QDC: A Cure for Road Rage? by Isabel Chang, PSY 409b, G13/Spring 2000, University of Hawaii

My QDC Report

QDC: A Cure for Road Rage?

Table of Contents

Instructions for this report
Introduction
Self-Witnessing Reports
Conclusion
Epilogue

Introduction

1. What is a QDC?

  • QDC stands for quality driving circle. It is a place where people join to discuss their driving life and experiences with one another with the goal of improving their own driving experiences. According to Dr. James, operating quality driving circles consist of small groups of 5 to 10 drivers who meet together regularly. There are two types of regular QDCS: Face-to-Face and Virtual. A Face-to-face QDC is where you meet people in person whereas a virtual QDC is where you interact with other people through the electronic media, phone, email or other devices that do not require the participants to meet face to face.

    Other alternatives to regular QDCs include dyadic QDCs, family QDCs, individual QDCs, court mandated QDCs, school QDCs, professional QDCs and senior QDCs. Please refer to Dr James's QDC article for more information.

    2. What is your idea of a QDC, and do you see yourself as a lifelong QDC member?

  • My idea of a QDC is same as that mentioned above in that I think QDC is a place where people can discuss their driving experiences with one another with the goal of improving one another's driving experiences. I would like to see myself as a lifelong QDC member because it would be quite interesting and insightful to know what the driving experiences of other people are like. I certainly would like to contribute my own driving experiences to the group so that everyone can get something out of them.

    3. Are QDCs needed?

  • I think QDCs are very helpful in addressing the issue of road-rage that are quite common nowadays. Since QDCs are conducted in groups, they will be more powerful than the effort of one person alone in the struggle to improve one's own driving experience. In addition, groups have more power to effect change than one person alone.

    Self-Witnessing Reports

    Jump to SWR: | #2 | #3 | #4 | #5 | #6 | #7 | #8 | #9 | #10 |

    See the Forum Discussions

    Air Rage-Its Psychology and Solutions by Dr. James
    SafeCrossing: Pedestrian Training Curriculum by Dr. Driving

    SWR #1: SafeCrossing-How to Handle One's Pedestrian Rage (TEE card 38c2)

    As a pedestrian, I have seldom met bad drivers on the road. I usually look carefully before I cross the streets. At the traffic lights, I often try to hurry up and cross the streets because I feel that some drivers are impatient. You feel tensed sometimes, not knowing if the driver will get impatient while waiting and may even start honking. This makes me walk faster to cross roads. I seldom look to see who the driver in the car is so sometimes I wonder who the person is and what they are thinking. I just concentrate on getting across the street. I often look at the lights to make sure it is green, even while I am crossing the road. If it is blinking, I walk faster. I usually feel safe crossing at the traffic lights because I know that the drivers will wait for me. I feel safe as a pedestrian generally and seldom get angry at drivers.

    My Analysis:As a pedestrian, I tend to feel tensed and nervous when crossing the street at the traffic lights. I am also thoughtful towards the feelings of the driver who is waiting for me to cross the road. I try to cross the road quickly because I don't want the driver to get impatient. My mind is usually focused on crossing the road so I don't really think of anything else. I am also careful as a pedestrian as I make sure there are no cars around before I cross the streets. I feel safe generally as a pedestrian because I know I have the right of way. I usually have my emotions under control as I seldom get mad at drivers. I suppose I am just not that type of person who would let my emotions take over me. I would say I am a pretty sensible person and pedestrian.

    My Evaluation:I am generally a good pedestrian and I seldom let my emotions take control over me as I am a pretty sensible person who is well aware of what s/he should or should not do. I think I am pretty thoughtful towards drivers and that is a good trait to have too.

    Comment 1 (01/24/00 1:35 AM)
    The subject of pedestrians is an interesting one indeed. Ideally (as we are taught during our driving exams), pedestrians always have the right of way. However, I think that after some time of being on the road, some drivers tend to forget or overlook that. That's why, I slightly disagree with you regarding crossing streets. I feel that being a pedestrian is more dangerous than being in a car because, not all drivers yield for pedestrians. Sometimes, being pedestrians, we may feel a false sense of security because we are walking in a crosswalk, or perhaps because the light is green.

    However, there is always a chance that some careless driver may not realize this and fail to stop. I think this is how most pedestrian accidents occur. Both parties are expecting the other one to stop and yield. Sadly, there are times when neither parties yield and the end result is an accident. Ideally, the crosswalk is supposed to keep pedestrians safe by giving them right of way. However, it does not provide complete protection. I think all drivers should somehow be reminded, maybe even brainwashed to look out for pedestrians on the road. However, there are times when even the most cautious driver might fail to see a pedestrian. Therefore, pedestrians have to also do their part and be aware of their environment to spot any careless drivers and prevent accidents.

