Long ago I read a comment from a woman whose husband periodically expressed frustration about comments she made while he drove. Her response was that she viewed her responsibility in the partnership as being to keep them alive. That resonated totally with me.
I wonder if Ken and I are the norm or unusual. Is his behind the wheel behavior male typical? It definitely is not behavior shared with female drivers--for sure.
In our car, Ken is the sightseer as his neck swivels 180 degrees to get a better view of whatever is on the hill (a cow, windmill, snow-capped mountains, who knows?)—all the while he is driving. Clearly the division of responsibility calls for me to keep eyes on the road--the car in front, the bend, the oblivious to traffic pedestrian or bicyclist, red lights, the car next to us which decides to change lanes as we are side-by-side and anything else that comes into the line of vision.
If you are thinking that this is paranoid exaggeration, I should tell you that Casey often sits petrified in the back seat, telling papa to keep his eyes on the road. Of course, he also tells papa when he is surpassing the speed limit, when he needs to shift or if he hasn’t slowed enough for speed bumps. At eleven he’s ready for his license—without ever having sat behind the wheel. But, I suspect when the time comes, he may emulate his papa--his role model.
Who keeps eyes on the road in your car? The person with foot on the pedal and hands on the wheel or the hapless person next to him?