Imagine, you are on your way to work, minding your own business, and you decide to stop for coffee. It is 7:30 A.M. and you are having a good start to the day. After you pull out, you are getting up to speed with the rest of the traffic, and the driver behind you honks, and passes you doing well over the speed limit, causing you to startle, jerk your wheel, and your hot coffee spills everywhere. Going through life, we are reminded to be kind to others because we never know what they may be going through. I firmly believe that this applies to the rules of driving as well. Some people are just naturally fast drivers while others may be slower. Some drivers are always in a rush no matter where they are going. Some are just impatient. These characteristics are often associated with impatient and aggressive drivers rushing from place to place. Some drivers may be legitimately rushing to a hospital or are late to work. However, the slower, more hesitant drivers are also driving more cautiously for a reason. To the many drivers out there in the world that feel the need to aggressively drive past the driver doing the speed limit by doing 75 in a 60, or to the driver that honks the second the light turns green because the person at the front of the light didn't go from braked to doing at least the speed limit in those first 10 seconds, please take a moment to consider that the hesitant or slower drivers may not be experiencing the same day as you are.
Take a moment to consider that the driver in front of you driving five miles under the speed limit may be a new driver out on the highway for the first time. Not everyone gets a student driver sticker to put on their car. But even if it was stuck to the back window, would that infuse you with compassion? Or just more anger at the "lack of knowledge" of the young person? What if the person in front of you that is hesitant to make the left-hand turn at the intersection without the light is driving for the first time after being in a really bad accident? The driver that has their blinker on for what seems like forever but hasn't gotten into the other lane yet could be a person that got hit because they didn't see that car in their blind spot. While driving in the neighborhood, the car that is driving at a snail's pace with the driver constantly looking in their rear view mirror probably isn't looking at you, rather making sure their newborn baby is safely strapped into their car seat and isn't making a fuss. The driver who is driving slow in front of you could be a young student nervous about taking the ACT that morning, and needs to take the day at their pace. How about the driver that seems to be in their own world? That driver could be driving back from a funeral for their loved one, or just got some bad news from their doctor and now have to go tell their children.
These are just a few of the many possibilities in the world, as to why the driver in front of you might be annoying for not following the unspoken rule of going at least four miles over the speed limit because you can. Personally, I was and always am, the brunt of driving jokes, or complaints by my friends and family. In everyday life, I am very careful about the decisions I make because I don't want to make the wrong choice. With driving, if I make the wrong choice, I could hurt myself and many others. I've passed my fair share of accidents, and have even been in one when I was younger and had to take a ride in the ambulance to the ER. So if I can help keep someone safe on the road, I will. I am also one to follow all the rules with no questions asked. So when every single person that I know complains about my slow driving, I must remind them that I am not slow, I am just driving the speed limit at which I will be following the rules and keeping others safe. I hate turning right on red at intersections that are hard to see around, I get easily annoyed with drivers that don't use blinkers, and just because I may have the right away in a situation doesn't mean that the other drivers are going to honor that. I was recently on my first long distance drive, driving for about two and a half hours on a set of unfamiliar highways. I was driving the speed limit through a construction zone, and I was blocked in by semi trucks all around me. The driver behind me, annoyed by my slowness, thought it was a nice gesture to tell me to go faster by flashing her brights at me. I'm sorry, that is not okay. I have only been driving for about a year and a half, and have never driven that far or been on that highway system. That's not even mentioning that I had no way to change lanes because I was in the farthest lane and was surrounded by trucks. This just made me flustered and anxious that I was being a nuisance to some stranger's day and there was nothing that I could do about it. Luckily, the rest of my drive was smooth and a success being my first long trip, despite the unkind action displayed by the driver behind me.