Reading the papers from one of the students from last semester, was a true experience. Students hardly ever get the chance to see other people's homework. The paper's helped me identify all the bad habits I have as a driver. I guess when you read about other people's reactions to certain traffic situations, assures you that you are not the only one with the sometimes violent reactions. Looking into my own driving habits, I discovered that I am a very moody driver. I need to learn some better driving techniques from this class!!
The reports I read from last semester was Cheryl Choe's. She was successful at trying to change their bad driving habits. Doing their self-witnessing reports, made them more aware of the kind of responsibility we take on as drivers. I guess, when thoughts about consequences resulting from reckless driving lingers in your head for days, you tend to get more cautious and aware when driving. I think most of the time everyone is in denial that you would be the cause of an accident. She took into consideration the welfare of other people more when she drove. She also was conformed(a change in behavior or belief as a result of real or imagine group pressure) into a better driver, partially because because her friend and family was pressuring her to change, her driving. Cheryl, recognizing her own bad habits, and changing some by choice, and othersnot, she actually picked up a few pointers that helped her become a better driver, with a better attitude.
I also found that students from previous classes, all did have the will to want to change their driving habits for the better. I guess it tkaes more than other people's comments and criticism to make you see your own faults in driving.
The comments, ideas, recommendations, and adjustment of things that can be done when driving, seemed to reflect the flexibility and open mindness of her. The efforts in changing her driving habits for the safety and pleasure for herself, as well as with the safety of others in mind, reflected her fine state of mind. Cherly seemed to be always a down to earth, calm person when driving. She did reveal her anger and frustrations, but never really mentioned any "real" violent thoughts or felling. She kind of just accepted the way things are. I think that if the other drivers didn't want to driver safer for the sake of themselves, they should at least do it for the others on the road.
Back tot he top
From reading the self-witnessing reports, I learned many drivers are in denial, when it comes down to bad habits in driving. If a person can actually accept the fact that he/she is not the best driver in the world, and that having no accidents or speeding tickets doesn't make them a "good" driver, there is hope in reforming drivers of all ages, nationalities, etc...These reports made me take a closer look at my own driving, and finding bad habits of my own. From the reports, I realized that I am not the only driver that reacts with bad words or hand signals, when being cut off or being tailed. Reading Kendall's report, I realized that my experience of driving in convoys was different from his, in fact opposite. I used to live by Punahou, which was close to school, and never really used to drive in convoys, because I lived so close to everything, and the roads I often used, had many traffic lights, so driving in a convoy in Makiki was unlikely. But in addition to living close to school, I took advantage of the fact that I lived close to everything, and therefore was always late to where ever I went. But when I moved back home to Kaneohe, I started to drive in convoys, going over the Pali and Likelike because, the there was no traffic lights stopping me and the long stretched roads encouraged it. Also police men tended to hide along side the road, more in Nuuanu and Kalihi, so to avoid braking really hard, wearing out my brakes, after spotting a police vehicle or person, I decided that driving in a convoy, was the best disguise of speeding, decreasing the likelihood of getting a speeding ticket.
The self-witnessing reports also affected my attitudes and driving behavior in certain situations. I discovered that I was a conditional person, when it came down to changing my set ways. I usually only start to realize the negative and serious consequences that could result from my reckless driving. Times when I almost get into accidents, I stopped tailgating, speeding, and cutting off people, for the day. I usually would worry about getting a speeding ticket, because my dad would take away my car, because he was the one paying for my insurance, and I didn't want to give up my money I earned from working for insurance. But the very next day I would be back at it. My bad habits were hard to break. Like eating Doritos or popcorn, you can't eat just one.
Often times when I tailgate, I get into close calls. I usually am not paying full attention to the car in front of me. So over the years of driving, I realized that I don't tailgate vans, cars with dark tint, and large trucks. That's because I get nervous, when I can't see the cars infront of the car directly infront of me. I tend to look through their windows to see the other cars, for reassurance. Especially during the night, I tend not to trust the reflexes of the person driving in front of me. So I look for the brake lights of other cars in fron of the car directly infront of me to be sure I don't hit them. So instead of depending on the quick reflexes and brake lights of others, I learned that I should just not risk getting into preventable accidents, and I should rely on my own reflexes and brakes.
