Trucker tip #1
This tip is for all drivers. Drive as if everyone else on the road were a member of your family (ideally, a member of your family who you actually like, otherwise this won’t work at all).
If you drive as if everyone else on the road were a member of your family, you’ll be far less likely to let anger and frustration rule your actions. With a cool head, you’ll be far less likely to take foolish chances, meaning you’re much more likely to actually arrive safely at your destination, which is really all we want out of this driving business.
Here’s how it works. It’s a typical day. I’ve been dealing with too much traffic and too many idiot drivers for several hours. Of course I’m in a hurry, since most of us are almost always in a hurry. I’m driving down a busy city street when some numb-nut pulls out from a parking lot, right in front of me, causing me to slam on the brakes, the force nearly decapitating me with my seat belt in the process. I am now extremely unhappy with the numb-nut and am consumed with the need to chase him down and do unspeakable things to his person. But wait –
Here is the moment to bring Trucker Tip #1 to bear. I take a deep breath, and I tell myself that the other driver was really my Aunt Clara, my sweet Aunt Clara who used to give me money to buy candy at the store when I was a small child. I keep that thought in my head until the urge to seek revenge has passed. And it will pass, because it is much easier to forgive Aunt Clara for doing something thoughtless than it is to forgive a numb-nut stranger.
I find this tip most useful when I’m tempted to tailgate someone. What if that car I’m tailgating were being driven by my mother? Would I risk her life and mine because she’s driving a bit slowly? Of course not.
There’s no denying that some days it’s so bad out here on the road that it is hard to keep this tip in mind, but I think the important thing is to just keep trying.