My Proposal for Lifelong Education
by: Jesse Chang
The purpose of report 2 was to find out where the problems exist in my driving. By taking numerous driving personality tests I gained a better idea of where I stand as a driver and my degree of road rage. After finding out how serious my problem was, I configured an experiment suited to my specific needs which made it easy for me to follow, and more effective towards my pursuit to improve my driving skills and decrease my road rage tendencies. My experiment proved to be successful, and I now have the opportunity to apply the skills I learned while doing the experiment. This will make me a more supportive, safe, and emotionally intelligent driver. I want to drive in the way that is safer and healthier for me, and everyone else on the road. If I do this, I will be doing my part to make the roads safer by my own driving, and by the example that I am setting for all of those witnessing my driving. In the beginning of the semester, I joked about my tendency to exhibit road rage. Now I feel that it is a serious problem that could have the potential of getting me into a predicament that I would regret for the rest of my life.
In this report I will examine chapter nine from “Road Rage and Aggressive Driving”. By examining this chapter, reading prior generational reports about this chapter, researching prior courses involving driver’s education, and by going over generation 20 speeches pertaining to aggressive driving, we are challenged to come up with our own plan by constructing a proposal for a lifelong drivers education plan. This report made me realize through the Acknowledge, Witness, and Modifying process that I do suffer from extreme road-rage, but through this process I will be able to overcome my tendencies for road-rage transforming me into a supportive driver making the roads a safer place.
Chapter 9 from the book "Road Rage and Aggressive Driving" by Dr. James and Dr. Nahl was mainly about adolescent drivers and how they are the most accident prone drivers on the road. The chapter states that then umber one cause of death for people fifteen to twenty years old are the result of car crashes. The book goes on to states that in just one years difference, the amount of crashes drastically decreases. "A sixteen year old driver is 42% more likely to be in a crash than a 17 year old" (pg 190). This is really significant because at sixteen, the first eligibility to drive, the youth is almost 50% more likely to get into a car crash than a year later. This should be explored more because in that one year the roads don't change, so it must be the driver that changes in that one year. When I first thought about how dangerous adolescent drivers were, I categorized the population as "teenagers". When I read this statement form the book, I realized that there's alot to be learned in just one year of an adolescent's life. It made me think that we as a people should really get involved in the legislation and rethink the age in which we want to let young people drive. Teenagers are more irresponsible, arrogant, immature, and reckless than adults. I think that it is time that we limit the amount of privileges they get because they have demonstrated (the accident count) that they are not ready to be behind the wheel, especially without adult supervision.
New Zealand initiated a plan to curb the amount of teenage reckless driving. They split the licensing approach into three phases: the learners permit, intermediate license, and the full license. The first phase involves passing a drivers education course and be in adult supervision at all times while driving. The second phase involves on-road testing. the final phase involves a zero-tolerance alcohol level. Each level depends on the driver being substance and citation free. There were times allotted as to when the driver could be on the road (not from 12-6am), and there were color coded licenses to help authorities figure out which level the driver was on. "In response to the appalling statistics and the mounting concern over teen drivers,
many states and some countries have instituted a graduated licensing approach that provides for several licensing phases: learner's permit, intermediate or provisional license, and then full license (p.191)." I think that this is significant because I am very much in support of this idea. Make drivers earn the right to drive rather than to see it as a right. If young drivers have to prove their ability by making the process longer and in steps, than so be it. Young drivers have earned this consequence by being the most accident prone over the years. It's not discriminatory, but rather a consequence for the fact that teenage drivers pose the most risk. This will also make parents more aware of their child's ability by more monitoring.
The chapter goes on to talk about a program called Driver-Zed which was created by the AAA Foundation for traffic safety. This CD-rom based program focuses on drivers and their belief system. These set of beliefs create hazardous conditions on the road. Dr. John Larson believes that there are five beliefs that drivers have which makes them drive aggressively:
The chapter goes on to state that most aggressive driving attitudes are learned from the parent. The attitudes become characteristics of personality which form habits that prove to be most difficult to break. the best way to break a habit involves consistence and long term learning and adapting. that's where the chapter goes into a lifelong drivers education plan. It focuses on negative thinking experienced by those from grades k-12, and attempts to transform this thinking into positive concepts. Because behavior is made up of three components:
The lifelong drivers education course would involve all three if these concepts and assimilate them into the learning process of the child, all the way until the child graduates high school. That way the child will have a better understanding of themselves, and of how to condition themselves to adapt to a higher quality of thinking, driving, and emotional intelligence.
