My Proposal for Lifelong Driver Education

By Chris Concepcion

 

Link to instructions:

http://www.soc.hawaii.edu/leonj/leonj/leonpsy20/g20lecturenotes409a.htm

 

 

1. Preface

 

            Let me refresh your memory of my report 2; it consisted of attempting to Self-modify my driving personality.  In my intro of report 2, I made an objective self-assessment of my negative driving behaviors.  I used test and questionnaires from Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. Leon James & Dr. Diane Nahl.  These test and questionnaires covered everything from rushing maniacs, supporting passenger rights, verbal road rage, range of hostility, and many more unsupportive driving behaviors.  After I took the tests and questionnaires, I went out driving to see if these problems truly existed.  For the most part the tests and questionnaires were pretty accurate.  Knowing what my problems were I implemented different techniques such as the Acknowledge, Witness, and Modify approach to correct these problems.  After intervention I recorded the amount of times I caught myself committing unsupportive driving acts. 

 

            My conclusion showed me that my modification plan did work to improve my supportive driving but it was not perfect.  I realized that when dealing with human emotions a modification plan needs to be continuously implemented because bad habits are incredibly hard to break.  Every time you and I drive we encounter numerous new and unpredictable driving situations in which we have to assess and react too.  I constantly remind myself that I am emotionally intelligent and this really helps me stay focused on being a supportive driver.  It’s also always good to remember how much anger circulates our roads when driving.  Keeping this in mind will help you remember how escalated an insignificant situation can get.  Many lives have been lost in situations that were not worth getting angry over. 

 

            The purpose of this report is to develop a Lifelong Driver’s Education (LDE) program that could be used effectively if it were actually implemented in society.  I will do my best at trying to create a program that would not be impossible to implement, yet it’s hard to say if my system would work because it requires legislation approval, funding, insurance agencies, and other numerous groups.  The design of my LDE will be determined by the aggressive problems that majority of driver’s commit.  Before I begin my plan for LDE, I will first start my report with some research on aggressive driving problems.   

 

 

2. Introduction

 

            Lifelong diver education is an important concept to teach to drivers.  Many drivers in this world don’t think they have bad driving habits.  I wouldn’t be surprised if research showed me that every driver on the road thinks they are the best.  The biggest problem is that once drives get a license they consider that the end of driving education, when actually this should be the beginning.  Reason being is that before a person gets their license they are being taught by a parent, guardian, sibling, relative, or a driver-zed program.  During this pre-license driving period, a person is being observed and corrected by a legal and more experienced driver.  After a driver gets their license they are now on their own to drive the way they want, knowing that they passed the test. 

 

             Right after getting a driver’s license most drivers will drive observantly and with care.  Though soon enough their reserved driving style mutates into a beast that cares only for themselves and no one else on the road.  You could say new drivers are like the virgins of roads and highways.  At this point they have not been exposed to the different styles of drivers, mainly aggressive drivers.  Actually let me take that back, new licensed drivers are still getting educated but their being taught by observing aggressive and unsupportive drivers.  In time with enough exposure to this style of aggressive driving, a new driver conforms to the style around them and now has become part of this huge aggressive driving beast.  This beast is every driver that is unsupportive.  Don’t get me wrong there is supportive drivers in this world, perhaps one or two-HAHA.  I’m just joking.  Nevertheless in this day and age supportive drivers are getting harder and harder to spot. 

 

            There are numerous reasons why people choose to drive aggressively.  I emphasize the word “choose” when talking about driving aggressively, because some people think they can blame their aggressive driving on others around them.  You choose to drive that way because you want too and one must own up to it to correct it.  According to Dr. John Larson (consultant for driver-ZED) there are five beliefs that make drivers act aggressively:

           

*The fastest possible traveling time is the most desirable.

            *Driving competitively, and not losing in incidents, is a self-esteem issue.

            *Rude drivers need to be opposed or thwarted in their forward progress.

            *Drivers who don’t fit the right profile are irritating and deserve to be ridiculed.

            *Drivers who endanger us or insult us should be punished with some form of retaliation.

