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 }

James November 9, 2011 at 8:07 am

What a terrifying ordeal! Unfortunately, as the OP observed, some people are crazy, and cars let them be crazy whilst piloting large metal boxes at high speeds.

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NorthernBelle November 9, 2011 at 9:09 am

People tend to view driving as a competition and I have NO idea why. This story reminds me of once when I was driving to school – although it didn’t escalate near as far.

On the road I was driving on, it had two lanes. They were both straight lanes – right lane for driving normally, left for passing, and far enough up on the road the right lane extends to a further right lane to turn in to the university.

Well, I was in the right lane driving behind this truck going maybe 50 when the speed limit was 80. I signal and get out in to the left lane to pass. I speed up enough to get in to the lane and go to turn in when he speeds up, too. I say whatever and then try to slow down enough to get behind him and just let him remain in front of me – I’m not here to race. He slows down too !!!! He keeps matching my speed for the next 5 or 10 minutes, and there’s nothing I can do because I’m in the left lane.

As we’re approaching the university and my time to turn was getting closer and closer, I speed up enough to safely get in front of the truck and then signal all of the way over. As I slowed down to make my turn, I glance over and he’s flipping me off. For what ?! I don’t know. I did not know this person, so I don’t know *why* he had to harass me this way.

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Tracey November 9, 2011 at 9:18 am

Crazy indeed! I had a road raging, middle finger shooting, mouth screaming lunatic follow me all the way to my son’s preschool because I HAD to merge in front of him on the interstate when my lane ran out. We were all driving 60+ mph so all he had to do was let up on the gas a little when he saw my blinker. He weaved in and out of traffic to stay on my bumper and when my effort to sneakily ditch him with a last minute exit didn’t work, he cut off cars himself trying to run me down. Apparently I got the husband of the crazy lady you encountered, LOL!

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Xtina November 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

Oh, there is this kind of crazy in every city. I have to imagine that the amount of time people like that woman spend dealing with people who have supposedly “wronged” them must be a full-time job. Yes, this woman is crazy, unbalanced, anything but normal.

When I was reading this about the getting in front of you and slamming on brakes, I had to wonder if this woman is related to the man who did the same thing to me a few years ago–same situation, his lane ran out and it was actually he who cut me off to get in my lane, and then got in front of me on a major highway in a large city and made it his business, for probably about 8 miles, to keep me behind him (which included insane high-speed multi-lane changes and driving around people erratically), and slam on his brakes, attempting to make me rear-end him. Of course he was also endangering other people on the highway, which he seemed oblivious to. To this day, I have no idea what he could have possibly thought he was doing–again, all I did was “be in his way” when he wanted to merge into another lane–that was my only offense!

Best thing to do in that situation is ignore, keep your comments to yourself, and if they try to assault you–do your best to protect yourself, including driving away or barricading yourself somewhere while you call the police.

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AMC November 9, 2011 at 9:46 am

I’ve had similar things happen to me before. Not the crazy stalking and road rage. Just other people breaking the law and cutting me when they’re in the wrong lane and then getting mad at me for it. I was at a stoplight on my lunch break once in a straight/left turn lane. The right lane was right turn only. I was intending to go straight, but as soon as the light turned green, the car in the right lane cut me off and turned left. I was startled because what they were doing was reckless and illegal, so I honked my horn at them…. and the driver flipped me off! They were lucky I saw them and was able to stop and not hit them.

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Hemi Halliwell November 9, 2011 at 9:53 am

Van lady probably thought you intentionally cut her off when you sped up to pass her to get into the turning lane. Then when your sister started making faces at her, that just fueled the fire.

You should never, ever roll down your window to try to reason with someone like that. Extremely dangerous. She could have had a gun or another weapon. Calling the police or driving to a police station would have been a better idea vs. rolling down the window trying to reason with her.

Sounds very scary!! I have had to deal with a few episodes of road rage but I have never had anyone follow me!

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alex November 9, 2011 at 10:07 am

She obviously thought you wronged her somewhere but she fails to realize what she did was a lot more crazy and dangerous than you cutting her off (if you even did so). And how much time did she waste being a jerk to you? Some people just can’t let things go.

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J's Mama November 9, 2011 at 10:18 am

Don’t try to make sense of the bad drivers. Next time, drive directly to the nearest police station and keep your doors locked while honking your horn. I did that once, when an insane group of guys thought it would be funny to follow me and scare me. Needless to say, a cop followed me to my destination, and another cop read them the riot act for scaring me.

