The Psychology of Driving; What Lane Do You Play In?

highway-lanes_optDo you love to drive on an open freeway, crank up the music, and just let it rip?  I do, especially by myself.  I can sing and shout and let it all out, and most grateful that I have no audience.  Trust me, it’s not pretty.  Just the other day  I was cruising while singing along with the classic rock song on the radio, ” Life is a highway, I wanna drive it, all night long,” and it made me think…

Just imagine for a minute that “life” is a highway, and that the lanes signify not only how we navigate our car, but how we move through our lives. It’s about how we steer the “course,” and maneuver all the bumps and crazy turns.

The 3 lanes of a highway provides us with different options for speed, and that allows us to find our individual comfort lane.  The left lane is the express lane and perhaps appeals to a more self-assured nature, the one who is apt to take more risks;  enjoys flirting with danger and less inclined to adhere to rules of the road.  This driver is comfortable with the fast pace, or is in a constant hurry, racing through the day or perhaps, their life.

The middle lane could be considered the safe lane and I suspect the most popular one for the average driver.  Not much to think about, just straight ahead, slow and steady. Complacent, not inclined to change much or make impulsive decisions.

The right lane, while a transitional one (because eventually, every car must exit),  is ultimately the safest lane and therefore the most desirable lane for an overly cautious, timid, or nervous driver.

In any case, some of us choose to pick a lane, and remain there for the duration of our drive. Others might be too impatient for that. You know that driver, the chronic lane changer, often weaving in and out of lanes and always jockeying for position. This driver is not afraid to change, but perhaps lacks consistency, and is apt to change more frequently, rather than sticking to a plan.

As we explore this metaphor, it’s clear that driving styles can certainly be very revealing about one’s character. With some deeper introspection, it’s really just another way to see ourselves.  A bird’s eye view from a different perspective. Having another opportunity to learn how we manage our life is another opportunity to stop and self-evaluate it. Slow down, step on the brake, or maybe even impose a complete stop. And possibly, change direction altogether.

Perhaps you’ve never thought about the psychology of driving before, but if you pay closer attention, it may potentially change the way you look at yourself and how you think about timeThe way in which we drive can speak volumes about the risks we take and the choices we make.  These styles may conceivably reflect in our lifestyle/work-style.

I believe there is a connection.  What kind of driver are you?

  • Do you fully stop at stop signs, or roll through them?
  • Do you ignore speed bumps?
  • Do you race through yellow caution lights?
  • Do you obey speed limits?
  • Do you comply with Do Not Turn on Red signs?
  • Are you a respectful driver or are you guilty of road rage?
  • Tailgater or horn honker?


So next time you get into the driver seat, ask yourself? Who’s really behind the wheel? Are you playing in the fast track, playing it safe, or tend to be a bit more cautious?  Pick a lane, any lane.  Remember, it’s a choice.  Take control.  Your highway, your life.  Drive it at your own speed.








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