Heaven on Wheels
Principles of Christian Driving Psychology
Driving Psychology out of the New Testament
1: Highway Babylon
2: The Kings HighwayWhere we are going
Principles of Christian Driving Psychology
Driving Psychology out of the New
Traffic rage, road rage, aggressive driving
-- Highway Babylon --
is a spiritual crisis
of our generation. Christians need to sanctify their driving. The
Lord cares about how we treat our highway neighbor.
We need to understand
how driving is
related to the Gospels.
A Driver's Conversations with an Angel of
Illustrating the principles of Christian
driving as viewed from the mind of one driver who undergoes sanctification. In 3 Parts.
Sunday School Activities for Building
Christian Road Morality
Lifelong driver education starts in
childhood when we establish our basic road attitudes. New Testament lessons are used as
group activities to teach road morality as a religious duty.
Facts & Stats About Driving
Knowledge about driving statistics helps you
to think prudently and wisely about driving psychology, driving safety, public policy,
driving legislation, and personal self-assessment. It also helps you instruct younger
driving informatics here.
Prayers Behind the Wheel
Giving expression to our feelings of charity
for the neighbor and love unto the Lord. Inspiring us to remember in a living way that our
driving is consecrated to the Lord.
Activities in Cars for
Children Against Traffic Rage
Youth Against Traffic Rage
of Driving Events ||
Quality Driving Circles
Meditation and Discussion Topics on
The Lord stands at our inner door knocking,
waiting for a response from us. We need to set our house in order: Is our driving style
compatible with Christian ethics? See the
Nine Zones of your driving
About the Author
Driving Psychology out of the New Testament
1: Highway Babylon
The Low Road and the High Road
Definition of Aggressive Driving
The Symptoms of Traffic Rage
Road Rage Around the Nation
Traffic Rage in Europe
Road Rage: A Culturally Acquired Habit
Road Rage Video Games
Driving on TV: Do We Need DBB Ratings
(Drivers Behaving Badly)?
Activity: How to Neutralize Media Portrayals of Drivers Behaving Badly
Emotional Intelligence for
DriversAnalysis of Driving Choices
Three-Step AWM Program for Christian
Facts & Stats About Driving
Driving Education Activities With Children
Driving Self-Witnessing Form for Children
Driving Log or Tape
Conversation with an Angel of the Lord: Part 1
2: The Kings HighwayWhere we are going
The Need to Recognize and Accommodate to the
Diversity of Drivers
Trigger Theory of Anger: Convenient Fiction
The Components of
Aggressive Driving: Test Yourself Tool Kit
Three Methods for Dealing with Aggressive
Quality Driving Circles
Inner Power Tools for the Smart Christian
Use positive self-regulatory sentences
Acquire a supportive driving philosophy
Act as-if-good when you feel like being bad
cooperative ideals for driving and for
Practice self-witnessing for objective
Regularly consider the effect of your
driving on others
Come out swinging positive when getting into
trouble with another driver or road user
Shrink your emotional territory
Activities in Cars
Behind the Wheel
Sing to the Lord
Meditation and Discussion Topics
Affirmations for Drivers
Facts & Stats About Driving
Drivers Conversation with an Angel of the Lord: Part 2
3: Principles of Christian Driving Psychology
and Religion Combine
Psychology of Traffic Rage
Types of Driving Styles: Oppositional,
Analysis: Why Did You Do That?
Drivers' Self-Serving Bias
Driver's Double Standard
-- It's a Lady Driver
Modifying Your Driving Scripts
Pressure Tactics in Traffic
Stuck on Yellow
Lane Hopping Illusions
Freedom to be Decent
Your Moral Driving IQ
Exercise: What's your Moral Driving IQ?
Be a Traffic Witness
Activities for Driving Self-improvement
Tailgating Behavior: Fair or Unfair?
of the Highway
Personality and Behavior
Christian Driving Psychology
The Phenomenon of Traffic and the Aggressive
Gender Stereotypes in Driving
Ten Commandments and Driving
What Are the Sins of a Driver?
What Are the Charitable Acts of a Driver?
Self-Assessment as a Driver: The Christian
Nine Zones of Your Driving Personality
Zone 1--Affective Safety: Fixing Your
Zone 2--Cognitive Safety: Your Knowledge of
Zone 3 -- Sensorimotor Safety: Your
Alertness and Mistakes
Zone 4 Affective Self-control Issues:
Being Rude and Opportunistic or Not
Zone 5 -- Cognitive Self-control and
Zone 6 -- Sensorimotor Self-control or
Predictability and Calmness
Zone 7 -- Affective Responsibility: Egotism
or Altruism in Your Character
Zone 8 -- Cognitive Responsibility: Your
DramatizationsNegative or Positive
Zone 9 Sensory-motor Responsibility:
Your Driving StyleDislocated or Integrated
1. The Good Samaritan on the Highway: the
2. The Good Samaritan on the Highway: the
3. Group Discussions on Driving
4. Mini-Sermon or Lesson on Driving
Facts & Stats About Driving
Meditation and Discussion Topics
The Ten Commandments and Driving
Conversation With an Angel of the Lord: Part 3
Driving Psychology out of the New Testament
By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down,
yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion (Psalms 137:1).
As we stand poised on the threshold of the
third millennium of our Lord's era, a new spiritual plague has come to besiege the earth:
It is known by various phrases:
traffic rage, driving rage,
driving, driving under the influence, reckless driving, urgent driving, and so on.
These forms of
whether chemically or psychologically induced, kill thousands of people every year on a
global scale. In the United States during any year, about 177 million drivers crash into
each other 6 million times killing over 40,000 people and seriously injuring over a
quarter of million men, women and children. Similar figures apply for the year before, and
the year before, and before for several decades. And it will be the same next year, and
the year after that, and the year after that--unless we gather
the spiritual energy to overcome this social plague.
Polls around the country indicate that
people are scared of the highway. The daily commute home for hundreds of millions of
people around the globe has become a risky, scary, unmerciful daily stress they must
endure. Some people feel its a hell hole. Others feel that its a miracle
theyve escaped this time. Millions pray before they engage the highway. Who are
these drivers who are so hostile that they have turned driving into such a mean activity?
Who are these risk-loving drivers who are so dangerous that they kill more people than
wars kill our soldiers? The majority of them are Christians.
The fact is that in our society as a whole,
made up of essential minorities as it is, Christians still outnumber non-Christians by
far. And so we must look to Christians for a solution to traffic
rage and aggressive driving. It is mostly Christians who kill each other in the
Unites States at the rate of 40,000 every year, and it is mostly Christian drivers who
injure each other 6 million times a year. This is far more than the Christians who kill or
injure each other in most other countries, including Northern Ireland, Bosnia, or Spain,
Lebanon, or other places were wars are going on.
Of course, the motive for these highway
killings is not at all the same as that of civil wars and terrorism, and this makes a huge
difference. True. Still, experts estimate that the majority of these highway injuries and
killings could be avoided if the drivers became
less aggressive and more supportive of one
another. In other words, these are Christians who unnecessarily kill and maim each other
solely because they continue to drive aggressively or poorly due to impatience,
selfishness, intolerance, and hatred.
So now the question of
the hour for every Christian driver today is, Do I care? Yes, No. Do I care if I
frighten the other driver by tailgating or lane hopping or going through red traffic
lights? Yes, No. Do I care if I break the law of the land and the law of civilized
humanity by drinking and then driving in an impaired state? Yes, No. Do I care if I feel
no compassion for other drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians? Yes, No. Is
my Christian-ness itself at stake in how I drive? Yes, No.
But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed,
came where he was: and when he saw him, he was moved with compassion (Luke 10:33).
Enter ye in by the narrow gate: for wide is
the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to
destruction, and many are they that enter in thereby. For narrow is the gate, and
way, that leadeth unto life, and few are they that find it. (Matthew 7: 13-14)
The straight and narrow path for Christian
drivers is the way of compassion, patience, tolerance, forgiveness, long suffering, ready
to be the Good Samaritan through
random acts of
kindness to other road users, always striving for driver excellence and lifelong
self-improvement for the sake of country and Heaven.
America is poised on the second century of
car society and we Christians, being the vast majority of drivers in this country, must
carry the burden of healing the nation from the spiritual plague of aggressive driving.
Already our house stands divided, some of us calling for more law enforcement, more
surveillance cameras, more radar and vascars and speed traps and special
initiatives by local police and citizen activists. Others
donít like this trend and see it as a threat not only to privacy and
convenience, but to fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the
constitution. And still others have offered psychotherapy and anger
management clinics. These are reviewed in my
But these are all secular solutions while
Christians need a Biblical solution since the root of the problem lies in the
drivers character and will, hence heart and spirit. Our thesis is that traffic rage,
or aggressive driving, is a spiritual syndrome and since its happening to
Christians, a Christian Bible-based doctrinal approach must be
formulated as a permanent solution to this global problem. This book is meant to be
a handbook of Christian Driving Psychology. Christian drivers and their families will now
have an authoritative and scientific doctrine for traffic behavior, fully grounded in and
inspired by the New Testament.
Its especially of concern to all of us
that we Christians are now breeding the next generation of
aggressive drivers and traffic ragers. Our children are not just passive
passengers, but are actively
imbibing our driving
style, our attitude of hostility and callousness, our cursing and swearing, and the
indignities with which we treat one another in cars and on roads. No sooner do teenagers
get that license at 15 or 16 and sit behind the wheel, on their own, that they spew out
all that they have imbibed as children. All Christians would want to stop this negative
and awful generational transmission. We dont want to continue doing this to our
And He called to him a little
child, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say
unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall
in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. Whosoever therefore
shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the
greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoso shall receive one
such little child in My name receiveth Me: But whoso shall cause
one of these little ones that believe on Me to stumble, it is
profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about
his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.
(Matthew 18: 2-6)
Until now no book or doctrine has existed to
give Christians the intellectual and scientific power to alter this unhealthy feature of
car society. With this book, we hope to provide the impetus for Christians everywhere to
take up the helmet of faith and the breastplate of charity, and thus prepared in the Lord,
to step forth into spiritual combat in our vehicles on our highways, and to battle on to
defeat the enemy that has gotten a foothold in the heart of Christians--hostility and
hatred towards other road users, disrespect for legitimate authority, and disdain for
official safety regulations. These behaviors and attitudes behind
the wheel violate the Lords commandments that we should love and forgive one
another, and that we should respect legitimate state authority.
This evil epidemic requires Divine
intervention and power to stop. And the Lord has given us this Divine power through the
New Testament. Therefore in this book, as a solution to traffic rage, we turn first to the
sacred New Testament, and second, to the science of psychology.
Jesus therefore said unto them again,
Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep. All that came before Me are
thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; by Me if any man
enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and go out, and shall find pasture.
(John 10: 7-9)
driving psychology doctrine as a personal management tool for behavior self-modification
as a driver. There is no legitimate reason for Christians to be deprived of
behavioral psychology principles when these principles are consistently related to what
the Lord teaches us in the New Testament. As Christians and as psychologists and social
scientists, we are blessed by the Lord with the intellectual tools to fashion a Christian
Driving Psychology that is behavioral and objective, and benefiting from the latest
contemporary scientific findings. We have more than forty years of experience in
scientific and scholarly investigations. We feel obligated by our Christian-ness and
rationality, thus integrity, not to keep our scientific expertise apart from our spiritual
doctrine. In this book, we unite our faith and our scientific expertise, even as we are
striving to do this in our daily lives, praying to the Lord for strength and capacity.