You have no idea what people are capable of.

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Mjaye November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

I used to work for a company that delivered supplies to different retail stores. I could work on week-ends, if I needed to take off for a doctor appoitment. So, late one Sunday night, I was home and realized I left my ordering machine in a store about 10 miles away. I got in my car and began driving to the store. All the roads were two lane, no passing. It is dark and wooded and there are normally dead deer on the side of the road.
So, I am driving the speed limit when this other car began to follow me, bumper to bumper. There is no where to pull off safely. I got to the sotre, the car went into other parking lot. Then, he began to follow me again. I pulled into a gas station and asked them to call 911, since I stupidly left my phone at home.
The policeman showed up and the guy claimed I tail-gated his grandmother and then was why he was stalking me. I replied that it was really late at night and the roads werre pretty empty. The policeman told the guy to leave. I waited and went home a different way.
As for the people who rush to get ahead of you and slam on their brakes, that happens all the time.

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Ally L November 9, 2011 at 11:34 am

Oh, road rage stories. Everybody probably has at least a dozen. Here’s one of mine, and unfortunately I don’t come off looking that great, because of what my friends in my car did.

I was driving two of my friends to a restaurant during the day in an area we’re all very familar with, because we went to college there. It’s very crowded, 2 or 3 lanes in each directions, with plenty of turns, stoplights, and malls / strip malls where people could be turning off or entering the road. It’s lunch on a Saturday, and things are very, very crowded.

I’m sitting in the right lane a few cars back from a light, waiting to make the right turn ahead, but the “right turn only lane” hadn’t opened up yet, so I was waiting. This guy in a smaller car than me all of a sudden starts driving up the shoulder trying to pass cars! This shoulder is NOT big enough to do that, and there were business driveways, other cars, and curbs to his right side, and me in traffic on the other. I have an SUV, which takes up a bit more room, and I was nervous that such an idiotic bad driver might hit me, so the next time I inched up in traffic I moved to the right, to block his passage, but I was still comfortably in my lane.

This set the guy off! He bullied his way into the *real* lane behind me, and for the next 10 minutes honked, cursed, flashed his lights, and of course flipped us off. I just ignored him, because obviously he’s an idiot, but what finally shut him up was my frind turning around in her seat, and pretending to pick he nose at him. Yea, it was gross, and weird for a 25 yr old woman to do that, but it shut him up, and at least it wasn’t the finger, because that would have escalated things.

I was just at a loss the whole time, like HE’S the one breaking the law and driving dangerously, and yet he feels it’s appropriate to go off on me?

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Clair Seulement November 9, 2011 at 11:48 am

I can touch my tongue to the tip of my nose too! Look on the bright side OP, this woman has to *live* this way. You just had to witness it for a brief while.

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Rug Pilot November 9, 2011 at 12:22 pm

She’ll get hers. Once this happened to me on a deserted desert road. I had the pleasure of seeing the perp upside down over the next rise. It’s not nice to cut off a 26′ motorhome.Fortunately i don’t have to do anything about it. Things always “happen” to the people who drive like this.

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AS November 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm

Some people are just crazy. The cynical me wants to say that you should have called the police. It might have served her right.

This reminds me of an experience I had had. My boyfriend and I were once travelling to a skiing resort in a North-Eastern state. We started after a long day of work, which means we were driving after 8PM couple of days after a snow storm, which meant that the roads could be icy. At one point we entered a tunnel (where you cannot change lanes), and I on the wheel (we took turns to drive). We were in front of a freight truck. Because of icy roads I stuck to the speed limit, but the freight truck was not happy. He kept blinking his lights and trying to get me to speed up. I didn’t, and when we exited the tunnel where you can change lanes, the truck passed me. Fine until now. After a few miles of driving (I was still keeping to the speed limit), we fell behind a freight truck, and I passed it only to realize it was this same truck! He got mad at me for passing. He started swaying the truck and coming partly to the left lane, rolled down his window and started yelling at us. I passed and changed to the right lane. This was a place where trucks could only drive on right lane, and he started tailgating us real close and blinking his lights. It was scary to say the least! Luckily, we reached our exit soon after that and got thankfully off.

