Are you a follower or a leader?
I was recently driving on one of our local freeways on my way to teach class when I took one of the exit lanes. This was a lane which began early and as it continued, it would become an exit lane. The driver who was in front of me on the freeway was driving a bit slow, so the driver behind me also switched lanes to avoid being slowed. He was a little surprised to find out that he had changed to the exit lane, so he had to brake and change lanes once again. He showed that he was a follower and not a leader. Are you a follower or a leader?
A number of years ago I was driving in Montreal and had to get to a set location. One of the local instructors I was working with suggested I follow him. I thanked him and asked for directions instead. What’s the big deal if I just followed him? Wouldn’t that be easier?
If you follow someone you end up taking more risks. You tend to ignore road signs and traffic lights just so you can stay close to the driver you’re following. If the driver you’re following just makes it through the intersection, you’ll run the light just so you can be close to them, right? Of course you will, but if you had written instructions, you won’t have to be a follower. If you follow another driver, you would also tend to tailgate them. If they had to stop suddenly for some reason, you could very easily rear end them. That’s not a nice thing to do to a friend!
The same can be said if you try to lead someone and let them follow you to a location. You’ll use your mirror a lot to see where they are. Part of the problem is also the fact that you would be distracted by this driver following you. Your attention would be for them, instead of driving your vehicle. You could miss signs and traffic lights and make ill advised lane changes.
Each year my friends and I go on a fishing trip. We always try new places each year so we have a variety. The plan is to meet at the local grocery store around 11:30 on the Saturday so we can buy our weekend’s worth of food. That’s about all we do together. We usually take 2 vehicles, but we never follow one another. We each have directions and the phone number of the resort. We trust our own directions.
The bottom line is this, make your own directions and follow them. Trust yourself and no one else. Avoid having anyone follow you as they put you at risk as well and you can avoid being distracted by them. There won’t be any worries about whether they made it through the traffic light. Now you can lead by example and hopefully they will follow your lead!