There are nearly one billion Christians
alive on this earth today. Though they belong to various denominations, differing in
cultural styles and doctrinal concepts, there is one basic and inmost idea that unites
them all into a single community of saints. All Christians
acknowledge the Bible as the Word of God because Jesus Christ did so when He walked on
this earth. All Christians acknowledge that the Word of God was given through
revelation for the purpose of teaching us how to live in order to be able to dwell in the
presence of the Lord. The Lord Himself taught that the essential of the Word is contained
in the Commandments and that these teach how we must live in order to dwell with Him and
All things therefore whatsoever ye would
that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them: for this is the law and the
prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these
least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of
heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of
heaven. (Matthew 5:19)
Teacher, which is the great commandment in
the law? And He said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and
with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a
second like unto it is this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two
commandments the whole law hangeth, and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 36-40)
And a certain ruler asked Him, saying, Good
Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And Jesus said unto him, Why callest
thou Me good? none is good, save one, even God. Thou knowest the commandments, Do not
commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor thy father
and mother. (Luke 18: 18-20)
All the commandments can be summarized in
the Lord's Two Great Commandments (Mark 12: 39-41). We must love the Lord and we must love
the neighbor. If we fail to perform these two commandments, we fail the Lord, and we fail
our faith, our charity, our salvation. In this book, we apply the essential truth of the
Lord's commandments to our thoughts and actions in traffic. There is no time
out in the eyes of the Lord. His presence is constant. It is our own response to Him
that is inadequate when we fail to hate what He hates: and that is, the spirit of the
anti-Christ buried in the heart of Christian drivers and causing the highway carnage every
day and every hour of the day.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if
any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and
he with Me. (Revelation 3:20)
In these chapters, you
will find a Christian Bible-based applied theology of driving. The Christian needs
a powerful and truthful sacred rhetoric by which to oppose the cultural practices of
aggressive driving and emotional violence. The moral rearmament of Christian drivers needs
a doctrinal basis that they can understand and agree with, and also grow by. In the New
Testament, the Lord has given us the psychological rhetoric that we need to be able to
oppose the social evils within ourselves that destroy the spiritual life of society and
corrupts the soul of all its citizens.
He answered and said, And who is He, Lord,
that I may believe on Him? Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen Him, and He it is that
speaketh with thee. And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him. (John 9:
This book provides Christians with the
spiritual power tools that the Lord has given us in the New Testament. Using only the
Lord's direct teachings, we show how they apply to our thoughts and intentions behind the
wheel. Years of experience with research and teaching has given us the knowledge of
analyzing the thoughts and feelings that drivers
have in traffic, and how these internal activities connect with the Lord's
Through study of
driving psychology principles, and
through various activities while driving, we show readers how our acts and intentions as
drivers can be continuously purified from anger and pride using the Word of God to
transform ourselves. The Christian quest for road peace will
transform the killing roads into a Kings Highway.
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the
beauty of the Chaldeans' pride, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.
The social crisis of road rage actually
provides Christians with a great spiritual opportunity to Christianize the
highway by imbuing our minds with Christian driving rules from the New Testament. Our
entire nation will become stronger and more united in all walks of life, not just on the
highway. We can be spiritual models in the world even as we are economic and industrial
leaders that benefit all the countries. By becoming Christian in our driving, we are
growing stronger as Americans and we are strengthening the bonds that tie us to our
Constitution. In short, we are protecting the family and our children from spiritual as
well as physical breakdown.
No man, when he hath lighted a lamp, putteth
it in a cellar, neither under the bushel, but on the stand, that they which enter in may
see the light. (Luke 11:33)
I am the good shepherd; and I know mine own,
and mine own know me. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
10:28and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, and no one shall
snatch them out of my hand. (John 10:14; 27-28)
Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and
beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, meekness, longsuffering;
forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any;
even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love,
which is the bond of perfectness. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which also ye were called in one body; and be ye thankful. Let the word of Christ
dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and
hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts unto God. And
whatsoever ye do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks
to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3: 12-17)
Christians have a unique contribution to
make to our driving problem in this country, and indeed around the globe. We can lead the
transformation of Highway Babylon into The Kings Highway. People
around the globe will say, Americas Christians are true to their religion as drivers
because they turn the other cheek when struck, as commanded them by their Messiah.
People will say, "The drivers in America, who are mostly Christians, are the only
drivers in the world who are not aggressive and competitive. They are
supportive drivers, sharing opportunities to get
ahead and caring for one another. No one is left behind intentionally, if by some relapse
someone gets shafted, insulted, or denigrated by someone else, the latter immediately
regrets it, feels guilt and shame, repents and asks the Lord for forgiveness, and quickly
makes up for it by being extra nice, extra careful and compassionate to others. O, how
altruistic! O, how wise and loving! O, let us follow the Christians, let us be supportive
drivers too. Our God will reward us for it."
Ye are the light of the world. A
city set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a lamp, and
put it under the bushel, but on the stand; and it shineth unto all
that are in the house. Even so let your light shine before men;
that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is
in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16)
Fellow Christians, do you enjoy that
futuristic projection of The Kings Highway, now coming to us in our hearts and
spirit and mind? This is a special historical moment for our religion, and for the
universe. Poised upon the third millennium of our Lords era and the second century
of car society, Christians are given to feel this psycho-biological and spiritual crossing
point in humanitys history and development. The Holy Spirit is active within us to
the extent of our willing cooperation in our sanctification process, thus in our spiritual
growth and character reformation, transformation, and regeneration.
The behavioral arena of driving is a special
and sacred opportunity offered to us by the Lord. We must
understand the nature of the psychological resistance we offer to our sanctification.
Christian driving psychology gives us this understanding because, first, it is a
collection of New Testament verses arranged in an order to create a Gospel
Driving Doctrine. This doctrine must be taken cognizance of and adopted as our
guiding principle to replace the current secular driving philosophy we have from highway
babylon. And second, Christian driving psychology gives us
scientifically engineered inner power tools to help us manage ourselves as drivers.
The outer natural self that actually does
most of the driving, must be brought into alignment and obedience with the spiritual inner
self. This inner self is where our rational capacities are. Here we can reason in
accordance with the Gospel Driving Doctrine we have fashioned for ourselves as a guide to Christian highway use. We can always interact with the
Holy Spirit directly through our conscience. Thus we are given the power to live our faith
as drivers and get away from the current lip service approach we have in highway babylon.
And by suffering ourselves to undergo this character transformation as drivers, we gain in
all ways imaginable, and beyond that. This affirmation merits elaborating further since it
is so hopeful and pleasant.
Yes, we need not be sad on account of
the cross we must bear in this radical
of our driving personality. At first, Satan wants to discourage us from even
attempting anything at all. Dear Christian, as you read this book, do you feel a sense of
distaste and even nausea at times, perhaps discouraged at the personal effort that lies
ahead? That is our temptation! Our outward natural self feels threatened by this book,
even unto death. Yes, it knows that when the Christian in you takes over as manager behind
the wheel, it is like Mr. Clean and the terror stricken germs. After all, we know that it
is not our own power that overcomes in temptation, for Jesus alone has the power to
overcome this world. And so, what power can the devil yield over us? None. Therefore we
are confident and sure that our character transformation as drivers can and will take
placeif we cooperate willingly in our sanctification by the Holy Spirit.
Everyone can see that if our cooperation
were not needed, the Lord would transform everyone in an instant from crazy driver to sane
driver. Would He not? He is pure love and pure mercy, and All Powerful. We must think of
Him as already doing all that He can, given the restrictions He has imposed on Himself,
namely, never to interfere with our spiritual choices. Why is this restriction so
important and above all other restrictions? Because without it we cannot be human, or
loving, or rational, or wise, hence we cannot be saints in eternity in the Lord in His
heaven. If the Lord in His Divine Omnipotence, would utter a Divine command by which all
drivers suddenly were rendered incapable of aggressive acts and thoughts, there would no
longer be any car crashes and all highway stress and danger would no longer exist. But
would those drivers be human? No. They would be robotic automatons activated by Gods
mind, not our own. We would not be capable of freely choosing to love God and consciously,
as-of-self, work out the details of our lives.
In that sorry world, the Lord would be
alone, weeping, because His children are all gone. No, the Lord cannot force us to love
Him, but must patiently wait until we agree to it from ourselves, as-if of ourselves, and
acknowledging that it is from Him alone. To accomplish this amazing interaction between
God and us, we must always believe that all the power comes from the Lord and none comes
from ourselves. Yet we must not wait as a stock for inspiration to act. It is our very own
personal and unique striving to act from the Lord that constitutes our eternal happiness,
joy, and blessedness. It is in this striving that our spiritual
life prospers and grows in sanctification. And without this striving, the Lord
is shut out and waits patiently, knocking until we open the door to Him, which means,
doing His commandments.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the
midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and
harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
Christian Driving Psychology gives the know
how for this necessary cooperation between us individually and the Lord. The Lord gives us
Christian Driving Psychology through our rational and scientific mind. The Lord wants us
to go out and conquer the world and profit from all that He has planted in this earthly
garden for our benefit. This includes all the orderly pleasures and fun of everyday life
that we have access to through culture, society, community, and family life. If the
principles and activities in this book seem too hard or not worth it, think again, friend.
Do not let the devil have the upper hand in your temptations. Think of all the benefits
you can experience.
As a Christian driver on The Kings
Highway you are cruising along in a restful mental state, alert and confident. You are
happy and grateful. You feel friendship and community towards the drivers around you. You
look on them with favor, pleasantly, because you are pleased to see them, to see them
progressing safely, and you wish them well. You feel free in your emotions. You are not
subject to the awful law of talons, eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth, insult for an
insult, retaliation for attack. You are Christian, through and through, outside and
inside. Like Peter, you finally suffered yourself to allow the Lord of the universe to
wash your feet. You have bathed all over by suffering yourself to do the work of
transformation from aggressive to tame driver. That was your morality for the sake of your
spirituality and religion. You are a sanctified driver.
And the King shall answer and say
unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it unto one
of these My brethren, even these least, ye did it unto Me. Then
shall He say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from Me, ye
cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and
his angels. Then shall He answer them, saying, Verily I say unto
you, Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of these least, ye did it
not unto Me. And these shall go away into eternal punishment: but
the righteous into eternal life. (Matthew 25: 40-41, 45-46)
Turn back, O man, forswear thy foolish ways.
Christ for the world we sing! The world to Christ we bring, with one accord; With us the
work to share, With us reproach to dare, With us the cross to bear, For Christ our Lord.
from Chapter 1
As social scientists interested in the
driver-car-road ecosystem, we have studied the thoughts and feelings of drivers for many
years, not just our own, but those of hundreds of drivers, Christian drivers, and
non-Christian. For instance, in our Internet
Road Rage Survey on the Web, 94% of
American and Canadian drivers admit they engage in aggressive driving behaviors such as
driving over the speed limit, going through a red light, ignoring stop signs, changing
lanes without signaling, preventing another driver from entering your lane, yelling and
making obscene gestures. The majority of drivers admit to swearing, cussing, cursing,
insulting, and enjoying fantasies of violence, punishment, retaliation, or torture. About
one in four drivers admit to hostile and aggressive acts such as cutting off to retaliate,
tailgating dangerously, braking suddenly to punish a tailgater, revving the engine, or
chasing another car and threatening physical violence. We know that at least 80% of the
national sample includes Christians of all denominations. It is clear therefore, that the
majority of Christians are aggressive in their driving at times, and some people, nearly
all the time.
During the holidays a friend of mine was
taken victim to an incident of road rage and was killed in the process. He was parking in
a space when a group of males in another car decided they didn't want to wait around for
their own car space so they decided to impinge on my friends space. When the group
realized that he was not going to let them just have the spot they decided to take the
issue way too far. They got out of their car, pulled my friend out of his car bashed him
until he was unconscious and then put him in their car. After this the group drove off,
proceeded to a speed of 120 kms and then threw my friend from the car onto the road. My
friend hit his head on the road, smashing it open and later died.
I have never realized the true extent of
what happens in road rage. Naively I assumed that road rage was abuse being yelled between
cars, people getting followed, getting the finger, and having the occasional fight. But
the fact that people are getting murdered over things like a parking spot is unbelievable
and terribly horrific.
Looking up road rage on the net has shown me
that some people seem to take the approach that road rage is a light hearted matter. That
pulling over and abusing people is okay sometimes, that hitting or bashing someone because
of their conflicting ability to drive to their own is in someway acceptable. These people
really should stop taking this matter as amusing or minor. This is a very serious matter.
People are getting killed for the sake of parking their car, for driving 5 kms under the
speed limit when youre in a hurry, and for making a mistake on their way to wherever
they are going.
