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Growing up I received the advice from my mother that it was a best practice to drive as if all of the other drivers on the road were my brother.  I can easily agree with certain facets of her logic, it follows the golden rule, and as long as you treat other courteously and respectfully you’ll be contributing to safer driving conditions.  Other drivers on the road can also be just as reckless and inconsiderate as brothers can be, especially the younger ones.

What she doesn’t account for with this wisdom is that my brother is not someone I treat with courtesy and respect, but more of a sadistic antagonism.   Don’t get me wrong, we have a great relationship, but I can’t imagine that treating other drivers with the same immature retaliation tactics that I’ve used on him would make the roads a safe place.  I have instead decided to adopt the mantra that every other driver on the road needs to be treated as if they were my grandma.

For instance, a common situation that I find myself in on the road is driving right in front of someone who is in a much bigger hurry than I am.  I, naturally, like every other automobilist, drive at the perfect speed that optimally balances drive time and safety.  I take great offense to anybody who challenges this opinion, especially when they let me know by driving directly behind me and flashing their head lights.

If I knew it was my little brother behind me, my response would be simple,  I would go as slow as possible when they don’t have a chance to pass me, and if they did get the chance to pass, I’d speed back up again.  However, if I found my Grandma to be the one tailgating, light flashing, and fist shaking, I would have to think that she’d have a very good reason to be in a hurry, and I would do anything possible to allow her to pass me and get wherever it is that she needs to get to.  While it would be fun to try and correct these drivers’ behavior, I think the best practice would be to assume that they are in a hurry for a reason.  I do realize that some, if not most of the time all I will be doing is rewarding someone who is in a hurry for no better reason than to get a better spot in line as they wait for coffee, but you never know for certain that that person isn’t a doctor racing to deliver a baby or a secret agent on his way to thwart a terrorist plot.

You don’t necessarily have to be on the road to be impacted by other drivers.  I would say that on an average night I’m in bed no later than 10:00 PM.  At about 10:30 every night, a car drives into my apartment complex with something that I suppose is technically music blasting from what must be a very impressive and expensive sound system they have in their car.  Even if I did like the song that was playing, it would not offset the window rattling volume that never fails to terrify me and my cats.  I have entertained the thought of being an adult and talking it out with this driver, but let’s face it; he won’t even be able to hear me after he gets out of his night-club of a car.

How Do You Imagine Other Drivers

The older brother in me has devised a truly ingenious plan to retaliate for this behavior.  I still have in my possession a slingshot which, as much as I hate to admit, has been used primarily for evil against my sibling.  I’m no sniper, but I believe that I am accurate enough to put a rock through this guy’s back window as he drives by at his conveniently regular time every night. What is truly beautiful about this plan is that he will have to consider the fact that his own music may have in fact been what caused his window to shatter.  What has kept me from carrying out this plan, or for that matter even filing any sort of formal complaint, is considering treating this other driver as if they were my Grandma.

The only way I can conceive of her doing this would be if her hearing-aid had gone out, but it isn’t completely implausible.  Regardless of why my grandma would be listening to something with such a heavy bass-line, I would tolerate the behavior from her because deep down I believe that everyone, especially the elderly, deserve to cut loose and live a little.  As much as it irks me to have this interruption at the same time every evening, I respect that this guy won’t be around forever and needs to make the most of his time.

A final fact to consider is that you don’t know what kind of person you’ll be dealing with when it comes down to a physical confrontation with any of these other drivers.  Sure, it could a younger brother, someone who is smaller than you and easily dispatched with even novice use of a slingshot. Or, it could be your Grandma, a woman who treats cuts and scrapes by pouring iodine in them.  Your best bet is to stay on grandma’s good side, and the best way to do that is to be considerate and polite as you travel the roads.

The author of this article was Alex Taylor, if you enjoyed this piece you can follow me on Twitter @AAMCOColorado. Cars are at times quite the pain, but if you live in Colorado and are in need of a Denver Transmissions repair, be sure to contact your local AAMCO location for the best in service.