One thing that I witnessed while sitting at a stoplight near Kam Shopping center was that, some people actually get out of their car and display their anger. Apparently, these Japanese tourists cut this Samoen or Hawaiian guy off coming down the LikeLike. So at the stop light, the guy got out of his car and started pounding on the car window of the tourists. My jaw dropped. I felt so sorry for the tourists, The only reason why I knew they were Japanese tourists was because they kept on knodding their heads in a downward motion. And that is the action Japanese tend to do when apologizing. My first reaction was, what is this crazy guy doing. I wanted to yell "Eh, don't do that, Hawaii is dependent on tourism, and you are scaring the tourists away with your unbrushed boofy hair!" Of course I didn't say that because you never know what could happen. Someone just might pull out a gun or knife and hurt you because you cut him off. The point is, you never know how the other driver is going to handle your reckless or inconsiderate driving. So instead of getting a blown up picture of some crazy guy at your window, think before your cut off. Oh yeah and always drive with your windows up, if you are driving the way your not suppose to be.
My recommendation for the future of driving, is to have some kind of a traffic psychology course available to drivers. This class could be an effective means in decreasing the number of automobile accidents, involving recklessness. If we look at the statistics of drunk driving accidents and deaths every year, we will see that the need for better driving education and harsher punishments, will be a great solution in resolving reckless driving. I agree with Todd's
if drivers took the time out to look at the more positive side of things and results from driving "good", and realized the high costing result of accidents, and took into regard the impact their own driving could have on someone else's life, will discourage reckless driving.
Another recommendation I have for "back seat drivers" is to use the sound of the blinker like "click, click, click", when you want the person driving you to use their blinker. My instructor from my 459 class Dr. Vercruyssen said that his wife usually does that to him. By making this sound of the blinker instead of saying "blinker" they have avoided many fights during their marriage. He said that sometimes by the tone of her voice, he took her reminder in the wrong way. So to avoid argument with a loved one over a driving matter, try to use hand or sound signals to indicate what the driver is forgetting to do or to let them know what you want them to do.
Lastly, we as drivers should be sure we know how to get to somewhere before getting on the road clueless. Having a planned way of getting soemwhere, will save time, avoid frustration, irritation and arguments with the passengers who are with you. I found that I often times found myself in a "no win situation". The map reader in the car would tell me to turn when I am in the iddle of the intersection. If I turned recklessly over two lanes I would get yelled at, if I didn't turn I would get yelled too, for missing it. To make going to wherever you are going worth the while, know what roads to take, and be prepared.
I experienced something at work, that was shocking. A husband punching his wife in the face, on the plane. I work for Aloha Airlines, and was working a charter flight from Honolulu to Lax. We were about to close the doors of the plane, when this man started running out of plane, heading for the streets. Some of the agents chased after him. I knew that they were fighting from before they got on the plane because I checked them in seperately. The witness told us that she went to put something in the overhead compartment and she asked him if he got the camera bag? He said something nasty to her so she slapped, him. He then punched her. It was a big mess after that. But I related this situation to driving, and realized that who knows, maybe they were arguing becuase they were getting on each others nerve when they were trying to go to the Polynesian Cultural Center. They carried their grudge and anger to the extreme. Their vacation was ruined. They couldn't stand the sight of each other anymore. All this anger and fighting because of the irritation of driving "without" planning, also perhaps traffic, not enough signs etc...So just remember all theanger, frustration, stress etc, resulting from driving could build up, and cause nasty, brutal fights.
After reading Danell Saito's "What I learned
I realized that, many of us should not be grumbling about little things such as no air condidtioning, no radio, because we should just appreciate that we do have access to a car. There are people who don't even have a car to drive and have to catch the city bu all the time. Can you imagine, catching the bus on a hot summer day, when the bus' air conditioning is broken, and the bus is packed, and you are the lucky person to have a person who does not believe in deoderant sit next to you???!!! Now that is what I call sufferring. To me just waiting for the bus is irritating. So we should not take advantage of having a car. Drive it safely, because if you don't drive safely, you'll lose it!
Back to the top