Is your car just as precious to you as your children’s? For many men out there who don’t have children, their car is all they’ve got. We can spend so much time on improving its performance and other aesthetic issues, but when we get ourselves into this mindset, we can underestimate what this machine was meant to do in the first place.
We can all fall into the pattern of being alpha males, especially when we are out on the road. Over time, those little feelings of aggression can build up because we are stuck behind someone or we need to get somewhere quickly. But while we all know that there are aspects of our driving that are downright dangerous, we continue to do it. If you are male on the road, what do you need to truly understand?
Think of the Worst-Case Scenario
The biggest problem most of us have is that we don’t consider what could happen due to our attitudes behind the wheel. So many of us can fall into that terrible pattern of thinking that as long as we can get around that corner and cut in front of that other car, we’ll be getting to our destination that little bit quicker- it’s all “me” thinking. But the fact is that any car accident lawyer will always have your guts for garters if you cause an accident, and that’s if you escape unscathed.
The worst-case scenario seldom occurs to us because we think we’ve got enough experience to know better. The reality is that, over time, we can develop so many bad habits for several reasons. You can think back to the first year since you passed your driving test and potentially found that, as long as you got away with speeding on certain roads, you’ve got away with it forever. The reality is we should all think of those worst-case scenarios because it is something that doesn’t happen to other people, it can happen to us.
Put Yourself In Their Shoes
Being behind the wheel of a car makes us all more confident than we are. If we treated other people in person like we treated them on the road, we would be getting into fights every single day. It could be so easy to lose our cool because someone’s doing the actual speed limit in front of us.
So what do we do in these situations? We intimidate, we go up to their bumper, we start waving our hands, we start honking our horns, and all of these things do not make it easier for them. It intimidates them and it doesn’t force them into doing the thing you want them to do. Instead of speeding up, they’re going to be distracted and this could potentially cause an accident.
Rather than thinking it’s all about you, there are thousands upon thousands of cars along your regular commute every single day. There are people with their skills, thoughts, distractions, and emotions, and all of these things can make or break their experience behind the wheel. For example, a learner driver taking their test. If you failed your test because somebody cut you up and you didn’t react in time, you would have been annoyed to high heaven. We all need to have a bit more empathy.
Another major problem we all make is only allowing just enough time to get to our destination. Encountering a learner driver along our journey should prompt some form of empathy. But instead, we just get frustrated thinking we’re going to be late. The Tortoise and the Hare is such a common fable that people throw out here, but we all think that as long as we rev a bit more this will intimidate them into putting their foot down.
The fact is that you can take over and speed down a certain road and stop at a set of traffic lights so the person you just overtook would catch up to you anyway. So what was it really for? Not only have you wasted fuel, but you’ve also shown yourself to be an absolute idiot. And let’s not forget the fact that so many people have great dash cams these days. Any sign of dangerous driving could mean you will run the risk of losing your license. Is it worth it to make sure that you get somewhere on time? If you’re running late for something, it’s surely better to arrive there in one piece.
Learn How to Be a Calmer Driver
Aggression is a learned behavior. It’s a combination of our frustrations behind the wheel, the other people on the road, and our lifestyle that can also compound these issues. Learning how to be a calmer driver and keeping your emotions in check will make you far more effective behind the wheel. There are so many things you can do to learn to be a calmer driver:
- Don’t create situations that could cause problems.
- Don’t tailgate.
- Focus on your driving.
- Don’t yell obscenities.
- Don’t get caught up in the moment.
So many new drivers find themselves in situations that can make them question whether they should continue driving because of an encounter with someone horrible to them on the road who drove dangerously.
It is time for us to be accountable. The biggest problem that driving brings about is that we can easily pass someone, yell obscenities, and give them the middle finger, thinking we won’t see them ever again. Of course, while people have dash cams and can report us for dangerous driving, we now have to own up to our inadequacies.
Some men are caught between the old-fashioned race car drivers and the new modern sensitive man who is careful and considerate. If you are someone who is firmly in the former camp, you’ve got to think about how it doesn’t just color your driving, but your life. It is time to stop being an alpha male on the road. The problem is that we are the minority that causes problems for everyone else, so rather than being in denial, it’s time to fix these things.