    My Reactions: I think being a pedestrian is generally safer than being a driver because there tend to be many cars on the road and it is easy to lose control of one's emotions or get involved in a road rage accident. Being a pedestrian is safer because cars generally yield to pedestrians and I don't think pedestrian rage is as severe or common as road rage because pedestrians usually do not have to compete with one another for the right of the way. However, I think pedestrians should always be on a look out for careless drivers because there are many out there!

    Comment 2 (01/26/00 1:59 PM)
    I agree with this person, that generally, cars are good to pedestrians -- as long as you stick to the rules of the road. I find it easier to walk around in a city so most of the time I am a pedstrian. If I pay attention to the lights, go when they tell me to and keep in my own "territory" I never have a problem. Pedestrians have the right of way -ALWAYS- and I think mostly all drivers know that. I know in my opinion as a driver, I have gotten mad at a pedestrian that runs across the road at the last second, or a really slow person that makes me wait, but it's not like I would ever run them over to punish them. I just get irritated for a couple seconds and then forget it as soon as I start moving.

    My Reactions: Yes. I think pedestrians always have the right of way and it is the responsiblity of drivers to yield to pedestrians whenever they see them.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: In sum, I consider myself a fairly good pedestrian and the exercise helped me to analyze myself. I hope to be able to manage my emotions better to not get tensed when crossing the streets at interjunctions.

    SWR #2: SafeCrossing: Pedestrian Aggressiveness Scale (TEE card 40c2)

    This card helps to assess how aggressive you are as a pedestrian. After looking at all 15 bad pedestrian behaviors, I think I consider myself generally a good pedestrian. I don't like crowds so sometimes I just avoid crowds. For me, I don't get stressed or anything in crowds unless I need to get somewhere or do something. Otherwise, sometimes I feel fun to have some company. I guess it also depends on how I feel that day. If it happens to be a bad day and I am not feeling too good, then I may act inappropriately but it seldom occurs. Usually, I just walk very fast and ignore the people around me. I seldom have negative thoughts of other pedestrians as I don't know them. Usually, I am more concerned about my own problems then paying attention to other pedestrians.

    I am usually well aware of what I should or should not do even if I am having a bad day. I can be polite even if I feel bad for example because I know that there are certain things that one should not do such as making insulting gestures, trying to block the passageway or getting angry at other pedestrians. But, I admit that I tend to get impatient when I am stressed. I usually apologize when I bumped into another person accidentally. I suppose I am also used to walking in crowded places like in Hong Kong. I think I have never felt stressful or anything. On the other hand, I think walking and looking around help to relieve stress. I usually have a lot of self-control when I am around other people so that means I seldom get mad at them. As a person, I think I am also quite well aware of what I should or should not do. I like crowds sometimes because they don't make you feel so alone.

    My Analysis: I was trying to find out how aggressive I am as a pedestrian. I found myself to be not aggressive at all as I do not see myself as someone who would commit all those aggressive behaviors. I don't usually get stressed unless I am in a hurry to do something. I also think of myself as somebody who knows what things to do and what not. I also walk fast if I happen to be in a bad mood and to ignore the people around me. I don't get stressed in crowds. I tend to get impatient when I am stressed. I seldom act inappropriately and try to be polite even if I am not feeling good. I don't usually have negative thoughts of other people as I don't know them.

    My Evaluation: I was able to find out whether I am an aggressive pedestrian or not. I found that I am not. I think I am not an aggressive person generally and it applies to being a pedestrian too. I tend to get impatient when I am stressed. I think I need to improve on that.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: It is good to know that I am not an aggressive pedestrian while there are many who are. I hope I can be less impatient when I am stressed in the future and also to be able to better manage my stressful emotions.

    SWR #3: Test your stress as a pedestrian (Tee card #71C3)

    In viewing the list of complaints that many pedestrians have for drivers, I find some of the hassles apply to me but not all of them. My experience of being a pedestrian usually involves walking on sidewalks, at interjunctions and jaywalking. Hence, I must say that I have experienced not much stress in all these cases. Sidewalks and interjuctions are usually considered safe places to walk for me and I have seldom encountered any problems. I always think that pedestrians have the right of way and take it for granted that drivers will yield at interjunctions. Almost all drivers that I have encountered did yield to me and I have never been involved in any accidents. I do feel stressed sometimes when crossing at the interjunctions especially when the green light starts to blink like what I mentioned before. But, I think as long as the driver can see me, I am safe. So, being a pedestrian isn't that stressful for me.

    I have encountered drivers who slowed down and let me cross and then they speed up. I did not really think it was anything. I just take it that the drivers are impatient. I never really take it personally and feel mad at the drivers because seriously I don't know them. I have never encountered drivers who yell at me, honk at me, make offensive gestures at me, give me mean looks or get out of their vehicles to intimidate me. I am kind of afraid of them doing that. I suppose I would get really upset if they did that. For the rest of the list, I must say that I rarely experienced them. It may sound kind of strange but I don't feel a lot of stress as a pedestrian like most people do. I often have to cross one interjunction in Waikiki during the day to get home and the weather is mostly fine and clear. I think I usually exercise caution as a pedestrian. When I jaywalk, I make sure the roads are safe and clear. Hence, it can't be that stressful jaywalking. On the other hand, I often walk at ease in sidewalks but tend to get a bit uneasy and stressful at interjuctions over impatient drivers. These explain my experience as a pedestrian.