"The new driver education curriculum ought to be a driving psychology curriculum because the entire personality of the individual is involved in driving" (pg 196). I totally agree with this quote from the book and I believe it to be very significant. Driving is more than just a mechanical behavior. It involves emotion, personal morals and values, individuals' thoughts, and in many ways is a form of communication. How a person drives is a derivative of their overall cognitive and emotional construct, not to mention their emotional state of mind. When someone is mad, they may communicate their displeasure by speeding or cutting someone off. They may display every one of the characteristics that determine road rage behavior. All aspects of the driver is displayed when they are behind the wheel. The old driving educational classes involved rules of the road and situational possibilities. The new curriculum should be based more on how and why people act the way they do when behind the wheel, and how they can alter dangerous driving habits by Witnessing, Acknowledging, and Modifying.
The chapter introduced a way to involve groups of people called QDC's or Quality Driving Circles. These groups consist of two to ten people who meet together to discuss their driving skills. These groups are similar to support groups where individual drivers can have a support circle to talk about their successes or challenges pertaining to driving. This attempt at self-improvement can take the from of physically being there to support each other, or it can take place over the phone, internet chat group, etc. Any form of communication would be sufficient to assist and support each other's quest to improve their driving.
chapter 9 also goes into definite steps that can be incorporated to improve driving skills. One such step pertains to a video called the Roadrageous video. This video teaches the three steps needed in order to modify driving skills. Driving involves emotional self-control and a good attitude. When these characteristics aren't apparent by the driver, then the Acknowledge, Witness, and Modify program can assist the driver to incorporate techniques to modify their Affective, Cognitive, and Sensorimotor states which are components of their personality. I have done this in report 2 by tape recording myself while driving and keeping a journal to write my thoughts and feelings after the drive.
"Elderly drivers have to make adjustments that challenge personal philosophy and ideology" (pg 207). This chapter goes on to explain some difficulties that the elderly face while driving such as insufficient self confidence, anxiety due to declined ability, resentment due to social ostracism, etc. This is very significant to me because I tend to feel at times that the elderly should be less inclined to drive because they are a high risk factor on the road. In actuality, the teenage group is the most prone to accidents. I never really took the time to explore what old people have to go through when they get behind the wheel. They may have gone from the most coordinated and safe young adult, but when their age declines, so does their ability to drive as well as they did when they were younger. You also have to take into consideration that the roads must be very different from what they were accustomed to when they were younger. The amount of people on the road must make a huge difference in the way that old people look at driving aswell. Organizations like AAA American Automobile Organization) and AARP hold classes and training designed specifically for the elderly driving population. There soon may come a time where it is the law that requires seniors to take an exam to test their driving ability every few years. I think that until it is proven that elderly drivers are making the roads unsafe, the elderly will not be discriminated against.
Goldstein from generation 19 gave a brief overview of what steps should be learned for those in grades k-12. He stated that kindergarten through elementary should stress affective driving skills (actions and consequences), middle school should focus on cognitive skills (others' rights and safety), and high school (sensorimotor skills). This is the start to Lifelong Education. She add that there should be post-licensing for all ages. She leaves out specific steps in order to achieve this curriculum. It's a good idea, but how those concepts are taught is the question.
Piper from this same generation also illustrates the different level of education and what aspects should be focused on when in school, but she also doesn't point out how to accomplish these tasks. She also fails to mention the elderly population and how young drivers are not the only risk on the road. As you age, so does your coordination. You also go through many social personal changes which will influence the way one drives when they are a senior citizen.
