With apologies to producer Chuck Barris and host Bob Eubanks, here’s a version of the Newlywed Game that may as well be titled, “How Well Do You Know the Driver In Your Midst?”
There are driving quirks we do when behind the wheel which are an outgrowth of our personalities. Those who ride with us are quick to learn what they are. Some questions are posed and some possible answers are offered.
When parking your car in a mall lot, where are you most likely to park? The answers to this tend to be in the extremes. You either like to incorporate exercise into your parking space selection by finding the most remote spot available or you insist upon circling the lot continuously until finding a front-row location or running out of gas, whichever occurs first.
During highway driving, do you tend to stay in one lane or change lanes? This reminds the writer of a study done some time ago that used aerial photography to track vehicles and their habits concerning lane changing. What they found was that it really didn’t matter since traffic tends to slow up in clusters and everyone gets jammed up regardless of how often they change lanes.
How hard are you on the car’s brakes? This question is really about tailgating as well. Drivers tend to slam on the brakes when they have very little trouble reading the fine print on the State Farm Insurance bumper sticker ahead of them. On the other hand some drivers would need 25/40X100 powered binoculars to be able to see the car.
Are you a speed limit plus 5 or a speed limit plus 9 driver? In most cases, neither choice would put you in jeopardy of being stopped for speeding depending, of course, on the jurisdiction in which you are driving. Some studies say that, especially on short trips, it’s not worth it anyway. But that hasn’t stopped a Nevada candidate for governor to propose the Free Limit Plan that allows drivers to pay $25 for a day pass to drive up to 90 mph on state roads.
Do you engage aggressive drivers by returning their taunts? The first defense against the escalation of an aggressive driving encounter is to be able to accept blame for a driving mistake and to likewise forgive another driver’s transgressions. While it may not seem fair that proper blame is not assigned, the ultimate question is “What does it matter?” However, if horn blasts and a raised middle finger are part of your driving vocabulary, you are definitely in the other camp.
It’s not always easy to do self evaluation especially when it’s on a skill so personal as driving. That’s why we need to at times rely on the input of those who observe us.