A frightened traveler
This is Highway Babylon. The
Christians disregard of Christs Commandments. Friends, we have discovered
within ourselves a cultural conspiracy kept alive by the spirit of anti-Christ. We have
imbibed this anti-Christian philosophy of driving through our socialization process. Just
look around you and youll see how we are currently training our children to grow up
to become the next wave of Highway Babylon. Look at our own history, yours and ours. As
infants we sat and rode in our parents cars, witnessing their impatience and hostile
attitude towards other drivers.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that
heareth my word, and believeth him that sent me, hath eternal life, and cometh not into
judgment, but hath passed out of death into life. (John 5:24)
Growing up as Christians children, we are
not allowed to swear and were punished with disapproval and a reprimand whenever we forgot
the rules. But no sooner did we enter our parents cars, the rules seemed to change,
to be turned upside down. Christ-loyalty suddenly turned into
Babylon compulsion. The traffic Dragon suddenly roared its ugly mean head
and took over our head, even as our Christian spirit sank into our seat. No longer
compassion, but retaliation. No longer forgiveness, but condemnation and the desire to
punish. No longer the spirit of communion, but the spirit of
envious competition, intolerance, hatred and vengeance.
Hello, my name is Jane. I have found
myself to be very concerned in the manner in which I drive every minute, every day now. My
brother, Robert of Champaign, IL was involved with road rage on July 3, 1997, during
morning rush hour. He was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 5
years in prison. He had caused an incident on the highway that morning that resulted in
the death of a 40-year old woman. She panicked when my brother slammed his brakes on in
front of her, causing her to lose control of her vehicle and cross the grass median. She
was ejected from her vehicle (not wearing seatbelt, nonetheless) and killed.
I know that people feel rage every day on
the roads, and it scares me to death. I fear for my children and family, as people drive
on our roads with no respect for their fellow man, let alone for themselves. I know that
what my brother did was wrong. It sure has taught me an important lesson. I wish that the
police, state patrol, etc., would start to toughen up on people that are inconsiderate
when driving. I wanted to let you know how I was feeling. Thank you.
For years we sat in our parents cars and
imbibed the adulterous philosophy of aggressive driving. No sooner that society gives us
the privilege to drive, no sooner that we lower our prideful selves into the car seat and
grab the wheel with both hands, licensed at last, we turn into one of those dragons that
make the life of highway babylon. We become the very image of the Beast as we model our
driving style according to what we witness dozens of times every day on TVdrivers
behaving badly, and glorifying in it.
Every one therefore that heareth these words
of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the
rock And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened
unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand (Matthew 7:24, 26)
Licensed to kill. Every year between 40,000
and 50,000 Christian drivers kill each other on highway babylon in the U.S. We crash into
each other 6 million times a year and then we spend 200 billion dollars to pay for the
yearly monetary consequences. Of course, the pain and suffering, and the anguish and
unhappiness, are not included in these figures. Obviously, with 60 million crashes every
ten years, considering only the effect upon the immediate family, more than 200 million
Americans are negatively affected in a direct way by highway babylon. Thats the
un-Godly situation that we are addressing in this book.
We have a Christian answer to traffic rage
and highway intemperance and madness.
And shall come forth; they that have done
good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection
of damnation. (John 5:29)
And it starts with the center of our faith.
Fellow Christians, we have had to start with this Bible-based principle: to examine
ourselves in traffic through the objective lenses of self-witnessing behind the wheel. We
had to look at our thoughts, at our feelings, and our overt actionsas reflections of
our personality and character. We had to accept the idea that driving
is made up of a sequence of operations we perform mentally, physically, and spiritually.
For instance, the average daily commute for
the majority of Americans is 28 minutes (sure feels like its more, does'ntt
it?). During this short half-hour, twice a day, five times a week, we engage in several
hundred mini-encounters every week, and thousands of mini-exchanges with other drivers
every year. We started with a basic and simple question: how many of these mini-exchanges
are loving and how many are hateful?
We started carrying a tape recorder in the
car and made ourselves speak our thoughts out loud as we were driving. Its an
awkward thing to do and we experienced resistance and discouragement, embarrassment and
rebellion. Yet by praying to the Lord and asking for strength to continue, we accumulated
such tapes from hundreds of drivers. We each analyzed our own tapes, as well as listened
to the tapes of others, and read their analyses.
The proof was obvious and conclusive. With few exceptions, all drivers participate in the destructive
spirit of highway babylon. Its a cultural phenomenon, and a direct
and dangerous attack on our Christian future as a society. At this very moment, we are
training the next generation of highway babylon, as we drive them around in traffic,
cursing and swearing at other drivers, and breaking and violating the laws of the land,
ignoring human rights and the spirit of dignity enjoined upon us by our blessed
Jesus said unto her, I Am the Resurrection,
and the Life: he that believeth on Me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever
liveth and believeth on Me shall never die. Believest thou this? She saith unto Him, Yea,
Lord: I have believed that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God, even He that cometh into
the world. (John 11: 25-27)
Activity: How to Neutralize Media Portrayals of Drivers Behaving Badly
Jehovah shall cover thee under His wings.
Keep me as the apple of the eye, hide me
under the shadow of Thy wings. (Psalms. 17:8).
How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings. (Psalms.
Unto you shall be healing in His wings.
As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, That
fluttereth over her young, He spread abroad His wings, He took them, He bare them on His
pinions. Jehovah alone did lead Him, And there was no foreign god with Him. (Deuteronomy.
Jesus said, O Jerusalem, how often would I
have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings.
(Matthew. 23:37; Luke 13:34).
1. Discuss this project with your entire
family and enlist everybodys help. Explain that the purpose is to create a list of
television shows that portray scenes of drivers behaving badlymovies,
sit-coms, cartoons, commercials, videotapes. If you like, you can also include electronic
games as well as books and magazines.
2. You need to write down the following
specific information about each episode you witness:
- name of program
- type of program (e.g., car commercial, other
commercial, cartoon for young kids, scene in a movie or serial, etc.).
- a specific description of the bad driving
6. Have a family group discussion and talk
about each observation in terms of how it might influence the driving attitude, style, and
morality of the children and drivers who are exposed to such scenes over and over again
for several years.
7. Parents and older children can discuss
how these media portrayals of drivers behaving badly could have influenced their own
8. Discuss how you can improve this activity
and share it with other families. One activity that goes a little further is to develop a
rating scale that would give you an overall score for each show. Here is an example:
- Prominence throughout the course of the
program, how much importance and emphasis the scene had.
- How realistic was the scene, is it something
that could be easily reproduced by people who watched it.
- Danger involved, did the sequence pose a
threat to the driver or other vehicles, drivers or pedestrians.
The rating for each category goes from 1
(very mild form) to 10 (very intense form). You can assign a weighting scheme that you
deem appropriate. One way is to give a maximum number of points to each category:
- Prominence 0-3
- Realistic nature 0-3
- Danger Involved 0-4
- Total possible10
Here is an example in which this DBB rating
scheme was used:
Program: The Mighty Ducks
Time: 7:30 am
Channel: 5 - KFVE
Description of Events
The Mighty Ducks are driving in their All-Terrain Vehicle down a street when they
encountered a nemesis who is looking to cause some trouble. The program itself was half
and hour and this scene took up approximately a minute and forty seconds. In the list of
behaviors, car A will be the Mighty Ducks (the good guys) and car B will be the nemesis.
- Car A travels down the middle of the road
instead of staying in the proper lane.
- The bad guy in car B approaches car A head on
in the middle of the road and begins firing a gun that is attached to the roof of his car.
- Car A pulls a U-turn in the middle of the
road, goes into "assault mode" and begins returning fire to car B.
- Car A and B sideswipe each other, but both
- Car B shoots car A with a laser and sends it
flying into a building where debris begins to fall on it.
- One of the passengers from car A jumps onto
car B and drops in a grenade that causes it to explode in the middle of the road.
Analysis and Evaluation
Absolutely no concern is expressed for other
drivers or pedestrians that may be in the surrounding area by either the good guys or the
The depiction of scenes where the cars
sideswipe each other is very poorly representative of actual car accidents where damage to
cars and possible injury to passengers often occurs.
When car A collides with the building and
the debris begins to fall on the vehicle, everyone is able to jump out of the car without
any injury. This is highly unrealistic and a poor model for how people actually experience
real life accidents.
Realistic Nature: 1
Danger Involved: 3
Total score 6
A new commandment I give unto you, that ye
love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall
all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.. (John 13: 34-35)
Over the past half century of television
society, psychologists and educators have come to understand how violence portrayed on TV
influences children and adults. The mechanism of transfer is imitation when identifying
with the role model. When the conditions give people an opportunity, they are tempted to
imitate what they have seen performed by a role model. A common belief has that we have
nothing to fear from TV because we all know that it portrays fantasy and drama rather than
reality. This belief does not take into account the mechanism of role modeling which goes
on with or without the conscious awareness of the individual.
All observant parents can see this effect in
their children. Children are copy cats. Children are influenced by what they see. Observe
some commercials yourself: even adults have a difficult time telling exactly which part is
real and which is fake. When you see driving scenes, it is often difficult to tell whether
the actor is actually driving or whether the car is being towed. Nor is it easy to tell
when a scene has been edited, cut, or tampered in any way, so that the timing and the
sequence appear real but actually are not. Thus, our standard of whats real has been
influenced or confused by our inability to tell on TV whats real and whats
In one scene we witnessed today (Goodburger),
a lunch wagon truck was racing through town causing all sorts of crashes. The driver and
his companion were both teenagers and they showed no care or remorse for the havoc they
were causing. Instead, they were gleeful. A delivery truck was behind them, trying to keep
up and investigate. The two teenagers driving the lunch wagon truck started throwing food
and drinks out of the car so that it all seemed to splatter on the pursuing truck's
windshield. Along with throwing, the teenagers were laughing and partying and wanting to
increase their mayhem. The delivery truck now had its windshield totally covered with
food, yet it kept driving.
Look at the childrens faces who are
watching these scenes, and look at the adults faces. What do you see? Smiles,
cheers, amusement, excitement. Not concern, not shock, not dismay, not disapproval. Its naÔve to see this powerful psychological involvement and
then expect no influence. Both children and adults imbibe these scenes and the
fun and excitement they experience stamps it into their affective mind, where it lurks
near the heart, weakening the spirit. Conscience is weakened. Resolve to be good is
weakened. Reality parameters are made fusize="3y. Standards are overstepped and made acceptable
in some ways. Additional discussion on DBB ratings
may be found here.
A Driver's Conversation with an Angel of the
Lord: Part 1
So shall it be in the end of the world: the
angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the righteous, and shall cast
them into the furnace of fire: there shall be the weeping and the gnashing of teeth.
(Matthew 13: 49-50)
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with
what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be
measured unto you. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but
considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother,
Let me cast out the mote out of thine eye; and lo, the beam is in thine own eye? Thou
hypocrite, cast out first the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly
to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. (Matthew 7: 1-5).
I was considering these points and wondering
whether I was a Christian driver or not. I was feeling very annoyed at the traffic. This
red light is so long for some strange reason. Maybe it's the pedestrians. I felt my teeth
gritting against each other. Suddenly an Angel of the Lord was
sitting on the passenger seat and I was frozen with surprise and awe. My mouth
was open and I could not speak. He spoke with a musical tone in perfect American English.
"Cactus Tree, you better get moving.
The people behind you are getting very anxious."
Then I heard the honking and I realized I
had been hearing the honking for quite some time. My automatic self sprang into motion and
drove the car for me. I let it take over. My conscious mind was busize="3ing with too many
threads for me to disentangle any one of them. I knew he was an Angel of the Lord. I knew
internally. It was an amazing experience. I just saw it in my mind's eye, or in spiritual
light. And I hear myself say to him:
"Why did you call me Cactus Tree?"
"Because that's what I see when I look
at you. In the spiritual world people appear to each other according to their inner nature
or character, and when I approached you I saw you as a cactus tree, a desert plant
surrounded by sand, rocks, scorpions, and heat without moisture, yet inside of you I could
see moisture, water, sweetness, and playfulness, like jelly when it is shaken."
I was astounded, hardly knowing what to do
with these analogies. I put aside so I can think about it later. Right now I wanted to
know what this supernatural visit meant. Why me? Why now? The Angel of the Lord seemed to
know my questions and proceeded to answer me.
