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Road Rage

2002 Archive

2003 Archive

A few years ago while I was still living in Miami, Fl. I ended up in the "exact change only" lane on the toll road. When I got to the basket I threw in what I thought was the correct change and waited for the gate to go up so I could pass through. When the gate did not move and I realized that I had no more money with me in the car I had to wait a minute or so for the attendant to walk over to my lane. As I was explaining my situation to him my car starts moving forward. I then realize that the man in the car behind me was PUSHING my car forward with his. I had to keep my foot planted firmly on the brake to keep my car from hitting the gate. Luckily the attendant put the gate up so I could leave before the idiot behind me decided to come up with a more destructive way to get me out of the way.

Road Rage 0806-03

I was in a ‘super store’ parking lot – there are about 30 different shops and restaurants in this one section, and the parking lot is not too well designed, full of stops and hard turns. I was trying to get out, and I was cut off half way over a stop line. I looked to the left (traffic coming into the parking lot) and saw this woman driving in, and her head was turned to the left, so if she did not look, she would have bashed right into me, I had nowhere to go – she also had a couple kids in her car. So I beeped the horn to get her attention, who wants an accident, right? In her overwhelming gratitude, this woman starts YELLING at me, you could see her wild eyes – and of course flips me off wildly. I would have let it go entirely, but in the back seat, you could see her kids mimicking Mom, right down to their middle fingers. SIGH!

Road Rage 0808-03

Since moving to Baltimore I've collected more road rage stories than I ever thought possible... and I've even considered starting a driving school in hopes that perhaps by teaching the young to drive properly, eventually people here will all get the idea. Just a dream, I suppose. Anyhow, recently I was driving through downtown Baltimore to pick up my boyfriend from work. There was a major traffic jam, and from listening to the radio I learned that the road I was on was closed up ahead due to a bomb scare.

My boyfriend had walked several blocks to where I was and hopped in the car. Because the road was closed up ahead, everyone was trying to get over to the left in order to get onto a different road. I, being the very courteous New England driver I was taught to be, let several people go in front of me so we could all filter into the left turn lane. But when it was my turn to go, my attempt was completely stopped by an elderly woman in a Cadillac who was determined to go straight at that intersection (onto a closed road). Now, I understand being annoyed at a traffic jam and not wanting to let someone in, but in all seriousness, this was an unusual situation and letting me in was certainly not going to make her any LATER than she would be already. I had made some gestures at her (pointing to the empty spot on her left, where I needed to get, trying to show her I wasn't cutting her off but needed to get on the other side of her) when the woman just went insane. She started screaming and making wild, obscene gestures. She very nearly rammed me with her car.

The driver in front of her saw what was going on and pulled just enough to the side that I was able to make a quick move through into the left lane (very nice driver). At this point, even though I was *not in front* of the mad woman, she continued honking on her horn and screaming and waving at me. Why can't people just relax? What is so hard about saying to oneself, "hmm... this is a nasty jam, may as well be nice, I'm not going anywhere anyhow"? Why can't people just calm the heck down? I was upset all afternoon over how mean that lady was, and I hadn't even gotten in her way!

Road Rage 0808-03

I've stayed up past many a bed time reading your site, and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I don't know if this counts as a breach of etiquette, but this incident made me so angry that I just had to tell someone. Maybe I should be the one pitched into Etiquette Hell...maybe I handled it poorly, I don't know. All I know is I had had enough of poor driving habits and I wasn't going to take it anymore! Here is my story:

Driving at the best of times bothers me because you just never know what you're going to find out there on the roads. This incident still has me shaking my head in disbelief.

I was driving home from the store one evening, and turned down the back lane towards my residence at the end of the block. It's a bit of a blind turn, so it wasn't until I had actually turned that I spotted the car parked IN THE MIDDLE OF THE LANE, leaving no room to maneuver around. I guessed (correctly) that the driver was inside the ice cream shop which is on the corner where I turned from.

I'm not sure what the laws are like elsewhere, but where I live it is illegal to reverse from an alley or lane onto a regular road, (unless you're reversing from your own personal driveway). Not only is it illegal, but with the ice cream shop being right there, swarms of kids are usually running around and it would be down-right dangerous to do so. So I was stuck with no room to maneuver, until the owner of said parked car returned with her purchase.

About five minutes later, the driver came strolling out of the store with her son, he with an ice cream cone and she holding two banana splits. She sheepishly smiled at me, but made no attempt to hurry as she tried to strap her child in and work out the logistics of getting this ice cream home. I was trying very hard to be patient but was getting tired of this nonsense...but she was at least getting into her car so I would be getting home soon, or so I thought.

