Even the best drivers can let their driving deteriorate when their attitude starts to slide.
What attitudes can turn a normally good driver into a risk-taking one?
- A feeling that everyone is out to get me or hold me up.
- Judgements about other driver’s actions “everyone else is a lousy driver” that leads to frustration.
- Angry feelings that may have no connection with driving until you are behind the wheel like a fight with the boss or spouse or kids or co-worker.
- A need to be right or “win” in a situation.
What kind of driving behaviour can result from negative attitudes?
- Aggressive driving like speeding or cutting others off.
- Retaliation and road rage
- Vehicle abuse
Taking personal responsibility for our thinking, feelings and attitudes is a key to safe vehicle operation. When you are behind the wheel, it’s your responsibility to drive defensively regardless of the pressure that may invite you towards negative thinking and emotion.
If you believe yourself to be a good driver, realize that most others are not as skilled as you and give them a break! Don’t expect perfection: in fact, expect poor driving from others and take the high road by not reacting negatively.
Remind yourself about everything that you have to be grateful for in life. It sounds simplistic but if we forget that we have so much to be grateful for, and start focusing on the negatives, we can easily get caught up in an attitude slide.
Give the other guy a break regularly and make sure that if someone gives you a break to return a friendly wave.
Remind yourself regularly that you are in control of your emotional weather and that it’s your thinking that most determines if you have a sunny disposition or a stormy one!
Spencer McDonald, President and founder of Thinking Driver