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Random November 9, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I was once driving on a bendy back road through the woods late at night. The person behind me apparently thought I was going to slow, despite the fact that I was actually speeding at the time (in NJ, the speed limit is more of a speed suggestion). This fool decides to get around me by driving into the lane for traffic going the opposite way just as we had reached another bend. He also shouted something at me, though I couldn’t hear it. Anyone could had been coming around that bend and smashed right into him. This sounds bad, but I sometimes wish people like that would get into an accident. Nothing too terrible, but just enough that they might learn something from this.

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Bint November 9, 2011 at 1:12 pm

I had a lorry driver do this to me for daring to overtake him on a deserted country road with tons of space. He shot up behind me and stayed there as the road turned windy, leaving no room even to turn off. If I’d had to brake he’d have killed me. Luckily we reached a town where he had to drop back. I pulled over, got his number plate, rang the company and got him fired.

Oh, and another lorry driver deliberately swerved into our car, which was in the fast lane of the M6, because my husband overtook him perfectly legally! Nutter! My husband floored it so I didn’t get his number plate, or I’d have pushed for him to lose his job as well. It’s terrifying.

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Lilac November 9, 2011 at 1:17 pm

I happened upon a blog about bad drivers awhile back. One post contained a youtube vido someone had made while driving as a passenger. They documented each time the driver in the car was “cut off” by other drivers. Trouble was NONE of these instances of being cut off was actually being cut off. People were just changing lanes normally–most of the time with plenty of room. All of the comments to the video were basically “dude, no one was cutting you off–it’s called merging.” It attested to the fact that some people’s perspective on what is normal driving behavior can be really skewed. My guess is that some of these impatient, easy to anger people have a very low tolerance for others getting into their personal space and are not paying close enough attention to notice blinkers and aren’t alert to other drivers. A normal lane change can startle them as if a deer jumped across the road–cold sweats and clammy hands ensue and their adrenaline goes wild. Then comes the freak out. Of course some are just jerks down to their DNA.

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Melissa November 9, 2011 at 1:22 pm

The first thing that I thought of with the way this woman was driving was that she might have been trying to cause an accident. This is actually a not uncommon scam (I don’t know exactly how common it is, but I have heard of it being used in more than one real life instance and seen it on TV) in which someone will try to get someone to crash into them and then go after their target for insurance money.

Or this woman could be someone who enjoys exercising power over others or who thinks that these sorts of “games” are fun.

Whatever the reason for her behavior, retaliation (including making faces, attempting to confront them verbally and making gestures) is typically a very bad idea. Scammers can be very dangerous to more than just your car and driving record and even if the person is just avenging a wrong or playing a game (in their mind) this can lead to them feeling they have a legitimate complaint against you or that they are helping you lighten up or some other excuse.

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bansidhe November 9, 2011 at 1:50 pm

I’ll bet nearly everyone on the board has a similar alarming story. Some folks are just nuts when they get behind the wheel.

I was in a similar situation once although my lunatic road rager was male. We wound up on the highway, where he thought it would be a bright idea to pull in front of me and slam on the brakes going 75 mph. Turned out it wasn’t such a hot idea after all, as he came very, very close to flipping his car. For what seemed like forever, he sailed along on two wheels with the car tilted at a dangerous angle. I didn’t hit him and he finally regained control of his car and pulled off to the side of the highway and just sat there. Perhaps the experience taught him something.

Another fellow pulled in front of me on my way home from work one evening, requiring me to hit the brakes quite hard to avoid smashing into him. I honked. I’m not talking “laying on the horn, gesticulating, and screaming” honking, but just a simple tap to let him know I was there. That whipped him into a frenzy of rage. He slowed to a crawl, then jammed on the brakes repeatedly. When it was safe to pass him, I did so, only to have him speed up until he was right on my tail, waving his arms and shouting – I presume – obscenities.

Then he began following me. No way was I going to lead him to my house. I live about a half hour’s drive from the Mexican border, so that’s where I headed. There are armed Border Patrol agents there. Roughly ten miles from the border, he gave up and turned around.

Oh yeah: with him in the car were his wife and two small children.

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Xtina November 9, 2011 at 1:56 pm

My husband once stopped for a yellow-turning-red light at a major intersection in our large (read: busy streets) city. Most people stop on the yellow at this intersection because you can’t cross all the way through without the light turning red. The guy in the car behind him pitched a raging fit because my husband didn’t run the light, complete with honking, yelling, middle fingers flying, etc……and then proceeded to pull onto the sidewalk and drive around my husband and through the intersection on a RED light. He had to weave between cars that were going from the opposite direction and it’s a wonder he didn’t get killed or wreck his car. Sheesh.