She starts the engine and PUTS HER CAR INTO REVERSE, hoping I will reverse and let her out. I was not about to risk running a child over or get a ticket because she couldn't be bothered to take an extra 30 seconds out of her schedule to drive straight ahead and exit the backlane at the other end. I thought for sure she'd see this logic and move forward any minute. Nope. Instead, she got out of her car and came over to "apologize". She smiled and said she was sorry...I informed her that the back lane is not a parking lot, and there are people who live along the block who need access to their homes. She smiled again, apologized again, and I guess was standing there in the expectation that I would reverse and let her out the short way. When I made no move to do so, she started yelling obscenities at me (while her child looked on). I refused to budge, telling her that it was illegal and dangerous for me to reverse onto the street, and all she would have to do would be to drive straight and she would easily exit the back lane.

She got into her car and turned off the ignition. Fine. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, it's 35 degrees (Celsius--Real Hot in American terms) right now, and I'm not the one with 2 banana splits in the car. I wonder how long she'll sit there?" By this time a small crowd of ice cream shop customers had gathered, most of them looking down the lane and shaking their heads, wondering why this woman wasn't moving anywhere. It lasted for about 2 minutes, until another vehicle pulled up behind me, also trapped by the blind turn. She finally turned on the ignition, drove straight and exited the back lane at the other end, giving me the finger as she drove off. (Nice example to set for her son, I'm sure).

I think whoever was at home waiting for a banana split got ice cream soup instead.

Road Rage 0809-03

I was driving on the highway which bypasses Nanaimo, Canada one afternoon. As I slowed to stop for a traffic light, I saw a little yellow sports car, which had been ahead of me, swerve on to the off ramp at the nearby exit. A large pickup truck with a canopy was stopped ahead of him at the end of a line of traffic. The yellow sports car, which by this time was traveling less than 5 kilometers per hour, rear-ended the truck. It was really just a tap. There wasn't even a scratch on either vehicle. The driver of the truck, who looked much like an organ-grinder's monkey, jumped out of the cab in a frothy rage and ran over to the driver's window of the sports car. The driver of the sports car started to roll down his window, but the truck driver started shouting the foulest obscenities (even by Nanaimo standards - it is a bit rougher cut than the big city) and questioning his sexual orientation. He punched the partially open window and nearly broke it. The sports car driver closed the window, but the truck driver punched it three more times. His swearing attracted the attention of other drivers, who pulled their cars over to the shoulder to watch him. When it appeared likely that the truck driver was about to escalate his attack on the sports car, its driver decided to scoot. The truck driver ran back to his truck, and gave chase down one of the major arterial routes to the city core.

It is people like my favorite monkey who can turn an inconsequential event into a potentially life-threatening situation.

Road Rage 0915-03

I was in my car with my two roommates, preparing to make a right turn at an extremely busy intersection. Although right turn on red is allowed in our state, I was not feeling inclined to use the option at the moment; the intersection in question is notorious for accidents and has been constantly named as one of the most dangerous in my state. Most of them are caused guessed it...drivers making badly-timed right turns on red lights.

However, the gentleman behind me seemed to disagree with my assessment of the situation. He began flashing his lights, honking, etc. to alert me to the fact I should risk my and my roommates' lives because he was apparently in a hurry. We ignored him, and at long last, the light turned green.

I made my right turn onto a four-lane road. Since I was turning left just up ahead, I went ahead and got into the left-hand lane as I completed the turn. I guess the guy behind me was in such a hurry, he really wasn't able to pay attention to what he was doing. He pulled out right behind me and to the lane to my left...which happened to be the turn lane for the drivers coming in the OPPOSITE direction. Luckily for him, there was no one there for the moment. But instead of slowing down and pulling in behind me where there was no traffic, he sped up, jerked around my car (we could see his girlfriend/wife/whatever screaming in terror as they went by), and pulled out front of me.

So what was so important that he just missed causing a major accident? Well, about two seconds later, he jerked BACK into the center turn lane and turned left into a Taco Bell. Um, yeah, because you know those tacos are in short supply and they might run out any minute. My roommates and I caught our breath, shook our heads, and went to our destination as fast as legally allowed.

Keep up the good work on your wonderful website. I know it brightens up my day.

Road Rage 0920-03

I live in a very rural area & was driving home from work (around dusk) down a 2 lane road that has NO shoulders. The lanes are narrow & lined with trees - no room for mistakes.

There was a large sedan about a ¼ mile ahead of me & we were both traveling about 55 mph. Suddenly, the sedan's passenger tires went off the right edge of the road! It was heart-stopping as the dust started flying! The driver managed to pull the car back onto the roadway without stopping & continued on. (Whew!)

I wondered why the sedan went off the road & was scanning the road ahead for debris when I noticed a beat-up black pickup coming towards me (he had just passed by the sedan). I made eye contact with the driver just as he JERKED HIS STEERING WHEEL to the left on purpose!!! (This nut was apparently getting his kicks by playing an abridged version of chicken.)

I don't understand why, but I didn't even flinch & held my lane! I looked in my rearview mirror & this IDIOT went off one side of the road, then the other, trying to regain control of his pickup because I didn't react like the driver of the sedan.

My words to him in my rearview mirror were, "Don't mess with a child of God."

