Conscious Competence or Unconscious Competence?
How do you do everything you do? Walking? Running? Riding a bike? What about driving a car? As a young child, I grew up on Lake Simcoe enjoying motorized cars, boats, bikes and snowmobiles and would say I was in an unconscious incompetent stage of driving motorized vehicles. I moved out of the unconscious incompetence stage into the conscious incompetence stage as quickly as possible while minimizing the risk factors. Somehow I must have realized the value of money and cost of collisions at a young age. My dad owned 3 different dealerships before I could even legally drive so cars were in my bloodline! My dad bought a car at the auction on my 12th birthday so I naturally assumed and believed it was for me. I know he let me drive it, legally and off the roadway of course. Before I turned 16 I had many hours of experience driving 125 cc dirt bikes, 40-120hp ski boats, 300+ cc snowmobiles and I remember the day I learned to drive my brother’s standard transmission blue, two door Chevy Cavalier. So as soon as I could get my drivers license why wouldn’t I?
Then, after nearly 40 years of driving powered vehicles I was driving unconsciously competent on an almost Fall day, doing not approximately, but precisely the speed limit, minding my own business, radio on, window down while running some errands. When in a split second, before I had time for my life to flash before my eyes, my right of way was taken away. Faster than I could stop my one month old, 5,421lbs Tesla Model X, another motorist started to turn right through my lane. My mind quickly entered into highly conscious mode yet with not enough time to stop I started to navigate my car to steer around a beautiful BMW 3 series (I know that now after the incident but it all happened too fast for me to even notice). Looking where I wanted to go… (Life lesson; Look where you want to go because you will go where you look) but the other car did not stop but rather crossed fully over the yellow line and continued to enter into my right of way. Fully slamming all the brake I had on, it wasn’t enough – before I knew it, 9 airbags triggered with a dramatic louder than the collision sound and all my senses were thrown off. I couldn’t even see or hear the collision happen. I would say I barely felt it but adrenaline is a good protective mechanism. I suddenly felt like I was in a dream, a strange one as I was in what appeared to be a bubble room, unable to even see my arms and legs with a small smoke show happening from the deployment of the airbags.
All this to say, my driving has a new level of Conscious Competence. I have a whole new awareness that if I take my eyes off the road, the unconsciously incompetent or consciously incompetent or for that matter if the wheel comes off a vehicle of another car it could create a situation to make your unconsciously competent driving need to change, perhaps faster than you can consciously respond! Be grateful for the privilege of driving. Be a great defensive driver, similar to our paid professional chauffeurs and drive consciously competent or hire one! LOL
For all those concerned, I’m doing fine and my wounds from the air bags are healing well. I’m also grateful for my Chiropractor and massage therapist who have helped release the pressure from the whiplash. If you don’t have good ones go see mine.