            (Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. Leon James & Dr. Diane Nahl:193-194)

 

It’s always good to get an idea of the types of problems that are at the forefront of aggressive driving.  Now that the problems are known it is easier to implement the proper driver’s education plan.  These five beliefs show us that most drivers are in a rush, dominant and have an ego problem, discriminators, and retaliators.  Let’s face it, we all have our own driving personalities and there are multiple factors that influence each of us.  Our parents are probably the most influential towards our personalities, not just with driving but almost every aspect of our personalities.  More influence comes by way of peers, friends, media, siblings, significant others, and associates.        

 

            Driving involves three aspects of one’s personality, the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor.

Affective is the driver’s feelings, emotions, attitudes, and values.  Cognitive is the drivers thoughts, judgment, and knowledge.  Sensorimotor is motor reactions, fatigue, stress, pain, and the driver’s vision.  Knowing that these three aspects make up our driving personality, lifelong driver education creates a K-12 curriculum that helps develop a positive and supportive driving personality for up and coming drivers. 

‘In general, a focus on “affective instruction” is effective in the early years, introducing basic attitudes of sociality such as obedience, respect, and conscience.’ (Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 196)

This is a brilliant idea because at a young age children are like sponges, they absorb how adults act.  A father that swears and yells in front of his child as a driver cuts him off will influence that child to act the same way in similar situations.  This is why it is a good idea to teach children positive feelings, emotions, attitudes, and values. 

 

            One must also remember that children don’t have the mental ability to process cognitive reasoning.  This makes it fit for children to start off with “affective instruction,” and “sensorimotor instruction” is out if the question because kids aren’t able to physically drive.  Once a child reaches their middle years it is time to move on to the “cognitive instruction.”

‘This is followed by a focus on “cognitive instruction” in the middle years, involving reasoning, decision making, and problem solving.’ (Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 196)

During the middle years a child now has the ability and capacity to understand, analyze, and solve situations with reason.  Middle-aged kids know what positive and negative behaviors and thoughts are, thus allowing them to solve various driving situations can prepare them to be supportive drivers.    

 

            Finally after a few years of “cognitive instruction,” a child now becomes a teenager.  Right around the age of 15 a teen can begin driving, so now it’s time to train the sensorimotor.

‘In the midteens “sensorimotor instruction” begins.  This teaches how to maneuver a vehicle on public roads.  Teens are also taught cognitive knowledge of traffic laws and scenario analysis of driving incidents.  The new curriculum strengthens these areas and includes a strong affective component that focuses on social responsibility, human rights, and emotional intelligence.’ (Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 196)

“Sensorimotor instruction” at this age can now begin because teens need it as they begin learning how to drive.  Just because affective and cognitive instruction had been previously implemented doesn’t mean it is done and over with.  At this point affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor all must work together to mold this new driver into an almost perfect supportive driver.  These three entities work hand in hand with each other and to optimize the most positive driver’s outlook is to use all in unison.   

 

            I’ve also found some previous reviews of Road Rage and Aggressive Driving in the generational curriculum.  On the topic of Lifelong Driver Education, Korey Molyneaux gives us a brief summary. 

‘Learning to drive should be more than a short course, taken in the teenage years to obtain a license.  To promote safety on the roads driver education should begin at kindergarten and extend into high school.  Although driver education should be a never ending process because there are always new obstacles that the public must be aware of and learn to deal with.  Quality Driving Circles (QDC) can be a supportive way for individuals to help and support one another to follow self improvement programs.’

Korey says that driver education should extend into high school but actually it should extend into old age.  I like his idea of driver education being a never ending process because we do indeed encounter different obstacles everyday we drive.  At its most broad sense this is Lifelong Driver Education, but Korey could have gotten a little more specific about the topic.  He left out the definition/explanation of what a QDC is and didn’t mention a few problems that most drivers have problems with.  

 

            Katherine Gimeno from generation 17 also does a book review and gives us her summary of Lifelong Driver Education. 

"Life long Driver Education" is the continuous training adults need regardless of age or experience to improve as drivers. There are many programs that provide the skills for life long driver education including driver-ZED, an interactive CD-ROM program which teaches appropriate risk management and the QDC (Quality Driving Circles) Approach, where groups of 2-10 drives meet regularly to follow a self-improvement program. The purpose of QDCs is to provide a social support system to allow drivers to maintain a high level of driving excellence.

