Driving Like A Jerk

There was a bit of culture shock when we first moved. We left an aggressive driving culture and found ourselves in an area where people drive, well, maybe meander is a better word. It’s not uncommon to be stuck behind drivers going five or ten miles under the speed limit.

For well over a year, this annoyed me. I want to be efficient with my time, and having to constantly try to vie for a better road position to at least go the speed limit was aggravating. Of course, that aggressive driving did me few favors at the pump.

I may drive a van, but it’s got power, and I can beat the best of them. I recently gave some thought to my driving and how I was approaching the whole endeavor.

Stress is bad for the body in many ways, but it can be particularly harmful when it comes to decision making while driving. I find that my skills as a pilot are particularly helpful when it comes to driving judgement, but my tendency towards aggression increased the risk of an accident and saved a negligible amount of time.

As hard as it may be, I don’t need to prove anything, to anyone. I’ll never meet 99.8% of drivers I pass, and their thoughts and opinions on my driving ability and vehicle selection are of no concern to me. Plus, I’ve got three little ones in the back.

Over the past few days, I’ve been taking a calmer, more mindful approach to my driving. I accelerate at a reasonable rate, and keep my speed close to the limit. I’m not sure yet how my mileage has improved, but driving has become a much more pleasurable event. Instead of racing to the finish line, I enjoy the journey.

Reflecting on my driving attitude from time to time is a great thing to keep things in balance. There’s no need to be stressed about something that’s so fun. I make better decisions, drive more defensively, and get to my destination just a minute or two later.

If you’re behind me at a red light, and are frustrated by my acceleration, I apologize for saving you gas money. Go ahead and pass me on the left, I don’t cruise over there.

© 2019 Chet J. Collins