Road Rage

by admin on January 11, 2011

I was just reading a prior submission about road rage and I decided to submit my own story, which to this day still scares me.

Firstly, I will say that I am by no means a perfect driver. I have made mistakes, I have gotten a couple of speeding tickets, and I have had two accidents (both due to ice) in the 13 years I’ve been driving. That said, I have always taken measures to correct any errors that I made leading up to said incidents.

Anyway, a couple of years ago, I was picking a daycare child up from school. He attended a school about 20 minutes drive from our home, and when we were heading back, traffic was unusually heavy. I was on a 4-lane street, heading towards the freeway on-ramp. There was a set of lights about 100 feet from the ramp, which the traffic was stopped at. I was the second car back from the lights, and to my immediate left, there was a truck (think Ford F-350-sized). All of a sudden, in my side mirror I see a small silver truck moving towards me. I was somewhat perplexed before I realized that the driver was trying to maneuver his vehicle between the two lanes of traffic. He pushed his way through (how he managed to fit is beyond me; no one moved to let him pass) and cut to the front of the line just as the light was turning green. I memorized the license plate number and asked my charge to dial the police.

The vehicle in front of me turned right onto a street just before the ramp onto the freeway. I was turning onto the freeway while speaking to the police department on my handsfree. The silver truck was now the only vehicle in front of me. As I was accelerating to match the speed limit of the freeway, I merged into the right lane. All of a sudden, the guy slammed on his brakes, stopped his truck right there on the freeway, got out and came screaming and waving his arms angrily at me. My charge was terrified! I started yelling at the police officer on the line, “Oh my god, he’s out of his truck! He’s coming toward us!” She told me not to get out of my vehicle and not to stop. I was terrified out of my mind, so I turned to go around him. I wasn’t able to go right, so I had to go left, out into the other lane of traffic. Thankfully, the oncoming traffic had seen what was going on and had slowed down, but a bus had to swerve out onto the center shoulder to avoid crashing into all of us.

I kept driving with the police on the phone. The silver truck started to follow me, and I told the officer that I wasn’t going to go home because I was afraid he’d follow me. I drove past my exit, and thankfully he took the next one. I informed the police which direction he was heading, and it was only minutes later that I could hear sirens. I really hope they got the guy.

On a more positive note, there was another incident a few years back where my husband and I were going out of town for the weekend. We were driving on the highway, keeping to the speed limit, and a few cars flew past us going at least 20 – 30 km/h over the limit. A few of them even flipped us off. However, karma decided to intervene, and a few kilometres later we passed one of the guys who’d flipped us off on the shoulder of the highway with a flat tire. I have to say, I smiled a little that day. 0108-11

{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Sarah January 13, 2011 at 9:49 am

A while ago, when we had snow here in the UK, I decided to walk the 3-miles to work, as I didn’t feel experienced enough to drive in the snowy conditions. Walking home from work one night I could hear a driver leaning on his horn, and the sound was getting closer and closer. Suddenly this silver prius entered the roundabout I was walking past with another car following close behind. It was the other car that was making all the noise. The Prius circled the roundabout at least 3 times with this other driver driving so close he was almost in the boot of the Prius! When the Prius got close to an exit, this other driver would speed up and get on the outside of the Prius, prevent it from exiting and sort of herding it back around the roundabout. All the while the driver was leaning out of the window yelling “I’ll kill you! I’ll f****** kill you!”. The driver of the Prius was wide-eyed with terror and I’m pretty sure there were kids in the back.

Eventually the Prius managed to exit the roundabout and luckily had taken the exit towards the local police station – with the other car still in hot persuit. By this time there were a few other pedestrians standing and watching the whole thing completely slack-jawed with shock. I wishone of us had had the presence of mind to shout “OI!” and at least let the angry driver know he was being watched but we were all completely stunned at what we were seeing. I have no idea what the Prius driver did to cause so much offense, but I can’t think of anything that could possibly warrant such behaviour from the other guy.

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Robert January 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

@OP: I lived and drove in LA for one year. I was amazed that in LA lanes were more of a suggestion than a rule. If there was enough space for a car to fit between two other cars (and sometimes when there wasn’t) then they would just drive between the two cars.

@ALI: I was in the fast lane of a three lane road when I saw a State Trooper in the middle lane. I had no idea what the speed limit was but I slowed to the cops pace and then slowly started to pass him. Just as I got even with the cop he hit his lights and siren for a few seconds which I took to mean I was going too fast. I slowed and pulled in behind the cop.

As all this was going on a guy in a BMW was tailgating me. As soon as I started to pull behind the cop, before I had even completed changing lanes, the guy in the BMW pulled around me and slammed his gas peddle to the floor. As soon as he shot by the cop the trooper put his lights and siren on and took off after him. I saw Mr. BMW pulled over a half mile down the road with the cop writing him a ticket.