    My Analysis: I think my experiences as a pedestrian are quite good as I seldom encounter bad drivers who yell at me. I also have confidence and faith in drivers. Hence I often feel safe and good being a pedestrian. However, I feel stressed sometimes when crossing the traffic lights because I am kind of afraid of being honked at. It may upset me. I usually exercise caution as a pedestrian as I make sure that the roads are clear before I cross them.

    My Evaluation: My stress levels as a pedestrian appear to be quite low. I only get stressed when crossing interjunctions. I also get to think about my own experiences as a pedestrian. After all, I am not an aggressive pedestrian at all except that I still need to learn how to feel less stressed when crossing the traffic lights. It is also good that I exercise caution as a pedestrian. I also need to manage my emotions better to not get upset even when drivers start to honk at me.

    Comment 1 (02/02/00 9:53 PM)
    I don't have many problems as a pedestrian myself anymore. This is because I have encountered several situations where I almost got ran over by a car. Sometimes by the bus, sometimes by a careless driver in a car. Though it is easy to blame carelessness on the drivers, and there are many out there, I do admit that I had the pedestrian attitude myself. Sometimes I walked carelessly thinking that because we have the right of way, cars will stop for me. Now I think differently. Even though we do have the right of way, I make sure I take extra causion when I cross the road, even if the light is green. Sometimes all it takes to eliminate accidents is to be extra careful.

    My Reactions: Wow! I cannot believe that this person has encountered several situations where s/he almost got ran over by a car. Those situations must be really bad? I suppose s/he has met many bad drivers. This shows that pedestrians should be more alert and careful because there are many bad and careless drivers out there.
    Comment 2 (02/03/00 2:04 AM)
    When I am a pedestrian, I have to agree I also exercise caution. Mainly because a lot of drivers are scary. I agree with what Isabel said, that many drivers yield to pedestrians. But, I also notice that most drivers aren't even aware of pedestrians and that's what scares me. The scariest thing is when a car is turning right at a red light. I mean honestly, tell me how many people attempting to turn right on a red, first make sure noone is trying to cross the crosswalk. Most drivers are just looking left to make sure no cars are coming. Then they usually fly it around the turn without even making sure noone is crossing. Usually they see the pedestrian at the last minute, but one time that's going to be too late.

    My Reactions: Well, I think these drivers should be more careful and look out for pedestrians especially when they attempt to turn right on a red. In situations where pedestrians are not that obvious, drivers should be especially careful and alert.

    Comment 3 (02/23/00 9:29 PM)
    I agree with isabel who says that she does not feel stressed as a pedestrian. I feel very safe as a pedestrian here. If I walk on sidewalks and marked pedestrian crossings there should be no danger. I also make sure that the street is totally clear if I jaywalk. I think that the reason to why we feel safe as pedestrians is that we take for granted that we have the right of way and that the drivers have to yield to us. The only thing that can be a little stressful is that the driver might not see us and therefore not yield, even though we think that they are going to. I think that is how most accidents occur. We are lucky to be living in an organized country because I'm pretty sure that pedestrians doesn't feel very safe at all in countries like Italy, Egypt, Thailand, or India for example. Drivers in countries like these usually think that they have the right of way. So, if you're going to cross the street in one of these places, you better run!

    My Reactions: I agree that in some places, crossing the streets can be very dangerous. So, we should all feel lucky here when we can feel safe crossing the streets. In such places where crossing the streets is dangerous, I guess one has to be extra careful and alert on motor vehicles. In an extreme case, maybe the only alternative is to run. Anyway, I do not know what the traffic situations are like in the mentioned places but I know India is very populated. Maybe there are even more people on the streets than vehicles? I don't know.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: It is good that I am less stressed as a pedestrian than other pedestrians. I hope to be less stressed when crossing interjunctions and to be better able to manage my emotions generally.

    SWR #4: Pedestrians-Test Your Emotional Intelligence Towards Drivers (Tee card #73C3)

    As I look at the list of appropriate behaviors and aggressive ones, I find my emotional intelligence towards drivers to be quite high. I seldom commit those aggressive behaviors except jaywalking. Most of the time, I adhere to the list of appropriate behaviors when I am a pedestrian. I find it hard to believe that there are many people who commit those aggressive behaviors. But, I do encounter incidences like that. I often hear some drivers yell at other drivers. There was one time, I heard a driver yelling at something and s/he even got out of the car to confront the other driver. I did not know what really was going on as I only heard the commotion but I did not see it with my own eyes. There was another time when I have witnessed a major accident from my home on a fine sunny day. There was a loud noise all of a sudden and when I looked out of the window, I saw a car turned upside down on the road. The scene was kind of amazing.

