I think we’ve all done things that were a little risky throughout our lives. Sometimes we do them without much thought. Hindsight is great though because after doing what was essentially wrong and/or dangerous, we realized it was something we shouldn’t have done to begin with. What would possess us to do things like this, especially while driving? Like the driver of this vehicle who decided to drive along the sidewalk to reach a specific driveway instead of waiting their turn in traffic. Did they have this plan originally when they got into the vehicle or was it something they did at the spur of the moment?
I recently did a live morning show on television when I said that every driver should be a professional driver. This wasn’t asking each person to earn a living while driving, but it was more about acting more professional when behind the wheel. Essentially this meant to pay attention to your surroundings while driving and make safe choices. Don’t become a pedestrian behind the wheel. Learn to become a real driver.
To me, a professional driver is someone who looks well ahead and anticipates what the traffic pattern will be up the road and then responds to it early. A professional driver is someone who thinks through the actions before doing them. A professional driver is someone who does the proper things more times than not because they know it’s a safer way, despite the fact that they may be late for their appointment because of heavy traffic patterns. A professional driver is someone who respects their vehicle and those around them. They become a proactive driver. Does this sound like you?
We often hear about drivers who crash their vehicles because of the risks they take. Driver’s who speed, weave in and out of traffic and drivers who purposely distract themselves by texting while driving, eating while driving or by having heated conversations with their passengers hurt more than themselves; they hurt everyone near them. Even though they have passengers with them, they still decide to take these chances. Why?
Driving is more than a physical activity of steering, accelerating and braking. It’s done mostly with your brain and eyes. Your hands and feet just help you go where your brain and eyes want. It’s become a very psychological activity in recent years. If drivers began to take pride in their driving ability, maybe crash rates would drop, injuries would be reduced and fatalities would decrease as well.
When I was a judge on Canada’s Worst Driver I met many people who really didn’t care much about what they did behind the wheel or the vehicle itself. It’s certainly not the attitude of a professional driver. Unfortunately, there are millions more people out there with the same attitude who call themselves a driver. Sitting behind the steering wheel doesn’t make you a driver and it definitely doesn’t make you a professional driver.
Now is the time to make the change to become a professional driver. Sit back and take a good, honest look at you; the driver. It starts with your attitude. Change the attitude and then change the ability. With a solid effort over time, you too can become the ultimate professional driver. I dare you.