I think that in both of these reports, it wasn't asked of the student to form a teaching curriculum. Our speeches for generation 20 involved finding ways in which concepts could be taught in schools or drivers education classes. It seems more logical to incorporate the "how's" now that all of these prior generations have come up with the "whys" in terms of why road rage and driving psychology should be examined regularly in a Lifelong Driver Education pursuit. Change is the only constant in life. With every change there must be adaptation. During a driver's life they aswell as their environment (the roads driven on) go through many changes. It is obvious that we as drivers should take it upon ourselves to attempt to improve our driving every year. If improvement is not the issue, then an adaptation to the changing conditions seems accurate. I remember Dr James stating in class that he was a good driver, but that he can always improve. He mentioned that there is always room for improvement no matter how good someone think they drive. I tend to agree with Dr. James. The pursuit to improve one's driving should go on throughout the lifecycle, even after they can no longer drive. I don't think that these students took a personal approach to incorporate possible methods to support a Lifelong Driver Education. They basically summarized the book and didn't add very much personal input because it wasn't required.
3. Class Discussion and Lecture Notes
Sarah Philips did a speech on April 19, 2004 pertaining to reference 7: Aggressive driving and emotionally impaired driving. I agreed with 2 of her ideas: emotionally impaired driving and aggressive driving as a cultural habit. I agree with the idea of emotionally impaired driving because I experience my different moods when driving, and the behaviors that result. When I'm mad, I always tend to be more aggressive in every aspect of driving. I cut people off, speed, make obscene gestures, and basically welcome any challenge. This not only lets me blow off steam (inappropriately), but I justify my actions by rationalizing the fact that I'm angry. My anger makes it ok for me to behave in dangerous and aggressive driving. That's totally wrong! People, like me, should be more aware of their emotional state and mental influences before they get behind the wheel. With that awareness, they may either take appropriate coping skills with them when they drive, relax for a bit before they drive, or not drive on that instance altogether. The other idea that Sarah mentions is aggressive driving as a cultural habit. I agree that driving characteristics are a learned habit from parents. I tend to drive like my mom when I am angry (behavior mentioned above), and like my dad when I'm relaxed and calm emotionally and mentally (supportive driver). The person I drive like correlates with my mood. I must remember that driving like dad is safer and more intelligent.
I am in agreement with some aspects of aggressive driving as a cultural habit, but I also tend to disagree with it somewhat. When I said that I drive like my mom at times, that involves verbal aggression, speeding, and gestures. I don't follow her habits of tailgating, blocking, horn blowing, and sudden flooring of the brakes to stop tailgaters. I actually don't do this behavior because I think it is inappropriate. I'm not saying that the behaviors that I do express are appropriate, but I don't follow all of her examples. I guess I pick and choose according to my own personality. I also don't agree with the whole concept of the entertainment industry producing a culture of aggressive drivers. I think that it has some to do with it, but I also tend to believe that we make culture, and culture doesn't make us. I believe that humans are competitive in nature. We aren't influenced by a videogame, but the manufacturers of the videogames are influenced by people's behavior. I think that it's also a matter of nature rather than solely on nurture. I strongly believe that humans like to compete which is displayed on the roads each day. That's why it's such a big problem.
I am also in disagreement with the idea of making people aware and in control of any new aggressive driving laws. I think that's the reason why van cams didn't get passed in Hawaii even though they would be effective. Most people know they drive aggressively, but they don't want to change. I think that a group or panel should be made to make and pass these laws, without the voting process. I think that everyone would agree that the roads are dangerous, but when it comes to making rules, people tend to focus on more freedom, but with safety pushed aside. I think that the history of crashes speaks for itself, and people need to be forced to drive appropriately by passing new laws.
Jeremy Kubo gave his presentation on 4/19/4 on reference 10: driving personality makeover. I like many concepts from his report. I definitely agree with the three step driver self improvement program. You have to be aware, or acknowledge that you have a problem before anything can be done about it. Then you have to witness the problem to get a specific concept of what your problem is, and where the difficulties are. With the awareness and example in mind, the last step is to modify your behavior. This is not only true on driving, but in all aspects of life. A person needs to realize their problem and see it first hand in order to understand and modify their behavior. Another aspect of his report that I like pertained to his ideas of how in Hawaii, we are culturally predisposed to tailgating as a response mechanism. I was also taught as a child that it was wrong for me to throw the first punch, but necessary to retaliate when provoked. I grew up with this mentality and still possess it today. I think that same mentality was taught to many of Hawaii's residents which is why some people believe that Hawaii has some of the most aggressive drivers on the road.