    I just could not imagine how that car turned upside down like that. I could not figure out what actually happened but I believed that one of the cars must have been driving at high speed. It was just unthinkable for me and I could not understand why there are so many reckless drivers on the road. Aren't they concerned about their own safety at all? I mean every sensible person should be concerned about that and especially if you are driving on the road. I would think people are sensible enough to know all these but I suppose sometimes things just get to them. They may be having a real bad day and other things that add to make the person really stressful and so they probably lost their mind for just once and that's it. I kind of feel sorry for those people who were involved in car accidents as I think they certainly did not expect that to happen to them and were not prepared for it. But, it was too late already. I think being a pedestrian is safer than being a driver. But, I think one should also exercise caution as a pedestrian and not put one's life or others life at stake by committing those aggressive behaviors. I think hostile behaviors such as kicking cars or throwing things at vehicles don't make any sense at all and is not constructive! Hence, if you are the kind of person who do those things often, please think about it.

    My Analysis: As a pedestrian, I usually adhere to the list of appropriate behaviors on the Tee card. I don't often commit those aggressive behaviors except jaywalking. I was surprised to find that many people commit those behaviors. I could not understand why the drivers yell at one another. I was also amazed upon seeing a car turned upside down on the road and could not imagine how that could have happened. I speculated that the car must have been driving at a high speed which led to the collision. I could not understand why there are so many reckless drivers on the road. I got frustrated trying to figure out why some people do silly things that are not sensible. I tried to emphathize with them and was able to understand their situation from my point of view. I felt sorry for the people who were involved in car accidents as I knew they did not expect that. I hoped people would be more sensible.

    My Evaluation: It worked out quite well. I found myself to have high emotional intelligence towards drivers as a pedestrian. I could not understand the insensible behaviors of some people.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: It is good to know that my emotional intelligence as a pedestrian appear to be quite high. I wish there are more people like me.

    SWR #5: Common Emotionally Un-intelligent Pedestrian Behaviors to Avoid (TEE card No.68C1)

    This card gives you a list of behaviors that many pedestrians commit that are considered common but emotionally un-intelligent. I think it is common for people to sometimes forget some of the most important rules of the road such as turning on the signals or walking in dim light conditions wearing clothing that is dark. Anyway, sometimes I do walk in dim light conditions wearing clothing that is dark although I know very well that it is not safe. I just think that it does not matter that much and don't think I will ever get into an accident because of that. But I know that you never know when the bad misfortune will happen to you so it is always best to be on the safe side than to be sorry. I seldom commit those behaviors so I think my emotional intelligence is quite high. When I go out at night, I seldom have to cross interjunctions so I do not care much about wearing bright clothes. If I do cross interjunctions, I will just make sure to look closely before crossing.

    My Analysis: I thought that it is common for people to sometimes forget some of the most important rules of the road such as turning on the signals or walking in dim light conditions wearing dark clothing. Sometimes I walked in dim light conditions wearing dark clothing which I could have avoided but I did not think it would matter.

    My Evaluation: I find myself to have high emotional intelligence as I seldom commit those emotionally un-intelligent behaviors that most people commit except walking in dim light conditions wearing dark clothing. I guess I need to pay more attention to what I wear when going out at night. I think I need to be more alert as a pedestrian and not assume that nothing bad will happen.

    Comment 1 (02/21/00 7:32 PM)
    I think as a pedestrian I feel less responsible in observing traffic laws. I never really followed traffic signals at intersections and frequently just ran across the street. It never really occured to me that my actions could be dangerous to others. Since pedestrians have the right of way, I always thought it was the drivers responsibility to look out for me. I never put myself in a dangerous situation though where I could have been hit or hurt in any way. I guess I have been lucky all these years. I now realize as a pedestrian that I have to be more conscious of my surrounding environment and use more emotional intelligence when crossing road ways. This will not only create a safer environment for myself but also for drivers as well.

    My Reactions: Yes, that is right. I think just because pedestrians have the right of way does not mean that nothing bad can happen. We must still stay alert for unexpected situations or careless drivers.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: I realize that I am quite an emotionally intelligent pedestrian. I want to be more careful as a pedestrian in the future and stay alert of careless and dangerous drivers.

    SWR #6: How to manage your outbreak of anger (Tee card #9c2)

    Well, I think most of DrDriving's hints are quite helpful and interesting and they certainly can apply to other aspects of life besides just driving. Sometimes when I am feeling bad, I just wait for a while for my emotions to calm down and my mind to clear up. Then, I will feel fine. Hence, I think the hint of slowly counting to ten is good.

