An editorial published in the Terrebonne Press in 1956 reads as though the editors who wrote it had had recent experiences as passengers of at least one untamed, inconsiderate driver.
It was a time when relatively powerful engines were becoming common, but seatbelts were not yet standard equipment. Air conditioning and automatic transmissions would have been options in new car purchases. Most streets and highways were still only two lanes, and radar was not yet a speed enforcement tool.
Few families had more than one car, so ride-sharing and accepting a ride from a colleague would not have been unusual.
The editorial, "Bad Driving Means Tense Passengers," published June 6, 1956, seems to have been inspired by such a ride:
"You're speeding whenever you're driving faster than you ought to -- for the condition of the road, your car, yourself and the weather. But some people never think of conditions when they drive. They operate in a kind of vacuum, obsessed with the thought of getting wherever they're going in the shortest possible time. It's part of the 'in-a-hurry' complex that's characteristic of our age.
"The person who is securely in the grip of this complex is unable to unwind or relax. He hurries through his meals, dashes from place to place, crams his life full of unimportant activity and lives in a constant state of nervous agitation. When he drives, he's impatient, jittery, over-anxious -- one of the worst menaces on the highway.
"But there are varying degrees of the malady. And every driver should check his driving behavior to make sure he's not developing any of the symptoms.
"If he's restless and impatient behind the wheel and likely to be discourteous to pedestrians and other drivers then he has the malady. Other symptoms include fussing and fuming when a red light or a pedestrian causes a slight delay.
"Another danger signal is the desire to pass others on the highway for no reason other than one of just getting ahead of them. Equally dangerous is the tendency to be time-conscious -- trying to save a few seconds at this turn and a few seconds at the next open stretch.
"If a driver is unable to judge his own driving he would do well to observe the passengers in his car. If they're tense and nervous, there is something bad about his driving. If they grab onto the seat or the door they must have doubts about their driver.
"If they're uneasy at all, it's a pretty safe bet that their driver is not exactly a calm, cool and collected driver."
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