As a salvage car buyer, I hear a lot of city driving horror stories, especially in Phoenix, where sometimes bad driving habits will end with a person’s vehicle in the auto wrecking yard. But, getting behind the wheel can sometimes be frustrating. It seems that only when we are late for an appointment will we get behind a woman applying lipstick in the mirror at the light, or a guy who is more interested in his cell phone conversation than in his speed (slow).
Still, it’s a given that living in a city with millions of other drivers, sometimes we’re going to encounter a driver who is little better than a knuckle-dragging degenerate. The important thing is not to be one.
It takes a certain mindset to get through Phoenix traffic without turning into a snarling beast, but a little kindness goes a long way. Think of being polite on the road as a kind of ‘Car’ma.
In the spirit of empathy, we’ve compiled a list of things we’ve sworn off doing while we’re behind the wheel in an effort to increase our Carma:
- Driving slow in the fast lane. It’s cruel, just cruel.
- Weaving and speeding in and out of traffic like a man trying to get his pregnant wife to the hospital.
- Darting in front of semi’s, They can’t stop on a dime, even when they’re in the process of stopping--no dime involved.
- Making faces, yelling at, or using special hand gestures to indicate displeasure at the stupid antics of other drivers.
- Speeding up when another car is trying to pass.
- Stop using the car for a mini-office, beauty parlor, restaurant, and love nest. Anything that can be done in the car can be done better and more safely at home
- Abruptly changing driving speed on freeways. Because according to experts, speed doesn't cause freeway accidents, changes in speeds cause accidents.
Here are some things we’re going to try to do more frequently:
- Maintain patience when dealing with pedestrians, particularly the elderly, young, disabled, and parents with a stroller.
- Use turn signals and turn lanes.
- Stop tailgating.
- Watch out for stuff. This includes accidents, construction, fire trucks, and ballistic missiles, which will come sooner than we think if we don’t turn the radio down.
If we all work together, the traffic situation will probably not improve that much, but it’s not always possible to fix the whole world. Sometimes, we’ve just got to learn to be happy with keeping our own side of the street clean. ;)
Drive safe, everybody!