Part of being respectful of others is respecting their space. Most people do this, but I sometimes wonder if it’s regional.

I’ve lived in many place in the US, and in places like the Midwest, people seem pretty aware of their surroundings.

During my last visit to Up North, every time I walked, ran, or biked on the main roads, every car that passed moved over into the other lane to give me some space. It was similar living in other parts of the Midwest.

Contrast that to my last time in the Pacific Northwest, where cars militantly drove in their lane and wouldn’t budge, even though there were several times I almost got taken out with a rearview mirror.

Similarly, when you walk into a men’s restroom in the Midwest, if you’re the first one there, you’re supposed to use one of the outside edge stalls first and then work your way to the other side, leaving one stall in between you and the next person. If there’s enough traffic, those people can start filling in the gaps.

Yet, on the West Coast, you’re more likely to get people who walk in and take one of the middle stalls or will use the one right next to you, even though there are other spaces.

Being aware of your surroundings is a great way to be respectful of the people around you and keeps everyone safe and happy.

Next time you drive past someone running or walking, move over and give them a little space. They’ll thank you for it.