What happened to manners behind the wheel? - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Ask Mikey

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What happened to manners behind the wheel?

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Posted: Thursday, August 23, 2012 9:49 am

Dear Mikey,

In traffic lately, I’ve noticed that no one uses their turn signals, nobody looks out for other drivers anymore, that people just merge, nobody thanks anyone for letting them in anymore either, and nobody seems to care. Aside from all of that, the aggressive drivers just fly through traffic just so they can get ahead an extra car lane. Whatever happened to common courtesy in the car when people are trying to merge into one lane? Now, people fight for a position and don’t care about one another. Yet, in a movie theater when two people are trying to go in the same door, normally one person will stop and let the other one go ahead. Why can’t people have the same courtesy on the road in their cars to one another as they do in person?

—Annoyed in the Foothills

Dear Annoyed in the Foothills,

You are absolutely right. It is common courtesy that people should give a quick wave to “thank” someone for letting them in their lane just like someone would thank someone else for holding the door open for them at a movie theater, restaurant, or even at the grocery store. Drivers should have the same courtesy behind the wheel as people do to each other face to face.

Drivers should use their turn signals to give the driver behind them enough time to react to what they are about to do. When we are all in the grocery store, and we see something on the shelf across the aisle where someone else is standing, we wouldn’t just step in front of them without saying “excuse me” would we? No. We would check each way in the aisle to make sure no one was about to come by with their cart, and say “excuse me” so the person knows that you’re trying to get something near them.

It’s called communication.

Communication is something that is required from each and every one of us whether we are at our place of work, in our homes, out in public, or even behind the wheel. It is important that we all communicate to each other so that we can help keep others and ourselves safe. If we are polite and courteous to others face to face, why can’t we apply that when we are behind the wheel?

Thank other drivers when they let you in their lane or merge, give other drivers plenty of notice when you are going to switch lanes, don’t follow too closely to the driver in front of you, don’t speed to where you scare other drivers around you, drive safely, and remember that there are real people behind the wheel of each car on the road. Human beings and not just cars ... human beings who have loved ones to go home to at night just like you do, and that we all have somewhere important to be. So why don’t we all work together, communicate better, and keep one another safe while on the road?

You bring up a great issue of having manners while driving and to communicate better, which is something we all could work on to improve with one another.

Ahwatukee Foothills resident Michelle “Mikey” Arana is a 2003 graduate of Mountain Pointe High School. She offers free peer advice, however, Mikey is not licensed or trained, just a fellow friend to the community. All inquiries made to Mikey will remain anonymous unless legal issues occur. She can be reached at www.myaskmikey.com or myaskmikey@yahoo.com.

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