It’s extremely easy to feel a sense of exasperation and annoyance when driving on the roads. No matter how safely we drive, after all, we are still completely reliant on trusting others to do the same. This means that when we spot someone driving dangerously, perhaps speeding, we feel that their actions are the height of selfishness and stupidity. For the most part, we’re right.
However, we’re wrong about one thing – that our own road conduct has little to do with how safe we are on the roads. Not only can it help you respond to road situations more quickly, but it can help you assess and understand the road environment around you. The more you are able to approximate the best conduct on the road, the more you can serve as an example to others on the road as well.
‘Be the change you wish to see’ may seem like insincere advice when it comes to hoping to moderate other’s behavior, but when we can serve as this example, we have a higher likelihood of success. To that extent, we would offer the following advice:
Never Give In To Road Frustrations
When someone cuts you off, or flips the bird, or jumps into that parking space, or overtakes you on a corner, or is riding the back of your vehicle to pressure you to speed, you can easily start to feel frustrated. This frustration can lead to anger, and anger can lead to incorrect judgments. Never give in to those road frustrations, even though they are very real, dramatic and unfortunate. Instead, focus on what makes you safe on the roads. For example, learn motorcycle hand signals to ensure you are absolutely communicative no matter the road situation, as this can help you out of a dangerous situation while also lessening your likelihood of experiencing one.
Always Follow Appropriate Protocol
Always follow the appropriate driving protocol no matter what. Sure, it might be that the roadworks are causing the temporary traffic lights to stay red for a long amount of time, to the point where you question if the timers have glitched or not. Yet waiting longer to make sure is much preferable to risking your approach and trying to reach the other side of the diversion, only to meet traffic coming your way at speed.
Always, always, always follow proper protocol as this will not only help you protect yourself in the moment, but also legally and financially should someone else subvert their road responsibilities and put you in harm’s way. The rules are there for a reason, and so respecting them should be second nature.
Never Try To Disrespect Or Bend Rules
It can be easy to feel the temptation to bend certain rules provided you feel you are justified in doing so. Even otherwise reasonable people can fall victim to this. For example, it might be that someone driving in a 4×4 vehicle, searching for a parking space for the last twenty minutes, may drive the wrong way up a one-way parking route in order to secure an open space, only to come into contact with a reversing vehicle due to their inattention.
It’s not hard to see who would be in the wrong here, and how this one little burst of energy could cause a real problem and even put someone in harm’s way. Unless in a life or death situation, it’s essential to keep strong when contemplating rules on the road and to always follow them. We wish for others to do the same, and so we must also follow that formula.
A Little Compassion Goes A Long Way
A little compassion can be tremendously important when driving on the roads. Of course, you cannot bend to the whims of everyone else on the road, such as our prior example of someone riding your tail because they wish you to speed as they are. However, letting people out, allowing someone to prepare to take your parking space, notifying someone that their headlight is out, these things can help sustain a positive road atmosphere and may warrant the gratitude of others.
Sure, that little old lady is still crossing the road despite the traffic lights turning green five seconds ago – but do you really need to rev or beep your horn? Of course not. Setting a positive example on the roads means understanding that you share this space with many other people, not just faceless drivers.
With these tips in mind, we hope you can set a positive example on the roads no matter what you drive.