With the holidays upon us and many folks striving to accomplish more errands with less time, I thought it might be interesting to investigate driving styles. Of course there are the stereotypes, male vs. female, youth vs. adult, entitled vs. humble, etc., but what I find fascinating is noticing how some people change once they get behind the wheel.
I, for one, lose all sense of timing, confidence, assertiveness, and trust.. I will wait an inordinate length of time prior to summoning up the guts to make that left turn, while the cars behind me sigh and eventually honk at me, and then I will go suddenly and in a semi panic. It is the same with changing lanes on the freeway. I never trust the other cars to see me and slow down to let me change lanes safely. Yet when I see that someone is trying to change lanes, I will slow down and wave them over, letting them know that I am aware of their intention. Oftentimes drivers will do this for me as well, and it is always appreciated. I am what many would call a timid driver. Untrusting of my own reflexes as well as those of the other drivers on the road, and i'll admit I am easily distracted. However, to combat these actions, I generally allow lots of extra time to get where I am going and am heavily vested in iphone navigational support.
Now in my non driving life, I do not suffer from these inadequcies. I happen to have excellent time management skills and am fairly confident in my dealings with others. I am also very trustful of others and find most people to be honest, helpful and kind in day to day dealings. It is just when I am driving the car that I doubt myself and others. I do not know if it is the fear of having the responsiblity of the safety of myself and my passengers as well as the car, the fear of being judged as inept, the fact that I have little control over how others may behave and that it could have a disastrous on my life, or why I respond this way, but I have not been able to resolve my anxiety when driving. It is much worse when there are others in the car with me. Those close to me know I suffer from this, and I think they find it a bit amusing. It does not deter them from nominating me as designated driver, so I guess I may not be as bad as I think.
My husband, on the other hand, is cool as a cucumber while driving. He tends to be much more of a worrier outside of the car than he is inside of the car where he is alert, aware and confident behind the wheel; capable of making a quick lane change and trusting that the person behind is also aware enough to slow to let him in. He can drive a large vehicle on a narrow street with no angst. But he hates getting stuck in traffic and would rather drive twice as far- taking detours if necessary- just to keep moving. If the freeway starts to lag he will ask me to check all of the traffic apps in an oft futile attempt to try to find an alternate route, and even as a passenge,r I find this stressful. I am more inclined to take the direct route and sit in traffic if need be. It only stresses me if it causes me to be late to an important appointment. Otherwise, I just listen to the radio and relax realizing that I will eventually arrive at my destination.
Then there are those who become very entitled behind the wheel. Changing lanes suddenly and expecting others to let them in. They are fearless and confident. Capable of making left hand turns onto busy boulevards, and they always seem to find that premiere parking spot. They just expect it and they usually get it. They trust in air bags and car insurance.
I have found that driving styles do not always coincide with personality types. Usually they do- the arrogant impatient types usually carry these behaviors from the sidewalk to the car, but not always. I have seen really nervous types become patient and courteous in the car and really mellow types become rude and impatient using language and gestures that woud make a sailor blush.
And some folks just seem utterly oblivious to their surroundings while driving. They just get in the car and go where they are going. They do not care if someone is trying to merge onto the freeway, they are in their lane looking straight ahead, and that is that. It is not even that they are intentionally not letting other drivers in, they are just unaware.Besides, isn't it good time management to gobble breakfast with one hand while texting with the other while steering with you knee?
When I chose this topic, I thought I would be able to find a great deal of information online, but oddly there was very little. I did mangage to find this interesting article from Gerber Collision which I thought was useful:
When driving, it's so easy to forget about the other drivers out there and just to focus on what our car is doing and where we need to go. But we share the road with many other people who are all hurtling down the asphalt in glass-and-steel contraptions at dangerously high speeds.
If you want to be a safer driver, be aware of the 4 kinds of personalities on the road. Chances are, you'll recognize yourself as one of these personalities and -- more importantly -- you'll spot these personalities among other drivers. Knowing how you and everyone else reacts can help you predict and avoid collisions.
The timid driver: The timid driver is the one who drives slower than the speed limit and sometimes brakes without warning on what appears to be a clear road. They can slow sooner than most on an approach to intersections and they are likely very slow to start off again when the light turns green. They appear to be easily startled by driving conditions.
