a course in being nasty on the road? Probably not. But why would they do that to other drivers? I’m sure they would be annoyed if someone did that to a loved one of theirs.
One of the drivers on the series Canada’s Worst Driver felt everyone was out to get him. He actually believed that. When it was brought to his attention that the other drivers on the show couldn’t drive, he actually understood that drivers make mistakes. Most weren’t doing it on purpose, rather because they didn’t know how not to do it.
I can imagine how these people respond to people at their work place when someone else makes a mistake. Do they start yelling at them and screaming obscenities at them all of a sudden? Most likely they don’t do that, but what’s the difference? What brings out the negative attitude in the car?
Recently when I was driving, I needed to make a lane change so I could turn left onto the upcoming street. There was a van behind me in the left lane so I sped up to increase the space between us so I could change lanes safely. As I sped up and signaled my intention, he sped up. Why? I then sped up some more and so did he. I decided to slow down so he could pass and as he passed, I went in behind him. When I pulled into the left turning lane beside him I glanced over at him. He was glaring at me and mouthing off. Why did he feel it was necessary to block drivers from doing safe maneuvers? I’ve never understood the logic in that, or with yelling at someone through a closed window.
It’s interesting that we can “mirror” someone by acting a certain way. If we get mean with rage at other drivers, they do the same with drivers near them. But if we do nice things, that gets transferred to the other drivers as well.
As drivers we need to remember to relax and enjoy the drive. Take in the scenery and enjoy each moment. Smile at other drivers and they may smile at someone else. Just imagine the stress you’re avoiding by not bringing road rage to almost every day of your driving life. It may help increase your life if you leave the rage elsewhere.
~~My Addition...if I may~~
Along with a smile, try a polite wave if you make a mistake and someone points it out to you or you realize your error. Nothing says I'm sorry like saying, "I'm sorry".