Posted by: safedriver | April 30, 2011

Saying sorry isn’t always good enough

Raising our kids is a full time job. We try to teach them right from wrong. With some luck, they’ll grow up to become a good person. Knowing right from wrong is part of growing up. Knowing when to apologize is also as important, but is it enough? As a driver, does saying “sorry” to another driver whose vehicle you just hit enough to make the problem go away?

When my kids have said or done things that they knew were wrong; like hitting their sibling, they would quickly say “sorry”. I think they were hoping they wouldn’t be punished if they apologized. What if driving was as easy as that? We wouldn’t have the lawsuits after a crash. No one would feel the anger long after it happened and you wouldn’t have to pay for any damages. In other words, there would be no repercussions from our actions as long as we said “sorry” the other drivers.

During season 3 of Canada’s Worst Drivers, we had a participant who kept saying “sorry” every time he screwed up his driving. This included when they hit another object or vehicle. Was this just a way to feel good or did they really mean it? Does saying “sorry” really solve the problem?

When I have a student who constantly says “sorry” after they make a mistake, I remind them they never have to say “sorry”, unless they hit me. Joking aside, there’s no need to apologize for a simple error when learning to drive. You just need to change what you’re doing so it doesn’t happen again. Hopefully, the error isn’t large enough that cause a collision.

Actions prove stronger than words, as the saying goes. This driver should have driven differently and taken responsibility of their actions BEFORE they did their actions. Imagine how lives and our society would change if saying “sorry” solved all problems? There wouldn’t be anyone in jail if they said “sorry” after shooting someone. No one would be fired after stealing money if they said “sorry” to their boss. No one would get divorced after having an affair if they said “sorry” to their spouse. Saying “sorry” doesn’t always fix the problem. Taking ownership of the situation does.

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