Are you a cooperative driver?
Thank you! No, thank you! How many times do we thank people who do something nice for us or give us something tangible? Do we thank other drivers or pedestrians for their acts of kindness on the roads?
For example, the right lane on the street I was driving the other day ends and there was a vehicle in the right lane ahead of me. I decided to slow down and let them into my lane, even though they hadn’t signaled yet. I slowed down, and it was obvious that I did because the space became much larger very quickly. As the driver merged into my lane, I looked through their window and no sign of a “thank you” wave was apparent. What happened to common courtesy?
I know we should all do something nice from time-to-time, but to be honest, do we really do that? Do we think of doing something for others because it would make them, and us, feel better? I don’t think that happens as often as it should. You know that phrase “What goes around, comes around”? I believe in that. If I purposely stop and help someone who had a flat tire, I feel they will help someone in the future. It may not happen right away, but I believe it will happen.
Isn’t that a way of saying “thank you” to the previous person who did something nice for you? What if you waved “thanks” after someone slowed to let you in? Would that really hurt? I think not. Be a leader on the roads. Set the example so others can follow. Hey, what if you had passengers in your vehicle when you did something nice for another driver? I bet they would notice what you did and compliment you. Or better yet, they may do the same thing when they drive.
I believe the same thing goes when you’re in a parking lot. When I was involved with Canada’s Worst Driver TV series on Discovery, we did an exercise about parking in a parking lot. Two of the participants “stole” parking spaces from someone else! How dare they! It’s not a race and would it really kill you to walk a few extra seconds so someone else could park there? I think not. I watch people yell out their windows at drivers because they are going to be late for their appointment and that other driver made them late. Guess what? They’re later now because they took the time to yell at the other driver! I’m sure their stress level also hit the roof.
So here’s my challenge to you all: do something nice for another road user. Let them in your lane during a lane change. Give them the right-of-way at intersections. Wave thank you after they’ve done something nice for you. Try it. I dare you! I double dare you!