    To further my point, sometimes, you just lose your mind so it's good to wait for some time till you get your sensible mind back instead of acting out of a moment of strong emotions. You probably would not imagine yourself acting that way when you are more sensible. Let's take O.J Simpson's case for example, he killed his wife out of jealousy. If he could have waited and be more aware of his own feelings and emotions at that time and also be able to think of alternatives as to why his wife did certain things that he did not like, his wife could still be alive today.

    See what happens when people let their emotions take control over them. I think he certainly loves his wife dearly although his acts were brutal. He probably could not imagine himself acting so brutally when he was sober unless he is a psychopath. I think people are inherently nice and good and won't resort to such bad acts unless things really get to them. Many people deviate from social norms due to things beyond their control such as having an abusive family, being poor etc. But, everyone can learn to be emotionally intelligent. I think that is the most important thing for one to learn as it teaches us how to handle life, other people and ourselves. I know sometimes life is hard and things are not running smooth but if we have emotional intelligence, we are in control!

    I think count your blessings is good because it makes you think of what you have instead of what you don't have; it makes you think about the good things in your life. That will make you feel good about yourself and your life instead of focusing on the negative aspects. Sometimes I do that. It is always better to forgive and forget because negative emotions are not good for us.

  • Making funny noises: Isn't there a saying that laughter is the best medicine? So, laugh more and you will be more happy.
  • Use the Castanza technique: I am not sure if I do this, maybe unconsciously. I suppose that if you act the opposite of what you are actually feeling, it will make you feel that way. For example, if you are feeling sad and you act happy. I think you will become happy. I think it has to do with the self-fulfilling prophecy? If you think what you are, so will you be.
  • Pretend you are from Hawaii and drive with Aloha: Yes I agree that the way you drive is contagious. Try to do the courtesy smiles and be polite and pleasant, I think you will be surprised by how many people who greet you back. I guess treat others the same you want to be treated.
  • Think of alternative ways why someone does something: I think this is the most important of all and sometimes I do that. Many times, things may not be what you think it is or it may be. Even if it may be, it is always good to think positively instead of negatively because positive thinking helps you and negative ones don't.
  • Develop an attitude of latitude: I think patience is a virtue and many things can be done if one is patient enough. Also, positive thinking is always better than negative thinking. It applies to other aspects of life as well. I think sometimes I do have this attitude but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

  • Commit yourself to a Lifelong Program of Driver Self-improvement: I think this is important because keeping a driving log or diary helps one to monitor one's driving behaviors or styles so that one can be more aware of one's behaviors and then seek to improve them. It also shows a willingness to be a better driver. Commit means dedicate. I can't do that right now because I am not a driver yet but I will keep this in mind when I start to drive.
  • My Analysis: On the topic of how to manage one's outbreak of anger, I must say that it is kind of rare of me to have outbreaks of anger. But, sometimes I do and when that happen, I usually wait a while for my emotions to calm down which is similar to Dr. James's technique of "slowly counting to ten". Sometimes, I also use Dr James's technique of "count your blessings" to try to think positive thoughts about my life and myself. I also try to think of alternatives. Furthermore, I also have the attitude of latitude. I agree with most of Dr. James's techniques and think they are all very useful.

    My Evaluation:I find myself quite able to manage an outbreak of anger although I seldom have outbreaks of anger. I have already done some of Dr. James's techniques and think most of them are useful. I try to analyze myself and others in managing outbreaks of anger. I think that the reason why some people have an outbreak of anger is that they don't know how to manage their emotions better. I draw the example of O.J. Simpson who fails in managing his outbreak of emotions. By utilizing Dr. James's techniques, people can all learn to manage their emotions better.

    Comment 1 (02/25/00 4:01 PM)
    I like your positive outlook on people and on life. I too feel that people are good and it is when things get out of our control that we fall. In some ways I share your view in where you stated "many people deviate from social norms due to things beyond their control such as an abusive family, being poor, etc." However, I'll noticed recently that people who are being prosecuted for their crimes are using this as a way to have lighter sentences. The attorneys of these people who I would label criminals are now contesting in the court the fact that they were abused as a child, parents weren't around, and etc in order to have a lesser penalty. Why can't they just admit their crime and take responsibility for it. I just can not tolerate that a criminal will serve 10-15 years in prison and then be paroled to live in the communities again while a mother will live without his young son. It is heart-breaking and in-justice, but that's reality.

    My Reactions: Yes, I agree that it is wrong for criminals to use their bad family history to justify their crimes. I think that sometimes they are related, sometimes they are not. In situations that they are not related, the criminals should not use it to justify their crimes. If they get a lighter sentence for that reason, it is really not fair to their victims. I guess sometimes things in life just are not fair. How do you explain why good people die early? It's the same thing.

