#5 Be Bigger than Texas

Last week we talked about looking ahead as far as you can, constantly scanning and being prepared to react. Today it's about choices in reacting to certain situations.

My Grandma once told me about a tombstone that read something along the lines of:

"Dying to prove they were in the right and we were in the wrong.”

Apparently former F1 champion Nigel Mansell's Granddad told him a similar thing:

"My grandfather always told me that it is no good lying on a hospital bed saying, 'I had the right of way'" Nigel Mansell

It reminds me of drivers who openly admit that they would speed up and close the gap on an overtaking car, if they felt that the driver was doing something wrong.

* They're cutting things a bit fine
* They're speeding
* They apparently didn't see them
* They've misjudged an approaching cars' speed / distance

Instead of slowing and/or moving to the left (NZ/Australia) to let that driver in, they would close the gap and make things more difficult, to prove a point!

Have you noticed how quick people can be to say sorry behind a trolley in the supermarket aisle?! Unfortunately, this quirk seems to evaporate on the open road. Maybe because we can only guess what other drivers are thinking or feeling. In fact, it's easy to attribute emotions and attitudes to the car itself, forgetting altogether that there are humans inside.

Humans who make mistakes, just like we do.

* Empathy aside – being right isn't going to protect anyone if things go pear shaped (and things can go so wrong so quickly).

* As wise grandparents tell us, forcing a situation to prove you're in the right doesn’t mean you won't end up in the same place as the person who isn't!

* Getting angry or trying to teach another driver a lesson only increases the risk to everyone else on the road, including yourself.

Wouldn’t it be better to think "woah, that person just made a mistake” or "yikes, they got that wrong”, stay calm and give them a bit of space? To be the bigger cowboy or gal and cut them some slack?

Buckle up, buttercups, and be bigger than Texas! :-)