I was a little confused or in disagreement about his ideas concerning the speed limit debate. In the last part of this section he wrote that we have to teach drivers that the speed limit is the law, and the consequences of breaking those laws. I think that these concepts are already being taught in drivers education classes, and it seems as if they have minimal effect on Hawaii's roads. There is constant speeding, and I know that almost all of those speeders know exactly what they are doing and the consequences involved. That's why there are repeat offenders. If the consequences scared people away from speeding, then there would never be a second offense. He also reiterates this idea in the last section involving portrayals of driving behavior on TV. He supports having driver's education courses show reports or pictures of accidents to curb speeding. I don't think this is helpful or appropriate. Showing pictures of those who got into accidents won't discourage aggressive drivers, but promote it instead. I think viewing these pictures will give the speeder or the aggressive driver the subconscious idea that it happened to someone else, not them, therefore increasing their dangerous tendencies while driving.
Christine Oishi gave her presentation on March 15, 2004 on Chapter 7: Children and Road Rage. I agreed with her idea of a Road Rage Nursery and how kids integrate their parents behavior into their own construct. From BoBo doll studies on aggression, we learned that aggression is a learned behavior and that most children who display aggression have learned that behavior from one or more parents. As Christine wrote, kids do look up to their parents and will usually learn by example in most cases. She also says that motorists are becoming more aggressive on the road and proud of their actions when displaying aggression. This is bringing up a generation of aggressive drivers.
I also agreed with her concept of Children's Road Rage, or experiencing rage or violent feelings focused on children on the side of the road because these drivers feel that these children are intentionally using bad behaviors on the street. I tend to get upset when I see children playing too close to the road on the skateboard, not using crosswalks, etc. The thought in my mind is that some of these kids are doing it to impress their peers, but some are doing it because the infrastructure doesn't allow them to play anywhere else but near a dangerous street. Sometimes bus stops are too small, making the children stand in a dangerous area when there are too many people waiting for the bus. I tend to think that the kids aren't doing it intentionally, but they just don't care or think anything bad could happen to them. I feel pity at their ignorance, and fear for the fact that something bad may happen to one of them one day because of their ignorance (they could get hit by a car).
I wanted Christine to go into more depth about Rewards For Good Passengers. I wasn't quite clear about how this concept of teaching drivers about the positive aspects of driving would be effective, or how it would be structured in the first place. I understand the concept of positive and negative reinforcement, but the only positives for driving are obvious: you get from point A to point B. I don't understand or know of any other positive aspects of driving other than that. I just don't understand how rewards for good passengers would influence these passengers to be good drivers.
I also don't agree with her when she writes about how psychologically, "everyone strives for perfection when it comes to themselves and once they are aware that there is a problem they may be more motivated to help themselves. To become as "perfect as possible"". I think that the majority of drivers know how and when they are being aggressive on the road. I think that the concept of perfect for these drivers is getting to a destination as fast as possible, or going faster than everyone else. I think that driving has become so competitive that perfection is not driving safely or supportively, but people actually engage in dangerous driving behaviors in pursuit of their ideal perfection which is to be ahead of everyone else, or to be superior in some way to the other drivers on the road.
I think that all of the ideas in chapter 9 are noteworthy and important to me as a driver. The first being Teenagers At Risk (pg190-193). I never knew that teenagers were the most accident-prone. Before this class I assumed that the elderly held the most accidents. I knew that speed is the number one killer of anyone in a car, and I should have realized that adolescents probably would speed the most, but it is startling to see how teenagers have the highest figures of death caused by car accidents. It is very important for me to know this because I work with adolescents, mentor adolescents, and one day will have adolescents as children. This knowledge definitely will encourage me to use this new knowledge to influence these young people not to speed, or to engage in dangerous behavior while behind the wheel. I also need to think about how I drive when my children are in the car.