Katherine is not exactly on point when she says “Lifelong Driver Education is the continuous training adults need regardless of age of age.”  The reason is that Lifelong Driver Education should begin way before a person reaches adulthood.  The idea is that driver education begins as a child in the affective stage and progresses to higher levels such as cognitive and sensorimotor as this child matures.  As far as the programs Katherine presents, they’re right on point.  As an adult we need QDC’s to keep us conscience of on going problems each of us has as drivers.  Katherine also makes it clear what a QDC is which helps her summary. 

 

            Finally Ruby also from generation 17 gives us her thoughts on Lifelong Driver Education. 

 ‘A lifelong driver’s education program is a great solution to society’s road rage and aggressive driving problem. The authors introduce the graduated licensing program, which consist of a process that one must go through to obtain a driver’s license. This section introduces other programs such as, "Quality Driving Circles QDC’s," "Driver-ZED," and the "Roadrageous." "QDC’s" are driver’s support groups. These groups allow people to get together to help each other grow as healthy drivers. "Driver-ZED" is an interactive CD ROM that enables people to drive in simulated situations. "Roadrageous" is a video course program that was designed by Dr. James to educate drivers on behavior self-modification techniques.’

Ruby makes a good explanation of what Lifelong Driver Education is.  She mentions QDC’s, the video Roadrageous, and Driver-ZED the interactive CD ROM.  Ruby fails to mention the age at which driving education can begin.  The methods she explains are all used right around the teenage years up through old age.  Children are driven in cars and thus they will acquire the emotions their parents present towards other drivers.  Ruby’s fail to mention this is the only problem with her explanation, everything else is on point. 

 

            All the summaries had explained Lifelong Driver Education well, except for a few slip-ups pertaining to age.  It’s funny because when we are children we are most influenced and acquire all emotions shown to us or others around us.  To get a good start with driver’s education, children must be taught about emotions and feelings.  Out of the three reviews of Lifelong Driver Education, Korey was the only one who mentioned starting the education processes at kindergarten.  The only way I can explain this pattern of forgetting to mention that children need to be educated also, is by saying that many people associate driving with older teenagers and adults rather than children. 

 

 

3. Class Discussions and Lecture Notes 

 

            I found several class presentations interesting and helpful when pertaining to Lifelong Driver Education.  Jenny Arakaki’s presentation on January 26, 2004 covering Driving in the Age of Rage has a lot of useful information.  Jenny covers the topic of developing emotional literacy which she describes as “coping mechanisms to help control driver’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.  She goes on to mention how to implement this emotional literacy.  “Teach students to shift from being an ‘aggressive driver’ to ‘supportive driver’ by supporting community values over individualistic desires.”  This is very useful mentality to have and implement in a Lifelong Driver Education program.  Jenny also covered the subject of facing the culture of disrespect.  She points out that, “There is a decline in respect for all types of activities in life.”  I find this to be very true, nowadays respect is hard to find amongst our fellow human beings.

 

            Times have changed and are still changing, at the same time respect is fading.  There seems to be a lack of values being passed down from parents to children, but then again children are heavily influenced by media and television which could contribute to the lack of respect.  Jenny offers the solution of, “embedding into children at a young age to express kindness to each other.”  Also “show consequences of types of action taken (positive or negative).  This offers a positive affective ideology that the children of this time era need.  In lifelong driver education you want to start instruction or training as soon as it can be learned, thus starting with young children will help develop them into respectful adults. 

 

            Melissa Mansfield’s presentation on March 15, 2004 covering Emotional Intelligence for Drivers offers more useful driver education.  Overcoming Emotional Hijacking is presented by Melissa as “the stronger the emotion, the more the circuitry gets overloaded, and we start to think a lot with our emotions and a little with our brain.”  As I understand it, a person who is subjected to a multitude of negative experiences in a short period of time is at risk of allowing anger to hijack their emotions.  I understand the idea of emotional hijacking, but Melissa failed to give information on how to overcome this hijacking.  Through taking driving psychology I’ve learned that when a situation like this is encountered, one must take a break and try to relax.  Take your mind off negative emotional thoughts.  Develop a method to overcome this kind of situation; when you feel this hijacking coming on remind yourself of the good things going on in your life.  The idea is to distract yourself from getting angry. 