    Comment 2 (02/25/00 6:17 PM)
    I think that you are absolutely right when you say that these are techniques which we can apply to many different situations. The O.J. Simpson case might be an example. I'm not sure if any of these techniques would have worked in his case seeing as how he is psychologically unable to process his emotions. There might be some underlying factors that you haven't yet considered but it's a good try. In any case I do feel that there are a lot of positive suggestions that can be attributed to daily like and not just to driving. On of the techniques is to think of the other person. This means that you put yourself in the other person's shoes and see how you would want to be treated by someone who is usually a strager. See that's the problem. Often time we react to people that you don't even know. Most of us would never lash out or have terrible thoughts about our family or friends. Why is it that when it come oto somplete strangers that we are so willing to see them as unworthy of our sympathy. So maybe as an amendment to this idea we could suggest that we put a familiar face on the next person we feel has violated our rights in some way and see if that brings out some kind of patients for another human being who is probably not so much different from you and me.

    My Reactions: I totally agree with what this person has to say.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans:I feel happy to realize that I am quite good in managing my outbreak of anger although there is still a lot of room for improvement. I think all of Dr. James's techniques are quite useful and I will keep them in mind and be prepared to use them whenever I need to.

    SWR #7: How to do a driving personality makeover (TEE card #15C2)

    I think the three steps are very helpful and useful in changing one's driving habits. Since I don't drive, I can't really try them out. I do think that it is necessary to recognize one's errors before one can seek to correct them or else one will always think that one is right. This also applies to other areas of life too. Now, the next step is really trying to find out how bad one's driving behavior is or so-called "witness your own errors and transgressions". I also think that many of one's driving habits are unconscious because they have been transmitted from previous generations and have become one's second nature. I suppose one probably has never been told that those habits are wrong because they are a cultural norm. I also think that the media portrayal of many things is not right such as the ideas of sex, beauty and of course driving. The media really does not have the best interest of the audience in mind. All they are concerned about is how to make a profit. That really contributes to the many things we see happening in the society today such as bad driving. The last step is to modify one's behavior one step at a time and that is to be consciously aware of one's driving habits and behaviors. As with everything else in life, all these need practice, patience and the willingness to do them right.

    My Analysis: I agree with Dr. James that the three steps are helpful in changing one's driving habits. I wrote mainly about my thoughts and opinions. I think that it is kind of hard to change some of the driving habits we have because they have been transmitted to us from previous generations. But, doing Dr James's exercises such as this can really help one to identify the bad driving habits that one have so that the person can make improvements.

    My Evaluation: I realize that there is a way to correct one's driving habits and that is by following Dr James's Threestep Program. I think the program is easy and simple to follow but needs consistency and effort on one's part.

    My Conclusion and Future Plans: I think the Threestep Program is very useful in making one realize one's driving habits and gives one the initiative to correct them. It is also quite thoroughout and really takes people through the self-modifying process. I hope I can use them in the future when I start to drive.

    SWR #8: Air Rage (TEE card #47c9)

    Air rage is a pretty new thing to me. I did not know it has become quite common until after taking this class. I cannot really relate to people who resort to acts of violence on a plane. I myself have often traveled on planes ever since I was a child but I have never witnessed any acts of violence or disruptive behaviors. Most people are good passengers. So, I was kind of surprised to find that air rage does exist. I was not too surprised though because I know some people just could not stand things and blow up easily. I would not be too surprised if they are disruptive on the plane. I know it can be hard to be confined in a plane for hours and hours that may seem like ages. I don't like it either but I never think it should be a justifiable cause for me to behave inappropriately. What will happen if everyone just resort to violence if they don't like something? Wouldn't it be a dangerous world to live in? I kind of know what my role and responsibilities as a passenger should be and would never do anything that is inappropriate as a passenger on the plane. So, it kind of makes me wonder why other people do that.

    I think there are certain rules that everyone should observe such as not to talk in class when the teacher is talking, not cross the road when the light is red, not park your cars in places you are not supposed to (or your car will be tolled away)and of course being a good passenger. I mean it's just like a law. You will get punished for doing certain things so that's why most people observe the laws. As a passenger on the plane, you also need to observe some rules. Just like as a student in school, you observe the school rules. If not, you will get punished. I don't see why it should be different on a plane. On a further note, I grew up in a country that is quite strict, Singapore. You will get fined if you litter on the roads. A few years ago, they banned chewing gums. I think road rage or air rage does not exist there. The government usually has control over everything and I don't see anything wrong about that as people trust the government. The government will first screen out all kinds of religious organizations if they are not good, not like the US. That's why there are so many bad religious organizations around. Many strange things that happen in the US could not have happened there. Anyway, maybe because of where I grew up and my upbringing, I am proud to say I have always been a pretty law-abiding person different from maybe those who grew up in a different culture like America which may have encouraged or promoted those behaviors.

