Could Our Driving Behaviours Reflect Our Values

I was wondering as I drove down the M5 the other day, why there are so many accidents on the roads? This was prompted as I watched a few other motorists complete manoeuvres that seemed, at best, risky and resulted in cars around them having to alter their course or speed in response.
Then I was sat in the hotel the other night reading a newspaper and spotted an article about road traffic accidents in the UK and contributing factors, this report highlighted the increase of accidents related to the use of electronic devices while driving!
My instinct tells me that whilst driving for most people is an unconsciously competent act, the decisions that they are taking whilst behind the wheel, are almost certainly honouring their inner Values, after all; our behaviours always align with the values we hold, whether conscious or more likely, unconscious.
Values are the things that we hold as important to us, most of us will have a raft of values, but perhaps only 4 or 5 core ones. It is these that will direct the action we take in our day-to-day life.
I was prompted to write this as a result of two specific incidents, one individual’s actions on the motorway, a young chap smartly dressed, possibly on his way to the office, driving a ‘lower range prestige branded’ car, in this, I recognise my own perceptions! The intent of his driving style could be judged as the desire to make progress, something that I can associate with, however the application of this intent clashed with my more than one of my core values.
Aggressive driving, bearing down on the back bumper of cars in front, flashing headlights, moving to the outside of the driver in front, producing a large profile image of the car in that driver’s door mirror, whilst travelling already in the outside lane in a line of traffic already travelling in excess of the national speed limit with little prospect of making further progress due to the line of traffic in front are all behaviours that would not honour my core values of Respect, Trust, Honesty & Integrity.
So I wonder what the core values of this young man may be? More importantly for me as leadership & management development consultant and trainer, how do these guide and serve him in respect of his engagement and relationships with customers, partners, stakeholders and colleagues at work?
From an Emotional Intelligence perspective, how aware may he be of his own emotions, how much room for development may he have in Self Regulation ? How well does he second position, being able to empathise with others in times of pressure to achieve results, meet targets and timescales?
The other incident was that of a driver so immersed in their mobile phone text conversation and music, that they spent the majority of the time looking down at the phone, with only the briefest of glimpses out of the front window yet driving along at 70mph. That led to a shocking swerve into the middle lane to avoid running into the back of the person in front, and was executed without either seeing or hearing the protest of the driver in the middle lane, because the texter was also wearing earphones!
We seem to be living in a society where more and more people want instant gratification; the focus appears to be on themselves and having everything they want in an instant! Their ability to stretch their interest and attention to their surroundings and to others, appears impaired. They are, I would assert, conditioned by their peers and have built habits and patterns learned from those influential in their lives, not necessarily parents or teachers, but those projected into their lives through multimedia channels and held up as icons.
So often we are seeing people turn up in coaching whose lives are unfulfilled, they feel lost, unhappy with their lot, constantly in a race to have and to display things in their lives that are supposed to represent success.
They are chasing fool’s gold; focusing on things of little true importance, yet honouring them as things of value.
What was equally surprising was the reaction of the driver on the phone, with the ear plugs in toward the driver that they nearly drove into, an angry gesture!
What I learned from my ponderings on the motorway, was that I am glad to have found my true values, having discarded some of those that people sought to influence me to adopt in the past. Also that observing peoples driving may tell you more about them than you first thought and if I notice things that I am doing that I am not happy with on reflection; I am prepared to examine what was going on in myself and change my behaviour by exploring and updating that which I hold as important and dear.