"I was taking my daily walk in my
garden adjacent to my house in which I live with my beloved wife, and lo, I saw you down
below, in your car and I wished that I could come to you and comfort you. As soon as I
begged the Lord to grant me the wish, I found myself sitting in your car next to
I did not answer. I was busy thinking to
myself. That's it? Could it be that simple? This is not some historical earth-shattering
event in which I was chosen to play a central role. No. This is just some angel somewhere
in the universe who happened to see me in his meditations and was granted the wish to be
here. What kind of an angel story is that? Besides aren't things supposed to be angelic
when angels appear? How come I'm still in a lousy mood. How come this stupid traffic is
getting slower instead of faster? How come this idiot ahead of me is not closing the gap?
How come it has to rain so it slows things down even more, especially these Sunday drivers
who don't know their skids from their lids...Ha, ha, ha.
"I see that you use the expression
'Sunday drivers.' When you thought of the word Sunday my mind was filled with brilliant
light on account of the fact that Sunday is the Lord's Day, and when we think of the Lord,
light fills us from our core outward. But it also saddens me to see that you use that
sacred word to belittle and denigrate the drivers that your will does not favor. On
account of that discrimination in your will, your spirit is filled with a dark cloud that
absorbs the light of Heaven, and your mind is shut to rationality and truth. It is then
filled with irrationality and falsities."
While the Angel of the Lord was speaking to
me I was able to see the truth of what he was saying. I saw it in clear light, from
within. My mind's inner eye received the light to see it. But when he stopped talking I
seemed to return to the exact point I was before--feeling lousy and mean and wanting to do
something dangerous. Damn, damn, I thought to myself, I'm going to miss my exit ramp. I
forced my way into the right lane. The driver behind me had to brake sharply to avoid
hitting me. I was gritting my teeth, trying not to say out loud what I actually felt on
account of the Angel. I looked over to side again, astonished. The Angel had vanished!
I felt remorseful, ashamed. How could I
swear right in front of the Angel of the Lord! I asked forgiveness and the suddenly the
angel was back.
Selections from Chapter 2
Trigger Theory of Anger: Convenient Fiction
A University of Michigan study found that
women tend to choose distraction to cope with anger, while men choose rumination and
distraction equally. Evidence indicates that dwelling on anger increases its intensity,
while distraction reduces it. Experts now believe that anger is as much of a risk for
heart disease, in both sexes, as cholesterol, smoking, or high blood pressure.
Aggressiveness is a response to the feeling of loss of power. The aggressor actually feels
like the victim, feels justified in retaliating, and uses physical and verbal retaliation
as a means to restore the self-pride or dignity that was 'robbed' by the other person's
'stupid' or 'inconsiderate' behavior. However, this is a short-term physiological relief,
while in the long run, the opposite is in fact the case. The aggressor's conscience
inwardly convicts, and the aggressor feels guilt, remorse, or 'out of control.'
Many people believe in the trigger-theory of
anger which sees traffic ragers as maladjusted individuals who need therapy to help them
manage their intense anti-social emotions. For this reason, anger management therapies and
stress control programs have been around for decades for those who can afford
psychotherapy. However, applying this psychotherapeutic approach to drivers in general
will have limited success because traffic rage is a generic, cultural problem and not an
individual mental problem.
The problem is not so much the presence of
anger itself, but uninhibited aggressiveness. Our cultural norms permit the expression of
hostility among drivers. This became clear when we analyzed the self-witnessing reports of
many drivers. They felt justified in their traffic rage. They were proud of their
aggressiveness. There was hardly any recognition of unfairness or consciousness of wrong
doing. For example, in a general poll, less than 1 in 4 individuals believed that
tailgating is a moral issue!
The fuel that drives aggressiveness on the
road is the false assumption that it's the action of the other driver that makes us
hostile, that triggers our aggressive response. But the offending act does not
automatically trigger the aggressive response, it merely creates an opportunity for an
attack in order to express righteous indignation.
If other drivers were the trigger, you'd
have no choice but to be aggressive every time something goes wrong. Yet this isn't what
happens. Drivers only retaliate sometimes, not every time. Some drivers never retaliate
overtly, though they want to. For Christians, 'wanting to retaliate' is a spiritual
temptation that hurts us when we stop disapproving of it. Merely having the feeling of
anger and the desire to retaliate is not itself a sin of which we're guilty because it is
our inherited nature as creatures of earth, as well as our acquired nature by growing up
in this society. The guilt or spiritual damage to ourselves starts when we choose to
approve of it.
To approve of our desire to retaliate is
spiritually corrupting and puts dark clouds between ourselves and the Lord who stands at
our door, waiting for us to reject our aggressiveness and desire to retaliate. The Lord's
nature is meek and our harshness keeps meekness out.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit
the earth. (Matthew 5:5)
Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for
I Am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy
King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.
And when he had taken the book, the four
beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them
harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of saints. (Revelation 5:8)
And every creature which is in heaven, and
on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them,
heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon
the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. (Revelation 5:13)
The harshness and heartlessness of
retaliation is the old law that was necessary for savage hearts, the very mentality that
Christ came to reject and overcome:
I Am the Resurrection and the Life he that
believeth in Me, though he die, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in
Me shall never die (John 11:25, 26).
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:
So also will My heavenly Father do unto you,
if ye from the heart forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (Matthew 18:35).
The recognition that we are responsible for
our aggressive reactions is both spiritual and secular. In 1997 safety officials and
government and citizen activists, have officially switched from the word
"accident" to "crash." The rest of the population is still catching up
to this new word usage. But it's not merely a name switch-it's a totally new confession.
By using "crash" instead of "accident" we are now making an about turn
in society. "Accident" was used throughout the first century of car society, but
"crash" begins the second century, and the third millennium. By using it you're
making the affirmation that when a motor vehicle causes damage or injury, the driver is to
be presumed guilty. The presumed guilty driver will then have to prove that in this
specific instance, there is no guilt, if indeed there is not. With "accident"
one is presumed innocent; with "crash" one is presumed guilty--either one of the
drivers, or both.
of Aggressive Driving: Test Yourself Tool Kit
Here is one of the test-yourself inventories
we use for drivers who want to change their driving style. By reading the items and how
they are organized and scored, you can identify the specific elements that constitute your
own aggressive driving. The following 20 items are arranged along a continuum of
escalating degrees of hostility experienced by drivers, beginning with relatively milder
forms of aggressiveness (step 1) and going all the way to ultimate violence (step 20). How
far down the un-Christian road do you sometimes allow yourself to go behind the wheel? The
majority of drivers we tested go as far as step 13. How about you?
1. Mentally condemning other drivers.
2. Verbally denigrating other drivers to a
passenger in your vehicle.
3. Closing ranks to deny someone entering
your lane because you're frustrated or upset.
4. Giving another driver the "stink
eye" to show your disapproval.
5. Speeding past another car or revving the
engine as a sign of protest.
6. Preventing another driver from passing
because you're mad.
7. Tailgating to pressure a driver to go
faster or get out of the way.
8. Fantasizing physical violence against
9. Honking or yelling at someone through the
window to indicate displeasure.
10. Making a visible obscene gesture at
11. Using your car to retaliate by making
sudden, threatening maneuvers.
12. Pursuing another car in chase because of
a provocation or insult.
13. Getting out of the car and engaging in a
verbal dispute, on a street or parking lot.
14. Carrying a weapon in the car in case you
decide to use it in a driving incident.
15. Deliberately bumping or ramming another
car in anger.
16. Trying to run another car off the road
to punish the driver.
17. Getting out of the car and beating or
battering someone as a result of a road exchange.
18. Trying to run someone down whose actions
19. Shooting at another car.
20. Killing someone.
1 to 3
and verbal acts of unkindness towards other drivers.
4 to 7
communicating one's displeasure or resentment, with the desire to punish.
8 to 11
out an act of hostility, either in fantasy or deed.
Lesser Mayhem Zone:
12 to 16
road rage contained within one's personal limits.
Major Mayhem Zone:
17 to 20
epic road rage, the stuff of newspaper stories.
From a driver in an electronic
newsgroup discussion: I agree: people who drive too slowly in the fast lane cause danger
and frustration to others on the road, and probably should stick to the side roads if
possible. BUT, aggressive driving is just as bad if not worse, causing innocent people to
be hurt or killed. By aggressive, I'm not talking about driving fast. A lot of roads are
built to handle fast driving. I'm talking about people who take their frustrations out on
others while driving. Immature, heartless, brainless, dangerous people who think that when
someone cuts them off in traffic they have to get revenge, consequently endangering the
lives of everyone who happens to be driving near them.
I have lost people dear to me because of
people who think just like you. You probably think that there's this club of "slow
ass" drivers on the road just to make you mad. I have news for you--you're not that
special! I don't know if you're the kind of person who freaks out on the road, but if you
do I'd like to make my point very clear: As far as I'm concerned, aggressive driving is
like waving a loaded gun in a public place. People who do it should be prosecuted. They
are one step away from being murderers.
Whosoever therefore shall break one of these
least commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of
Heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, he shall be called great in the Kingdom of
Heaven. For I say unto you, that except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness
of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no wise enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
(Matthew 5: 19-20)
If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk
in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25)
It is a well known that the traditional
driver's ed. has remained inadequate as the means for teaching full competence and
knowledge of safety, and only satisfies the bare minimum for getting driver's licenses
into the hands of millions of young people. Even less attention is given to teaching
emotional intelligence skills. The result is that most drivers are ill-prepared to manage
their intense emotions behind the wheel. We propose that henceforth driver education
should be taught K-12 for
Intelligence Skills on the road:
- As pedestrians, how to behave towards drivers
- How to behave as passengers ∑
- How to deal with hostility expressed by
- How to deal with peer pressure in highway
- How to develop and sustain a positive driving
- How to be accepting of diversity and how to
accommodate to it ∑
- How to practice self-witnessing on roads and
in cars ∑
- How to participate in
Quality Driving Circles ∑
- How to use inner power techniques to manage
emotions in traffic ∑
- How to neutralize the media portrayals of
drivers behaving badly ∑
- How to resist bad influences from friends who
want to party in the car ∑
- How to be psychologically prepared for not
driving after drinking ∑
- Knowledge of driving psychology principles ∑
- How to be active in the movement called
Children Against Road Rage ∑
- Getting used to keeping a permanent Road User
Log or Diary
When driving in the right hand lane, I will often take note of the traffic behind me as I
approach a red light. If I find there is no turn lane at the light and the car behind me
has their turn signal on indicating they want to turn right, I will pull into the next
lane to my left (if I can do so safely) so the person in the right hand lane behind me can
make their turn at the light without having to wait for it to turn green (you can turn
right on a red light in Arizona).
I also tend to give up my "right of
way" to anyone who has the courtesy to use their turn signal. I believe bad driving
habits begin outside of the automobile. If we improve our relations with other humans (as
a whole in this culture) and consider other drivers on the road as people instead of as
automobiles, driving conditions will begin to improve. When someone smiles or waves at
you, you remember their humanity. When someone honks at you, you remember their license
number. You can quote me on that.
Behind the Wheel
But he that hateth his brother is in the
darkness, and walketh in the darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because the
darkness hath blinded his eyes. (1 John 2:11).
Lord, we are grateful that you are giving us
the understanding for how to be a compassionate and law abiding driver. Lord, we thank you
for the desire to act peacefully towards other drivers and road users. We pray that you
keep us from falling into temptations behind the wheel and we ask for strength to resist
our natural penchant for competing with other drivers and denying them the courtesy I owe
them and the dignity they are entitled to as God's children. Amen.
Lord, help me to see that tailgating is
wrong. Strengthen my resolve to keep my vehicle within legal and safe limits. Heal me,
Lord, of a led foot and an impatient heart. Let your angel watch over all road users, that
we may be protected from taking dangerous risks. Help us Lord to see our driving errors
and heal us from the sin of anger against our neighbor on the road. Amen.
