My daughter, who grew up and learned to drive in California, finally asked the question that many have asked once they experience driving in Utah: Why are Utah drivers so bad?
The simple answer: Superiority Complex.
However, the correct psychological definition is a bit more complicated, but outlines a pervasive Utah attitude perfectly:
The LDS/Mormon culture instills in its people that their religion is the only true church upon the earth and that none other is right. They inculcate the attitude that if one obeys the commandments of the LDS Church leaders, that one is in conformity with God and is blessed in life in any pursuit as long as the Church’s commandments are being followed.
In a nut shell (literally a nut shell), an “I’m right and you’re wrong” subconscious mentality is a permeating part of the LDS/Mormon culture. This subconscious feeling extends into the daily lives of Utah’s population majority. Mormons will never admit that this is the case, because the very inculcated personality trait that has been pounded into their minds since birth is the same that relieves them of the responsibility of its culpability.
You see, my dear daughter,
Mormons are constantly chasing perfection. It’s what they live for; it is a totality of their life-long goals. Because of this desire, they often fail, and their failure is something that their conscious mind cannot overlook. But their religion provides them with an emotional solution to their constant failure to live up to their cultural expectations: their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and the perceived fact that they belong to the only true church.
Jesus died for their sins. As long as they repent often for their shortcomings, they have an emotional governor that will not allow them to take full mental responsibility for the actions that their conscious mind would otherwise consider a failure in their pursuit of perfection.
So they’re driving down the road on the way to their job to support their eternal family, the only relationship that really matters to them. No matter what it takes to support their family, their pursuit of perfection and the cognitive dissonance …
… it creates in their minds forms a barrier that protects their ego in all of their interactions with others, whom they believe are not as good as them because the others are not LDS/Mormon.
So put this kind of person behind the wheel of a car and you will then understand why Utah drivers seem to be, to everyone but themselves, bad drivers.
P.S. Hey Rachael! When you have time, visit the Temple Square North Visitor’s Center, the one with the Christus Statue. Go down to the lower level and check out the counsel given to the Church members on the wall’s mural. If they haven’t changed it, you’ll see a reference to being a good driver … serious! Go check it out!