7 Things We Can All Do When Driving to Make This a Better World

I admit it. I get mad when I drive sometimes. I hate that I do that.

Whenever I drive lately, I think about how I’m driving and not what the goofball who ran the red light did. Why get mad at someone else, when I have bad behaviors, too, sometimes?

Yeah. It’s true. But I’m trying to be a nicer driver. Mockingbird will be driving soon-ish, so shouldn’t I be a good example behind the wheel?

Diana BeebeHere are things that we can all do to make the world a better place and the roads safer for everyone:

1. Sing to the radio. “Music helps drivers to focus, particularly on long, monotonous roads.” See the article here. It’s also hard to make eye contact with the jerk who almost hit your car, when you’re belting out the lyrics to The Cars.

If it’s Journey, Boston, Def Leppard, Steely Dan, Cutting Crew, Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, a-ha, Hall & Oates… (what? I have eclectic and 1980s tastes), then you might see me singing along. Or, maybe singing with my lips kinda closed as if I were practicing for a ventriloquist show.

2. Wait our turn. Wait a second more before turning onto a street. One or two more seconds to let another car pass (rather than pulling into a lane right next to them) keeps everyone happy.

How many times has someone rushed to pull in front of you and there were zero cars behind you? Did that extra second get them there faster?

Probably not. The next traffic light was probably red anyway.

I try really hard not to taunt those drivers at the red light. They can’t hear me, so keep those ventriloquist lips closed and singing.

3. Don’t tailgate, especially if it’s an older model car that might be manual shift.

I see the truck differently now...Manual shift? LOL! What’s that?!

That’s the car or 20-year-old pickup truck that is going to rollllll backwards before it goes forward. If we keep a little distance (like we should) between our car and the one in front of us at a stop light, we don’t risk that old car bumping into us—because that means we rear ended them.

4. While in the right lane in town, expect someone to turn right. When a person is turning, he or she does need to slow down to make the turn. Review the laws of physics if that’s unclear. Just sayin’….

5. Don’t play Frogger to get across the road. Just because you had a moment to get across three lanes of traffic only to be stopped by a ton of oncoming traffic, that doesn’t mean you can block the road while you wait to turn left.

If the traffic is so bad that you have to play Frogger to get across and turn left, then turn right and take a different route.

6. Make up stories about the drivers who suck aren’t at the top of their game.

If we feel sorry for the bad drivers, it’s harder to get mad at them and say things the kids shouldn’t hear. *nods knowingly* Say things they can hear:

  • “Oh, look! That guy couldn’t afford the blinkers when he bought his car. Some options are just too expensive.”
  • “She’s late for a very important date.”
  • “How sad that the person who just cut in front of us never learned manners. His parents are probably embarrassed.”
  • “He’s still practicing. Bless his heart.”
  • “Woohoo! That driver got to the red light first! Lucky!”

7. Smile.

It’s just about impossible to get mad when we’re smiling. 😀

What about you? Do you have any tips or tricks for driving on the roads without getting upset at other drivers? Did I miss a pet peeve?


21 comments on… “7 Things We Can All Do When Driving to Make This a Better World”

  1. I love “Woohoo! That driver got to the red light first! Lucky!” Too funny!

    I try my best just not to react. It’s kind of the “who pays the price of getting mad” concept. When you get mad, it bothers you. That other driver has gone on and done their thing without a care in the world. So what do you get from letting other people get to you. Does NO good.

    I do find myself critiquing people with I’m driving with C, but as a teaching mechanism since he is a new driver and doesn’t have 20 years of driving experience under his belt.

    • Diana Beebe

      Yep, reacting is just a waste of time. It doesn’t ruin the other driver’s day at all. 😉

      Using those events as teachable moments with your teen driver is valuable. We do that all the time, too. The lessons often starts with something like this, “What that driver did was_______.” Fill in the blank with whatever adjective is fitting (usually, dangerous or rude).

  2. Ooo, Diana. This one hit home. Drivers who hog the left lane and don’t pass anyone are my major gripe. I do a lot of long distance driving, lots of highways, and I’ve learned not all states have the biblical injunction to “Stay right, except to pass.” I’m sure it’s from the Old Testament. Ezra probably. He did a lot of long distance travel too, as I recall.
    Great post. Thanks.

    • Diana Beebe

      That’s a good one, Janet! I think you’re right–definitely from Ezra. 😀

    • Diana Beebe

      It’s all about staying happy! It’s a fun way to create new characters, too.

  3. I live in Atlanta so it’s pretty easy to start screaming behind the wheel, when you spend 2+ hours commuting daily. But I certainly agree, anything we can do to make it more pleasant I’m all for. I like to sing to the radio (iPod really, because who listens to radio anymore?) too.

    • Diana Beebe

      *grins sheepishly* I still listen to the radio. LOL Dallas has a few great stations. My commute is only about 5 miles.

        • Diana Beebe

          It’s pretty nice! I don’t take it for granted though. My longest commute was 80+ miles everyday. I do not miss that job (and not just because of the mileage put on my car).

  4. I try to do all of you’re suggestions but some days are hard. The one that gets me the most is when they pull out in front of you and then go slow, especially on snowy, icky roads. The other one is when the light turns green for me but the people who are turning keep going. The red light is not a suggestion.

    • Diana Beebe

      What? The red light is not a suggestion? That’s so risky–I’ll never understand why people do that.

      I’ve been trying to think of a funny thing to say about the ones who pull out in front as if the lane is empty, but nothing is coming to me. Hmmmm… I’ll keep thinking.

  5. I like “Don’t play Frogger…” I couldn’t read that without cracking a tiny laugh. Seriously, some drivers are crazy and think that will save them a serious amount of time when in actuality it probably on saves them a couple of minutes off their commute – assuming they don’t have an accident. I love singing in the car. My kids aren’t so fond of my singing, though.

    • Diana Beebe

      I can get away with singing in the car only when I’m alone. LOL. Wouldn’t it be great if everyone slowed down a bit to be sure everyone gets where they are going?

  6. I love #6. You are so humorous and I have a hard time seeing humor in people’ subadult driving. But I think in the future I will remember the poor soul who couldn’t afford the blinker feature (my biggest pet peeve) or the guy whose parents are probably embarrassed.

    The other day I saw a guy with his windows rolled down and the music cranked up at a light. He was playing an air guitar and head banging while he sang along. It was a great show!

    • Diana Beebe

      That guy was a happy driver! I love it!

      I’m so glad you stopped by, Rebecca!

  7. Dawson Woodward

    I drive all over the city every day and the most annoying drivers are…drumroll…the ones talking on their CELLPHONES!!!! These folks come in every size and shape and all have one thing in common. They can’t drive properly with the phone to their ear. Headsets seem to be OK, but once the phone goes to the ear they instantly become the worst driver on the road.

    I won’t get started on the motorcycle drivers…

    PS. I agree, being polite is much appreciated when driving.

    • Diana Beebe

      Cell phones and other objects that shouldn’t be in hands while driving—that is another topic altogether! I’ve seen some pretty crazy stuff.

      Did you know that in California, motorcycles have the right to drive between cars in heavy, slow traffic on the freeways?! Yikes!

  8. Pingback: 4 Things That Shouldn’t Be in Drivers’ Hands | Diana Beebe's Blog

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