When you think of driving, kindness is not one of the words that might come to mind. Who hasn’t felt a little irritation when stuck in traffic or felt the urge to show a less-than-kind gesture when cut off by another driver? But hitting the road does not need to be synonomous with frustration and anger. Before putting your keys in the ignition, consider the following tips to help make the roads more driver-friendly and help inspire kindness in other drivers:
- Allow yourself plenty of time to get to your destination. The more rushed you are, the less tolerant you will be of other drivers. By allowing yourself extra time to reach your destination, the less likely you’ll engage in unkind behaviors such as tailgating or honking your horn.
- Use your turn signals. It is a simple courtesy that is not used often enough. Alerting others of your intentions not only helps prevent accidents, but is a kind gesture towards other drivers.
- Allow other cars to merge into traffic. Let’s face it. We are all trying to get somewhere. By allowing space for another driver to pull in front of you, that driver may be inspired to do the same for someone else, allowing traffic to flow more smoothly.
- Don’t take driving offenses personally. There will always be inconsiderate drivers on the road. The person who just rode your bumper or cut in front of you may be the nicest person you’ll meet when off the road. You don’t know what the other driver’s situation is — maybe he just got devastating news or she is rushing to care for a sick child. Just let it go and don’t respond to others’ less-than-kind actions.
- Smile at other drivers. You’ll catch others off guard if you return their frowns with a genuine smile. This simple facial expression can brighten even the grumpiest drivers’ day.