How to drive around timid drivers? Give them lots of space if you're driving behind them because they might brake suddenly. Don't get aggressive. Their style might annoy you but it will make them more timid and unpredictable. Just pass them and keep driving.
The aggressor: The aggressor pushes the speed limit, edges into traffic with very little space, and shouts at other drivers even if no one can hear them. The aggressor drives their car pretty hard and they don't have a lot of patience for slow drivers or unpredictable ones.
How to drive around aggressive drivers? Be predictable. Give them plenty of space. Don't be intimidated if they drive by you while shaking their fist.
The distracted driver: The distracted driver might be the parent with 3 kids in their minivan or they might be the business person with a cell phone. Regardless of the distraction, the result is the same -- an activity that requires 100% focus (driving) only gets about 50% focus (or less) because there is something else that is pulling their focus away. These drivers can be unintentionally unpredictable and, as a result, might not speed but might brake or turn suddenly.
How to drive around distracted drivers? Steer clear of them. Their unpredictability is very dangerous. Don't bother trying to alert them to their lack of focus; they won't notice you anyway.
The show-off: This driver might seem like an aggressor but they have a louder car and something to prove. Therefore, they are easy to provoke and don't want to be shown up on the road. Passing seems to them to be an invitation to race. Stop lights are just a countdown to a fast take-off.
How to drive around show-off drivers? You're probably better off behind them (and you won't be close behind them for long because they're sure to speed off). Don't get drawn into foolish driving with them and don't provoke them to show off.
Awareness. I think it is of the utmost importance. Aware of your surroundings. Aware that others may be unaware. Prepared for the unexpected. Also being patient and courteous. Realizing that by slowing down to let someone change lanes or exit their parking space safely will not usually cause you to miss your appointment.
Simple Suptuous Corn Souffle
2 cans corn, drained
2 cans creamed corn
4 eggs beaten
1 stick butter , melted
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tsp white pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
Spray a 9 x 13 pan with Pam ( makes cleanup a snap )
Mix all of the ingredients together and place in the pan.
Bake for an hour, or until set.
Q: Name the child's favorite Christmas king?
A: A stocking
Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Q: What do snowmen eat for breakfast?
Q: What do you get if you cross mistletoe and a duck?
A: A Christmas Quacker.
Q: What do call Santa when he stops moving?
A: Santa Pause!
Q: Where does a snowman keep his money?
A: In a snow bank.
Q: How much did Santa pay for his sleigh?
A: Nothing, it was on the house!
Q: Why does Santa have three gardens?
A: So he can go HOE HOE HOE.
Q: What do you get when you deep fry Santa Claus?
A: Crisp Kringle.
Q: Why is Santa so good at karate?
A: Because he has a black belt!
Q: What kind of bug hates Christmas?
A: A humbug.
Q: What do you get when you eat Christmas decorations?
Q: What do you get if you cross an apple and a Christmas tree?
Q: Which elf was the best singer?
A: ELFis Presley.
Q: How do you know when Santa's in the room?
A: You can sense his presents.
Q: What did Mrs. Claus say to Santa when she looked in the sky?
A: "Looks like rain, dear."
Q: Who gives presents to baby sharks?
A: Santa Jaws.
Q: What do elves learn in school?
A: The elf-abet.
Q: What Christmas carol is a favorite of parents?
A: Silent Night.
Q: How do sheep say Merry Christmas in Mexico?
A: Fleece Navidad!
Q: Where do mistletoe go to become famous?
A: "Holly" wood!
Q: Why do Mummies like Christmas so much?
A: Because of all the wrapping!
Q: What is special about the Christmas alphabet?
A: It has NO EL.
Q: What did Adam say on the day before Christmas?
A: It's Christmas, Eve.
Q: Why are Christmas trees like people who can't knit?
A: They both drop their needles!
Q: Which reindeer needs to mind his manners the most?
Q: What do you call a group of chess fanatics bragging about their games in a hotel lobby?
A: Chess nuts boasting in an open foyer!
Q: What do you call a cat on the beach at Christmas?
A: Sandy Claus!
Q: What did the bald man say when he got a comb for Christmas? A: Thanks, I'll never part with it!
