Automobiles and Other Private Transportation

At the beginning of the country, most persons traveled by foot, and did not have to worry about the high-speed problems that mechanized travel brings us today.  Granted, horses and wagons did approximate this problem, but not greatly.  Indeed, it was possible for persons to be injured or even killed in a horse and buggy accident, but there was scant chance of dying in the twisted flaming wreckage of a high velocity accident.

Because of this simple fact, good manners take on more of life-and-death significance since poor manners can lead directly to deadly vehicle accidents.  The evidence of this is seen daily in the news media for more than just cars and trucks, but for boats and airplanes as well.

If everyone practiced “The Golden Rule” as stated in Matthew 7:12 then a large number of vehicle accidents could be avoided.  This would save countless lives, prevent innumerable injuries, and avoid millions of dollars in property damage.  Good manners are, at a minimum, logical.

Automobiles are a prime example.  If a person needs to change lanes and if it is safe to let them into your lane, do so.  To not permit this is more than rude, it could lead to a dangerous situation for you and others.  Try to consider the reasonable needs of others on the road, and help them.

It should go without saying that it is bad manners to use vulgar hand gestures, etc if someone renders you a discourtesy.  Even if you truly believe they have earned it, do not do it.  Do not lower yourself to their level, and do not provoke a fool to violence.  There is no one on the road worth going to the hospital for, and certainly no stranger is worth going to jail for.  Forgive them and simply get away from them in a safe manner.

Finally, pay attention to driving your vehicle.  Do not hold others up or create a dangerous situation because you are engaged in some other, non-essential activity, including talking on the telephone, putting on make-up, shaving, reading or operating your music system.  Lives are at stake, not to mention legal liabilities if you cause an accident.

All of this applies to motorboats and airplanes as well.  Although not as widely considered, both of these modes of conveyance have “rules of the road” that are based on good manners.  It does not take much imagination to figure out how to be courteous to others, and a lot of it has to do with distance and wake.