In many ways my husband, Jeff, and I are very compatible. We don't have a lot of traits that are opposites. We have similar political views, similar world views, similar religious views, similar views on how to raise children, similar humor, we like a lot of the same books and movies, we enjoy each others friends and pastimes. But there is at least one thing that makes us complete opposites. How we drive.
Jeff wants to see the horizon and everything on the horizon, buildings, empty lots, people, trees, whatever. In fact he often points out planes and helicopters to the kids as we drive. This provides many benefits. He has an amazing sense of direction and once living in a city for a short time knows his way around to many different places that he has never been, simply because he drove by them. He notices advertising, smoke on the horizon and wrecks very far in advance. However, there are some pitfalls to this single minded focus on all things far away. He has a tendency to drive off the road! Which I think is a pretty big deal. He also has a pothole magnet on the front of the car, because he never pays any attention to the road immediately in front of him we are perpetually falling into a pothole.
I, however, am the exact opposite. Unless I know the road well, I don't look up. I look at the road immediately in front of me, the traffic around me and basically any danger in my path. Once I am familiar with a road (over many years), I will be comfortable and look around at the buildings, houses, trees, etc. Jeff likes to make fun of me relentlessly telling me that the action is going on out there not down on the ground. The saying, can't see the forest for the trees comes to mind. I feel strongly that I am the safer driver, wreck record set aside, because I see the immediate problem at hand. Jeff claims he is the safer driver because he is more than capable of dealing with any immediate problem, and he will see a problem coming far in advance and anticipate it. (Tell that to the tires hitting the potholes.)
What I wonder is what does this say about our personalities? I think a lot. I have a tendency to live in the immediate and look at problems from a micro level breaking them down into manageable pieces. Where Jeff is fantastic at looking at the bigger, broader picture and not allowing problems to grow out of proportion.
Which kind of driver are you?