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Behind the Wheel - Are You a Courteous Driver?

'Tis the season of peace on earth and goodwill toward man, that is until you hit the highway. Here it seems to range anywhere from "I get mine first" to "Oh, I didn't realize that I could have done that to make it easier for someone else." If one thread runs through many of the column requests I receive it is one of courtesy and how no one seems to exercise it very often when they are behind the wheel.

It's really the little things that count, like moving over to the fast lane when there is room to allow others to enter a busy highway, slowing down to allow another to find an address without feeling pressured or for that slow driver to pull over and allow you to pass before they resume their house number search. Think how you would feel if someone did this for you, and then give that feeling back. It only costs seconds.

I've already mentioned that I feel like a rock in the stream when I do the speed limit in the right hand lane. Everyone speeds at some time, but I wonder if drivers ever think the action through beyond the fact that they need to get somewhere and the sooner the better. The faster you go, the narrower is everyone's safety margin. Yours if you make a mistake, and others when we try to decide on the timing of a left turn or whether there is enough time to enter the highway. Slow down a bit and make it safer for us both, particularly if I am a young pedestrian or cyclist.

Feeling the spirit of good cheer? Take a taxi, call Operation Red Nose, sleep over, even walk, but stay away from the driver's seat. We do not want to share the road with you and we will even turn you in. Where's the courtesy here you ask? It is being given to your potential victims. This is one area where if you don't extend the courtesy of being a sober driver, don't expect any courtesy in return. None at all.

I wish everyone the best of the holiday season. May we all have a safe and happy holiday by pausing often in our travels to think of others, even if it means turning the other cheek to minor impositions caused by their minor discourtesy. Who needs road rage for Christmas?

www.drivesmartbc.ca/behaviour/are-you-courteous-driver

 

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