 

            Melissa also covers 3 Levels of Emotional Intelligence for Drivers, oppositional, defensive, and supportive.  Oppositional driving is described as reacting to your environment which means a driver simply goes with the flow of their emotions, which is generally selfish.  Defensive driving has a more logical outlook with some rational decisions, but it is still selfish because the driver is more concerned with the safety of his/her car rather then the community.  Finally supportive driving is characterized as being the highest level because it harbors a pro-social outlook and does what is best for everyone.  Every driver must be educated on these three styles of driving, in order to understand what is supportive and what is unsupportive.  For the longest time I didn’t know I was being an unsupportive driver, but I now know that my lack of education on this subject hindered me from realizing my unsupportive driving attitude.

 

              Mark Corpuz presented on February 1, 2004 the subject of Aggressive Driving & Mental Health.  I found interest in Why Driving Arouses Anger.  Mark explains that “Driving events and incidents produce powerful feelings and irrational thoughts.  Being in situations that are predictable creates safety, security, and escape from disaster.  Unfortunately, driving is unpredictable and that creates danger, stress, and crashes.”  This is a good point because every time you and I drive circumstances are unpredictable and always changing, no matter if the same route is taken daily.  Mark goes on to explain that controlling anger involves a person acknowledging anger is an issue in their life.  From there a person can either go on to developing coping methods on their on or seeking anger management courses.  Anger is one of, if not the biggest problem that pollutes or roads and highways and it is important to understand what causes it so we can develop anger prevention education for drivers.

 

            Mark also presents us with the subject of Driving Impaired.  He says that “Emotion is hard to control because it arises suddenly and is unpredictable.”  I was quite interested in the most common emotional factors, which are:

                           I.  Anger or Rage

                          II.  Anxiety, fear, or panic

                         III.  Depression or suicidal tendency

                        IV.  Risk addiction

Knowing which emotions drivers have trouble with can help improve Lifelong Driver Education.  Knowing which emotions are most felt during driving will help me develop my own Lifelong Driver Education curriculum.  Mark goes on to say, “These factors are characterized by an unwillingness to exercise emotional self control because of fear, fun, vengeance, prejudice, or disrespect.  Obviously there is a factor of low emotional intelligence in expressing anger.  Anger management and/or coping methods will raise the level of emotional intelligence. 

 

            First and foremost a great post licensing approach to Lifelong Driver Education is Quality Driving Circles (QDC).  “QDC’s are voluntary groups of two to ten drivers who meet regularly to help and encourage one another to follow a driving self-improvement program.” (Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 200)  Driver’s education must continue after a person has been issued a license.  When driving we are always facing unpredictable and threatening situations which can arouse anger and other emotions in ourselves.  A QDC is important because it allows drivers to practice possibly threatening driving scenarios in a supportive fashion, thus better preparing drivers to handle real life road rage situations.  There are multiple reasons why I think QDC’s are worth noting, they’re inexpensive, anybody can set one up, they allow a driver to practice positive and supportive outlooks on driving, and training on multitasking. 

 

            The second topic that needs to be addressed is older drivers.  Mainly the problem with older drivers is that their cognitive and sensorimotor abilities slow down and it takes them a lot longer to process and react to dangerous driving situations.  “Older drivers typically take longer to get going at traffic lights and intersections, to make turns, or to park.” (Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 209)  This is extremely important to realize because older people are notorious for driving extremely slow.  In fact I can tell you form personal experience how dangerous some older drivers are because they lack the ability to perceive speed.  On my way home from school one day, I was driving on the freeway.  Now I was in the far right lane going about 55mph, which is the speed limit.  There was an on ramp coming up and at this on ramp cars had to wait for an opening in the lane I was driving in.

 

So drivers would be at a stand still until a big enough gap opened up allowing them to pull onto the freeway.  As I approach the on ramp the driver waiting there pulls out into my lane going about 25mph as I’m coming towards this car at 55mph.  The thing that makes this situation 10x scarier is that I was probably within 30ft of this guy.  Now I’m not good in math but I’m sure if a mathematician figured this problem out, there would be a huge accident in the newspaper.  Lucky for me and the driver in front my left lane was clear of another driver, allowing me to swerve into that lane freeing both of us from possible death.  As I swerve around this driver and pass him, I looked and saw a man probably in his 80’s driving with thick glasses.  This instance would be the closest I came to getting severely injured. 

