It’s easy to forget that human beings are behind the wheel, and not projections of our current moods. As we venture back onto the roads, we’ve been thinking about ways to let our new, peaceful, and slower lifestyle tag along for the ride.
WHEN IN DOUBT, WAVE
We’re all one, deep down. If you think you made a boo-boo, or somebody slowed down to let you merge, flashing an open palm or a peace sign isn’t the worst thing you could do. It may even motivate that person to do the same when somebody does something kind for them.
EVERYONE DRIVES DIFFERENTLY AT DIFFERENT TIMES
It’s incredibly easy and comforting to generalize other drivers. You don’t know them, where they’re going, or what they do, and you never will. As George Carlin puts it, slow drivers are “idiots,” and fast drivers are “maniacs.” But the truth is, people have fast days and slow days, depending on a myriad of factors. We can’t all be on the same rhythm or path, so try to avoid generalizations, and remember that our driving behaviors unpredictably fluctuate.
LEAVE ON TIME
If you’re anything like me, you tend to walk out the door at the very last minute, even if you’ve been ready for an hour. It’s amazing how much patience I acquire when I’m not in a rush! It’s currently very trendy to remind people to slow down, but that’s very hard to do if you’re always late. Set alarms, schedule appropriately, and give yourself bumpers!
REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE NOT A PERFECT DRIVER, EITHER
When I encounter inconsiderate behaviors on the road, I justify my anger by saying, “I would never do that to others! I do my part, why can’t they?” If only the world were supervised by a sweet first-grade teacher. The next time you feel like a driver was rude, it’s helpful to reflect on your past driving mistakes: you probably realized rather quickly that you slipped up, and it’s not unlikely that this “monster on the road” knows of their error, too.
LET THEM GO
If you’re being tailed, pull over to the side and let them pass. It’s not about winning or proving that riding your bumper won’t speed you up. It’s about enjoying your drive, regardless if you’re headed to the grocery story, work, or the beach. Don’t give the speeder five minutes of your life by constantly looking in the rearview mirror saying, “Get off my you-know-what!” Just pull over. Besides, you never know when it will be you stuck behind someone driving slower and begging them to do the same.
Ah. The most important part. It’s easy to get lost in the chaos of the road. Just remember that at some point or another, you’ll get where you’re going. And if you live in LA like us, everyone else is probably late, too.