Me-first driving

How we drive can reveal things about us that, well, maybe we aren’t so proud of. Calling it selfishness, self-centeredness, a me-first attitude might be too harsh, but several decades of observing others’ behavior behind the wheel leaves me with this conclusion: Most of the time, some drivers simply aren’t thinking about other drivers. Give you an example of what I mean.

Our section of North Carolina has been soaking under relentless rain for three or four days now. Only this afternoon did the sun reappear, for a few minutes. Regardless of the weather, we need to continue going here and there, driving everywhere. Like many other states, North Carolina insists that we turn on our full headlights when we use our windshield wipers. It’s the law, and its a sensible one. Turn ’em on every time, day or night. Why? So other drivers can see us more clearly. Life on the road tends to be safer when we can see the other vehicles. What a concept.

Yet, we see so many drivers sloshing along under dark, gloomy skies, without their headlights on. This mindlessness became a dangerous problem for Betsy and me as on Monday we traveled to and from a medical appointment, a 40-mile trip each way along busy I-40, in heavy rain. Dangerous conditions. Hard to see other cars and trucks, zooming along at highway speeds, far too many of them with no lights on. What are they thinking?

We’ll never know, but I can guess. Who needs headlights? It’s daytime. I can see fine. Maybe. That’s doubtful. But can other see you? Not very well.

Driving as if one is the only one on the road who matters is dangerous, of course, and it reveals something about that driver, and it’s nothing to be proud of.

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