Ethical Driving: You Don't Own the Road

Last weekend, I saw a mattress flip out of the open bed of a moving pick-up truck. During the past week, my husband watched a driver tie up two lanes of traffic because she decided to turn left from the right lane. Yesterday, a jeep nearly hit me head on coming around a blind curve on the wrong side of the road. It's clear to me that too many drivers have the same problem: they forget that they share the roadways with other people.

What is it about being in a car that make people feel like they are alone? They sing with abandon, eat fast food, curse at other drivers, pick their noses and make phone calls. Unfortunately, they often do these things while they're driving--instead of paying attention to the road. They assume the other cars will stay out of their way while they play around with the radio or text message a friend.

And even when some drivers have nothing to distract them, they still manage to drive as if the cars around them are on auto-pilot instead of being driven by other people who have an equal right to use the roadways. Yet they go home, complaining about every other driver, and never bother to consider that they may be part of the problem.

There's more to ethical driving than following the rules of the road. (Although, that is a good place to start.) What ethical driving really comes down to is remembering three things:
1. There are other people in each and every car around you.
2. Those other people care just as much about getting to their destinations as you care about reaching your own.
3. Other drivers cannot read your mind or magically anticipate your movements.
To be an ethical driver, you have to do the right thing, even when it slows you down or takes you out of your way. If you get in the right turning lane and then realize that you meant to turn left, don't hold up everyone behind you while you wait for a break to make the turn from the wrong lane. Just make the right turn and look for a place to legally turn around.

As with other ethical situations, the Golden Rule applies to driving habits. It's an easy moral code that fits everyone regardless of faith or non-belief. If everyone simply treated other drivers with the same courtesy they would like to be shown themselves, the roadways would be less stressful and a lot safer than they are today.


  1. Ethical driving denotes the human capability to be mindful of other drivers around him.

  2. Ethical driving really makes a difference for people on the road as well as you and the passengers. It prevents accidents from happening.

  3. here is an exerpt from my book, "Own The Road, a Refresher Course in Offensive Driving"
    In 1956, Pope Pius XII said, "Do not forget to respect other road users, be courteous and fair with other drivers and pedestrians and show them your obliging nature. Pride yourselves in being able to master an often natural
    impatience, in sometimes sacrificing a little of your sense of honour so that the courteousness that is a sign of true charity may prevail. Not only will you thus be able to avoid unpleasant accidents, but you will also help to make the car a more useful tool for yourselves and others that is capable of giving you a more genuine pleasure"
    Are you kidding me? I'm American! I am too important in my self absorbed life to worry about other's feelings or safety. They need to know that I am the alpha driver here!
    every day, there i am, behind someone "ethcly" driving, (HONK HONK) Move it Lady! I need to get to the coffee stand!

  4. This is true indeed. It is important for the driver to be ethical in driving. This will prevent accidents that may cause serious injuries. It's fine if it's minor injury, what if it's death? That's unacceptable right?

  5. Some drivers really think that they own the road. This is one of the reasons why road accidents increase. It is important for the drivers to show some respect from other motorists to prevent accidents that may cause injuries.

  6. Taking traffic rules for granted can definitely cause severe damages and injuries to the victims. A victim of any crime that causes personal injury can file a complaint against the suspect. It is important to contact your lawyer as soon as possible to take necessary actions immediately.

  7. I definitely agree with this comment above me. Double check and always make sure to drive safely while on the road. Keep your eyes on the road and not on other things.

  8. This is the main problem of most car accidents that happen everyday. People think that they are the king of the road behind their wheels, which unfortunately leads to tragic accidents. These people need to be more responsible. Not only will they protect themselves from harm, but other people around them as well.

  9. A lot of car accidents happen because people think that they are the king of the road. Road accidents can be easily avoided if drivers would have more discipline behind the wheels. This will not just protect them, but other people as well.

  10. I am very glad to learn alot from you this meaningful knowledge. From an article describing your unique way , we can see that you are an approachable , humorous person