My dad was an excellent driver. He was a professional driver, hauling cars across country for Chrysler and independently, driving trucks for almost 30 years. Before that he drove a cab.
He taught my brothers and I to drive, both automatic and standard. Every Sunday morning he and I would head out for lessons, driving up and down the county roads that connected Windsor with the surrounding towns and townships. It wasn’t just a driving lesson – it was history lessons, geography lessons and lots of well-spent time with dad, who was born and raised there and had a million stories to tell about every square mile of local roads.
Learning to drive was fun. He was always calm and gentle in his corrections. He taught us to stop for pedestrians, watch for animals, be courteous always, use your seat belt (before it was law) and never be in a rush.
I hope that I learned that last part especially, although I know there are times when I’m overcome with impatience on the road.
It seems that, for a lot of drivers, impatience behind the wheel – coupled with aggression – is the way they drive.
Doesn’t it always seem worse in the summer? Most drivers are pretty considerate during the Winter – perhaps because the tricky road conditions force them to be. But come Spring and Summer, look out! The highways become riskier than they did in the snow.
Road rage and discourtesy are just indications of a larger problem. Aggression and violence are growing and spreading throughout the world, and the world seems to have become more tolerant of them.
I often wonder what’s fueling it. Is there a single cause – maybe a parenting factor or environmental toxin in our food or in the air – or is it simply our genetic makeup that keeps us moving forward and changing?
No two ways about it, the human race is constantly changing, and not always in the direction we think it should.
I can accept that “my way” isn’t always the way it should be, but aggression and impatience on the road is never acceptable.
Wendy Coomber is editor of the Ashcroft-Cache Creek Journal