The second noteworthy idea involves the Roadrageous Video Course (pg202-207) that teaches the self-modification techniques to drivers. Instead of focusing on attitude, this video would stress the importance of problem solving, teaching emotional control, and developing a sense of community. I think that all three are important when trying to produce supportive drivers. I have the attitude that a car is not a toy, and should be used carefully and respectfully, but when faced with an obstacle (such as traffic) or when at a high emotional state, I tend to disregard my latter thought process and display symptoms of road rage. It's better to get at the root of why people drive aggressively, then come up with sublimating techniques to display high emotional states. Gaining a sense of community will make drivers more aware that cars are dangerous and have the potential of hurting or killing someone on the road. If people were more humane on the road, then there would be les competition and more supportive driving.
The third noteworthy aspect of chapter 9 involves Post Licensing: The QDC Approach (pg199-202). The idea of forming Quality Driving Circles, or support groups that regularly meet to discuss, help, encourage, and share driving experiences is a really good idea. The vast majority of people drive or are exposed to some form of driving whether they are a pedestrian, driver, or passenger. This is the common bond that everyone can relate to some way or another. It only seems right to have group of people meet in order to process their experiences with each other. This would provide people with the opportunity to vent, ask questions, get a sense of community, and expand and improve their driving knowledge. From this class alone I have received a glimpse at to what these QDCs would be like. Telling and sharing driving stories have definitely helped me to see the bigger picture of Hawaii's roads rather than just the path that I travel on.
The fourth idea that is noteworthy to me is that of Older Drivers At Risk (pg207-212). This is the idea that elderly drivers have to make adjustments to their philosophy and ideology when they are driving cars to maximize their safety. Elderly drivers aren't as coordinated as they once were, and this may pose a threat to the elderly driver, and everyone else on the road. This is important to me because as I age I'm going to have to remember that not only are the cars changing, but the conditions of the road are aswell. There are more and more drivers every year and the incidents of road rage are increasing. With all of these environmental changes for the elderly driver, it is necessary for the elderly driver to be aware of these changes, to witness them first-hand, and to modify their thinking or behaviors while driving. I will be a senior one day and I want to be self-assured that I am not a danger to myself, or anyone else on the road when I drive.
The final idea that is noteworthy to me is the Driving Psychology Curriculum (pg195-199) which is the process of teaching important aspects of driving behaviors (affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor) from kindergarten through high school. This is important to me because I see how drivers have become more and more aggressive over the years. With the amount of cars on the road at an increase, roads become congested and people have become less civil and respectful to each other when driving. I want the future generations to adapt the concepts involved in the Driving Psychology Curriculum. I think that teaching these concepts will not only create better drivers, but better all around people. I believe that the way you drive illustrates your character, morals, ethics, and personality. Teaching these concepts of modification will help children to grow with a sense of community, self-control, and with the tools necessary to change something about their behavior whether it be on or off the road.
4. My Proposal for Lifelong Driver Education
Infancy: Birth to 24 months of age: Babies at this age are sponges for knowledge and the world around them. Their communication is limited so their learning comes mostly from their senses. This is where the parent is the most influential. A baby can sense emotions by reading them on the parent. When driving, or in all situations, the parent should create a supportive, loving, nurturing environment for the baby. This means no swearing, loud or harsh tones, or even sighs. The tone of voice should always remain clam and soothing to comfort the child. One technique could be to comfort the child in negative situations. When the smoothness of the ride is altered by someone cutting you off, pot holes, etc, the adult shouldn't display any negativity. They should rather realize that their child is with them, and attempt to comfort the child verbally, or through physical contact. This will not only help the child retain a comfortable and soothing environment, but it may condition the adult to react with concern and patience when they are confronted with an adverse condition on the road. The object of the parent should be that of trying to attain the smoothest, most comfortable, supportive environment for their child, so driving appropriately and supportively would be mandatory. Hospitals should issue pamphlets about the Road Rage Nursery and how they play an active role in their child's driving personality, even from day 1.
