Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bumper Sticker Road Rage

My son Evan passed his driver's test today, and is now on the road. He's meeting some friends for camping tonight. The Homeland Security threat level has been raised to..just kidding.

I'm sure that all parents can understand the rite of passage that this continues to be, especially when you see your son or daughter drive away for the first time without you. The house is too empty and quiet. Something I'll have to get used to, I guess.

One thing about driving that got me scratching my head recently was the study by a CSU professor that established a correlation between assertive or aggressive "road rage" driving and the presence of bumper stickers on that driver's vehicle. To quote a Washington Post story on the study:
Unlike any environment our evolutionary ancestors might have confronted, driving a car simultaneously places people in both private territory -- their cars -- and public territory -- the road. Drivers who personalize their cars with bumper stickers and other markers of private territory, the researchers argue, forget when they are on the road that they are in public territory because the immediate cues surrounding them tell them that they are in a deeply private space.
Well, I have 3 small stickers on one car, several larger ones on another, and I don't see myself as someone more prone to get angry behind the wheel than the next person. I am a more attentive driver, and perhaps that attentiveness translates into intolerance at times for those who are not.

My apologies for this unpleasant, albeit infrequent, lapse in civility. You can help by making sure that you are NOT the one who crawls at 15 MPH in the left lane of North Avenue without ANY shred of regard for other drivers who would LIKE to get to work on TIME....

Never mind. Have a great day!

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