Welcome to Alternative Ideas...

Providing a platform for new and different voices...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Imperial Armor

I find it very interesting to drive in the United States as opposed to Europe.  In driving in Europe it is as if the drivers are courteous and respective, while in the US, drivers mirror the competitive nature that I have discussed throughout the rest of this blog.  In Europe, no one seems threatened if you wish to pass them, no one seems concerned if you are driving faster than them, or above the speed limit itself (which is much higher in Europe).  If you come up on a car from behind in Europe people simply move over to the right lane.  If they don't see you there is no problem with simply flashing your lights and then they move over.  This is not taken as an affront or as being rude, simply because they are not concerned with a car traveling faster than them, and they know that slower moving traffic should keep right.

In the US however, cars will simply stay in the left lane – thinking as if they owned that physical space.  Flashing of the lights seems to be generally taken offensively and as an aggressive gesture.  And as a faster car moves into the right hand lane in an attempt to pass, it is wholly common for the slower vehicle to speed up.  Is this a conscious move?  Is it a competitive gesture?  A 'teaching moment'?  Why would they suddenly speed up?  If the faster car does manage to pass, the other drivers may flash dirty looks, as if the driver of the faster car is the culprit.  Is there a problem with being passed?  Is it a race every time we step on a road?

There is generally no need to weave in and out of traffic in Europe – people simply and courteously move out of the way.  There is not an air of 'if I am in this lane, it is MY space.”  The general principle is that someone traveling faster than you should be allowed to travel that fast if they wish and it is not your position to hinder them.  But in America, road travel is an extension of an aggressive society.  People get into cars and suddenly feel the power of the metal armor and the air of invincibility it provides.  Pedestrians, cyclists, other motorist: they are all enemy's, not to be respected, and generally to be treated with disdain.  Aggression and competition are a disease.  They pervade all levels of social systems, and in America they are a rampant epidemic.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep all comments and queries cooperative, constructive, and supportive in nature... Attacking, biting, or non-constructive comments will be removed. We want to build upon ideas, not tear them down...