Go forward Christian soldier The Lord has
been thy shelter The Lord will be thy light Trust only Christ thy captain Heed not the
treacherous voices that lure thy soul astray O pray that faith and virtue may keep thee to
the last. (Christian Hymn)
Lord, I want consciously to be the kind of
driver You want me to be so that Your love can be the foundation upon which I build my
traffic life. I can then be in harmony with the rest of the Highway Kingdom and my
decisions can be grounded in Divine Love and Wisdom, so that I may be confident that my
actions and thoughts and intentions will be loving and harmonious, supportive and
tolerant, collective and coordinated, predictable to others, a Good Samaritan, in
accordance with Your wishes, O Lord Jesus. Amen.
Above all, clothe yourselves with love,
which binds everything together in perfect harmony (Colossians 3:14).
Lord, when my thought focuses on You, I feel
loved, warm and secure. Let it be with me as it was with You, recorded in Psalm 63:1
"O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you." Thank you, Lord,
for the wisdom and love I have as a driver. Let your righteous judgments be my judgments
behind the wheel--swift and accurate, prudent and compassionate. Keep the demon of traffic
rage from tempting me to sin, for I know full well my former delights of rage and
retaliation, anger and unrighteous judgment, and all manners of driving
foolishness--tailgating, speeding, blocking the left lane, going through red lights,
ignoring stop signs, changing lanes without signaling, revving my engine, insulting,
wishing ill, feeling selfish, and worse than these. Lord Jesus Christ, You are my God, You
I seek, and my mind and spirit thirst for You, for Your love and wisdom, for your gentle
instruction, for your patience and encouragement, for your protection and promises. Amen.
Affirmations for Drivers
But the wisdom that is from above is first
pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without
variance, without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for
them that make peace. (James 3: 17-18)
But be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers
only, deluding your own selves. For if any one is a hearer of the Word and not a doer, he
is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a mirror: for he beholdeth himself, and
goeth away, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But he that looketh into
the perfect law, the law of liberty, and so continueth, being not a hearer that forgetteth
but a doer that worketh, this man shall be blessed in his doing. (James 1: 22-25)
- Every driver can become a transformed driver!
- A drivers character CAN change and
- You CAN become a Renewed Driver, a driver
- Driving CAN be beautiful!
- Every bad driving habit can be modified!
- The Lord participates in your
drivinglet it be a harmonious cooperation!
- The Lord appoints Angels to be with you while
- You can place yourself in the protective
stream of Divine Providence by consciously honoring drivers and traffic regulations!
- We make hundreds of little decisions while
driving, and every one of them counts spirituallyfor the Lord or against the Lord!
- Heaven is real. Hell is real. Eternity is
real. Its our choice, says the Lord!
- Highway babylon CAN be transformed into The
Kings Highway, and I am called upon to make a contribution as a driver!
- All drivers CAN be transformed from an
aggressive driver into a supportive driver!
- All Christian drivers experience aggressive
moments, and these are given them as a spiritual temptation to overcome for the sake of
purification, hence closer ties to the Lord!
- Christian drivers CAN switch from being a big
part of the problem to being a big part of the solution to highway babylon!
- We CAN pray to the Lord to save us from our
negative thinking behind the wheel and to fill us with His positive thoughts!
- Christian drivers who have experienced the
transformation, sense an inner joy braking forth all around them in trafficalready
they are in The Kings Highway!
- Christian drivers who have experienced the
transformation, sense an inner strength surging within them when sitting behind the wheel!
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, that killeth the
prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! how often would
I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her
wings, and ye would not!! (Matthew 23:37)
Except ye believe that I Am, ye shall die in
your sins. (John 8:24)
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and
my fortress: my God; in Him will I trust. He shall cover thee with His feathers, and under
His wings shalt thou trust: His truth shall be thy shield and buckler. (Psalms 91: 2, 4)
A Drivers Conversation with an
Angel of the Lord: Part 2
Now ye are clean through the word which I
have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of
itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine,
ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much
fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a
branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are
burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it
shall be done unto you. (John 15: 3-7)
I was troubled. There was distress in my
heart. I glanced over and saw his face again. I had not noticed before that he was an
extremely handsome young man. Hard to pinpoint the age, but Id say about 22. There
was a definite luminance to his skin and his expression was intelligent and relaxed. I
only took about three quarters of a second to look at him, then my head whipped back. His
image was still sharp in my memory as my eyes were searching the road ahead. Heavy rain
drops were beginning to appear on my windshield. I waited awhile before turning on the
wipers. When I did it was too soon and there still was'ntt enough water so my blades
were rubbing the glass and making that awful noise I hate.
So I turned it on for a three wipes, then I
turned it off. Then I turned it on again, but it stopped raining. I was disappointed. Now
I have nothing to fool with. I glanced over to the Angel of the Lord. He was just looking
ahead with a pleasant expression, as if he was admiring everything.
"May I ask you a personal question,
"Oh, you must never call me that!
Its true, Im an Angel of the Lord and the Lord fills me with His Spirit, which
is the source of the luminance of my face that you just witnessed, and the source of all
my wisdom. After all, Im a man like you, and I have lived in your world and city
once, when I was in my physical body. But sometime after I passed on, I was transmuted
with my loved one to the heavenly mansion the Lord had prepared for us, as He taught when
He was in the world.
In my Father's house are many mansions: if
it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. (John 14:2)
So now the Lord has sent me on this mission
to come to your aid and has opened your spiritual eyes so that you can converse with me.
That is why Im here. Dont try to make that yellow light!"
I instinctively took my foot of the gas
pedal and pressed the brake pedal. I had to really apply force to keep the car from
lunging into the intersection. The car had not yet completed its last dip when a van in
the cross street emerged from the left and sped through the intersection while it was
still yellow for me and red for him. He would have slammed right into me from the
drivers side. My heart was palpitating. I felt a little sick. My mind was screaming
obscenities and atrocities at that driver. I was breathing rapidly, my eyes were bulging,
and as I was screaming, I started sputtering saliva. I must have looked like a dragon to
the Angel. Finally, I could talk.
"Thanks for saving my life! That guy
was a maniac, a killer, a dangerous fool."
"You might want to balance your view a
bit. You share some of the responsibility for that near miss, dont you?"
I was taken aback. I havent considered
my contribution. That idiot sped right through red while I was trying to make yellow.
Which is worse? Obviously going through red is worse than going through yellow. In fact,
one is legal while the other is illegal. The Angel responded to my thoughts as if I had
spoken them aloud.
"Thats not the point, friend. The
dragon has taken hold of your good sense. Thats natural. But you can exit from his
hell hole of aggressiveness and cynicism. The Lord has given you the direction, the lamp,
and the way. You know it friend. Think of it."
Chapter 3: Principles of Christian Driving
and Religion Combine
O God of truth, whom science seeks And
revrent souls adore, Who lightest evry earnest mind Of evry clime and
shore, Dispel the gloom of errors night, Of ignorance and fear. (Christian song)
Come thy Holy Spirit, come! And from thy
celestial home, Shed a ray of light Divine. Where thou art not, man hath naught, Nothing
good in deed or thought. Bend the stubborn heart and will, Melt the frozen, warm the
chill; Guide the steps that go astray. (Christian song)
Christian Driving Psychology is based on the
idea that Christians are called upon by their religion to cooperate consciously in the
sanctification process they must undergo in order to transform their character from
natural to spiritual. Its the religious duty of every follower of Jesus Christ to
obey the commandments He gives in the eternal Word of the New Testament. The Lord teaches
that there is a heaven and a hell, and that He is bound by His infinite love for us to
allow all individuals to choose their spiritual destiny. The Lord has revealed the
psychological mechanism by which He sends the Holy Spirit into our mind and there effects
the operation of regeneration. The Lord has revealed many aspects of this developmental
process and we need to continue to study the New Testament so that the Lord can reveal
more fully the amazing things in it.
This book is our attempt to move in that
direction and gives the fruits of our labors for the past two decades. As active social
scientists, our approach is necessarily scientific, and we have diligently maintained the
scientific approach because we believe in the use of science for understanding ourselves
and how Divine Providence operates all details of our world and of our mind. Our thesis
can be put very simply as follows. Science is the investigation of reality using rational
and objective methods. God, creation, and Divine Providence have been part of science
since its beginnings, and have remained part of science during the 17th, 18th,
and 19th centuries, when modern science was established and the great
scientific technologies were made.
It was only in the 20the century that the
idea arose that God and the operation of Divine Providence should be excluded from
scientific explanations, and all those who refuse shall be booted out by the ruling
science mandarins. The culprits who insist on including spiritual reality as part of their
science, shall not be hired, shall not be given government grants, and shall not be
allowed to publish in the journals, and shall not serve on the administrative bodies of
science halls. The response on the part of scientists who are Christians has been to
exclude every Christian belief from their scientific publications and lectures. This
double personality has given strength to the anti-God science reigning today. Our
scientific careers have had to proceed in this censorship atmosphere so that we too became
guilty of contributing to the system. Thousands of students went through our social
science classes, and almost none of them got to find out that we believed that there is
room for God in science.
Today, with this book, we break steps with
our social science colleagues. They are used to a few scientists having a change of heart
and turning to religion, while abandoning science. This they can easily accept. What we
have done is different, and represents a great challenge to them. We have endeavored to
remain social scientists even as we have used the New Testament as a psychology and
biology handbook. Perhaps others that were not aware of, have also introduced
proposals for a similar re-direction of science. We believe that many such proposals will
be forthcoming as all of science returns to its historical and radical roots.
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe
in God, believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I
would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for
you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I Am, there ye may be
also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. (John 14: 1-4)
We believe that religions and denominations
will continue to mark the richly variegated spectrum of spiritual life on this planet.
Varieties of religions and denominations (but not cults!), may actually be legitimate
expressions of cultural or ethnic genius. The Lord has many mansions and many other
children than the Jews and the Christians, perhaps even many other planets! Its
rational to expect that the Lords infinite love and wisdom should want to create an
infinite variety of human intellect, all acknowledging Him in their own way. This variety,
though legitimate and pleasing to the Lord, necessarily creates distinctions and rituals
that appear to clash. Hence there will be separation and difference in the way people
worship the Lord. These differences do not create conflict unless charity and compassion
are thrown away for the sake of imposing our rituals over others who dont want them.
One very important force of cohesion that
pulls people of various religions together is science. We hire scientists without asking
them their religion. In the future, scientific theories and explanations will be
integrated into the Sacred Scriptures of every religion (but not cults!). For instance,
Christian Driving Psychology is integrated with the New Testament. Obviously, Islamic
Driving Psychology or Buddhist Driving Psychology will be scientific theories based on the
Koran or the writings considered by all Buddhists as Sacred. Since we believe that all
true religions are the Lords creations, and serve the Lord as their God, consciously
or unconsciously, the revelations the Lord has brought about in each religion are true
realities specifically tailored to suit the intellectual genius of that nation. And since
all true Sacred Writings deal with the same reality, the reality of God, they will have
similar scientific approaches. Eventually all sciences will converge on the one true
CHART that we present and explain in the following pages is part of Christian Driving
Psychology, and yet it is also part of driving psychology as a science of human behavior
focusing on driving and road behavior. It can be used in Islamic or Buddhist or Jewish or
Hindu Driving Psychologies since, since like medicine, it works with the natural body and
mind, which we share in common irrespective of our ethnic or racial births. The CHART is a
scientific map of your mind or spirit as it is engaged in driving or other road behavior.
Driving is made up of many little skills and habits following each other quickly as you
drive and respond to changing situations moment by moment. Your reactions to situations
and events are taken from a repertoire or inventory that is available to us through these
habits and skills. The totality of these habits and skills, both overt or physical, and
psychological or mental, make up your Driving Personality.
The skills and habits that make up our
driving personality come from our culture, our neighborhood, our mass media, and our
parents. Much of this is automatic and sub-conscious, having been learned in childhood, or
imbibing it through social peer identification. Christians who feel the urgency to
cooperate with the Holy Spirit in their own sanctification process, now have available to
them a living arena in which to do so, namely behind the wheel and on the road. Yes, we
ought to cooperate in all walks of life. But how to do so without leaving it as mere lip
service? Our answer is that we need to initiate our cooperation in our sanctification in
each area of science that gives us power to do so. Since our specialty as social
scientists has been driving and the automobile, we have been able to identify this arena
for Christian sanctification. Other arenas exist and will be developed by Christians in
Babylon is fallen; and all the graven images
of her gods He hath cast forth unto the ground (Isaiah 21:9).
