Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
- 1 John 4:7-12
For those readers that live outside the USA, we drive on the right-hand side of the road, thus a left turn requires us to make sure that on-coming traffic is clear to make the turn. For those who drive on the left, it is the same precautions that you would make in making a right turn.
I am writing this before the holidays, but the post will be scheduled during the holidays, the day after Christmas. The event that I will talk about happened a couple of months ago. It has been on my list of potential topics and I have had various other things to write about. Yet, the traffic during the holidays, even with potential COVID lockdowns, will be treacherous, regardless of the weather conditions.
People simply do not care anymore. I think some drivers have the conscious thought of driving through you or over you. It has gone beyond being self-centered; it is an issue that all other humans on earth are a bump in the road as these aggressive drivers drive along. I reread a book recently about not sweating the small stuff, and one of the things to avoid was being in a hurry. We are often in a hurry when there is no need and when there is a need, it is because we did not leave early enough – thus the other cars have nothing to do with our problem.
Aggressive driving is what the title of this post is about. It seems you are either a vehicular terrorist or a victim of such terrorism when you get in an automobile.
The case in point:
I was driving to the kidney dialysis center to pick up my wife. Even though there are shorter routes, I follow the route that I used to take in going to work, all backroads, but a little wider than the shortest route. On the very narrow roads, everyone drives at ridiculous speeds down the middle and there is simply no time to react when taking a curve and then suddenly there is a car coming straight toward you. Thus, roads wide enough to actually meet someone going the opposite direction is more important than saving a half gallon (or 2 liters) of gasoline.
On this occasion, I had to turn left at a 4-way stop, all way stop for some people. There was a car coming the opposite direction and the car was already at the stop when I approached. I turned on my turn signal. So, they had the right-of-way. If we got there at the same time, they would have the right-of-way since I was turning left, but the other driver hesitated.
I waited. I was afraid that the car would finally start to move once I started to turn. I was determined to yield. After it got uncomfortable to continue waiting, I counted fifteen more seconds before the car finally started to move. The car was moving very slowly, and I saw that a woman was driving and she had this look of shear terror in her eyes.
At that point, I realized something. This woman was a victim of vehicular terrorism, and to her, I was a terrorist. Yet, I did not take the right-of-way away from her when she was obviously conceding the right-of-way. Why? I was and still am a victim of vehicular terrorism also.
I have asked this question before. When you get behind the steering wheel of a car and drive anywhere, do you show love for the other drivers and pedestrians? If not or if you are not sure, you are probably a vehicular terrorist. In not knowing, or not paying attention, or simply not caring, you scare everyone around you. Sometimes you scare them without doing anything wrong. Even the cautious drivers out there can have a moment of distraction and drift into the wrong lane, fail to see a stop sign, or not see the car’s brake lights right in front of you. But once you are a victim, you tend to get a bit jumpy as you yield to shadows in the road.
My wife thinks that I am getting careless, less attentive in my old age, and I think that she has become nervous and hypersensitive in her backseat driving, like a hyperactive chihuahua. She throws her hand against the windshield to stop the imagined wreck, trying not to say anything. She used to screech my name, but she has realized that I do stupid things when I hear that screech. Now, she “yips” occasionally, or is it a squeak? My “stupid thing” is that I will look at her, wondering what is wrong rather than looking to see what shadow on the road she saw. Once in a while, it is real. And when she is driving one car and I am driving the lead car (taking a car to the shop for repair), I must slow to far less than the speed limit, or she will disappear behind me. I think my wife and the woman on the road that day are a lot alike, scared beyond comprehension, but am I much better? I am a functional driver, but I no longer feel a great deal of confidence.
Holiday traffic is bad enough when everyone tries to behave, and few behave. Let’s drive with the understanding that others around you may have had a very rotten day that day. And they may not care whether anyone around them makes it to their destination, as long as they get to theirs on time.
Love one another, even when driving.
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.