@ Rug Pilot: yep. Do it one too many times or cross the wrong person, and they will get their come-uppance.

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LovleAnjel November 9, 2011 at 2:11 pm

Oh, that must have been frightening! I wonder what she thought you “did” to her.

I commute 35 miles to work, mostly highway, every day. One morning last spring I was passing a slower car (me in the left lane, them in the right, as per normal) when a sedan came up behind me and started tailgating. I drive an SUV, and it’s one of the ones that has a bad rollover rating. I do not change lanes quickly. I passed the car in the right lane and changed lanes, a move which put me between the slow car and a slower truck ahead of it. I’m guessing I changed lanes TOO slowly, because the sedan that was tailgating me slowed down to box me in between the other car and truck. This forced the other car to slow down, since neither of us could pass the truck. He stayed there for a good 2 – 3 miles, then hit the accelerator and sped off.

As luck would have it, about 10 more miles down the road the I see sedan driver getting a ticket from the State Police. I just wish the cop knew just how dangerous the guy was being that morning.

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Ginger G November 9, 2011 at 2:19 pm

Just yesterday I read a brief story in our local paper about a man who went up to a woman in her car in a parking lot to confront her about her erratic driving. She took out a gun and fired it at him! Fortunately she missed and just hit another parked car, but is now being charged with attempted murder. Moral of the story is to just stay as far away from crazy drivers as possible and don’t try to confront them, even if you’re in the right!

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Wink-n-Smile November 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

This reminds me of an early Spielberg film, “The Duel.” Road rage was the entire plot, and it was a full-length film, and very frightening.

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admin November 9, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Wink,

Isn’t “The Duel” about a truck driver who terrorizes a motorist on a hilly, desert road with no local civilization around? You never see the truck driver’s face which makes the truck almost being a demonic “thing” pursuing the other car. Ends in a blaze of destruction as truck drives over a cliff.

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essie November 9, 2011 at 3:25 pm

J’s Mama is right. Road rage is one thing, but if someone starts deliberately following you (raging or not), their behavior has moved from the “Rude” column to the “Criminal” column. Do NOT, repeat that, DO NOT DRIVE TO YOUR ORIGINAL DESTINATION, especially if it’s one you use all the time (home, office, school, etc.). Sure, you can call the police on them, but they KNOW who called and now they KNOW where to find you.

Find a police station, fire station, or other public area (preferably with security cameras) and call the police from there. If possible, have the police detain them when you drive off, so they can’t follow you or lie in wait for you up the road.

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Skyline November 9, 2011 at 3:26 pm

I’ve never experienced anyone as psycho as that, but I did have a satisfying end to a moron encounter once. I’m doing a right turn and person opposite me in the intersection is doing a left turn. Instead of pulling into the left lane of the road we were both turning onto, he went across into the far right lane–the lane I was turning into. This is extra special, because there were three lanes. I have to brake and I give a short beep on the horn. He unrolls his window, gives me the bird, and brakes aggressively whilst I am signalling and lo0king over my shoulder to move into the left lane (had to turn left almost immediately). That’s when the cop pulled him over. Cop must have witnessed entire thing. Ahhh, satsifaction.

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Alyssa November 9, 2011 at 3:29 pm

Road rage. Common thing where I live apparently, considering how often I see someone tailgating, shouting or flipping the bird.

A few weeks ago actually, my sister and I were leaving our dance school (she was driving). In order to go home, we have to pull out of a driveway onto a major road with two lanes of traffic going either way. Normally this isn’t a problem as there often isn’t traffic when we leave late at night, or if there is a lot of traffic we just go the other way and turn around somewhere. On this particular night, the traffic was heavy on one side of the road but not the other. We decided to turn across the road to go home. We were waiting in the driveway when the cars come to a stop for the lights up the road so the two cars blocking us move forward and indicate that we can cross. We edge slowly across the lanes and see no traffic coming towards us so enter the road. As we pull out, some guy comes screaming towards us and has to slam on his breaks to avoid hitting us. We were in the wrong for cutting him off (even if it was accidentally) so we say sorry and gesture apologetically. He doesn’t care. This guy pulls up besides us and starts hooting. He just continually hoots for about 500m before he decides that he actually wants to run us off the road. So then he drives his car into ours and keeps trying to push us off the road, all while continuing to honk and scream and make wild gestures behind us. We were both terrified! Then he decides to get behind us. He follows us for ages, tailgating, honking, swearing and such. We try not to let it bother us and this gets him even more angry so once again he comes up our side and continues to push us off the road. All this time, he is weaving in and out of traffic, cutting other cars off etc. We were so terrified that he was going to follow us home that we had planned to go another route when thankfully the traffic carried him off and he could no longer abuse us.