Every pilot, and everyone who is employed
upon the seas, and mariners, and all they who trade upon the sea, stood afar off, when
they saw the smoke of the burning of Babylon, saying, Woe, woe, the great city, wherein
were made rich all that have ships in the sea by reason of her costlyness! Then an angel
took up a stone as it were a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with
violence shall Babylon be cast down (Revelation 18:17-21).
The healing of the highway is the healing of
the hearts of drivers who are joined together as a community of Christ. Aggressive driving
is hostile driving. It hurts the highway community. Drivers who drop their alertness
behind the wheel become a menace to all road users. They kill and maim anyone in reach,
especially if the impairment in alertness and judgment is due to alcohol in the blood.
Drivers who tailgate have hardened their hearts against the neighbor. There is no love in
our hearts when we insult another driver. There is judgmentcondemnation of the
offending driver as worthless and inhuman, thus not requiring our compassion or charity.
Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye
for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but
whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:
Revenge and retaliation is in our heart and
mind and spirit when we threaten another driver by an act of violence. We hear of gruesome
stories in the news about road rage mayhem between crazed drivers. Yet the Lord said that
its enough to approve of something mentally, or in your imagination, in order for it
to count as a sin (Matthew 5: 27-28).
Its natural to swear in traffic when
something unexpected and threatening happens between two drivers, and especially if the
drivers see each others actions as deliberate or uncaring. Its natural to
swear and curse in those situations. But its spiritually wrong. Cursing another
driver for any reason at all is not Christian, as the Lord reminds us:
Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth
a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man. (Matthew 15:11)
Whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in
danger of hell fire. (Matthew 5:22)
Therefore all things whatsoever ye would
that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
Peter said unto Jesus, Lord, how often shall
my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? Jesus saith to him, I say
not until seven times, but until seventy times seven (Matthew 18:21-22).
Cognitive scientists use the word script to
refer to the sub-components of a schema. For instance, when you enter a restaurant, you
know what to do because you have learned a "restaurant script" -- executing a
sequence of actions appropriate to the restaurant situation such as choosing a table,
ordering, waiting, eating, paying the bill, leaving. All day long we follow the scripts
that we acquire through habit and practice. This saves time and mental effort in having to
re-figure everything from scratch.
At some point, schemas and scripts become so
habitual and automatic that we are no longer aware of them. The script sub-consciously
guides our actions and expectations. At this point, our behavior can be held captive to rigid
scripts, preventing us from adapting and changing appropriately. Practicing the
self-witnessing technique loosens your scripts through greater awareness, and prepares
them for editing.
What I find interesting (regardless of
merit) is that there is a male style of driving and a female style. You can almost always
tell the sex of the driver by looking at the positioning, speed and signaling behavior of
the car rather than at the driver. Of course one distorting factor is that some makes of
cars (smaller ones) tend to be driven by women and some by men. In summary: Men:
aggressive driving, speeding, blind overtaking, impatience at junctions, tailgating.
Women: hesitation, obstruction, bad vehicle positioning at junctions, bad observation,
inadequate maneuvering skills, inadequate signaling.
Your scripts and schemas can be very
specific. You expect different things from various passengers, be they parents, children,
a spouse, friends, or the driver license inspector. We have a separate script for each of
these situations. Scripts that govern our driving behavior take into account the type of
road and the neighborhood. The script for driving with a police car behind you is
different from the "no cops around" script. Your driving schema in downtown
traffic, at a time when you feel like you're fighting your way through it, has a more
aggressive script in comparison to your neighborhood driving script.
-- It's a Lady Driver
I know I sound like a troll, but since this
newsgroup is based on driving then this question should be appropriate. I'm being serious
by the way. Who do you think are the most arrogant drivers? I've read articles in Car and
Driver, Road and Track, etc sent in complaining about BMW drivers. From my experiences,
I'd have to say that Honda, Toyota, Nissan drivers are the most arrogant. Especially the
ones that drive Accords and Camrys and Maximas. Pretty much the most expensive car drivers
tend to think they should own the road; and are the most arrogant. Read BMW &
Mercedes, for example (actually, the over-the-top ones like Rolls Royce are so rare I've
never noticed them!). The most aggressive are females under 25, and the most unobservant
are SUV drivers. (Posted on an electronic Newsgroup for drivers)
A schema or script can be the basis for
holding on to stereotypes and prejudices. Take for example person-schemas that are part of
our beliefs about other people. One motorist was irritated at a car that was moving slower
in his lane. When he got around the car and looked at the driver, he felt disdain:
"It's a lady driver. They can't drive. She obviously doesn't get my hint." His
person-schema for women drivers forces him to see every encounter in this biased
manner. He has practically no chance of discovering the truth and of seeing traffic events
in an objective manner.
Amazing how people will refuse to face the
facts that women are safer drivers and make up all sorts of 'excuses' as to why insurance
rates are cheaper for women. Insurance companies are not fools they know that women are a
better claims risk as far as they are concerned.
Which received this reply:
You don't need to make up the fact that
women drivers, even insured women drivers, drive less distance than men drivers. Whilst
young women drivers are better than their contemporary "boy racers," older males
(35-45) are twice as safe "mile for mile" than their female counterparts. They
do however drive about twice as many miles so premiums are normally the same.
We are all at the mercy of our un-witnessed
schemas! Prejudiced person-schemas can pile up unexamined with every encounter that is
made to fit the earlier category. You become victim to your own self-fulfilling prophecy.
In the last 2 years. I've been in 3
accidents, all caused by the kinder, gentler half of our species. #1: a young woman turned
left into my car from a straight-only lane. She lied to her insurance company, but I did
collect my deductible from her. #2: a middle-aged woman rear-ended me at a stop sign where
I had been stopped for about 10 seconds waiting for cross traffic to pass. She said she
didn't see me. #3: an elderly woman plowed into five cars in a parking lot, one of which
was mine. She said her foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator. I'd like to
accept the proposition that women drivers are no worse than men drivers, but my mind won't
let me suspend reality on that. People with road rage do things they don't have the stones
(or eggs) to do in person. They are contemptible. to do in person;
Every time this motorist encounters a woman
driver, he automatically, and sometimes subconsciously, repeats this script, reinforcing
the schema until it's ingrained. All objectivity is then lost. From then on, women drivers
who drive well are never noticed. They seem not to exist for this motorist because they
are not part of his schema. This is the mechanism by which all driving stereotypes are
transmitted and maintained:
- about men versus women drivers
- about particular ethnic groups with whom they
share the road
- about certain types of cars
- about the personality of their owners.
Only about 4% of aggressive driving
incidents involve women. But when women attack, they use their vehicle as a weapon about
70% of the time, one study determined. In Dayton, Ohio, a woman rear-ended a 59-year-old
retired carpenter at a traffic light. Both stopped, but when the man asked for her
driver's license, the woman sped away--she was late for a new job, she said. The man said
he didn't get out of the way fast enough, bounced onto the hood and was carried along
until he rolled off. Her story? A Dayton police detective said the woman told police she
drove away because the man appeared angry, and he jumped on her car. In southern
California where freeways are a way of life those taking the wheel face a daily barrage of
hostility. (From a news story.)
As children become adolescents, their sense
of morality generally grows into the second phase, called "conventional
morality." At this stage we become more conformist internally, not just externally.
We comply with regulations out of a sense of loyalty to the social order and we begin to
feel guilty if we hurt others or break their trust in us. Most of our witnesses show both
preconventional and conventional levels of morality in traffic. Some drivers might speed
at all times except when traffic police is in evidence. At the same time they feel ashamed
and uncomfortable when other drivers show irritation with some of their maneuvers. Observe
the conditions under which you feel these emotions in traffic:
shame, guilt, remorse, embarrassment,
regret, fear of injuring someone.
These are feelings which help us stay within
the internal bounds of conventional morality. These feelings protect us from overstepping
the bounds of decency. They need to be cultivated and encouraged.
Motorists have a constant homeostatic
balance to achieve in traffic. On the one hand, we feel impulsed to take care of Number
One in this highway war zone. On the other hand, we desire to avoid being a non-caring,
opportunistic, weevil with hardly any feelings for fellow human beings. Upon this balance
rests our sanity. If we allow our conventional moral feelings to weaken and wither in
traffic, we unleash madness on the highways. If we drive too timidly and without
self-confidence, we become a hazard and obstruction to others. A moral balance must be
reached between self-interest and community support.
When we mature fully as adults, starting
with the third decade of life, our moral development enters the third or
"postconventional" phase which, according to Kohlberg, represents the highest
stage that most people will attain for the rest of their lives. In the post-conventional
stage of moral development, motorists act out of a sense of inner principle --
responsibility and pride, rather than out of fear of punishment (stage 1) or out of
conformity and loyalty to others (stage 2).
In this advanced phase we are more
discriminating of the situation, and we tend to adjust our behavior to circumstances. For
instance, witnesses recognize that speeding is illegal and dangerous, and consciously
condemn it as bad practice. Yet they allow themselves to go above the law when they feel
that it's justified. One witness felt that it was all right for him to speed when there
was no traffic since he wasn't putting anyone in jeopardy. Similarly, it was permissible
to speed along with a convoy since he was just doing what everyone else was doing. Another
driver felt it was all right to tailgate motorists who were driving too slow in the fast
lane since they were "immorally" blocking the way of others.
Morally mature drivers rely on an
inner sense of self-worth as a human being. Conscience dictates behavior, not the fear of
punishment or the desire to dominate. Before we can experience altruism we need to feel
empathy for people's plight and sympathy for their suffering. Do you see another driver in
distress? Let it become a stimulus for your coming to the rescue. Soon your new attitude
becomes an automatic response shown as helpfulness and consideration for others.
Motorists who have nurtured a high moral
driving IQ are more stable, reliable, and free. They are less subject to pressure by
others and maintain their own style of driving in which they strongly believe. They value
positive exchanges but they are not swayed by loyalty or approval. Seeing others drive
badly, they are not tempted to do likewise but maintain their strong internal convictions.
Though they have the right of way, they may still allow another car to go first. They are
involved in the human side of the exchange more than in having to make that green light.
Moral drivers have learned to accept the fact that they need to take other people's
feelings into account. In addition, they are aware that their behavior can have a positive
or negative influence on others.
Since these three levels of driving morality
exist, we all need to do some honest self-witnessing in traffic to find out our own level.
For instance, is your driving persona the same or different when you drive alone or with a
passenger? You may be carrying on a secret frenzied lifestyle when driving alone, but you
tone yourself down to normal when you have passengers who can observe your reactions. This
inconsistency would show that your morality depends on external things such as fear of
disapproval, rather than on your own internal principles.
Test Yourself Exercise: What's your Moral Driving IQ?
We asked motorists to list the situations in
traffic that caused them to become aggressive drivers and inconsiderate of others. See how
many apply to you.
___ When there is heavy traffic in front of
me going in the same direction, I weave and try to get ahead.
___ When another car is trying to cross my
path or enter my lane, I close the gap to prevent it from entering.
___ When I'm late in getting to my
destination, I become less patient and tailgate slow moving motorists.
___ When someone cuts me off and then
proceeds to slow down, I feel like hitting that car from the back.
___ When a driver cuts in front of me
suddenly, especially without signaling first, I get very nasty thoughts about them.
___ When I'm showing off for friends, I take
too many risks.
___ When I'm listening to loud, fast music
on my stereo, I drive like I feel.
___ When I drive late at night, I become a
___ When I encounter road hugging
pedestrians, I feel like pushing them out of my way.
___ When other drivers become aggressive or
tailgate me, I slow down to punish them.
___ When I'm surrounded by other automobiles
and I get that closed in feeling, I feel like bolting out.
___ When I'm under stress due to work, I get
very angry at all the other drivers and take it out on them.
___ When I have problems on my mind and it's
hot and people cut in front of me, I want everybody else to get off the road.
___ When a passenger criticizes me, it puts
me in a bad mood and I retaliate verbally.
___ When there is an aggressive environment
around me and cocky motorists drive recklessly next to me, I get into an angry rebellious
___ When other drivers think that they are
the only ones on the road and act carelessly, I start hating them.
