Dear Type A personalities, Chill out behind the wheel
Dear Type A Driver,
When you first rolled up behind me at the stop sign, I knew that we were going to have problems. You honked at me to go right as a car was approaching in the lane I was signaling in to.
You thought I had time to whip Bertha the Big Blue Boat (my Chrysler Pacifica) across three lanes and make a 90 degree turn without cutting the approaching car off. I can see how you, the driver of a tiny Kia Sportage, would think so. If I were driving my other car (a Honda Civic) I may have attempted it, but as it were I knew it would be more trouble than what it was worth. So I opted to wait until the car passed me to go forward.
As I waited to make a right turn at the next stoplight, you once again thought you knew better than me and honked impatiently when I decided not to cut off a string of cars. Yes, there were gaps in the procession of cars that were flying through the intersection, but I wasn’t confident that I could get in without getting side swiped or rear ended.
We were at the light less than a minute before it changed. As I turned onto the two-lane road, I was disappointed to see that you were still behind me. I was even more annoyed when you started tailgating me as if I were done kind of Sunday driver. I could only go as fast as the car in front of me.
I thought I would have lost you at the next stoplight, but there you were again in all of your impatient glory. I don’t remember if you tried to tell me when to go. At this point I was so annoyed by you that I was just trying to find a road that you weren’t driving on.
Whether you realized it or not, you were seeping with impatience. I could see it in my rear view; I could feel it in your honking and the way you drove behind me.
I know your type all too well. Drivers like me aren’t the problem. You are the problem.
You drive like you own the entire road.
You make such a fuss about passing people just to end up sitting next to them at the next stoplight.
You get mad and start honking when someone takes a millisecond too long to press the accelerator when the light changes (there’s actually wisdom in waiting to make sure the cross traffic has indeed come to a stop).
You make such a fuss about how other people drive that you are blind to the fact that you’re the person on the road that needs to do better.
A general issue with Type A personalities is that they have problems with relinquishing control to others. For Type A drivers, this means that you want everyone on the road to make the same decisions in the same amount of time that you think you would.
Here’s the thing: If everyone drove like you (or how you want them to drive, rather), we would have a bunch of angry and impatient people on the road. We’d have people who would run one another off of the road because they would be convinced that they had the right of way. People would dart into intersections and cut other drivers off.
The point of my letter is this: I know that there are lots of inattentive, slow drivers on the road and it’s quite frustrating. That’s not everyone, though. Chill out.
Make sure you plan and leave more than enough time to get places. I’d like to think that you were in a hurry to get somewhere and that is why you kept rushing me and that you would have been more pleasant on another day.
Realize that other drivers know their vehicles and their abilities better than you do. I know about how long it takes me to be able to turn my car safely. You don’t. Don’t honk at me unless I’m about to kill you, myself, or somebody else (or if I’m sitting for more than a couple of seconds at a green light).
It’s not all about you. Other people want to make it to their destinations without incident or injury. If you can’t drive without being a jerk then you need to find another mode of transportation because driving isn’t for you.
Look, I’m not trying to throw salt on your driving game. I know you have places to go and people to see. So do I. I hope that next time we meet, Type A driver, we will both be at the top of our respective driving games.
Much love. No Hate.
Laid Back Driver