Monday, September 14, 2015

How to Drive Like a Citizen of the World


If you're going to share the open roads with others (and let's face it, what choice do you have?), then it's important to consider the facts. According to recent statistics, road crashes cost individual countries between 1-2% of their GDP annually. No matter where you're from, that's a lot of dough.

Since we're all in this together, it's best that we all learn not just to be good drivers within our own home cultures but also to drive like citizens of the world.

How to Drive Like a Citizen of the World:

Step One: Crank that diesel. Although U.S. consumption of diesel fuel is expected to peak in 2015, global consumption continues to rise, especially in developing nations. So roll down those windows, breathe in deeply, and enjoy that heavy, oily smell.

Step Two: Pick a lane. Left, right; who cares? There's really no right or wrong on this one (although you try telling that to people in Commonwealth countries). To avoid argument, I say we all adopt a more laissez faire attitude and detach ourselves from the concept of lanes altogether. In many countries, the prevailing thought seems to be that as long as your vehicle is not currently in the process of crashing into another vehicle, you're doing fine.

Step Three: Understand the art of honking. Inside the United States, a honk can mean one of two things, neither of them complementary. Citizens of the world, however, have elevated honking to an art. If you're going to drive like a citizen of the world, you must remember that a honk can mean so much more than just "Get out of my way." It can also say "Passing on the left!" or "Just a reminder that I'm back here!" or "What a beautiful day!" or "Good job avoiding that obstacle!" or "Better slow down: someone just fell off the back!"

Step Four: Make way for chickens. And goats and pigs and entire herds of sheep and potholes bigger than your home town. Make way for bicycles in the street, taxis in the bike lanes, and busses up on the sidewalks. You just never know, so it's best to look alive!

Step Five: When in doubt, gun it. No matter where you're from or where you've been, learning the confidence to drive assertively will help you claim your place as kings and queens of the open roads. Remembering this underlying principle is the crowning achievement of driving like a citizen of the world.

So what are you waiting for? Crank that diesel, slide into traffic, lay one hand on the horn, keep a weather eye open, and push the gas pedal all the way down.

Watch the world's highways roll out in welcome.

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