Writing a driver behaviour manifesto

Whilst writing a previous blog – Our driving stories: Reality versus make believe, I re-looked at the driving manifesto I wrote in November 2015 soon after I did my first Driver Assess driver behaviour profiler. I wrote my driving manifesto once I had become aware of and paid attention to my high(er) risk driving behaviours. The manifesto was written to remind me of the driving story I wanted to change and the driving story I wished to write.

Even though my driving manifesto is on the wall in front of my desk, I had not ‘seen’ it for months. Reading it immediately after I wrote the previous blog made me realise that personal change is not easy or a once off action. This is my driving manifesto and although I am way, way better in some of the six points, I still need to consciously work on all of them.

I am a little embarrassed about the above average functional driver bit!

My driving manifesto – November 2015

I am an above average functional driver who has anger or resentment issues with other drivers. These emotions and feelings cause me to act in ways that increase the risk of me having an accident and make me less courteous and more hazardous to other road users and my passengers.

I intend to practice one of the following points each time I drive a vehicle and re-measure myself with Driver Assess driving behaviour profiler in six months.

1. Each time I call a driver names or think bad thoughts about a driver or their ability, I will ask myself why I think that and what impact my thought or verbal abuse is having on them. Thought & action

2. When I am forced to brake behind another vehicle by another driver, I will not get angry or frustrated. I will slow down; allow him to pass, indicate and over take. Emotion

3. When traffic impedes my progress I will not become hostile to other road users as I am aware that they are not the cause of the congestion and they are probably as frustrated as I am. I will remain polite and calm. Emotion

4. hen I see other drivers break the law i.e. travel in emergency lane during traffic jams, I will not get angry or feel disrespected. I will acknowledge they are breaking the law and breathe. Thought & action

5. I will not get hooked by another driver who ‘insults’ me. I will avoid eye contact with him, I will avoid getting angry and I will not engage in tit for tat behaviour. Emotion & actions

6. I will change the meaning I give to other drivers who flash their lights at me wanting to overtake. I will not become angry. I will pull into another lane when it is safe to do so. Emotion & action

Changing the six items above will make me a better functional driver and a safer, more courteous driver and human being.

I’ve made strides in all six of my change points. I’m comfortable with the progress I have made in points 1, 3, 4 & 5. 80 – 90% of the time I respond appropriately and courteously and most importantly, consciously. I have reduced my average freeway traveling speed from the 120 – 140 kph range to the 100 – 110 kph range.

The points where I still need to make conscious change are points 1 & 6, as the earlier blog makes clear.

I have re-done the Driver Assess driver behaviour profiler twice since I wrote the manifesto and I am a much lower risk driver, particularly when I am driving consciously. If I allow my sub-conscious to drive, if I drive on auto-pilot, then the old non-serving feelings and behaviours arise.

Take ownership of your current driving story, complete a Driver Assess driver behaviour profiler and choose to write your new driving story.

Emotions drive people, people drive cars.

Reference and credit:

Photo credits –  Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Canadian traffic sign – Photographer unknown – apologies

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