Toddler: second or third year of life: The methods to set a good example for toddlers incorporate all of those mentioned for the infant, but with more guidelines. Now the youth is exposed to media, other children, and is more aware and influenced by the world around them. Since now the concept is to concentrate on affective states of the child (emotions, feelings, moods), the parent should speak to the child about his/her feelings on a daily basis. It would almost be like a check-in. Parents should process the feelings of the child, and why the child may feel that way. It would also be helpful for the parent to verbalize their feelings in an appropriate manner to the child in select situations so the child will develop an idea of what emotion represents what, and how to behave when feeling a certain emotion. At this age the child should be taught to take responsibility for their actions to learn action/consequence skills. For example, when a child falls and scrapes the knee,
verbally process the idea that it happens, and not letting the fall become the center of attention. Monitor the relations that the toddler has with other children. Let the child know that they are important, but not special. This will give the child a better concept that they are an individual, but they aren't better than any other individual. Don't give into every whim of the child. At this age, provide a safe, calm, and learning environment for the child and most importantly, lead by example. When in the car, get in the habit of speaking to the child so the parent's voice can calm the child, and they wont be so inclined to become impatient during long trips. Sing songs for example, to lessen the tension during long trips for both the parent and the toddler. This will provide a learning and beneficial environment for the child.
Early Childhood: 3 to 6 years of age: Incorporate everything mentioned above, but now do it at a more mature and intelligent level by expanding the vocabulary used, and the concepts covered verbally. The difference now is that the child will be exposed to outside influences such as school and peers. Continue to stress activities involving the affective state of the child by engaging in more mature topics of conversation involving feelings and the expression of those feelings. Everyday that the child comes home from school, ask them to tell you one thing that made them mad, sad, happy, excited, etc, and have them tell you why they felt that way. Then ask them what behavior they displayed when feeling these emotions. Redirect them if their behavior was not appropriate, and come up with an alternate behavior that is acceptable. The child is now
wanting to be independent, but at the same time, needs the support if the parents. When the child mentions disagreements or arguments with peers or siblings, don't automatically make them the victim or the winner. Talk to them not about fault, but rather about how the situation could have been handled more appropriately if that is the case. If they display negative behaviors, find out what the root of their emotions stem from. Have them memorize the rules of the road such as crossing streets (looking both ways, using crosswalk, etc), being a good passenger, and where and how to approach roadways (when riding a bike, walking, etc.) Quiz the child on rules that pertain to them concerning rules of the road and reward them with prizes such as candy. Get them into the mode of seeking out acceptable behaviors to achieve reward or praise. Communication is the key. Now that they are exposed to movies which include dangerous driving scenes, verbally process the fact that there is a major difference between what is real, and what is on TV.
Middle Childhood: 6 to 12 years of age: At this age the focus should shift to more cognitive aspects of driving and behavior. Review affective concepts by continuing the activities mentioned above, but appropriately coinciding with the child's age. Now the idea is to teach why things are the way they are. Verbally process all of the dangers that are seen on or near the road, and have the child come up with ways to prevent accidents from occurring, and what could have been done differently when an accident or negative behavior is witnessed. Have the child verbalize the dangerous things he/she sees when in a car, and what should be or could have been done to avoid dangerous situations. Explain why rules are made and some scenarios that could happen if the rules were not in place. Verbalize the importance of all human rights (passenger,
pedestrian, bicyclists, etc) so that the child will not differentiate people by what they are doing or driving while on or near the road. When they display negative behavior as a passenger, pedestrian, etc, redirect them by letting them know the dangers of their behavior, and consequence them with loss of privileges if they are noncompliant with the redirection. ultimately let them know that they are in control of their own behavior, but their actions have consequences which they will be held solely responsible for. Also have them keep a journal of their thoughts and feelings during escalated states of emotion. If they want to, have them share the journal with the parent to strengthen bonds and to process the information and feelings. The goal is to try to get at the root of why the child feels the way they do.