    My Analysis: I was kind of surprised to find that there was even such a thing as "air rage" because I have never encountered it myself. I heard of road rage but not air rage. Although I could not relate to those air rage incidences, I could understand that it can be hard for people to stay confined in an airplane for a sustained period of time. I consider myself to be quite aware of what kind of behaviors are appropriate and what are not and seldom have my emotions take control of me to such an extent that would lead to a problem of "air rage". I take it for granted that people will behave appropriately in an airplane just as if they were in another setting such as in a school as I believed that everyone should know what one should or should not do. Hence, I was kind of surprised by the prevalence of air rage incidences.

    My Evaluation: I realize that there is such a thing as air rage and it is actually quite common and is a problem that needs to be addressed with the increasing occurrences of air rage incidences. I found myself to be quite a nice passenger on a plane. Although I could understand where the rage of these plane passengers came from, I did not think their behaviors were justifiable just like I don't think it is right to steal.

    Comment 1 (03/12/00 11:47 PM)
    I just recently heard on the news that the number one complaint passengers had with airliners were delays. I think the past year had record number for delays. I could see why air rage would be such a big issue. I think one of the problems that results in air rage is how airliners deal with the situation. Some passengers have to wait for hours sitting inside of a plane not knowing what is going on. Airline personal have to be more passionate to their passengers and try to help them though the situation and not add fuel to it. I remember hearing a story on the news where there was a delay on a flight and none of the passengers were allowed to leave the plane. Passengers complained about the smell from the bathrooms and the lack of food. Some passengers got so angry that they tried to leave the plane. I think if I were in that situation, I do not think I could handle it very well. At least when I'm driving I have some what control of my surroundings. I think when people feel that their freedom is being restricted, they feel frustrated and retaliate by voicing their opinions. I think airliners have a lot of work to do in handling passengers during these situations. Only then will we be able to see improvements in air rage.

    My Reactions: I totally agree with this person. I think it is hard for me to stay confined in an airplane where there are bad smell and a lack of food but not to such an extent that I will resort to violence. However, noone really knows what will happen. It is found that human beings are capable of anything even killing another person when they are driven to extreme hardship like hunger. So, maybe I will start doing some things that I won't normally do. Anyway, I think it is the airliner's responsibility to remedy the bad situation on the plane.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: I think air rage is an issue that needs to be addressed so that the frequency of air rage incidences can be reduced. I am happy for being a good passenger on the plane all the time and I hope people will try to be good passengers too.

    SWR #9: Road rage shoot out(Tee card # No.30C6)

    After reading the TEE card for Ex. 8, I was not surprised to learn about such an incident as the road rage shoot out. All kinds of strange things are happening in our world today. I agree with Dr. James that the two drivers involved could have prevented the situation. But alas, they did not choose their life over their emotions. I think that if someone crashed my car and drove off without doing anything about it, I probably would be really mad but not in the sense that I will resort to acts of violence. I just want to ask the driver about it but not "confront" him. But, if that's the case, I might end up getting shot in the end especially if he has a gun and is very angry. I would not have guessed he has a gun. If I knew he has one and in such a negative emotional state, I won't even think of asking him about the crash. But, if I did not know all these, I may end up dead. I just want to have a word with him but I think that's not right if he just pull out his gun without giving us any chance for communication. I also think that one should not be driving if one has been drinking as it can blur all senses. I think that if the person has not been drinking, the unhappy incident could have been prevented.

    My Analysis:I was not surprised to read about the road rage incidence but I thought that those drivers involved were not very emotionally intelligent. If somebody crashed my car, I would get mad and want to go and ask the person about it. I probably would not have guessed that I may get involved in a road rage incident. By the time I realized that, it might already be too late. In fact, I would be scared to death if the person turned out to be confrontational and has a gun.

    My Evaluation: It opened my eyes to what a road rage accident is all about. I was able to analyze myself in a similar situation. I realize that I should not have got mad in that situation because it may make things worse. I also should not go after the person who has crashed my car because it may lead to a dangerous situation where the person has a gun. I guess one should never seek to go after another driver on the road because you don't really know what the other person is thinking and it can lead to dangerous consequences.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: I guess the way I acted in this hypothetical situation was not wise or showing much emotional intelligence at all. If someone crashed my car in the future, I would remember to stay calm and not to get mad or go after the other person because I want to protect myself from dangerous situations.

    SWR #10: Pedestrian Training Curriculum (Tee card #69c1)

    I think the pedestrian training curriculum is a good idea. It gives good suggestions on how to be a better pedestrian which helps to make the roads a better place. It is also a good idea to implement the pedestrian training curriculum into the schools' curriculum. The pedestrian training curriculum covers safety principles, human rights issues and emotional intelligence that everyone should know. I think the curriculum should be taught to children at a young age so that it will become their second nature or habits. This can also help to reduce stress on the roads. When I was small, there was no such thing as a pedestrian training curriculum in my schools (in Asia). Nevertheless, I have been a fairly good pedestrian so far. This is not to say that a pedestrian training curriculum is not necessary. I think the curriculum will only make things better.

