Saturday, October 26, 2013

Road Rage

Sunday Morning Sermon - Oct 27 2013

Would you be surprised that road rage can be good for society? Or that most crashes happen on sunny, dry days? That our minds can trick us into thinking the next lane is moving faster? Or that you can gauge a nation’s driving behavior by its levels of corruption? These are only a few of the remarkable dynamics that have been explored in recent times by travelling through the mysteries of the road for almost 5 decades. 

​do ​
we drive the way we do, and what 
​does ​
our driving say about 
​our personality​
? Most of us do think and believe that we are "decent" drivers. Are you sure you are one? What are the perceptual limits and cognitive underpinnings that make us worse drivers than we think we are? Why is it that plans to protect pedestrians from cars often lead to more accidents? Do you know that roundabouts, which can feel dangerous and chaotic, actually make roads safer—and reduce traffic in the bargain. Who is more likely to honk at whom, and why. Why traffic jams form, outlines the unintended consequences of our quest for safety, and even identifies the most common mistake drivers make in parking lots.

The car has long been a central part of human life; especially our generation. Whether we see it as a symbol of freedom or a symptom of sprawl, we define ourselves by what and how we drive. Driving is a provocatively revealing prism for examining how our minds work and the ways in which we interact with one another. It is also about human nature. 

The need to move ahead of the car in front of you is something that even psychologists will find hard to unravel. Cutting across lanes without even signalling is another common feature of today's drivers.

Why do they take these risks knowing very well that a small mistake on the drivers part could cause tremendous hardship to vehicles, passengers, and drivers on the road? Some call it an ego trip when a person gets behind the wheel. Some even say its a sexual thing.

How often have you found yourself being bugged by a nagging driver behind you who wants to move ahead even though there is a line of traffic in front of you?

How many times have you encountered a jerk trying to overtake you from the wrong side?

Sure you must have been in a situation where the dude in front of you failed to signal his intent to turn and kept you guessing behind him?

And when it comes to blowing your horn, Oh My God, its a bloody orchestra out there playing totally out of synch with the music.

When I first started driving in Colombo in the 60s, my Granpda called me over and taught ne one simple golden rule. He said, "Son, when you are driving on the road, remember this. Always say to the other driver, 'YOU FIRST'. I have never forgotten his words to date" even though it is not easy to achieve.

Drive safely fellers.


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