Commuting with Integrity

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Commuting with Integrity

Pedestrians, bicycles and cars crowd a bridge into downtown Vancouver April 2, 2001. Unionized transit works in Canada's third largest city walked off the job April 1 in a dispute over wages and contracting out of jobs to non-union companies. The strike forced thousands of commuters to find alternative ways to get to work. REUTERS/John Lehmann --- Image by © Reuters/CORBIS

Image by © Reuters/CORBIS

I spend a great deal of time thinking and pondering life when I commute to and from work. I have noticed a few things in my travels which I would like to bring to your attention so that you may choose to commute with integrity. First of all, it is essential to try and put yourself in the shoes of the other driver. There have been times in my life when I was overcome with emotion and fear and it seemed as if the whole world was against me. I can honestly tell you, I do not always take this approach, but I try to do so. You never know what someone is going through that is going to push their last button and make them snap. Give them space. Give them mental space, give them physical space…GIVE THEM SPACE. Do not orchestrate a symphony of your middle finger flying and make direct eye contact with a person on the fringe of losing their capacity to maintain their dignity. Give them space applies to everyone on the road. It does not matter what mood the person beside you or behind you or around you happens to have…it matters that you give them space. DO NOT TAILGATE! Tailgating causes more accidents, deaths and unnecessary tragedies on the roadway. I have nagged the people I know and love to death about tailgating. I think everyone needs to picture their baby in the back seat of the car in front of them and the implications if they were to hit that car. If everyone would stop and contemplate their actions on tailgating, there would be less accidents.

Be an offensive driver and yet not in the context of using offensive language. I mean simply, be on the lookout for the driver shaving in the rear view mirror, or the person texting, and eating a sandwich while driving a 2000 pound vehicle. Be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the semi-trucks on the highway. Remember, they cannot stop on a dime like some of our cars can do. Truck drivers are delivering your produce, your commerce, your very way of life! Be courteous to them and appreciate the fact they do not have the luxury of just stopping at will to avoid colliding with you when you gave them no notice that you were going to pull in front of them.

Use those foreign objects in your car called turn signals. Let people know your intentions. Just because you have a turn signal on, does not mean the person you are signaling to will let you in, has seen you, or gives a whirl enough to let you in. Use common sense, before merging into another lane. Look, then look again and again until you think you have merged safely. If you have not done so, you will know immediately. Exercise some common courtesy. If you see someone trying to merge, let them into the lane. You do not have to race everyone you see or speed up to avoid letting them in to the lane. Greed kills and when you are being greedy over lane space, you may force someone into a dangerous maneuver that could have been avoided if you had been more gracious.

Remember, you are not the lone wolf in this world. The world does not revolve around you. You are no more important than myself or anyone else. We are all important human beings and should be treated with respect. You should not be treating the roadway like the Indy 500 or NASCAR just because you have seen it on television. There are speed limits for a reason. Use common sense again when getting behind the wheel. Exercise humility and kindness and smile when driving. You may just brighten someone’s day and save a life. COMMUTE WITH INTEGRITY.

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