    On a further note, I have walked in crowded places many times before but I did not really think much about it. In those days, pedestrian rage or other kinds of rage were unheard of. It never constitutes such an issue that everyone talks about it. They do exist but people normally don't think that much about it. I think I got stressed or angered in crowded places but not to the extent that I will do anything stupid or silly. I think noone likes crowded places. It is just normal for people to feel stressed in crowded places. It is however not right if people act inappropriately to other people because of how they are feeling. Hence, a pedestrian training curriculum is necessary in this sense and would be really effective if it can be implemented in the schools' curriculum at an early stage of a child's growth or development. I think it is important in our society since there has been so much concern about traffic rage nowadays.

    My Analysis: I thought that a pedestrian training curriculum could be very helpful and that it should be taught to children at an early age. I was used to walking in crowded places in the past and never thought much about it. Sometimes, I got stressed or angered in crowded places but not to the extent that I would do anything silly or inappropriate as I don't think it is right or justifiable.

    My Evaluation: I got to evaluate myself as a pedestrian and found myself to be a good pedestrian. Sometimes, I let my emotions take over me and that is not good. So, I need to improve on that.

    Comment 1 (04/06/00 3:23 PM)
    I think a Pedestrian Training curriculum may be a little extreme, although I am not putting down the idea of teaching people how to be better, safer pedestrians. I think techniques should be taught from the start, it is too difficult to assume all parents to teach children the right way, so as soon as the children enter school, different examples and exercises should be taught. In my elementary school I can remember being taught the rights and wrongs of crossing the road and I feel that I know am a good pedestrian now. I don't think too many people would take take a class seriously if it were not integrated into shcooling already.

    My Reactions: Yes, I think the curriculum should be taught to children as early as possible so that they will be good pedestrians when they grow up.

    My Conclusions and Future Plans: I think the pedestrian training curriculum is quite helpful and should be taught to children at a young age. I hope to be able to better manage my emotions to not get stressed or angered in crowded places.

    Being a QDC member of this discussion makes me aware of some of my behaviors as a pedestrian. I also get to know some of the insights and driving experiences of other people which are quite interesting and helpful. It has also made me think of ways to improve myself.

    I think other QDC members have benefited from this QDC as it makes them realize their own driving behaviors and what needs to be improved. As a result of the exercises, I think many have become better at managing their emotions and also better drivers. The only difference between me and them is that I analyze myself as a pedestrian instead of a driver because I don't drive. On issues about driving, I tried to imagine myself in a similar situation and stated my thoughts on the topic. I believe that we have all realized our own behaviors and things that need to be improved. The issues that have been raised by other QDC members are all very interesting and they have all brought in their own experiences and insights on driving and other things. This is good because we can learn from the experiences of one another. I think my role as a QDC member is in bringing my own insights and ideas on the different topics to the group and to be a positive force in helping one another to improve. We can all learn from the different ideas and insights that were brought in as a group.

    Conclusion

    In sum, I think everyone has benefited from participating in this virtual Quality Driving Circle. It has no doubt help people to become better drivers and better able to manage their emotions. QDC is a very interesting idea to me because it is a place where drivers join to discuss their own driving experiences be it online or offline. This can be a positive group force in motivating or inspiring one another in the group to change. I believe it has made me aware that I am a good pedestrian and that I actually have a pretty high emotional intelligence towards drivers. Many of Dr. James's exercises have been really helpful too and I look forward to using them when I start to drive.

    Epilogue

    The goal of this QDC is at helping people to become better drivers and people better able to manage their emotions. There are ten exercises in all. Basically, you have to write about your feelings, emotions and thoughts while doing the exercises and post them on the web. Then, you also need to comment on the postings of other QDC members. After that, you need to analyze yourself such as your behaviors, thoughts and feelings in the situations described in the exercises.

    By doing the exercises, I was able to analyze my own behaviors, thoughts and feelings as a pedestrian. I think my experience as a pedestrian has been quite good and the exercises have helped me to recognize some of my behaviors, thoughts and feelings as a pedestrian. There were times when I get tensed or stressed such as when crossing the interjunctions. I also realize that I have quite a high emotional intelligence towards drivers because I don't commit most of the emotionally un-intelligent behaviors that others commit. I hope to be able to better manage my emotions and utilize some of Dr. James's techniques in helping me to become a better pedestrian or driver in the future.

    On a further note, in order to become a better pedestrian or driver, you need to first recognize the bad behaviors that you have, acknowledge them and then attempt to modify them by using some of Dr. James's suggestions.

    In sum, I think QDC is an interesting subject and most of the people who have participated in this QDC discussion have contributed many of their insights and experiences to the group which is a positive thing. I also think that future groups can introduce other topics into the discussions. QDCs can also be an interesting way to help smokers to quit smoking or alcoholics to quit drinking.

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