Adolescence: 13 to 18 years of age: Now that the child is finalizing and mastering his/her concept of affective and cognitive processes, he/she can focus on the effects of these mind-states, which is the sensorimotor. I believe that classes should be mandatory in early high school involving emotions and coping with emotional states. These subjects could be incorporated into the health section of the teenager's curriculum. Now the child is at the age where he/she should know right from wrong and the reasoning behind why rules are set and the value of responsibility. That doesn't mean that they're ready for a license. I think that instead of making drivers education a possibility, a class such as driving psychology should be mandatory for every high school student, taught by members of the HPD. One introductory class would be introduced in the 8th grade, and another more detailed class in the tenth grade. Stress doesn't only occur when driving, and the concepts learned in a class such as this would be good for the all around personality of the youth. I think that at this time, the self-witness and modify method should be an active tool for the youth to incorporate in all aspects of life, not only in the
driving world. The youth should be held accountable for all his/her actions and there should be consequences associated with behaviors. I support a licensing plan where the youth is given a permit after a written test, but I think that the rules of having an adult passenger in the car, no driving from midnight to six in the morning, no more than two teenagers in the car at any given time (including the driver), no citations, until the youth is seventeen years old. If most accidents occur in the teenage years and drop dramatically after the age of sixteen, licenses shouldn't be given to teenagers until they are 17 years old. They would only have the privileges of a permit with all of the rules stated above until that time. The student would also have to make a certain grade point average to obtain and keep a license. If the youth obtains a GPA of less than 2.0, their license would be revoked under state law. If they are found driving despite restriction, then the license would get revoked for a year. The penalties for excessive speeding (30+ above posted speed limit) would result in the loss of the license for a year. I think that tickets are not enough to make teenagers drive supportively. I think that if the penalties are stiffer, these youth will reconsider speeding or driving recklessly.
Licenses should only be in the hands of responsible teenagers. A license should be a privilege, not a right for those 18 and under. I think that the problem facing today's drivers is that they know all of the laws and regulations, they just choose not to follow them. If strict penalties were enforced at the onset of driving, the first impression of driving would be that of responsibility and strict concurrence with the rules of driving. During the mandatory classes, some adults who have struggled with road rage can come in and speak of their experiences. The topics covered in the 9th grade driver's education class would be identical to those covered in our Psychology 409 class. They would learn about the driver's three-fold self, and how each component plays a part in the overall persona of an individual. they would also learn techniques like self-witnessing approach, self modification techniques, risk assessment, reading the driving environment, and participate in driving simulators where their emotional functioning and multitasking would be evaluated. The teenager would then take his/her score from the simulation, aswell as their self-witnessing during practice with their adult driver, and formulate a driver makeover plan like we did in report 2. These teenagers would be expected to learn everything that we learned in this class, but before they are able to receive their license. There would be private mandatory classes for those not enrolled or too old for the education system. The requirements for getting a license would be the same for all new drivers, but those older than 18 would not have to wait an extended period of time. They would only have to take and pass the class and the regular licensing requirements.
Adulthood: 19 years old +: Adults obtaining a license for the first time must take a private version of the course mentioned above. This course would be mandatory for all individuals attempting to obtain a license. For every two moving violations, the adult must attend a face to face QDC or quality driving circle. During this time they must address their issues or problems when driving, in a supportive group of individuals. QDCs would be available to all individuals if they wanted to go. Since maturity and responsibility should already be a part of the adult driver's persona, improving driving skills should be encouraged, and sensorimotor skills pertaining to driving should be focused on. Basically, the adult driver should take responsibility for their driving styles by getting consequensed for law-breaking (losing license for a year after 3 moving violations or for DUI). I also think that there should be an HPD unit created for traffic management. They would ticket those according to the traffic laws that are in place at this time. They would be distinct from regular officers and would be responsible for maintaining safe driving conditions. Every three years an adult may take the Driving Psychology course and attend a minimum of five QDC sessions to receive a insurance and income tax reduction. The state would fund both the HPD traffic division and the insurance companies would just have to take the loss...or gain from less accidents due to more responsible and intelligent drivers. It depends on how you look at it.
