|Bookmarks Jan/Feb - Page 5|
This is a version, says Vanderbilt, of the if-I-ruled-the-world thesis: "If I ruled the world, it would be a better place." If other drivers drove like me, the roads would be safer. This should be familiar territory for therapists, who often hear clients blame everybody else, certainly not their blameless selves, for their problems. By providing feedback, therapists gently help people understand that, just maybe, they share some of the responsibility for their mishaps—but, of course, drivers' therapists don't usually accompany them in cars, critiquing their driving skills.
The lack-of-feedback problem is compounded by the number of times drivers barely miss having accidents without knowing it. They're concentrating on tuning the radio as their car swerves to the right, forcing the guy in the other lane to swerve to miss them, but they don't notice. They don't perceive what almost happened to them, or they blame it on the other guy.
In fact, Vanderbilt says, even when an accident happens, chances are you won't comprehend the real reason for it. This is due to what traffic-research jargon speaks of as "initial error" and "error recovery," how we process the error. Drivers are like many clients—refusing to take responsibility for self-caused mishaps, if they even remember them.