Do we have the right to “punish” other drivers?
Growing up I’m sure we’ve all been punished for things we’ve done wrong. Getting ‘grounded’ or having a ‘time-out’ was a common thing to have happen when we didn’t follow the rules when we were kids. It’s quite common to do the same things with our kids that our parents did with us when we were kids. But when we get older, do we take it a bit further? Do we “punish” other drivers because we’re not pleased with their driving behaviour?
I recently watched how a driver made a sudden lane change into the left lane on the freeway. The driver they cut off decided to tailgate them. Was this their version of a punishment? I’m pretty certain the driver who made the initial lane change knew what they did was wrong and dangerous, but did their actions warrant punishment from the other driver? We’re entitled to be frustrated, but is it worth the risk to tailgate? If you think so, read this; http://bit.ly/1uiyXl7
Many years ago when I was a youth one of my friends was driving and was annoyed by another driver directly ahead of them who was traveling very slowly in the left lane. The right lane was blocked with parked vehicles so my friend had no choice but to stay behind them. They too decided to tailgate to send the message they were displeased with the actions of the driver ahead of them. This was their form of punishment. They wanted the driver ahead of them to know they were displeased so perhaps they would speed up. It didn’t happen.
The moment the right lane opened up, my friend decided to pull out and pass them but to my surprise, they immediately cut that driver off and then decided to drive directly in front of them but even slower than that driver was driving. What was the point? Was this a message to them that they were being punished? The interest part here is my friend was apparently in a hurry. He felt he was late getting to his destination but decided to act just as the “annoying” driver did to them. Did it really make any sense to do that?
As drivers who travel within our community we need to remember we do not have the power to “punish” other drivers. Whatever their reason to frustrate you, let it go. Change lanes and let the “problem” driver pass you. If they cut you off, this about what your actions can do to worsen the situation. Think before you act. A few years ago I was the guest on an hour long radio show and when the host asked me for advice on becoming a safe driver, my answer was just one word – think. Be the bigger person and act more responsible and mature behind the wheel. Pick your battles and let those with authority do the punishing.