This behaviour continued for a good 15-20 minutes. We were so terrified of what he was going to do to us. I guess we were just lucky that he didn’t manage to follow us home.

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Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm

My little sis accidentally cut off someone when she was learning to drive. He tried to run her off the road. The poor kid was only 15 and didn’t know how to drive in that situation. I don’t know what is wrong with people. I had to do a lot of late night driving and have been followed and had to deal with drunk drivers, but it’s that one that makes me really mad.

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spartiechic November 9, 2011 at 3:52 pm

That woman was definitely having some issues dealing with her emotions, especially rage. I agree with the other posters and encourage you to never roll down your window to a stranger, even one who isn’t acting erratically. If you are ever followed (it happened to me when I was a 18-year-old freshman in college), you should drive to the nearest police station. I don’t care if you are running late to be somewhere, your life is never worth a job/interview/date/etc.

I do have to ask why you felt the need to pass her when you only had a quarter of a mile left. She’d been behaving irrationally. The safest thing to do would have been to stay in the right lane until your turn comes and then make it. It also would have made it difficult to follow you if you are behind her. I know you really wanted to get away from her, especially since she seemed determined to cause an accident, but, unless you have more than a mile, it would be more prudent to just wait for your turn and stay on your toes.

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Margaret November 9, 2011 at 4:02 pm

My brother usually drives old clunkers, and tends to stick to the speed limit. Occasionally other drivers will tailgate him in what I suppose is an attempt to bully him into speeding. However, he just slows down, and the closer he gets, the slower he drives. He’s not usually in a rush, so it doesn’t matter to him if it adds a few minutes to his trip. Ha ha.

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FerrisW November 9, 2011 at 4:37 pm

I’m a big believer in people like that making bad karma and that they’ll get what’s coming to them at some point. Whenever someone does something stupid and dangerous to me on the roads, I have a mantra of ‘I hope you crash and only hurt yourself’ which is rather soothing.

On two occasions my mostly silent mantra has turned angrier and louder, with odd results. The first time, I was driving with a friend when a man in a car pulled in front of us and did the whole sudden braking, trying to get us to hit him. After he’d done that to us a few times, he zoomed ahead and did it to someone else, and then someone else after that- clearly it was a game for him. I said to my friend ‘I wish the cops would show up and he’d learn a lesson’ and the moment the words had left my mouth, we heard a siren and the car who’d been causing all of the trouble sped up and zoomed away, with the police car close behind. A few miles up the road, we saw the car pulled over with a policeman standing beside the driver, giving him a good telling off. My friend remarked that I obviously had some sort of mind powers and we laughed and carried on our way.

Then a few months later, while driving with the same friend on the motorway, a complete idiot cut me off so close and so sudden (without indicating) that I had to slam on the brakes (thankfully noone was behind me) otherwise we’d have crashed and at motorway speeds with my tiny car and this person’s giant SUV, we probably wouldn’t have survived. My friend was pregnant and at a difficult stage where the shock of the almost-crash was dangerous enough and I was very, very mad. I ended up on the hard shoulder, thoroughly shaken by how close it had been and said to my friend that I hoped his car engine would catch on fire. A few minutes later, as we carried on our way, we saw the car pulled over, the hood up and smoke billowing out from the engine, with the driver beside it stomping his feet as he yelled at someone on his phone. My friend looked at me in awe and a little bit of fear. We now joke that I can get revenge on evil motorists with my mind, and whenever we’re driving together and someone does something stupid and dangerous that could injure us, she’s the one who says ‘Ooh, watch out or FerrisW will zap you with her mind powers!’.

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J's Mama November 9, 2011 at 4:52 pm

There’s also a movie called Joy Ride, with Paul Walker, where two guys play a joke involving a cb radio on a semi truck driver. It really was terrifying to think that there are people really out there that would use there car ( or semi in the case of the movie) like a weapon.

