Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Etiquette and Polite Drivers

While gallantry is expected of all gentlemen, on the highway women drivers lose the identity of their sex and simply become “another driver.” Courteous drivers show full consideration for the safety and convenience of all “other drivers.” In fact, split second decisions do not allow sufficient time to make a distinction nor does safety justify it.



Gentlemen Of The Highway 


A gentleman of the highway can be anyone. The kind of vehicle a person drives is not important, whether new or old, high priced or low priced, commercial or private. How a person drives is the important factor. Emily Post's Motor Manners, the blue-booklet of traffic etiquette published by the National Highway Users Conference, Inc., states that while gallantry is expected of all gentlemen, on the highway women drivers lose the identity of their sex and simply become “another driver.” Courteous drivers show full consideration for the safety and convenience of all “other drivers.” In fact, split second decisions do not allow sufficient time to make a distinction nor does safety justify it. Only a pseudo-gentleman will make a show of chivalry to women drivers and then tangle bumpers in a bluffing match with a man driver. 

The realm of gentlemen of the highway also includes the pedestrian. Responsible drivers realize that since they control the power to inflict injury, special precautions must be taken by them to avoid a casualty. Drivers with experience know that non-driving pedestrians do not realize how difficult it is to spot a pedestrian, to stop a car immediately or to dodge suddenly in traffic. In addition, not all pedestrians a driver encounters can command the full capacity of their faculties. Considerate drivers know that the person on foot may be, for example, bewildered, sick, crippled, deaf, blind or intoxicated. 

Experienced drivers know that children cannot always be held responsible for their actions. Lack of consideration for children in the street can result in manslaughter. All careful and polite motorists keep on the lookout for pre-school age youngsters who may dart into the street. Mannerly drivers will always slow down and proceed with caution in school zones. Every civil motorist will co-operate with school boy patrolmen as they go about their serious business of protecting their schoolmates. It should shame many grown-ups that school children frequently are their peers in pedestrian courtesy and manners. - Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1951

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia