“Keep Calm and Drive On”

Keep Calm and Drive On

     While heading to the Fort Lauderdale airport at the end of a relaxing vacation, the taxi driver worked hard to contain his need to swear.  “People here in South Florida are the worst drivers in the world,” this Middle Eastern immigrant stated.

     Yes, the drivers in South Florida are bad.  Perhaps it is because many of them are retired New York City natives who haven’t practiced driving for decades.  They are now forced to drive if they want to maintain their independence.  Between drivers shifting rapidly from lane to lane, going through a red light seconds after it changed, and driving while openly texting, I was on high alert the first two days in a rental car.

     Just this morning, a patient reported witnessing an angry, ugly confrontation on Mt. Lebanon Boulevard between two drivers.  More than any other activity, driving has become a reflector of our country’s consciousness – and it isn’t good.

     Many of the activities I see in South Florida drivers also exist right here in Western Pennsylvania.  Without the nearby beach to calm nerves, the drivers here seem even more hostile.

     A powerful shift you can make to improve your lifestyle is to use driving as a reflector of your own health.  Are you constantly in a hurry – rushing here and there – even to the point of running red lights?  Flipped anybody “the bird” lately due to impatience while driving?  Are you more aware of others on the road or less due to distractions in your life, including the need to text while behind the wheel?  It’s all a work in progress.

     As you become more flexible in your thinking, more aware of others, better focused and certainly more relaxed while driving, you are the big winner no matter how poorly others behave while they are driving.