I know that The Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA) has its RESOLUTION TO RIDE RESPONSIBILY
well... I think that it would be great for all of us to take a similar pledge
only... when we get in our cars... a personal pledge... no need to sign on the dotted line
personally... I do not think that riding a bicycle responsibly means following the rules of the road to the letter of the law
but that is a blog post for another time

the change to the new year always comes with hope and promise...
people make efforts to make themselves better people
there will be those that will try to eat better and exercise more so that they live a more healthy life
there will be those that will try to kick the cigarette habit for the list of obvious reasons

now... those things are all well and good
but really... those resolutions are moderately selfish
how about a resolution that will benefit more than just ones self?
I think that people should make a resolution to be a more courteous car drivers

that would be something that would benefit more than just the driver... but also those around the driver

interestingly enough... if people were to drive in a more courteous manner they would find that they enjoy driving more
sort of like holding the door open for someone... not just the right thing to do... but also something that makes both parties feel better afterward
yes... the action is also an interaction and a positive interaction at that

and well... that little positive interaction feels good
yes... holding the door open for someone does feel better than slamming the door in a person's face
try it.. I am almost certain you will agree

years and years ago when bicycle roof racks were rare there was hope that the passing car with the vacant roof rack would pass the cyclist with a certain amount of courtesy
well... somewhere along the line that notion was lost

we as cyclists should drive our cars in a fashion that we would like car drivers to drive when we are pedestrians or cyclists

what if... now get this... what if... what if people behaved around others the way that they would want others to behave around them?

yes... I know... I know... this sounds like that biblical catch phrase
"do onto others... etc... etc... etc..."
not familiar with that one?

here... the Wiki Page has some information on this... apparently this is called THE GOLDEN RULE
... hmmm... not a bad rule to follow... even for atheists and agnostics

so in plain everyday terms...

how does this apply when driving your car?
if driving through a residential neighborhood... drive how you would like cars to drive through your neighborhood... or more rationally... don't drive in the fashion that pisses you off when others drive through your neighborhood

when approaching a four way stop in you car...
slow in advance... make a complete stop at the stop line... then review the situation... give others their right to space... give others their turn... factor in pedestrians and cyclists... and go in turn

when approaching a cross walk...
very similar to the four way stop... take account of the situation...
give special attention to people who take more time to cross... be that car that blocks for the little old lady or the mother pushing the stroller... be considerate of people... it will feel good and it is the right thing to do
try it... you will like it
and those around you... they will like it as well

but really... I can not and will not go through each and every possible scenario that you may encounter
simply apply The Golden Rule when behind the wheel

okay... one more tip
try to be less competitive when driving your car... I know... this would require altering your nature... yes... I know... competitive driving is The American Way... well... again... just as it feels good to do the right thing... there are aspects of competitive driving that compile to make you feel bad, angry, frustrated, and even aggressive

let it slide... cut people some slack... let the assholes be assholes and get their way
allow the merge... let that car in... and of course DO THE RIGHT THING
it feels better than trying to block people out
sure... I know... that car is not waiting their turn
just let it slide

this is for all of us that spend time driving...

really... if professional drivers were to exhibit some proper behavior we would have safer streets
it seems that professional drivers drive in the least professional manner

all of us drive tend to drive in AUTO PILOT... take it out of auto pilot and take control of the situation
driving in a calm courteous manner feels better and does not get you there any more late
leave five minutes earlier if you think driving aggressively is getting you there on time
sure... Let God be your Co-Pilot... you can even let Dog Be Your Co-Pilot
but when you drive... don't drive in a mindless fashion... be mindful of those around you

here is a trick that works for me... especially in the winter
start the car up... let the engine warm up for a minute
spend that minute putting on the seat belt, find the right station on the radio, if you have kids make sure that they are buckled in, clear the windows, and then... go on your way
slowing the process is a much more healthy start for the driver and for the car

I find that if I get in the car and turn the key then push the pedal it puts me in POLE POSITION as if I am racing Lightning McQueen for the Piston Cup

just like many good things
the byproduct will be a positive one for you and for those around you


gwadzilla said...

is Jeff Peel on vacation?

the original big ring said...

you want Jebus? I'll send you one - e-mail me your addy