 

This is why I consider older drivers a noteworthy subject.  They are more dangerous than they realize.  Besides that one instance, I have been in and seen numerous more instances where older drivers are the cause of minor fender-benders and minimally dangerous driving situations. 

 

Come out swinging positive is another concept worth noting.  The idea behind this concept is that having a positive and supportive mentality gives a driver more control over a situation than an aggressive mentality and behavior.  It’s also interesting to point out that “Driving psychology shows that the act of driving has deep significance for the self.  The way we drive reflects the quality of our thinking and feeling and of our character.” ((Road Rage & Aggressive Driving, 209), 212)  The significance of this is that how we act to others is a reflection of who we are, no matter it be driving, socializing, surfing, walking, working, etc.  In essence Lifelong Driver Education not only improves one’s driving but also the way they interact in all types of social situations.

 

If you have a positive personality by default then this is who you are no matter what you’re doing.  There are negative personalities in this world and these are the people that really need to practice supportive techniques.  Don’t get me wrong nobody’s perfect, everybody needs help with staying positive, but people with a more aggressive personality need more help.  I like the connection made between a persons characteristics and the way they drive, it truly makes sense.  Perhaps this could help create a Lifelong Driver Education curriculum that implements a kind of personality makeover too.

  

 

4. My Proposal for Lifelong Driver Education

 

            After reviewing so much about Lifelong Driver Education I have figured out how to design my own.  In order to present my proposal on Lifelong Driver Education I will split my curriculum up into different age groups.  Starting at infancy around age 3 till about age 10, kids should get affective instruction.  At this age children are vehicular passengers and thus parents or guardians that drive kids must remember to suppress negative emotion and express positive emotion.  Kids are extremely influenced by those around them and during these years they are picking up emotions around them and attaching them to their own personality.  So first and foremost children need a positive environment to absorb into their affective selves. 

 

            Second of all kids at these ages are heavily influenced by cartoons, video games and TV.  It is important for parents to monitor what their kids are watching and the kind of games they are playing.  Games have gotten a lot more realistic and violent since I’ve been a kid.  Such games as Need for Speed 2, Fatal Racing, Roadkill, Interstate ’76, and Carmageddon have negative influential affective factors on children.  Also cartoons such as The Simpsons, Tiny Toon Adventures, Power Rangers Turbo, Animaniacs, and speed racer promote aggressive and violent driving scenes.  TV shows are also a factor when it comes to negative influence on children.  Such shows as World’s Greatest Crashes and World’s Scariest Police Chases can have a lot of influence on a young mind.  These shows are for per enjoyment pleasure if you’re an adult but a kid’s mind isn’t as developed as an adults, thus major negative influence can exist in there minds and possibly form bad driving habits. 

 

            At such a young age implementing cognitive instruction would be ineffective because their thoughts, judgments, and knowledge are not yet capable and lack the capacity to understand driver education.  Also sensorimotor instruction would be out of the question also because they aren’t able to drive a car at such a young age, thus it would be useless to implement sensorimotor training.  At such a young age all the focus is on affective training because their emotions, attitudes, and values dominate every aspect of their driver’s education.  Parents/guardians must monitor there children’s media influences.  These days it’s tuff to monitor everything children watch but if parents know the content of the shows their children watch then this will help cut down negative influence.  Also parents can instill positive and proper values by being examples to their children. 

 

            Children may get a chance to see a cartoon or TV show that contains negative driving behaviors but when you show them how to act in real life situations then it’s an even stronger influence.  Children are passengers in vehicles driven usually by their parents, and this is the perfect time to for parents to instill the correct driving values.  Parents are children’s biggest influence so no matter what the situation is when driving, either somebody cuts you off or tailgates you; remember to respond with a positive attitude that children can soak up.  As children get to the age of 10, I plan to implement a two part driving education course.  This course will start once children get to 5th grade and will carry on till 12th grade.    

