We’ve all been frustrated on the road. Driving can be a stressful endeavor, especially if other factors are in play, like running late, crying children in the backseat, or a long commute. With the stresses of everyday life, wouldn’t it be nice if the road were a kinder place?
Well, it starts with you! Here are some things to consider when driving:
Put yourself in the other driver’s seat – Did someone just cut you off or turn out in front of you? This is dangerous and frustrating, but could have been unintentional on the other driver’s part. Everyone has made mistakes while driving and has been grateful for another driver adjusting to avoid an accident. Try to remember that you’ve been there too and forgive the error without resorting to hand gestures or other forms of aggressive communication.
Reduce honking – The horn is there as safety equipment to make other drives aware of your presence, not to let others know that you’re displeased with their driving performance. Try not to honk out of anger, and only use your horn to alert others of your location.
Shake it off – Did another drive just frustrate you on the road? Don’t take it out on others through your driving. Put on some of your favorite music and get back into a kind mood.
Don’t forget your signal – Let other drivers know about your intended movement so they can make the appropriate adjustments and not be surprised by your actions.
Let people in – If someone signals, be kind and make room for them. Let others into your lane without making them fight for a spot. Employ the “zipper” when merging with another lane, having every other car take a place.
Wave – If someone shows you the kindness of adjusting to let you in, give them a wave to let them know you appreciate their help.
Don’t be a distracted driver – This is just plain dangerous. When you’re driving, pay attention to what’s happening on the road. This will reduce the likelihood that you’ll make an error and will also increase your ability to adjust if someone else does. Kindness is being attentive to the situation.
Give people space – On-road anxiety can increase when you feel like the car behind you is right on your bumper. Avoid tailgating and give people the space they need to drive safely.
Are YOU ready to hit the road with kindness behind the wheel?