Road Rage

by admin on November 9, 2011

My husband and I both worked full time jobs in retail.  Every day at 3 I would take my lunch from work, go to the school and pick up my sister, and then drive fifteen minutes away to pick up my husband from work. I would then drive the twenty minutes back home, drop them off, grab a quick sandwich and head back into work since I only had an hour.  We only had one car and couldn’t afford another.

I had just picked my sister on this lovely day and was sitting at a red light. The section of road we were on had two lanes for our side; one lane >went straight down a country road that led to my husbands work, and the other lane ended at the light we were sitting at.  It was a turn only lane.

I am a very friendly driver, and since this road is off a main highway I am sure a lot of people are just passing through to grab a bite to eat or something and might not realize that the lane was ending.  Had this woman in any way tried to get my attention and motioned that she wanted over, I would have let her, happily.  However, that would use common etiquette, and if she had done that I would not have this story to share.

So the light turns green and I let up on the brakes and start driving. The lady in the van next to me drives by me quickly and cuts me off. I slam on my brakes so I don’t hit her.  I am a bit shaky and roll my eyes at my sister, but we continue on.  No big deal, the lady was a jerk, I go on with my life.   So we are driving down this country road and she starts randomly slamming on her brakes.  At first I wonder if something is wrong with her car, but as it continues I realize she is trying to get me to hit her.  The funny part about that, was I wasn’t tailgating her or anything, so I had ample time to stop each time she did it.  I think drugs might have been involved with her.  I think this lady was obviously insane or stoned.

So we get to the larger city where my husband works and the road turns into a 3 lane on each side road.  There is about a quarter mile before I have to turn right, so I get in the middle lane to pass her at a reasonable speed.  Apparently, when I was getting back into her lane in front of her, she had sped up majorly so I wouldn’t be able to get over.  When I looked behind me to get back into her lane I had plenty of room and I didn’t realize she was speeding up.  So when I got over she had to slam on her brakes.  I continue on, and get into the far right turn lane that had started by that point.  She speeds up and cuts off a car and get in the lane next to me (two turn lanes turning right) and I look at her nervously but continue to the red light.  The light turns red and there are a few cars ahead of me, and she is sitting directly next to me.  She rolls down her window and starts screaming at me.  Thinking I could figure out what I did wrong, I rolled down my window, too.  She tells me I am a crazy b*tch and that I almost killed her cutting her off when I passed her three minutes before.  I look at her like she’s crazy and roll up my window and look straight ahead.  My lunch break is way too short to deal with crazy.

This is where my twelve year old sister makes things worse.  The lady is screaming at me, I am ignoring her, and my sister thinks it would be hysterical to make silly faces at her.  Like, put her tongue on the tip of her nose while wiggling her ears and crossing her eyes.  Monkey faces.  The works.  I am busy shushing her and trying to get her to stop, frantically, telling her you don’t antagonize the crazy folks, and the lady loses it (she could not hear what I was saying or anything, this was said in hushed tones to my sister with the windows rolled up).  We are ready to turn at this point, so irate van lady cuts off the car behind us and follows us.  We are at the strip mall where my husband works, so I drive quickly to where he is standing outside his work for help.  I look at him all freaked out, he looks at the van that pulls up behind us and the lady gets out of her car.  She runs over to my car and I refuse to roll down my window.  She starts screaming at me and telling me I am insane and an awful driver and I’m going to get the entire city killed.  I look straight ahead and ignore her.  This frustrates crazy lady and she starts beating on my window with her fist.  My husband comes over to her and tells her if she touches the car again he will call the police.  She points her finger in his face and screams some more, then gets in her van and speeds off.

I still have no idea what happened.  All this started because she cut me off and I did nothing.  It makes no sense!  0510-09

{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Clair Seulement November 15, 2011 at 12:06 pm

@lnelson1218: (1) talking on a cell phone is against the law in most places, so that’s something that was being done wrong; (2) it is par for the course where I live (NJ, USA) to make rights around people who are going straight as long as there’s room and visibility. No cop would pull anyone over for that, and most people actually leave room for this to occur to be polite. Not saying it’s perfectly by-the-book, it’s just not considered dangerous where I’m from.

Somewhat tangential, but in my experience, not enough people are aware that driving in the passing lane is also illegal, at least on highways in the US. If you are in the left lane, you must either be passing or yielding to faster-moving vehicles, not tooling leisurely for miles getting self-righteous about the tailgating and high-beam flicking going on behind you.

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Stitchin November 21, 2011 at 4:09 am

Cat, did you ever tell your brother to stop it? If you were afraid of your brother, did you ever tell your parents, and ask them to let YOU drive? I would have reported him to the police, honestly; he was a constant and chronic danger to you, other drivers, and any passengers those drivers might have had with them.

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LonelyHound February 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I have two stories:

The first is about a bad driver who gets theirs. I was living in Chicago with my FH. We lived in the ‘burbs but loved to visit the city in the weekend. Since, traffic is terrible and parking is non-exisitant we almost always took the Metra train in and out of the city. We loved to ogle the people driving their cars to and from the city as traffic is always backed up. One afternoon we were headed home when we see a police car behind another car obviously giving the driver a ticket. Nothing new, but the lights caught our attention. As we are watching the lights we see another driver, obviously sick of waiting in traffic, decide to change the emergency lane into a driving lane only to have to slam his brakes on or slam into the police car. What made it even more funny was the officer did not even look up from his pad. He merely finished the ticket at one car then wrote a ticket for Mr. Emergency Lane without raising his head. :)

The second happened to me. I was driving down a street that was three lanes to a point. At this point the far right lane becomes a right turn only and the other lanes go straight. There are a lot of people who try to race the crowd and cut people off to make the right. It was a snowy, icy day and people were pulling the stunt of cutting people off to get into the right turn lane. I was already in the lane and was focused on not hitting the driver in front of me because, even though we were not that close, she kept hitting her brakes when people would cut her off. Like I said we were not that close but it was very icy. I was so focused on not hitting her that I did not notice the car next to me until she almost slammed into me. I honked and made my right turn. The lady threw me the bird then tailgated me. I thought she was just venting anger but she matched me turn for turn, lane change for lane change. At this time I am three months pregnant and I was terrified. I pulled into a parking lot for a restaraunt and dashed inside. The lady followed me into the parking lot!! She was looking for me to as she circled the parking lot twice and then left! I was so scared that the restaraunt workers asked me if I wanted them to call the police for an escort to work. Brr!

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Angela June 14, 2012 at 2:59 am

Sounds like you did the best thing, to ignore it. I always ignore crazy road rage people and move on. One time I was stopped behind traffic and a driver coming the other way down the road had stopped to turn into the road, but the traffic was stopped bumper-to-bumper so there was no way through. The driver who had to turn into the side road then proceeded to honk their horn crazily and abuse the driver who was blocking their way, even though that driver wasn’t breaking any road laws (not in a keep clear zone, simply stopped because of traffic). Everyone stopped to watch and looked at this crazy person. I don’t see how blowing your top would miraculously get a car to move out of your way when it clearly has nowhere to go. When traffic cleared we all gave way to this crazy person and drove on!

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