Q: What did the guest sing at Eskimo's Christmas party? A: Freeze a jolly good fellow
Q: What happened when Santa's cat swallowed a ball of yarn? A: She had mittens..
Signs of Christmas Everywhere
Submitted by L Jon
Toy Store: "Ho, ho, ho spoken here."
Bridal boutique: "Marry Christmas."
Outside a church: "The original Christmas Club."
At a department store: "Big pre-Christmas sale.
Come in and mangle with the crowd."
A Texas jewelry store: "Diamond tiaras -- $70,000.
Three for $200,000.
A reducing salon: "24 Shaping Days until Christmas."
In a stationery store: "For the man who has everything...
a calendar to remind him when payments are due."
The Night Before Christmas
Twas the night before Christmas - Old Santa was pissed.
He cussed out the elves and threw down his list.
Miserable little brats, ungrateful little jerks
I have a good mind to scrap the whole works.
I've busted my ass for damn near a year,
Instead of "Thanks Santa" - what do I hear?
The old lady bitches cause I work late at night
The elves want more money - The reindeer all fight.
Rudolph got drunk and goosed all the maids
Donner is pregnant and Vixen has AIDS
And just when I thought that things would get better
Those assholes from IRS sent me a letter
They say I owe taxes - if that ain't damn funny
Who the hell ever sent Santa Clause any money?
And the kids these days - they all are the pits
They want the impossible ...Those mean little shits
I spent a whole year making wagons and sleds
Assembling dolls...Their arms, legs and heads
I made a ton of yo yo's - No request for them
They want computers and robots...they think I'm IBM!
Flying through the air...dodging the trees
Falling down chimneys and skinning my knees
I'm quitting this job...there's just no enjoyment
I'll sit on my fat ass and draw unemployment
There's no Christmas this year...now you know the reason
I found me a blonde.. I'm going SOUTH for the season!
How to Tell if You're a Grinch
This is the second of the essential personality tests to prepare you misfit readers for your New Year's resolutions:
1. You reuse last year's Christmas cards and send them out under your own name (5 points).
2. You steal light bulbs from you neighbors outdoor display to replenish your own supply (5 points, 10 if neighbors whole light sets or lighted Santa goes out).
3. You have dressed a dog or cat as Santa Claus, elf helper, or reindeer (10 points for each; if you dressed an endangered species, 5 extra points).
4. You put out last year's stale candy canes for children (1 point for each piece of sticky candy). If you put out a chocolate or marzipan Santa also, add 10 points.
5. You enclose a shoddy and inferior gift from Target, Wal-Mart, or Kmart in a Bloomingdale's or other prestige box to impress your friends (5 points for each infraction).
6. You make collect long distance phone calls to your family on Christmas day (5 points, 10 if from a cell phone), claiming you are stuck in a phone booth..
7. At the office Christmas party, you horde huge stockpiles of goodies for later consumption at home (5 points; 15 points if you use this stuff for your own party).
8. You steal the wreath from a parked car to use on your own (Southern California only, others ignore: 5 points -- nobody but Angelenos are dumb enough to dress a car).
9. After an invitation to a friend's house, you bring a commercially produced fruitcake and try to pass it off as home made (5 points; 15 points if the fruitcake is from last year).
10. Any stealing from the Toys-for-Tots collection bins is a definite no-no (20 points).
Evaluate your score on the "Grinch Scale" from 20 to 100.
20-30: You are just a cheeseball.
30-50: You are an apprentice in Yuletide larceny and are probably
wanted by the police for overdue parking tickets.
50-100: Grinch, move over. The Meyer Lansky of Christmas crime has
check out today's front page all around the world!
Happy Birthday Mom!
Natives who beat drums to drive off evil spirits are objects of scorn to smart Americans who blow horns to break up traffic jams. ~Mary Ellen Kelly
Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead. ~Mac McCleary
A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once, and by car forever after. ~Peter De Vries
The civilized man has built a coach, but has lost the use of his feet. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Self-Reliance," 1841
It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road. ~Author Unknown
The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it. ~Dudley Moore
A pedestrian is someone who thought there were a couple of gallons left in the tank. ~Author Unknown
Leave sooner, drive slower, live longer. ~Author Unknown
It wasn't the Exxon Valdez captain's driving that caused the Alaskan oil spill. It was yours. ~Greenpeace advertisement, New York Times, 25 February 1990
Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells
Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible or even sinful that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes! ~Dr. Paul MacCready, Jr.