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AriaDream November 9, 2011 at 5:09 pm

@Ally L

That’s gross, but at least it worked! I’m impressed.

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boxy November 9, 2011 at 5:12 pm

Yes, “The Duel” was about Dennis Weaver being pursued by an Evil Truck(er). Man that movie messed with my head. I was scared to death of semis for a long time after that!

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jen a. November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

A few years ago my uncle was driving home. When he was near his neighbourhood, he noticed a van driving erratically. It was speeding, honking the horn at slower drivers, tailgaiting, and cutting people off. The van ended up rolling through a stop sign and nearly causing an accident with my uncle’s elderly neighbour. Stupidly, the crazy driver was driving the company vehicle. My uncle called the police when he got home and reported the driver. He got a call later on from the police informing him that they had called the company, and the driver had been fired. Unfortunately this is one of the only road rage stories where the bad guy actually got punished for what he did….

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Le_Meh November 9, 2011 at 5:37 pm

I honestly feel that people need to take some sort of required psych evaluation to even be allowed to drive.

I recall a story that my parents had told me. Some family members of mine, along with my parents, opted to go somewhere and decided to bring along my uncle. Now, my uncle is ill-tempered (which is important later on) individual who will not walk away from an altercation. My parents had been driving with my uncle in the car, and something must have happened where my father may have gotten in front of another driver, “merging”, and my uncle who was immature at the time, sitting in the back seat decided to “flip the bird” at the driver in car in back of them. Unbeknownst to them, as my family pulled into the destination, the driver had followed them and brandished a gun to my father because of what my uncle did. -____-

It just goes to show you that people are not sane on the roadway.

And OP, I feel for you I really do, but the next time that ever happens to you, make sure you take the model, make, and year of the car along with the license number and a description of the driver if you can, and if they happen to do that to you again, Heaven forbid, pull into the nearest police station.

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Cat November 9, 2011 at 7:21 pm

I went through this sort of thing five days a week for two years. My parents made me attend the same college as my older brother so he could drive us there and back. There was a certain place in the road when one lane ended and drivers had to merge into the one other lane in that direction. My brother would match his speed to the car that would have to merge and he would deliberately run the car off the road onto the verge. He knew that, if the other car hit us, it would be on my side and I would be the one hurt.

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inNM November 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm

My dad taught defensive driving for almost 10 years, and I’ve learned a lot about reading drivers and how to handle situations by avoiding them. (For example, I religiously use the three second plus rule every time I drive and it’s helped me avoid hitting someone from behind many times.) I advise anyone and everyone that they should learn defensive driving, because it works (and saves on insurance)

The best advice, however, came from my mom. Very shortly after earning my licence, my mother was giving me some real-world driving practice by having me run errands with her. While on the highway, she notice that I was nervous because people kept tailgating me to go faster. She made me come off on the next exit and park in a mall, then told me that I was doing fine and that I should not cave into pressure to speed because of other drivers: If they were such great drivers, then they should find a way to go around me and go their way instead of forcing me to speed up.

She was right. I mean, if you can’t find your way around safely overtaking a young driver driving at the speed limit, I guess you’re not as great of a driver as you thought you were.

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Kathryn November 9, 2011 at 8:43 pm

I have two stories.

The first is from a couple of years back. I was on a major road that turned into a freeway. I CANNOT remember what I did to annoy the other driver because I wasn’t bothered by his driving or was trying to cut him off or anything. But it started at the last set of traffic lights before the freeway. I zoom off when the lights turn green and the car behind me follows closely behind me. Not wanting him to tailgate me, I move to the right lane (I’m in Australia where we drive on the left) of a dual carriageway. The fellow comes up next to me and matches my speed. For the next few kilometres, he’s yelling and flipping me off and moving his car into my lane to try to push me into the concrete wall next to me. It was freaking me out!! I ignored him and eventually he left me alone. But I was quite scared.