 

            From the age of 10-14 kids begin to understand things cognitively.  The kids are now in their early teenage years.  During this age period it would be appropriate to implement cognitive instruction.  It is important at this age to educate the early teens on numerous subjects.  Objective judgment, emotional intelligence, human rights, positive and supportive behaviors, and self-witnessing activities should be introduced at this age.  Now children of this age can’t drive so these subjects will be introduced as passengers of vehicles and pedestrians.  I believe the most effective way to implement all these subjects would be to design a driver’s course in school.  Federal and local governments should make it necessary for schools to develop a class which concentrates on the cognitive aspects of driving. 

 

            Starting at 5th grade children being are future drivers need to take a cognitive drivers education course that is once a week for every month their in school.  This class would be added to their standard course curriculum, but students have no choice in deciding whether or not they want to take the course because it will be mandatory.  The course textbook will be a similar but simpler and cognitively focused version of Dr. Leon James & Dr. Diane Nahl’s Road Rage and Aggressive Driving.  Chapters and topics with questionnaires & checklist will be there but designed for middle school students.  There will be 8 chapters in this book and it’ll look a little something like this:

                        Chapter 1: Safety Principles for Children as Passengers, Pedestrians, and Cyclists

                        Chapter 2: Developing Objective Judgment

                        Chapter 3: Developing Emotional Intelligence

                        Chapter 4: Acknowledging Human Rights-Driver’s, Pedestrians, Bicyclists

                        Chapter 5: Social Responsibility

                        Chapter 6: Civility in Public Behavior-Respect, Fairness, Character, and Community

                        Chapter 7: Rewards & Benefits of Being Supportive and Positive

                        Chapter 8: Self-Witnessing as Passengers

 

            These various subjects will not only teach kids about driving situations but also how to be positive and supportive as a person in social situations.  This may possibly reduce aggression and fights in school because kids are learning to respect one another.  Implementing this course will also help adjust children’s affective perceptions.  Their attitudes, feelings, emotions, and values will be influenced with this driver’s education course.  Like I said earlier this course will be once a week for 1.5 hours long and will start at age 10 or 5th grade until age 14 or 9th grade.  Finally sensorimotor instruction is left out because the kids are too young to drive.  

 

            From age 15 through 17/18 the same kind of drivers education course will exist in high school, however things will change.  The next level will be added to the course, which is sensorimotor instruction.  The second part of my driving education course will provide more hands on training because these are the ages in which many children get their license.  Since sensorimotor training is added the classes will be 2 hours long and twice a week.  This phase 2 will start at the beginning of 10th grade and carry on through high school graduation.  There will also be a part 2 version of the drive’s education book and it’ll include:

                        Chapter 1: Self-Regulation Techniques - Acknowledge, Witness, & Modify

                        Chapter 2: Driving Circumstances – Risk-Taking Tendency

                        Chapter 3: Handling Emergencies

                        Chapter 4: Handling Aggressive Drivers

                        Chapter 5: Controlling Road Rage – Supportive Driving Strategies     

                        Chapter 6: Raising Emotional Intelligence

                        Chapter 7: Multitasking

                        Chapter 8: Introduction to Quality Driving Circles (QDC)

 

            These subjects will continue to assist with training the affective and cognitive selves, but also introduces ways of handling actual aggressive driving circumstances.  Besides the book there will also be sensorimotor training by first using a driving simulator for a few weeks.  After training on a driving simulator, students will be able to drive on roads and highways with a driving instructor as a passenger.  It is important to monitor the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor reactions of young new drivers, because at this point you can mold negative attitudes into positive attitudes more easily than older experienced drivers.  As soon as students begin driving they will have reached the final stage of sensorimotor training to fulfill the “drivers threefold self” of affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor training. 

 

            The idea behind an on-going training program is to continually monitor the attitudes, feelings, behaviors, thinking and reactions to driving situations.  Obviously nobody is perfect and it takes continuous training to keep oneself in a positive mindset.  Naturally we want to fall back on anger and selfishness but this two part driver’s education program helps kids stay away from that attitude.  From the age of 10-17/18 kids will get help with restructuring their frame of thought on driving.  Seven years will help out a lot with molding kids into objective, positive, and emotionally intelligent driving adults.  Starting at a young age will increase the amount of supportive drivers on our roads and help to reduce road rage. 