A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man. ~Arnold Toynbee
Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves. ~Albert Einstein
I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol. ~Author Unknown
Hug your kids at home, but belt them in the car. ~Author Unknown
A tree never hits an automobile except in self defense. ~American Proverb
Americans are broad-minded people. They'll accept the fact that a person can be an alcoholic, a dope fiend, a wife beater, and even a newspaperman, but if a man doesn't drive, there is something wrong with him. ~Art Buchwald, "How Un-American Can You Get?," Have I Ever Lied to You?, 1966
~Alan M. Eddison
Never drive faster than your guardian angel can fly. ~Author Unknown
When buying a used car, punch the buttons on the radio. If all the stations are rock and roll, there's a good chance the transmission is shot. ~Larry Lujack
The car has become the carapace, the protective and aggressive shell, of urban and suburban man. ~Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media
Car sickness is the feeling you get when the monthly payment is due. ~Author Unknown
The one thing that unites all human beings, regardless of age, gender, religion, economic status or ethnic background, is that, deep down inside, we ALL believe that we are above average drivers. ~Dave Barry, "Things That It Took Me 50 Years to Learn"
The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. ~Edward Abbey
Restore human legs as a means of travel. Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities. ~Lewis Mumford
I hooked up my accelerator pedal in my car to my brake lights. I hit the gas, people behind me stop, and I'm gone. ~Steven Wright
The car has become a secular sanctuary for the individual, his shrine to the self, his mobile Walden Pond. ~Edward McDonagh
You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive. ~Author Unknown
Automobiles are not ferocious.... it is man who is to be feared. ~Robbins B. Stoeckel
No one should be able to enter a wilderness by mechanical means. ~Garrett Hardin, The Ecologist, February 1974
The shortest distance between two points is under construction. ~Noelie Altito
A real patriot is the fellow who gets a parking ticket and rejoices that the system works. ~Bill Vaughan
I'm all about sharing the road with other driversas long as they use the part that's behind me. ~Author Unknown
Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work. ~Author Unknown
If everything comes your way, you are in the wrong lane. ~Author Unknown
Anyone driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac. ~Author Unknown
The elderly don't drive that badly; they're just the only ones with time to do the speed limit. ~Jason Love
Making a left turn in L.A. is one of the harder things you're going to learn in life. ~Lawrence Kasdan and Meg Kasdan, (movie), spoken by the character Mack
Most of American life consists of driving somewhere and then returning home, wondering why the hell you went. ~John Updike
A driver is a king on a vinyl bucket-seat throne, changing direction with the turn of a wheel, changing the climate with a flick of the button, changing the music with the switch of a dial. ~Andrew Malcolm
You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said "Parking Fine." ~Tommy Cooper
Stupidity is not a handicap. Park elsewhere! ~Author unknown, as seen on a shirt
All in favor of conserving gasoline, please raise your right foot. ~Author Unknown
Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car. ~E.B. White, One Man's Meat, 1943
Life is too short for traffic. ~Dan Bellack
I shouldn't have driven home from the bar last nightespecially since I walked there. ~Author Unknown
Before someone gets their driver's license they should have to beat Rainbow Road on Mario Kart without falling off. ~Author Unknown
Another way to solve the traffic problems of this country is to pass a law that only paid-for cars be allowed to use the highways. ~Will Rogers
If all the cars in the United States were placed end to end, it would probably be Labor Day Weekend. ~Doug Larson
No other man-made device since the shields and lances of the knights quite fulfills a man's ego like an automobile. ~William Rootes
Two wrongs don't make a right, but three lefts do. ~Jason Love
Road sense is the offspring of courtesy and the parent of safety. ~Australian Traffic Rule, quoted in Quotations for Special Occasions by Maud van Buren
Eighty percent of the people of Britain want more money spent on public transport in order that other people will travel on the buses so that there is more room for them to drive their cars. ~John Selwyn Gummer, The Independent, 1994
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