Raising my kids has taught me many things. I always try to get them to realize that they should think of how their actions could affect anyone else. My parents raised me the same way. So far it’s worked out quite well. There’s often remorse when they do something they know is wrong. That remorse usually means they make the proper decision before they do the action. That should keep them on the up and up as they go through life, don’t you think? Have you been raised to think about how your actions may affect someone else?
Recently while I was out driving with my son on the freeway, we came across a situation that affected my son emotionally. While passing a slower vehicle on my right, that said driver decided to change lanes toward my vehicle. Since I teach my students at Young Drivers of Canada a technique that will allow them to notice slight movement of vehicles in a variety of directions, I was able to notice their movement quite early. Once I noticed their vehicle’s movement toward my lane markings I tapped my horn quite a few times with the hope of getting the driver’s attention and getting them to stay in their lane. It didn’t work so I ended up having to reduce speed and move partially onto the shoulder to my left to avoid the collision.
The driver who attempted to change lanes did absolutely nothing while I continued to tap my horn except continue into my lane; the space that my vehicle was occupying. A few moments later, they changed back into their original lane. As we continued past them, my son and I glanced over to see what a driver might look like who seemed to care less about our safety. The driver was someone probably in their mid-twenties and they were smiling as my son and I glanced at them. Were they smiling because they were successful at cutting us off? Were they smiling because they didn’t crash at freeway speeds? Only they will know.
I tend to shrug those things off as I see them happen each week when I drive, but my son couldn’t do it. He started to cry. Yes, he was upset that the driver almost hit us and would have done so if I didn’t respond as I did. He was more upset that the driver didn’t seem to have any remorse for their actions. He actually said to me, “I could have died and they didn’t care!” Have you ever thought of how your actions could really affect other people when you drive? This careless and thoughtless driver didn’t seem to care about us and anyone else on the road, including themselves. Why not? Were they not taught these values as a child? It’s never too late to change.
The next time you’re driving, ask yourself before you make a driving choice how it could affect someone else; even the 12 year old passenger of the vehicle near them. Remember, you can mentally scar someone with your actions; not just physically injure them. It’s time to think before you act.