Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dear Daniel, (a few thoughts about road rage)

The other day we were riding in the car and some other drivers were very angry at each other and one of them started honking her horn to get her point across. I admit that I do not know all of the things that happened that provoked her to do that, but I didn't think it was an appropriate time to use the car horn.

Daniel, some day you will drive without me in the car, and I have a few things to say about road rage. Firstly, it's really not worth it. There's no where you have to be on time that is worth getting into an accident. (This applies to being in a hurry, also—ask me about the time I totaled my car.) Secondly, you getting angry inside your car doesn't necessarily have any effect on other drivers—it just harms you.

I guess this is where the horn-honking comes in. I realize that in certain parts of the country, liberal use of the horn is part of driving culture. I suppose in those cases you can follow the "When in Rome..." adage. However, generally speaking, don't angrily lay on your horn with the purpose of expressing your frustration. Reserve use of your horn for when another driver is doing something dangerous that they need to be aware of. If someone starts merging into you because you are in their blind spot, hit your brakes (first, to protect yourself) and your horn (second, to alert the other driver of your presence).

Your dad has taught me that it's far more fun for everyone to confuse other drivers than to be angry with them. For instance, when someone cuts him off in traffic, instead of honking his horn, tailgating them or giving them the finger, your dad waves at them vigorously (sometimes while grinning) as if he's saying "Thank you so much for cutting me off!" or "Hello there, old friend!" When the other driver tentatively waves back with that perplexed look on his face, we have a good laugh.

All this to say: your life is precious, and it is way more important than making any point to a bad driver or getting somewhere on time. I know you'll be a good driver but I don't know about all the other drivers out there, so while you're at it, always wear your seat belt.

Love,
Momma

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