 

              Once students have graduated high school and have their driver’s license, they are not done with driving education yet.  As we all know habits are hard to break so continuous education must be a part of driving.  At this point it’s time to introduce drivers to Quality Driving Circles (QDCs).  This is a group of at least three drivers, but no bigger than ten drivers.  The basic idea behind a QDC is to meet on a regular basis to encourage one another to follow a driving self-improvement program.  QDCs will cover a variety of topics:

                        --Performing Self-Witnessing Procedures

                        --Keeping a Lifelong Driving Log, Journal, or Diary

            --Understanding Cultural Road Rage

            --Counteracting Pessimism & Cynicism

            --Honing Emotional Intelligence through Scenario Analysis

            --Practicing Supportive Driving

            --Multitasking Training

            --Learning New Driving & Automotive Information  

 

Some of the same concepts exist within the QDCs as the student driver education courses.  Some new concepts are learning about new automotive gadgets, laws, safety studies, and training techniques.  Also keeping a driving log in order to help QDC members correct the problems that they have trouble with is a new idea.  Plus the counteracting of negative attitudes towards drivers and driving are introduced.  QDCs will be a continuous education program that will carry on from after students graduate high school and until they cease driving.  Ideally the best way to conduct a QDC is in person in a group, but there are other ways like telephone, Internet, E-mails, and so on.  So what the goal is of driver education is to address the tree-fold self and there is no absence of that in QDCs.  QDCs continue to refine the affective, cognitive, and sensorimotor selves. 

 

QDCs help by assisting drivers in times of need or not.  A Roadrageous video course will also be introduced with a QDC.  This video offers a new driving curriculum, where the focus is on problem solving and developing emotional self-control and a sense of community.  The course highlights and strengthens the ten basic “inner skills” drivers need in order to become “driving literate”today.  The ten skills are:

           

Affective Objectives                                                          

1. Strengthen the desire for lifelong driver self-improvement.                               

2. Neutralize or weaken existing negative driving attitudes.

3. Strengthen and inculcate positive driving values.

4. Transform self-centered goals into community goals through activities that weaken subjective aggressive goals and strengthen objective supportive goals.

5. Prepare drivers to deal effectively with aggressiveness or provocation by other drivers with their own aggressiveness and road rage.

 

                        Cognitive Objectives

1. Understand why it’s necessary for drivers to develop inner standards of behavior.

2. Understand what aggressive driving is and how to assess one’s aggressiveness as a driver.

3. Learn to critically analyze traffic situations and events in order to identify emotional intelligence choice points where drivers could have acted differently for a better result.

4. Practice driver self-assessment and self-improvement activities, including keeping a driving log and collecting self-observational data.

5. Understand the basic facts about and solutions to impaired driving (DUI, anger, advancing age, inexperience, and drugs and medication). (Road Rage and Aggressive Driving by Dr. Leon James & Dr. Diane Nahl: 203)

 

Every once in awhile we all slip up and cave in to anger and that’s why we need Lifelong Driver Training.  A QDC meeting would be once a week for any amount of time needed to cover the topics.  First and foremost each meeting would start by each member explaining how driving for the previous week went; any problems, negative attitudes, road rage, and positive attitudes and experiences.  This will set the tone for how the QDC will be conducted and what the focus needs to be on for that session. 

 

Finally I want to implement a driving simulator test for driver’s once they reach the age of 55.  This test will be implemented to determine how fit elderly drivers are.  Some people may not think 55 is an elderly age but I feel this is a good age to begin testing for physical and psychological declination.  This test will be implemented every three years.     

 

In order to implement the driving education courses that I want, it would take a lot.  From the beginning with the affective training at ages 3-10, it will take the cooperation and education of parents to start their kids off with the correct attitude.  Now parental involvement with instilling proper values in their children is not as prevalent as we want to think it is.  I would like to believe that every kid is raised with the proper values and a positive affective attitude but it doesn’t happen.  Therefore to encourage more positive training on young children it would take some kind of reward.  This statement I just made has problems of its own, because why do I need to implement a plan to push parents to implement proper values into their children.  This can go on and on about moral and ethical issues but that wouldn’t be addressing the issue.  I still have ideas for rewards to offer to positive affective deadbeat parents. 

