A Radically Crazy Idea

My journey to the office requires connecting by way of 3 different interstates and usually takes 45-60 minutes, depending on traffic. If you have ever taken the interstate to work and home, you have probably seen your share of accidents.

In 2018, there were 955 fatalities on South Carolina roads. 955 families who lost loved ones. I am going to sound my age here, but we really shouldn't be surprised when we consider how people drive on the interstate. Just this morning, I counted 18 cars doing at least 20 mph over the speed limit. I saw over a dozen of these speed devils weave in and out of traffic. I often wonder when another SC driver will be killed because of their NASCAR-style driving. 

The thing is, when people speed past me, they almost always have to slow down for bottlenecks in the morning highway traffic or a stop light on the city roads. I wonder if it is really worth it to speed past someone only to have to hit your brakes 200 yards ahead. 

While pondering all of my traffic observations, an idea hit me. 

What if instead of speeding past other cars, we watch their backs instead? What if drivers put the safety of others above their own? What if in real life, we humans watch each other's backs? What if, instead of hurling profanity and middle fingers, we prayed for each driver around us? What if we prayed for their safe arrival to and from their jobs? What if we committed to a posture of actual defensive driving? 

I probably sound off my rocker. It is not the first time, and it will not be the last. For the longest time, I have had anxiety attacks while driving. Frankly, interstate travel is the leading cause of these attacks. I have learned to practice mindfulness while driving and it helps a lot, but sometimes I am genuinely afraid for my safety by the way people are driving. 

Over the years, I have discovered scientific proof that humanity is capable of so much more than running each other off the road. When there is an accident, people will stop and offer assistance until the police and ambulance arrive. Accidents create helpers. Why can't the same be said of traffic? Daily commuting can create helpers, too! These helpers make sure to create a traffic situation where accidents are far less likely. 

With all my heart and soul, I believe we can do this together. 

I will start...


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