Want to know a secret? I almost failed my driving test when I was 16. I didn't yield to the oncoming traffic when I was coming up in a turning lane that had to merge into the other. For some reason, the administrator let me pass and get my license anyway, but I never forgot that lesson.
Do you know what this sign means?
I am about to step on some toes and make some eyes roll with the way my thoughts have been going lately. Ready?
I think in America, this isn't a word we appreciate. After all, it means giving someone else the right of way, letting another car or person go before us, humbling ourselves and remembering that we are not the most important driver out there.
And, there are a lot of instances where we are supposed to yield (notice, I said "supposed to" instead of "do"). If we're merging with oncoming traffic, coming off a ramp or a perpendicular road, we're supposed to let them go first. If we come to a cross walk and someone is already walking, we're supposed to stop (even if they didn't look first). If the light is yellow and we know it's going to turn red before we get all the way through the intersection, we're supposed to stop (anyone grimace at that one?). It's hard, isn't it? There are so many people who decide yellow means speed up instead of stop. I've almost gotten rear-ended because someone behind me thought we could make it and I didn't.
So many are impatient when driving. Would it really kill you to have to wait two more minutes before you go on down the road?
I think, maybe, I'm noticing things like this more since I have kids in the back of my minivan. After all, when you cross the solid double line to rush up to the turn lane that is three car-lengths ahead, even though solid lines aren't supposed to be crossed, you're not only putting yourself in danger of getting hit by oncoming traffic, you're putting the cars waiting for their turn in danger, too. If you get hit, at least one of them probably will, as well. And a lot of times, I am one of those cars at a crazy dangerous intersection a lot of drivers choose to ignore the rules at around here.
Also, it's not just yourself you're putting in danger when you risk speeding up to make the yellow light. You're also making others wait for you as their light turns green, but the intersection isn't cleared yet because you were too impatient.
Do you see what I'm saying? A lot of times when we choose to not yield, we're making others yield to us. What makes us better than them? What makes our time more important? Is it worth it?
Next time you're having to make a decision of whether or not to yield, please think about it. Because I might be the mom in the minivan next to you, hoping you make a decision that will not only keep you safe, but keep my children safe, too.
What about you? Do you find it hard to yield? Do you have other issues you deal with when driving? How does it filter into the rest of your life?
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This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.