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  • Suzanne Rightley

Behind the Wheel

For some outraged drivers, sitting in the driver’s seat, affords them the freedom to yell and criticize other drivers and pedestrians.

Why is that?

Most of these same angry motorists, would never vent in someone’s face, but within the confines of their vehicles, they become the all-knowing ‘superior drivers’ when they compare themselves to other motorists.

Their driving skills are exceptional (after all).

FYI: This blog is not likely to sway such drivers because… they already know their behaviour is unbecoming but the venting time is something they need (crave maybe) in efforts to derive a sense of control.

Surely there are other reasons, but the point of this blog is not to psychoanalyze, but rather to look at this from another vantage point… let’s say from the eyes of a five-year-old child.


Consider the following example…

A mom standing at a busy intersection holding her young son’s hand.

The boy has his backpack proudly secured over his slim shoulders wearing a grin from ear to ear.

He’s excited about going to school.

It’s a busy area with city buses coming and going in all directions because, beside a local elementary school, this is a popular bus stop for university and college students as well. Plus, there are commuters on their way to work, shopping, etc.

As the boy and his mom wait to cross the busy street, a bus pulls up to take on ten to fifteen passengers. One of the would be passengers is an elderly man with a cane. He’s slow. Very slow...and many people are huffing about the delay but they keep silent.

Just another day in a busy life. The mom barely notices while the child seamlessly absorbs what he witnesses.

Here's where it gets interesting...

A motorist pulls up behind the aforementioned bus and is halted, forced to come to a standstill. The other lanes are moving along at a snail's pace, bumper to bumper. No quick lane change for the now temporarily 'parked' motorist.

The honking starts.

Yep... the driver is officially 'ticked' at the city bus. The hand goes down heavy on the horn.

From an objective bystander's point of view it would go something like... "Hey, what do you expect the bus driver to do? Push a non-existent hydraulic button to raise the bus so you, 'the important and impatient motorist', can drive smoothly/safely under the bus?"

Ridiculous... sure. But isn't honking at a city bus, who nature of the job, at a standstill to allow commuters to board, just as ridiculous?

Aside from the obvious futility of the motorist's outrage, at a city bus driver, is the mother's indifference. She does not bend down to her child's eye level and explain that the behaviour is not acceptable. What her son is seeing is a lack of patience, consideration, and etc.

For her, this is simply another 'expected' behaviour and therefore she gives it little thought...if any.

Meanwhile, her 5 year-old son, seamlessly absorbs what he witnesses. He assimilates the scene as 'normal' behaviour.

As motorists - we can do better.

As parents - we can take a moment to explain.

Otherwise, in a few short years, this same 5 year-old will become another nameless driver who indulges in the freedom to vent at other 'idiots' on the road.

Let's face it... his driving skills are exceptional (after all).

Thanks for the visit

Suzanne Rightley is the author of several children's fictional stories. Visit her author page here or website @


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