Having been a driver by profession for several years, I’ve observed that drivers can be put into categories. There are driver types – styles of driving. I’ve also noticed that driving styles correspond to personality types, which is not surprising since our personality is bound to come out in the way we drive. I would even go so far as to say that our driving habits reflect our spiritual condition. I’m not going to attempt a vicar/pastor-style fact crunching-exercise in order to illustrate a spiritual connection- I’ll leave that up to you to figure out. This list is by no means exhaustive.
See if you can recognize your own driving style, character type or spiritual condition in one my driver categories:
The legalist believes that he is the perfect driver. He drives at exactly one mph below the speed limit, no matter how many vehicles are behind him. He has the attitude that everyone should conform and drive exactly as he does. The legalist frowns on anyone who drives one mile per hour over the speed limit or more. For this reason, the legalist may also be called the Vigilante, because he sees it as his duty to frown upon all law breakers, and to hold them up whenever possible to teach them the proper way to drive.
The Mad-man believes that he is the most important and impressive driver on the road, and is determined to convince everyone of this. He drives at warp-speeds at all times and yet never gets stopped by the police. He has no concern for other drivers around him, because no-one else matters anyway. He believes that “slow” drivers are the ones who cause all the accidents. He drives as close to the driver in front of him as possible in order to intimidate them into getting out of the way. His goal is to impress and get where he’s going as fast as he can, no matter what it takes or who is affected by his driving.
The Dominator must be in front of everyone else. This does not necessarily involve high speeds, but just being in a position where others are forced to accept their equality at the very least, or preferably to recognize their superiority and leadership. The Dominator is secretly afraid that the world is passing him by, and that others do not recognize his value. The Dominator will position his car in the fast lane where others are attempting to get to work on time, and will then drive at just any speed he wishes, expecting others to stay in line behind him. He may drive slowly as long as others cannot pass, but when there is an opportunity for them to get by, he will speed up considerably in order to maintain his superiority. You can often catch the Dominator looking in his mirrors to ensure that you are not about to get by him. One curious outworking of this in my neck of the woods is the pick-up driver who is pulling a trailer. For some strange reason when he has a trailer behind him he feels the need to prove himself, and drives much faster than he would normally drive without the trailer, doing his best to stay in front of everyone else.
The Super-Cautious grips his steering wheel at all times, so that his knuckles are white. He slows down or stops while the traffic light is still green. He drives far below the speed limit, so that there is always a line of traffic behind him. He uses his turn signal on bends. He slows down when someone passes him, even when there is plenty of passing room. He will not engage in conversation while driving. His entire trip is a daunting prospect from the start, and he feels no pleasure from the driving experience. At the sound of any kind of siren he is convinced that the police are coming for him, such is the extent of his guilt and fear.
The Considerate is on the “endangered species” list, since the principle of the survival of the fittest has largely pushed him out of the driving habitat. If you do spot one out there, let me know so I can track him down and do some research. You will know he’s a Considerate if you see him driving with thought and concern for those around him. Little is known of this rare creature.
The Oblivious drives as though he is the only one on the road. If there is anyone else, he doesn’t care. His speed is erratic, he doesn’t use turn signals, and he spends most of his time looking at his passenger as they discuss the latest gossip. He has no concern whatsoever for driving etiquette or rules, and is in many ways the opposite of The Legalist. If someone is driving backwards in the fast lane- so what? Even if he did notice he wouldn’t care. Why shouldn’t everyone drive just how they want to? Left side, right side- why should it matter? Let’s all just get along and have a good time!
How he ever passed his driving test is a mystery, or perhaps he didn’t pass it at all.
The constant drives at the same speed all the time, no matter where he is. He’ll drive at forty on the freeway, and when he gets into the residential area or school zone he’s still driving at forty. He never changes, and doesn’t see any reason why he should, because his driving is as good as anyone else’s, and there’s nothing else to learn.
The hypocrite drives fast at all times except when he sees a police car. The hypocrite has intermittent illiteracy. He is unable to read long words such as “STOP”, “SCHOOL”, and “YIELD”, but amazingly has a sudden increase in his IQ when a patrol car is near.
The Creep starts off very slowly, and not unlike The Oblivious cares not that there is a line of traffic behind him. Slowly gathering speed he briefly makes his followers think that all will be well. Continuing to accelerate, he soon proves to be inconsistent and to have no thought or consideration for anyone else. As he gets faster and faster, he swings around the corners with unpredictable abandon, until you would need a rocket to get close to him, even if you wanted to.
The Retro spends more time looking in his mirror at what you are doing than he does looking ahead at what he is doing. When the red traffic light turns green, his car remains stationary, because he is still looking in his mirror at you with a critical untrusting eye. He also spends much time looking behind at where he’s been, and looking around him to see who what’s been done the wrong way. “Oh, they shouldn’t have done it like that” he thinks to himself. The Retro is always in danger of forgetting where he’s going, how to get there, or why he’s going in the first place.
The Recluse is so afraid that his car will get dirty or suffer a small scratch that he keeps it in the garage, and never takes it for a drive. His neighbors don’t even know that he has a car.
The Barracuda has one of those little fish on the back of his car to let everyone know that he’s a Christian. But he isn’t just any old Christian- he’s a “kool” Christian, and demonstrates it by trying to drive faster than anyone else. For the Barracuda there is no slow lane, and anyone with a fish driving slowly is giving his religion a bad image, because real Christians are “kool”, just like Jesus was. To the Barracuda’s mind, Jesus was the ultimate kool dude. He wore sunglasses, even in the dark. He drove a Ferrari and wouldn’t have been seen dead in the slow lane.
The Enlightened are by far the most intelligent road users of our day. They were the first to learn that fish have legs, and proudly display the symbol of that discovery on the back of their enviro-friendly yet petroleum-driven cars, right next to the bumper stickers which inform Christians how ignorant they are.
Copyright © Nick Fisher October 2012