What We Can Learn from Bad Drivers
I work from our office most of the time, and have a highway drive each morning and evening. Nearly all of it is on a U.S. highway that has been under a major expansion project the past few years. After enduring several months of patched-up single-lane fun, the new smooth-as-silk six lane highway is a thing of beauty.
That said, with the nice new highway, there are still plenty of people who do not understand some basic driving etiquette. Or common sense—depending on which way you put it. After having an especially trying excursion to the office recently, some parallels between the day-to-day drive and what we run into professionally came to light.
Road Challenge 1: Distracted drivers
While distracted drivers are purported to cause more highway accidents than pretty much everything else combined, we experience them every day. Seeing drivers ahead swerve over lines or pulling in and out of traffic at erratic speeds is scary, and frustrating. Some may not be mindful that they're at the wheel of a massive weapon of destruction.
In our industry, we do have some distracted drivers who can hurt the rest of us. While selling simply on price hurts those professionals who are creative and truly care about helping their customers succeed, the killing risk is the obliteration of product safety concerns. We've all heard how important it is to work with products applicable to our customers' initiatives and that have passed specific tests. The next time you're on the highway and see that distracted driver careening toward other cars on the highway, make a mental note to revisit the growing amount of online product safety and compliance information available from PPAI and related sources.
Road Challenge 2: Slow drivers in the fast lane
The left lane is known as "the fast lane." There are signs across the country that tell slower drivers to use the right lane. There are even minimum speeds. However, there may be a school of thought that says a driver can simply park in the left lane and cruise down the road, regardless of how much slower than the speed limit they are driving. Banning drivers who feel that way from the highway isn't currently an option, however it's tough to get your point across when you are trying to be a responsible driver, passing them in the right lane with a gritted-teeth smile, resisting the urge to communicate via the use of gestures.