___ When cars next to me or behind me do
something stupid like signaling and then not turning, I call them bad names in my mind.
___ When others squeeze their cars in front
of me and I have to come to a screeching halt, I feel like crashing into them to teach
them a lesson.
___ When other people don't follow traffic
signals like failing to make a full stop, I lambaste them with terrible words.
___ When I'm in a rush to get somewhere,
upset, or frustrated and I feel that it's taking more time than I can afford, I then cut
in front of other cars and go through yellow lights.
Note that the things that aggravate us are
the very things that we all do. So we're doing it to each other.
of the Highway
But the unclean spirit, when he is gone out
of the man, passeth through waterless places, seeking rest, and findeth it not. Then he
saith, I will return into my house whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it
empty, swept, and garnished. Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits
more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man
becometh worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this evil generation.
The psychological cause of aggressiveness is
undercut and disappears as soon as we get rid of this orientation of coercion in traffic.
Aggressive driving and grossly violent thoughts aren't the result of being late in heavy
traffic. They're the result of our culture of power and coerciveness. The sanctification
of the highway and the Christianizing of driving will take place as soon as motorists are
willing to give up their current commitment to coercion. This self-transformation is
especially important to Christians who look to the Lord for inner counsel through the Holy
Spirit. The Lord says that we are in this world but not of this world:
I pray not that thou shouldest take them out
of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world,
even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. (John
Our attachment to the culture of power on
highway babylon is a foreign power we ought not to serve. We ought not to conduct
ourselves as if we espouse the attitude of babylon, but we ought to espouse the attitude
of Jerusalem, as exemplified by the Good Samaritan:
And Jesus answering said, A certain man went
down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment,
and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a
certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise
a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other
side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he
had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine,
and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the
morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto
him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay
thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the
And he said, He that showed mercy on him.
Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise ( Luke 10:30-37).
There are two approaches to handling this
threat. One is external and relies on surveillance of drivers, enforcement of laws, and
punishment of those who are convicted. This approach is necessary but not sufficient since
a small percentage of illegal acts are ever caught, and even fewer convicted. In his book License
to Kill, Weier proposes that licensing procedures include a "psychological
evaluation" to deny a driver's license to people who are likely to be dangerous on
the road. But this is not a workable solution because personality tests are not foolproof
methods for predicting people's performance in real life situations. Serious injustice
would be perpetrated by excluding thousands of drivers who were judged inadequate on the
personality "tests," yet would be no more dangerous on the road than those who
passed the tests, possibly less.
A more democratic and appropriate approach
would be continuing driver self-education to provide for the training of all
motorists after they have been licensed. The self-witnessing reports of traffic witnesses
clearly show that there's a need for continuous affective, emotional, and motivational
training of drivers throughout their careers as motorists. A driving personality make-over
is a matter of training the inner person. It must and should remain a
matter. The inner self cannot be coerced because it's spiritually free. We do have moral
choices. It's only our outer behavior that can be coerced by others. Inner behavior can
only be coerced by the self, and this is a matter of choice and freedom.
When we choose in freedom we always choose
what we love or what we desire. But we desire many things, both good and bad, and so we're
conflictual. Yet desires are affective components in the self and therefore are arranged
in a hierarchy of feelings and motives, some higher, some lower. When we respect and heed
our conscience, higher motives have power over lower motives. The reverse is the case when
we make it a habit to ignore and silence the voice of conscience. If you decide to become
a reformed driver because of higher motives, you will succeed in your
driving personality make-over.
As a driver, I want to be a better, more
civilized person, an upright citizen, a kinder human being.
Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the
midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Matthew 10:16)
Ten Commandments and Driving
Read the passage with the Ten Commandments
in Exodus Chapter 20. Ask a friend or family member why it was necessary for God to give
us the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai, since many countries in ancient times already had
such laws on the book: laws against stealing or adultery or bearing false witness. The
Code of Hammurabbi already existed for centuries by the time the Hebrews received the Ten
Commandments at Sinai. Was it just a duplication of what already existed?
After they give you their answers, suggest
to them this one: The reason Jehovah God came down on Sinai and gave Moses the Ten
Commandments on two tablets of stone inscribed by His Own Finger and Spirit, was to reveal
to the World that the these anti-social acts were not merely against human law but against
Divine Law. Until the Revelation of Sinai people took these laws to be human made laws.
But now God revealed to humankind that these laws against stealing and lying and cheating
and murdering were Divine Laws and that if we do them, we break not merely the law of the
land, but the Law of Heaven. And this means putting oneself outside of God's jurisdiction,
thus outside of God's Presence. This is to deny oneself the road to Salvation that God has
This applies equally to all daily behaviors
or situations where we deliberately break the laws of the land, that is, the road
regulations that we promise to follow when we apply for and receive a government issued
license to drive.
For we are his workmanship, created in
Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in
them (Ephesians 2:10).
Consider some of the typical driving
behaviors that drivers perform out of habit, without even thinking much about it.
Tailgating is common whenever a driver is going slower than what the norm is for that
situation. Christians ought to examine the morality of tailgating. The purpose of
tailgating is to coerce another driver to speed up or to get out of the way. Christians
need to focus on the idea of "coercing someone." When is a Christian allowed to
coerce, and when is it a sin against the Lord, and thus denies us His Presence with us,
therefore our very salvation.
And ye shall be hated of all men for my
name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
A Christian soldier in battle is allowed to
coerce the enemy by exerting whatever force is necessary to neutralize their ability to
harm us. A law enforcement officer is allowed to coerce a prisoner into submission, using
whatever force is necessary to accomplish the task. Parents are allowed to coerce their
under-aged children (there's some dispute as to the exact age), using whatever force is
required to keep them out of danger or harm, or to discipline them to respect legitimate
authority and regulations.
Now let's look at situations where
Christians would not be allowed to exert force without incurring the guilt of sin, that
is, without producing a spiritual separation between self and the Lord, and thus, entering
into a state of damnation, that is, becoming unable to be motivated by love and truth, but
only by hatred and fantasies.
And he that taketh not his cross, and
followeth after me, is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:38)
Come unto me, all ye that labor and are
heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am
meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and
my burden is light. (Matthew 11: 28-30)
A Christian is not allowed to coerce a
neighbor into submission by using physical threat or force. If your neighbor makes too
much noise at night when you're trying to sleep, it's natural to be annoyed, frustrated,
angry, even enraged, especially of it's recurrent and you get the feeling that it's not
going to stop. While in this natural state, your mind works to justify your
aggressiveness. You argue that you've tried to tell your neighbor about your plight, and
failing that, you told police on several occasions, but the noise starts all over again.
Your natural mind tells you that it's entirely unreasonable for this neighbor to practice
piano at 11 PM, and that it's your right to expect either decency or else, obedience to
the city's noise ordinance in residential zones.
So now, feeling justified and enraged, your
natural mind plots a scheme. You've already started legal proceedings, but in the meantime
there will be weeks, perhaps months of more midnight piano playing. So you take the law in
your own hands. You begin fantasizing about how you're going to pay him back. This is the
beginning of your personal Fall. The Lord warns us that carrying out the sinful act is not
the only way we put ourselves outside His Presence, and that merely thinking about it and
purposing the act in our mind is equally sinful, that is, equally effective in separating
ourselves from His protection, love, and wisdom. Prudent Christians guard themselves
against hostile thoughts of revenge, knowing that such thoughts are forbidden by the Lord
because they are evil, that is, destroy our spirit's capacity to receive love and wisdom
from the Lord.
Tailgating is an act of aggression against a
neighbor. Christians must examine their motive in tailgating and see if their
justification is legitimate, or whether it is illegitimate, therefore damning. Similarly
with other acts of rebellion against law and order: going through red lights, excessive or
compulsive speeding, aggressive driving acts such as denying entry, cutting off, weaving
dangerously, and blocking the passing lane.
He says " The Son of man shall send
forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend, and
them which commit lawlessness; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: There shall be
wailing and gnashing of teeth." (Matthew,13: 41-42)
1. The Good Samaritan on the Highway: the
I was in the right lane going at speed
limit, which is how I like to travel. A car in the left lane was also going at speed
limit. We were almost parallel, which makes me feel uncomfortable. The people behind in
the left lane must have been upset. There was a long line backed up. So I felt like I
shouldn't just ignore their plight. I broke my usual rule and sped up quickly. Those
drivers were sure relived that they could now pass that obstructing driver on the right
behind me. I could tell by the way they were zooming passed that car in a hurry, then
switching back into the left lane. I was happy for them. (From a Dear DrDriving Letter)
Let the children read the Good Samaritan
story passages (as in Luke 10:30-37). Each child who can read should take turns reading
one verse. After the reading, discuss the events, making sure to bring out these points:
(a) the fact that the event took place on a
(b) the dangers that lurked on roads
(c) the selfish attitude of the priests who
(d) the compassionate attitude of the Good
Let the children learn from this that using
public roads carry a Christian responsibility. The road is a place where our Christian
duties must be carried out in accordance with the Lord's desires. We must not attack and
rob other road users, or hinder their progress in any way. We must act with compassion
towards them, and if any one of them encounters trouble or misfortune, it is our Christian
duty to help them out in so far as we can. The Lord wants us to express tolerance and
friendliness on the road. The law of the road is the Lord's Law, and if you brake it,
you're braking the Lord's Law, and thus sinning against Him.
2. The Good Samaritan on the Highway: the
A car was backing out of a parking stall
just as I was driving by. I was furious for a second, and felt the impulse of speeding up
to it and stopping suddenly to make my tires screech. That should scare him right! But
then I calmed myself and approached gradually, staying far enough not to scare or provoke
the driver. I felt like I was being good and rational. Nice feeling. (From a Dear
First review the Good Samaritan passage,
making sure the children are familiar with it (see Activity 1 above). Now tell them you're
going to make a play out of it. Asks who wants to play which role. Be prepared to help
them to choose because the tendency for boys is to want to be thieves and robbers, but not
the priest or innkeeper, whereas girls want to be the Good Samaritan. Let the children act
out each step under your guidance, your active guidance.
After taking care of the mechanics and the
children have rehearsed the story enactment a number of times, they're ready to discuss it
in deeper detail. Engage them in a discussion and let them formulate the choices that lay
open in front of each actor, and the consequences of that choice for good or for bad.
Let the children tell you why Jesus wants us
to always choose good and never bad. Be sure to point out and focus on choices:
- to help someone in distress or not to help
(the Good Samaritan makes the right choice because it is from caring or compassion)
- to make sacrifices such as time, money, and
inconvenience (the Good Samaritan does what the situation calls for, even if it means
giving up things)
- to make excuses for ignoring our
responsibility (the priests found a way of justifying their un-caring)
- to shut our hearts so we don't feel empathy
for the suffering of another (the priests and other passers by who do nothing to help)
- to ignore the Lord's Commandment to help one
another (it is the Lord who commands us to help, it is not up to our individual preference
- to avoid being a hypocrite by speaking well
with the mouth but acting bad (the priests who learn about faith and truth from the Word,
but ignore the needy placed in front of them by the Lord)
- to follow through with our responsibility
once we begin (checking with the innkeeper and instructing him, offering to pay for the
A Drivers Conversation
With an Angel of the Lord: Part 3
And he said to them all, If any man will
come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me
Things were not going well with my driver
self-improvement program. I joined one of those QDCs (Quality Driving Circles) at work but
I haven't been going. I think I only went three times since I joined about a year ago. I
joined the day after the Angel of the Lord visited me in my car while I was driving home.
There happened to be an announcement about it in my Inbox when I checked my morning email.
A new group of ten was forming in the department and they needed one more member. I saw it
as an omen from Heaven. That one new member they needed--that was me, obviously! The Angel
had imbued me with the desire to become a Christian driver. I felt it was my religious
duty and my social responsibility.