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Robert January 13, 2011 at 10:21 am

@catwhisperer: So…the travel magazine was re-printing a very old joke RE the PIG! and COW!? The English setting was a nice touch though…

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--E January 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

I confess to being a bit of a leadfoot. I don’t object to people choosing to travel at or even below the speed limit, but then have the good sense to stay in the right (or at worst, center) lane on the highway. Going 70mph in the left lane of the NJ Turnpike on a clear day is stupid. (Also, illegal. Yes. It is illegal in New Jersey and most other states to travel in the left lane below the prevailing speed, even if the prevailing speed is well above the speed limit. If you’re not actively passing people, you shouldn’t be in the left lane.)

But I do wonder about the idiots who drive in the snow. I was on the Hutchinson River Parkway one day in a snowstorm. People familiar with the Hutch know that it’s almost impossible to speed on it under the best of circumstances. So I was going at 35mph in the right lane. Some schmuck got up on my tail and flashed his lights and so on to indicate I wasn’t moving fast enough. Eventually he figured out that there was a left lane and he could pass me. And once he did…he slowed right down to 25mph because he couldn’t see a gorram thing and there was 8 inches of snow with no tire tracks to follow in.

I ended up passing him. And he stayed a proper following distance behind me and behaved himself.

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Nyx January 17, 2011 at 4:07 pm

at the risk of sounding judgmental or too general in my assumption, I’ve noticed very often that the worse offenders in road-raging are middle aged men, often driving large vehicles as well. I’ve stopped counting how many times I end up cut-off or harassed after these dingbats realize they’ve just been passed by a girl (this is after passing them legally and safely without cutting them off or making any dangerous maneuvers in a passing zone because they were driving several KM/H below the posted limit). I’ve had some try to run me off the road or pass me illegally with oncoming traffic just so they could slam on the breaks in front of me. Thing is for them though, I am no shrinking violet and will hold my ground when I can.

On another note, I believe I may posses the first ever invisible car!! People in my city are notoriously bad for checking mirrors and blind spots before switching lanes and I’ve lost count of how many times they’ve tried to occupy the same space my car happens to be occupying at the time. And its not like I don’t try to be as visible as I can. First reflex when turning the switch is to turn the light switch as well. Even after honking at them, they’ll only pause for a moment and continue invading my lane instead of slowing down and merging behind me. I certainly am not going to slam on the breaks to let them in and risk being rear-ended and causing an accident. Too many people drive like they either are alone on the road or own it.

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Nyx January 17, 2011 at 4:08 pm

notorious for NOT checking mirrors…wish there was an edit button.

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Leslie Holman-Anderson January 19, 2011 at 12:09 am

I was driving from Idaho to Seattle, WA, in a Volkswagen loaded down with most of my possessions and a hysterical cat. When I crested Snoqualmie Pass, I drove smack into a blizzard — in the dark. So I’m poking along in the right lane at about 25 mph, white knuckled and hunched over the wheel trying to see, and this Pontiac Firebird swoops down on me so close it practically climbs up the back of my car, flashing its lights and roaring its engine. There’s nothing I can do: I’m going as fast as I dare. In a few minutes the Firebird backs off enough to pass me (yeah, he was _that_ close) and screams past me, throwing snow and swerving all over the lane. And in about a half a mile, I passed it, still at my sedate 25 mph, as it sat nose-first in a snowbank. No, I didn’t lean out the window and yell “Neener-neener!” but I had a much-needed laugh.

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Jess May 14, 2011 at 6:30 am

@DGS January 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm

I know this is a very late post but I have to say this.
As someone who has a friend who had their 1 year old daughter killed by a stupid irresponsible driver, and almost being killed myself (when I was 18, I am 25 now) when in an accident caused by one; I have to say that someone willing to risk the most precious thing I have- my life and my kids lives, for their own selfish reasons and sometimes no reason other than they want to look ‘cool’ is not someone to cry over if they die instead. I am sorry for his family and that he made the stupid decision to be killed BUT I would much rather it be the person behaving in a totally selfish reprehensible way that dies rather than me or my kids. Its sad you family member died but that was his own choice, and it would have been a lot sadder if it was an INNOCENT family or person/child, doing the right thing who had been killed instead. I cant apologize for how I feel because I feel VERY VERY VERY strongly about it. I think I have a right to this opinion when I could be dead right now if my car had landed a few inches more forward than it did (my head was caught between the car and the drivers door (like a sandwich) and would have been ripped off had my car slid into the tree and yes I was wearing a seatbelt and doing the right thing) all because some silly moron decided he felt like speeding through a bendy mountain road, sliding around corners at midnight. He diddnt have a scratch on him and was crying. I thought it was because of what he did to me and thought ‘at least he feels bad’ but when my 3 passengers managed to lift the car off me; they told me he was crying because his truck was all banged up and he only had it a week…….. If someone told me now that driver was killed in an accident, I have to admit I would smile just a little.

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