There’s something about driving that makes you forget what you’re doing. It is easy to get lulled into a sense that driving is more like watching a movie or playing a video game than real. Perhaps it is the climate control so you don’t have to experience the weather. Perhaps it is the good suspension that smooths out every bump so you don’t experience the road. It is easy to forget that the other cars on the road are real and filled with people. It is easy to forget that one wrong move and someone will die.
The most aggressive drivers on the road are those who drive large trucks, like Ford F-150s. They are so high above and removed from everyone else that they seem to forget that there is anyone else on the road. These vehicles are very sturdy and give a sense of protection to the driver, but result in a sense of threat to everyone else, because the driver often drives as if he is the only person on the road.
I think it’s a good idea to have a car that has lightweight doors that make you realize how fragile and how thin your protection is between you and other cars. I think it’s a good idea to have a car that doesn’t have quick acceleration so you don’t feel you can cut off other drivers. A slow car makes you wait for an opening rather than forcing one. I think it’s a good idea to think of your car as a two thousand pound weapon. This way you will be considerate on the road.
When you ride a motorcycle you are fully in the elements. You are made aware of every moment and everything has to be done very carefully and mindfully or you will get hurt. The same is true for bicyclists or walkers. The less you have between you and others, the more careful you have to be, but also the more considerate. Imagine how many fewer accidents there would be if everyone drove as if they had the same level of protection as a motorcyclist.
What if we all had one 800 numbers on the back of our cars saying “How am I driving?” How many of us would get complaints? What if police pulled people over for driving well? How many of us would get stopped then?
Here is a prayer to be said before starting your car:
Lord, help me to remember to be careful on this road. Help me to remember to look out for the safety of myself and for others. Help me to drive in a way that would bring honor to you. Amen.