I missed the first meeting--I forget what it
was, maybe a client emergency, I'm not sure. Now I regret the fact that I didn't apologize
for my not showing up. I could've easily sent an email note to Bob, who volunteered to act
as the group's convenor. But I just didn't feel like it. I don't know--it just felt like I
was making too much of it. I didn't feel like elevating this into something of major
importance. OK, so I don't show up, no big deal. It's not like I didn't show up for some
Ten Musketeers! Look at that clock. I'm
twelve minutes late from the usual time. Im normally past this entrance to the
freeway by 7:40 and now it's almost 8. Shoot, darn! And my presentation this morning comes
right at the start. Even if I'm five minutes late it'll cause a big ruckus with all the
visitors waiting for me to arrive. Man oh man! I've got to get the hell out of this darn
lane. It just isn't moving. Look at that lane--I've counted 100 cars passing me in the
past 50 yards. Cant believe it. If only I could just
if only I could
Hey, theres my chance.
I was about to execute, meaning that I was
going to hop across to the lane on the right. Both lanes were traveling at 75 mph, which
was the norm for that section of the highway, but was 20 miles above the legal limit. At
this speed, little miscalculations have tragic effects--nationally last year: about 40,000
of our citizens slaughtered like lambs by the butcher killer we call impaired driving.
This means being drunk or angry or risky, that is, too drunk to see and judge where you're
going, or too angry to back off in a competitive exchange with another driver, or too
itchy to take that risk that should not have been taken. These are the killers. And don't
forget the 6 million crashes on our roads and streets every year costing us 200 billion in
medical expenses, car repairs, insurance premium hikes, lost productivity, and pain and
suffering. Yep, 6 million crashes every year, 40,000 deaths every year, and Lord knows how
many trillions of individual interactions between drivers that were hostile or aggressive,
involving threats and insults. Trillions, no doubt. What is this, highway hell?
Yeah. And what about me? Im one of
Date: Tue, 28 Sep
1999 03:34:14 -1000
To: "'dyc@DrDriving.org'" dyc@DrDriving.org
Subject: Cured of Road Rage
I ran across your web site this morning and
I just wanted to say "thanks" for conducting this survey -- I spend a couple of
hours a day commuting between my suburban home and downtown Houston. I've been doing this
for 18 years now, and it's appalling just how poorly the majority of people drive their
vehicles. In 18 years, I've seen countless accidents, a number of
"life-flights", some burned/burning vehicles, some overturned, many crushed
underneath trucks, and even two or three sheet-covered bodies lying on the roads. There is
absolutely *never* a commute that goes by when I do not see numerous incidents of
aggressive driving. I hope your work contributes positively towards a solution to the
I would also like to share something else
with you that maybe you'll find useful -- maybe not. There was a time, about 3 years ago
when I, too, drove extremely aggressively. I nearly always drove at least 9 miles above
the speed limit, and often 15 to 20 miles over. I liked to weave in and out of traffic
(testing my driving "prowess") and would easily get angered beyond all reason if
someone cut me off or got in front of me (not realizing I was doing the same thing to
others). I was known for "flipping people off", blocking them with my vehicle,
and even getting enjoyment out of causing aggravation for other drivers. In retrospect, my
behavior was appalling. Sometimes, I realized just how bad my behavior was, but as hard as
I tried, I couldn't overcome it for more than a day or two. I was truly addicted to this
type of aggression -- there seemed to be nothing I could do about it.
Now, I don't know anything about you
personally, so I hope my next comments will not offend you or cause you to close your mind
to what I'm about to truthfully reveal. About 3 years ago, due in part to the nagging
testimony of this "religious" friend of mine, I had an experience -- an
encounter, if you will, -- with God for the first time in my life. I won't go into the
details of that here -- unless you're interested in hearing more -- if so, e-mail me and
I'll be happy to share. But, I can say that one of the amazing benefits that this
experience brought into my life was a complete healing of this road rage that I had. What
God revealed to me was that my behavior had a much deeper root cause -- arrogance and
selfishness. He showed me that I was absolutely no *better* than any other single person
that He had ever created and that I should be mindful of that fact in everything I do --
including my driving.
Besides the many other changes in my life, I
keep remembering how much my driving has changed since that experience. It didn't happen
overnight, but in the course of about 4 or 5 months, every bit of my road rage
disappeared. I became painfully aware of what I had been doing to other drivers whom we
share the road with. And, as a result, my behavior has been completely changed -- and it's
"stuck" for nearly 3 years now. I used to believe that I would probably die on
the highway because of my aggressive driving. I no longer have that fear.
It's my belief that it was God Himself that
helped me to finally lose this "bad habit" that I had been carrying around (or
should I say, "driving around") for more than 20 years. I'm telling you
truthfully when I say that I no longer even *feel* angry towards other drivers -- no
matter what their behavior. I guess He taught me that when I give in to anger, I'm only
letting myself be subject to the very thing that held me in slavery for so many years.
Anyway, for some reason, I felt compelled to
share this with you this morning. I hope it is helpful to you, and I will say a prayer
that your work will be blessed.
DC@equistarchem.com Tue Sep 28 09:14:22 1999
Date: Tue, 28 Sep 1999 03:44:59 -1000
To: "'dyc@DrDriving.org'" dyc@DrDriving.org
Subject: Random Acts of Kindness
Here's a random act of kindness that I
sometimes do for fellow drivers -- and they don't even know that I'm doing it! Whenever I
see someone make a dangerous or aggressive move, I try to remember to say a prayer for
them. I ask God to protect them and others on the road, to give them a sense of peace, and
to help them get where they are going, safely. I know He is listening and it does a lot of
good for my own soul, as well.
Thank you, David
From: Leon James
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 1999 2:05 PM
To: David C
Cc: DrDriving Subject:
Re: Cured of Road Rage
David, thanks for your testimony on
how you overcame road rage by allowing God to do that in you. I have a similar story, and
many no doubt do. I have posted your testimony, without your name, on my page about the
book I wrote called
CHRIST AGAINST ROAD RAGE.
If you want me to put your name in, I will.
Your testimony fits in well with the message of the book, not only for Christians but for
every person who is God fearing.
In the book I have a story called
Conversations with an Angel of the Lord in which an angel appears as my passenger on
several occasions and reveals to me what a road maniac I am and leads me to repent and
My wife Diane had much to do with my change,
and she is a God fearing woman and a willing instrument of the Lord. And because I am a
psychology professor by occupation, I became DrDriving on the Web and now I'm helping
fight road rage and aggressive driving by giving people psychological tools of
self-modification. In my other book for the general public called ROAD RAGE AND AGGRESSIVE
DRIVING (due out in September 2000), my appeal is not to God or religion, since this would
not be successful, but to character, rationality, health, and community--and these are
things through which God works also, even if not acknowledged directly.
Take care, David, and I hope to hear from
you again! May God open our hearts to His love and our minds to His Word.
Leon James "DrDriving" himself....
DrDriving Says...Pretend you're from
Hawaii--Drive with Aloha
From Do@aol.com Fri Sep 24 11:02:27
Date: Thu, 23 Sep 1999 14:54:15 -1000
Subject: road rage and Christ
Thanks so much for your reply. You've helped
restore some of my faith in your profession -- I didn't know that any Christian
psychologists even existed (just a bit of exaggeration)!
But seriously, I am thankful that you are
pursuing this work -- it is SO needed. And I agree wholeheartedly with you about trying to
reach non-believers as well -- you're right; when God's laws are obeyed, good results --
even for those who don't know who the Author of the law is.
You have my full permission to use my
testimony and my name in your book -- in fact, if you feel it's appropriate, you can
publish my e-mail address: David@Truncale.com -- I'm always looking for ways to let others
know what God has done for me. I read the synopsis of your book and believe that you have
a saleable idea here -- I'll pray that a wise publisher sees it the same way.
Since my testimony has fallen on fertile
soil, I'll share just a little more with you. In my young adult years, I was a police
officer for the City of Port Arthur, Texas. Needless to say, the many hours behind the
wheel, as well as the formal training, gave me a fair degree of driving skills. I also
learned, unfortunately, how to avoid speeding tickets. The combination of these
experiences and skills let me tear down the freeways of Houston for almost 20 years --
always exceeding the speed limit -- with only a single speeding ticket in all those years.
But, I can tell you that I had so many close calls that I just knew that one day I was
going to overestimate my ability and wind up on the pavement with one of those sheets over
me. Just goes to show that "skills and experience" are not the only things
needed to be a good driver.
The last time I purposely exceeded the speed
limit, I was stopped doing 110 mph on Interstate 10 in East Houston. I was in a fit of
road rage, deluxe. I was trying to catch a lady in a little Ford Probe that had cut in
front of me several miles back. We must have been driving at those speeds for 7 or 8 miles
before I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw an HPD officer desperately trying to catch
up to me! Talk about feeling stupid, shocked, and ashamed all at once! (This was only 2
months after I had prayed to Jesus for forgiveness -- and while I now know that the Holy
Spirit was working on me even then -- I didn't really understand it at the time). Anyway,
I immediately pulled over and got out of the car. I was so ashamed and so upset with
myself -- because it really hit me at that moment how dangerous my actions were -- not
only to myself, but especially to the innocent others that I had selfishly and
thoughtlessly blown by on the road. I was so visibly upset that I had to tell the police
officer that I wasn't angry with him, but with myself. I told him how I had thought I was
beginning to get a grip on this behavior and then to be faced with this very present
evidence that I had not really changed at all.
He listened to my story and then did the
most remarkable thing I've ever seen a police officer do -- he let me go with only a
verbal warning! I couldn't believe it -- I had even told him to "write me up for
everything he could think of; I deserved it." Since I had previously been a police
officer, I was aware how very rare it was to be able to stop a driver doing
"triple-digits". In my three years of policing, I had only clocked 2 drivers
going over 100; and I was unable to catch either of them. I mean, a triple-digit speeder
is like an 18-point buck, or a 14 pound bass, or a grand champion steer! You just don't
"let them go"! But that's what this officer did. And, Leon, that was the last
day that I ever intentionally sped again. Later, as I recounted this story to a friend,
she said "maybe he was an angel." I kind of doubt it, but who knows. But, I do
believe that he was sent by God to finally wake me up. And for once, I listened.
It was a little later that God revealed to
me why we should obey not only the speed laws, but all the traffic laws. It wasn't only
Paul's admonition to obey the law and submit to authorities (Roman 13:1-2), but it was
Jesus' command to "love each other". When I really thought about my behavior --
driving included -- I began to realize that I was showing anything but love when I put my
self-centered interests ahead of others. I think that's what convicted me more than
anything. Because now, it is not just a matter of being a good driver and obeying the law
-- it's a matter of truly trying to live in Christ's example -- doing everything I can to
bring a little light, joy, and peace to everyone around me -- whether that be in my home,
in the office, or on the highway. I can relate to those others who have testified to the
good feelings they get when the do a random act of kindness for a fellow driver. I think
it's simply the joy of doing God's will.
Leon, I will really pray and hope your book
makes it. One of the things that tugs at my heart is to see cars bearing symbols of our
Lord whiz by me the same way everyone else does. When Christians behave as the rest of the
world, it simply detracts from the beauty of our Lord and absolutely kills their testimony
for Him. This is a subject I guess I've "preached" on several times in my Sunday
School class -- but not everyone has gotten it yet. Hey, when your book gets published,
I'll use it in my class! 8-)
Anyway, thanks for publishing my testimony
and my little "act of kindness" suggestion -- feel free to edit them and this
contribution as the Lord leads you, and keep up the good work. If I never get to meet you
here, I'll surely look you up on "the other side".
Love, In Christ,
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2000
Subject: Christians and driving habits
Dear Dr. Driving,
I was delighted to find your web site
tonight. I am taking the 4th college course to finish requirements for a permanent
certificate for teaching students behind-the-wheel. I do not do any classroom teaching but
I want to incorporate some of your ideas into what I do. How do I do that without breaking
I have felt for some time that Christians
need to examine their driving habits and bring them under the microscope of the Word. I
hope your book finds a publisher! I believe Christians are unwilling to let go off their
dangerous habits but maybe it is because they don't allow themselves to see it as not
loving their neighbors. When my oldest son was 14 it suddenly occurred to me (I guess
maybe an angel of the Lord?? :-}) that if I didn't change my habits my kids would drive
like I was. I found that when I slowed down to the speed limit that I no longer needed to
tailgate, and I had nicer feelings inside towards other drivers. then I began teaching BTW
and I really changed my driving!!
Keep up the good work. I think it is great
to use a scientific approach to what you're doing. God bless!!