The second story involves me as the perpetrator and I’m sharing it because it taught me an important lesson. I was driving home from a very hard day as a relief teacher at a primary school. One child in particular was like the spawn of Satan himself and had really gotten to me (though I didn’t let him know that in class). Anyway, it set me up for being in a very bad mood on the way home. I was in the right lane with two cars ahead of me. The first car was going a little below the speed limit and the cars in the left lane were taking an exit soon, so I stayed in the right lane hoping to change once the cars had exited. The cars in the left exit, I move over and speed up to pass the two cars ahead of me. Just as I approach the first car, he moves into my lane! UNBEARABLE! Didn’t he see that I was passing him? The second car doesn’t accelerate, so now I’m stuck! ARGH!

Usually this would cause me a little bit of annoyance and then I’d get over it. But not today. No, today this guy has it out for me and I will not stand for it! At a set of traffic lights ahead I end up pulling a very dangerous move wherein I merge into this guy’s lane just ahead of him to avoid slowing down for cars turning ahead of me at the intersection. He didn’t slow down/didn’t see me. It almost causes an accident. But it shocked me into realising how atrocious my behaviour on the road was. Although I was still feeling quite angry, I was a very sensible driver for the rest of the way home.

Lesson learnt: before driving when having an angry day, take the time to realise my anger, anticipate it, pray about it and THEN drive. I didn’t realise how angry I was about Satan-spawn-student until I endangered my life and others’ on the road

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Lizza November 9, 2011 at 9:59 pm

On the way to my boyfriend’s work the road is four lanes (two each way) all the way, but when you get to the business area the second lane becomes less for driving and more for parking. There is one point where, almost , will gun it at the light to get past me so they aren’t stuck waiting behind the parked cars. I just don’t get why they don’t get over earlier because it is clearly visible from a good distance back that there are parked cars!

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hannabanna November 9, 2011 at 10:55 pm

We’re taught in driving school to just get off the road when someone is tailgating. I know its not always possible, but getting away from that person should be a priority.

Still not sure if road rage has anything to do with etiquette, seems more like some psychological issues, or illegal activities more than etiquette.

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Edhla November 10, 2011 at 8:40 am

Not that I’m in any way, shape or form condoning road rage, but I think the reason it’s so prevalent is because people tend to get aggressive when they’re scared, even if they’re scared by the ramifications of their OWN actions. Notice how she was fine to bully you because she was in charge, but freaked out when she perceived you doing the same.

It’s also about communication- you can’t really communicate your intentions while driving, except with an indicator (sometimes ignored) or a horn (seen as abusive no matter how it’s used, sadly.) Because we are unable in most cases to even use eye contact let alone explain our actions (or warn of our actions) to others while driving, if a near-miss happens or someone does something dangerous, cue lots of screaming and swearing and abusing and “getting back” with even more dangerous driving. Ugh. I hate road rage.

Agreeing with what others have said, though. If someone is making it unsafe for you to be on the road, pull over if you safely can (preferably somewhere well lit, with other people around.) If some angry psycho approaches you, lock your doors. Do not roll the window down. Don’t roll your eyes, taunt, respond, blast your horn (USE your horn, yes, but a blast is considered an angry challenge) or otherwise antagonise- and if you can, get away.

Sorry for the PSA, just saying.

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Wink-n-Smile November 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

Cat, was your brother deliberately trying to kill or injure someone, or was he just that clueless?

Some young people truly believe that they are immortal, and their actions have no consequences. It’s all fun and games until the consequences actually hit them, personally.

I hope that he was so lucky that they didn’t. And yet, I hope he learned his lesson.

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Roslyn November 10, 2011 at 11:24 am

Edhla is right, don’t feed into them, don’t look at them etc etc. MANY years ago I worked late at a fast food place and I was getting off work after 1 am and driving home. It wasn’t far, but I noticed that every turn I made the same car was always behind me. I did NOT drive home, but straight to the police station. Once I parked right out front and just sat there, the car SLOWLY drove past me and I wrote down the plate number, just in case. I sat there for about 10 minutes before I didn’t see anyone, then I went the opposite way and drove around a little and then went home. I also parked in the back yard that night so my car couldn’t be seen from the street. It left me a little freaked out.

Several years ago I remember there was something right downtown. A woman stopped her car in the middle of the main street and put the window down, and the man stopped his car behind her and got out. She opened her door and had her legs out and he came up screaming at her and spit on her. Then he took her car door and slammed them on her legs over and over. One leg ended up broken!!

I don’t remember the “why” of the situation, but geez. Note to self. NEVER stop your car and confront someone like this!!