Elderly: Whenever you consider yourself elderly: Since it is inappropriate to discriminate the elderly by making them victim to numerous expensive and time consuming tests to see if their capable of driving safely, the normal physical exam should be required annually with the specific intention of checking reflexes, sight, and coordination after the age of 65. Elderly people may have efficient affective and cognitive skills, but they do decline in physical capability. The doctor would be in charge of passing the senior or not. Seniors should have the mentality that the less driving, the better. Carpooling or catching a ride will eliminate any uncomfortable emotions while driving, and they will also have company. Those who continue to drive will get the same benefits from going to QDCs as adults.
This plan would incorporate everyone's adjusting to the new policy. Legislation would have to battle the DOE in terms of getting this on the regular high-school curriculum. This would also mean more money appropriated to the HPD for the new task force and the Driving Psychology instructors (members of the task force). The public would have to accept and agree to this in order for it to work. Voting would probably have to decide if the law would pass. Parental involvement is the biggest demand. Parents must start raising their children with the though in mind that everything they're exposed to now shapes who they will be in the future. They have to look ahead and form their behaviors with the future of their child in mind. The first step teaching a good example is to set a good example. That's square 1. Car manufacturers may have to include less power in normal traffic vehicles to reduce the temptation to go excessive speeds. They may even give rebates when buying a new car if the customer has met the requirements for a reduction in rates (insurance and tax). Insurance agents would ultimately profit because although they are initially taking a loss, the amount of accidents should decrease after this program was implemented.
From this assignment and this class, I've learned that driving aggressively is something that is learned, and increasing in number of incidents. People display road-rage as children, all the way to the elderly. I've realized that many people in our society take driving very seriously as a competitive and self-assuring behavior. There are many that realize the dangers of driving aggressively, but don't seem to modify their behavior because of the slightly satisfying and proud feeling of engaging in road rage. The media supports the human need for thrill and excitement, and TV is the best way to give the audience what it wants. Driving is such a common occurrence that the entertainment industry has no choice but to exploit dangerous driving as it is something that most people are attracted to. The difference is that some people see TV as what they could and should do rather than fiction.
I always knew that the people in Hawaii were extroverted, proud, and willing to let you know how they feel. These characteristics are the ingredients to make a serious road-rager. The term "live aloha" was made into a bumper sticker for cars. How ironic it is that I don't see very much aloha on the road. Maybe it's because Hawaii has such a mixing of cultures that the experience and ideas of driving differs. I just know that Hawaii has a big problem, and it's only getting worse. With the fad of racing attracting the youth and adult population, it's hard to seek change. Living fast in paradise seems to be the norm for many of the Asian youths who identify with racing and the lifestyle. I think that the cycle needs to be broken, but the future only seems to look worse. More and more people moving to all areas of the island, but most of them have jobs in or around town. The congestion will only get worse and the tempers will only escalate. An alternative form of transportation other than the bus needs to be created. Until then, there will be many drivers on the roads who are grinding their teeth, thinking nasty thought about other drivers, yelling, speeding, etc.
I always thought that people are who they are, and driving is a reflection of who you are. The higher your degree of road rage, the angrier a person you usually tend to be. In my opinion, it's all about power as well. Young kids want the power to go fast and live with high risk. Adults want the satisfying feeling of passing people or spending the least time on the road. Everyone wants to control their environment so that the world revolves around them. Well, unfortunately for everyone in the world, no one person is at the reins. Our roads have to abide by the safest means possible for all involved. That means everyone being on the same page and engaging in supportive driving. I've learned a lot for myself, but more importantly, I can eliminate the cycle from my children. Working on me will be a lifelong journey, but if I instill the right message to my children, and all of those that I come in contact with, I will be doing my part to reduce the amount of aggressive drivers/people in the world.
6. Future Generations
I give the future generations credit for pursuing self improvement in whatever topic is introduced. This class, like all psychology classes, is one that teaches you about you, and why you are you. I always wanted to learn more about my anger as a driver. I finally have the knowledge and book to help me to try to be a supportive driver. Atleast I know that I have the tools to make my children skilled and intelligent drivers. Take the reports and tasks one day at a time. DON'T procrastinate... Do what you have to do. Oh, and be safe out there as a supportive driver.