 

I would like to issue one free gas fill up every two months to encourage parents to instill a proper affective driving attitude.  There will be no test or ways of monitoring just go on good faith that giving a little reward will hopefully encourage positive training.  This will only apply to parents who have kids between the ages of 3-9.  Nowadays it’s hard to go on good faith but this would be a perfect starting point to encourage parents to pay attention to instilling a positive attitude in their children.  Further harsher regulations can be put into place if this method doesn’t work, but this is what I would start off with.  Incorporating this free gas fill up would require government approval and an excess of money to accommodate this. This gas money will be given to the parents towards the end of the year.  Parents would fill out a form describing the vehicle they drive and through this form, government will find out how much gallons of gas it takes to fill this vehicle.  Six times in one year they get a free full tank of gas.   

 

Once children reach the age of 10, grade school will now take over the driving education curriculum.  This would require the local government and department of education to fund and implement this driver’s education curriculum into all grade schools throughout the state.  This class would be worth investing in because making are roads and highways safer will be well worth the extra academic cost.  As students enter the second phase of the driver education curriculum during there sophomore year of high school their will be extra cost. The driving simulator plus driving vehicles will need to be funded by government. 

 

Once Students graduate from high school then they are no longer required by state to stay in an educational institution.  Therefore QDCs are implemented but how do I get people to get involved in a QDC.  I find that using reward rather than punishment would be more effective.  One reason is because people have no problems breaking laws these days, so even if I implemented some kind of license revocation for not being involved in a QDC many people probably wouldn’t care.  I would rather reward drivers that join QDCs with 15% off their car insurance and one free gas fill up every two months every year for as long as they are part of a QDC.  The free full tank of gas will occur in the same way it does for parents with kids 3-9.  Another reason why using reward is better than punishment is because you want to keep a positive attitude associated with QDCs.  After all QDCs are suppose to teach supportive driving and how can that be if punishment is enforced for not being involved in a QDC. 

 

            There will be an elected president to head the QDC meetings and this man is responsible for passing out new automotive information and discussing new concepts of driving with the Group.  This president issues out QDC cards which will in turn get group members the rewards.  There needs to be an active attendance in order to reap the benefits and this is all recorded by the president.  Once drivers reach 55 years old the Department of Motor Vehicles will require that drivers come in for driver simulator testing.  Government will have to provide the funds to bring in these driving simulators. 

 

5. Conclusion

 

            This assignment was quite an eye opener to the social and cultural aggressiveness in our society.  Nowadays driving is like a constant confrontation with angry and impatient people.  I only have to drive half a minute and I’ll begin experiencing some type of road rage from another driver.  This assignment has helped me notice how others drive in terms of their style.  It seems that patience and friendliness is a lost art when it comes to driving.  The new driving art has become aggravation and impatience.  Now that I know my cultures driving style, it will help me adjust my way of driving.  I myself don’t want to be emotionally unintelligent and get caught up in the anger of driving, therefore I will do everything I can to be a supportive driver to other drivers. 

 

            Originally coming into this class, I didn’t know anything about the topic at hand.  I had no understanding of how our culture and society drove.  I didn’t realize the aggression that is own our roads.  Through this course I now understand the extreme problem of anger that plagues our roads.  Now I realize what I need to do as a driver and as a friend to many other drivers.  I need to be more supportive as a driver and try to help my friends realize the growing problem of aggressive driving on our roads.  The task is huge to try and teach others about the aggressive driving problem, but the more I spread the word, the more it can help.  I predict that unless more people learn about driving psychology, our roads will continue to get worse with aggression. 

 

            As technology advances and gets faster, people will grow more and more impatient thus leading to more aggravation and more anger.  I say in five years if there is no start to implement a Life long Driver’s Education program, there will be an increase in the amount of road rage incidents that occur. 

 

6. Future Generations

 

            The best advice I could give you future generations is to use your own driving experiences to help you identify your own aggressive driving acts.  The only way to begin changing the way our culture and society drives is to start with you first.  You can’t expect others to change unless you change yourself too.  Take the ideas I’ve given you and use them to create your own Lifelong Driver Education plan, or improve on my ideas, ether way the goal to improve the driving attitudes of our culture.  If you don’t remember anything of my report, remember this driving is not just about oneself, it’s about those who are around us too.  Be positive, stay positive.  

 

 

 

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