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NorthernBelle November 10, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I was taught in driving school to pull off to the side if there’s an aggressive driver or tailgaiter behind you, too. The problem is, this is really only safe (in my area, at least) on residential roads. On busy highways at speeds of 80 – 100km/h though – not so much. It would be more dangerous to pull off than to continue on your way.

There should be other ways of dealing with these psychos. I like the idea that another poster had – for people to take some sort of mental evaluation before getting your license :P

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Miriam November 10, 2011 at 1:53 pm

I understand your break is short, but if you show up to work with a police report showing some crazy lady was trying to hurt your then I’m sure you wouldn’t have been reprimanded. You should have pulled over and called the cops and turned in her license plate number, if she argues it they have stoplight videos.

I remember my friends mother had a crazy person braking in front of her, constantly cutting her off, until she did hit him. She died and he was sent to prison all because he wanted a new car.

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Wink-n-Smile November 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm

Admin – # 24 – Yep, that’s the one. It scared me, something fierce, as I was just learning to drive when I saw it.

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lnelson1218 November 11, 2011 at 9:44 am

While this doesn’t qualify as road rage, it does add to the theme of “why do people do that?”
I was driving to work one morning. I passed a guy going slightly under the speed limit (it was a two lane road). He was on his cell, which might have been why is was going slower.
At this point, no one is really doing anything wrong, rude, etc.
A few minutes later one, I am stopped at an intersection which has three lanes. One for right turns, one for straight ahead, one for left turns. I am in the right turn lane. Not going anywhere, right on red is allowed however since cars are coming, I am not going. The guy whom I has passed, came up beside me thus creating a fourth lane and then proceeded to turn right. I do wish I had gotten his plate number. There is a place to report this bad driving in VA.

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Enna November 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

Some drivers are so bad makes you wonder how they passed their test. I think if people had to resit their driving test every 4 years or so they bad drivers would not pass or they would not be allowed to develop such bad habbits. I know disqualified drivers will still drive but they get finned and can end up in prision for it.

Mum was dropping me off at the train station once and we were at a roundabout – Mum had to give way and there was a lot of traffic. A van driver behind us kept on tooting his horn at her. She physically could not go it would be suicide if she did. If he allowed enough time for his journey and even if he did and it was no fualt of his own he was late that is no reason to be a bad driver. He would be even more late if Mum had pulled out in front of an oncoming car as there would have been a major pile up at the roundabout gridlocking it – something he might have been inolved in too if he pushed out behind her – would make him even more late and possibly injured if she had.

Another time my Dad was driving and a woman was tailgaiting us – he couldn’t turn down the close where we park normally because she was that close, he moved to the left slightly so she could get buy. Another thing my Dad has pointed out to colleuges who have children and use childminders 1) Contract enough hours and pay for the childminder to allow for enough time for parent to collect child 2) this should allow enough time in case parent is late 3) it is wrong to speed, if you have to speed to save £10 that is dangerous and cheap, you will get speeding ticket 4) by speeding to collect child, the parent is putting other children’s lives in danger, is it really okay to run the risk of killing someone else’s child so you can save £10? No.

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Leah November 12, 2011 at 2:37 pm

Margaret –
I slow down just like your brother.
I figure if someone is going to hit my car, I want it to be at a nice slow speed.

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Jade November 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm

I remember many years ago reading a news report about a case of road rage where a man on a motorcycle chased a young woman in a car. According to the report he tore the radio aerial and drivers side mirror off her car, kicked and dented her panels and verbally abused her until he reduced her to tears. He was caught and brought to trial and the judge asked him ‘why’ he had gone off on this girl the way he had and he replied to her that he had smiled and waved at her at the traffic lights and she hadn’t smiled back.

It baffles me to this day how he thought terrorising her and damaging her property was going to make her smile at him, but it reinforces that you never engage these people, don’t argue, don’t flip the bird and never, ever wind down your windows or get out of the car. Just keep going, get away from them as soon as possible, even if it means taking extra time to get where you’re going and if all else fails involve the police.

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MellowedOne November 14, 2011 at 7:27 am

lnelson1218, you ask, “why would they do that?”

In your example, I see two possible answers:
1. The guy was inpatient, therefore he chooses an unwise driving decision
2. The guy had opportunity to note that you are someone who “waits for an engraved invitation” to enter traffic, observes he could be at this intersection a while because of it, and takes what he feels to be the only practical solution.

I’ve seen both happen before, and both can be aggravating.

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