Road Rage 0923-03

The community college I go to is very well attended and parking is a sometimes problem. The lots are large enough, but to find a spot that is reasonably close to the entrance, you have to circle around like a buzzard and wait until you find someone pulling out of their spot.

One day, I lucked out. A guy was just getting ready to leave a very good spot which was close to the entrance. He was just about to pull out when another guy walked up to his car and the two began talking. I put my signal on, and patiently waited for them to finish talking so he could leave. I was there for two or three minutes. Finally his friend leaves, and he begins to pull out of the spot. I noticed another car coming slowly towards me in the other direction, vying for a parking spot as well. The driver, a young girl, was eyeing the same spot that I had been waiting for. She slowed down even more, taking in the whole picture, (the spot about to be vacated and me waiting there with my signal on, OBVIOUSLY about to pull into it.)

When the guy had finished pulling out and I began pulling in, she suddenly decided to go for it. No signal, no warning, she just floored it. She whipped in front of me and into the spot so suddenly I had to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting her, I missed her by mere inches. She then proceeded to turn her car off, as nonchalant as can be, and began applying her makeup. I was so angry I was practically shaking.

I put my car in park, and walked up to her window, tapped on it and gestured for her to roll it down. She looked mildly annoyed by my interruption, but rolled it down a couple of inches. I said to her....

"That was dangerous! You could have caused an accident. What do you think you were doing? You saw me waiting there with my signal on." She replies....."Well, yes, I saw you......but I WANTED the spot." I was so amazed by her audacity, I was speechless. She then rolls up her window and continues putting on her makeup, as though her explanation settled the matter.

I was absolutely LIVID! I am not a violent person, nor am I prone to road rage...but at that moment I felt like dragging her out of her car and beating her within inches of her life right there in the parking lot. I told myself it wasn't worth going to jail for...and reminded myself that I am an adult.....and adults don't go around beating people up over parking spots. Somehow, I managed to force myself to walk away. But not before I wrote down her license plate number so I could give it to the campus security.....I made sure to stand right in front of her car so she would SEE me writing it down. This didn't phase her in the least. She simply ignored me, and continued to apply her makeup as though she had every right to be there.

How could someone be that rude, selfish and inconsiderate ? Apparently nobody ever taught her any manners. What a spoiled brat!

Road Rage 0924-03

The on ramp that I use to get on the freeway when I leave work has two lanes that merge into one before the ramp merges with the freeway. A driver in the right lane of the ramp has about 20 yards to get left before his car goes flying off the ramp and into a Wendy's parking lot, 30 feet below. I was in the right lane one day and saw that the nearest car in the left lane was far enough back that I had room to get over, so I put on my signal and started to get to the left. Of course, as soon as I did, the guy in the left lane floored it, and I had to slam on my brakes to prevent going airborne off the side of the ramp. I got behind him and we merged on to the freeway, where I pulled around to pass him on the left. As I went by, I glanced over to get a look at the driver. I don't know what I was expecting him to look like, but I was surprised to see that it was a tiny, adorable old man, barely tall enough to see over the steering wheel. I was even more surprised to see that he was staring back at me, not looking at the road at all, and his middle finger was pressed against the side window. I still laugh when I picture it.

Road Rage 0916-03

This isn't truly Road Rage, but more of an annoyance involving a vehicle:

I often rent a car from an agency in a nearby town so I can have an air-conditioned car for summer weekend drives. I park my own car on a public street near the rental car agency. Usually I drive back to where my car is parked during the weekend to either collect some items left in the trunk or move the car to another spot so it doesn't look completely unattended.

After a nice weekend with the rental car, I turned it in and walked back to my car, braced for the work week ahead. There on my windshield is a note (complete with writer's name and phone number--I wouldn't be that brave):

"Please do not park your car here, as the sun reflects off it and shines into my residents' apartments."

How dare someone tell me where I can and can't park my car on a public street. It's not as if it has a flat tire or no registration tags. The car is street legal and parked legally on the street. Some senior citizen apartment managers need to take up a hobby! And close their curtains, too.

Road Rage 1008-03

Hi, I love your site! I'm submitting this into the Road Rage category... when I was working as a Security Guard, I was on my first day of work at a life insurance company. It was a big building, and we checked the parking lot several times a day to make sure people weren't stealing the spots from the employees and customers. Anyway, on my first day of work, being trained, the other guard is explaining how we take down the license plates. We're standing at the side of the road, not ON the road, and easy enough to avoid, right? Apparently not! A car comes WHOOSH by, FAR too fast, damn near hitting the other guard. We both stare after this lunatic, and she says to me, "Did you see that?" Me: "Yeah, some guy in a business suit was driving." Her: "He almost hit me!" It came from the company parking lot, and we were both stunned. To everyone out there who's been in a hurry, here's a hint... no matter how late you are, an accident will make you VERY late, so take your time and watch for pedestrians!

Road Rage 1027-03

Dear Etiquette Hell, this is a great web site. One of the best ever. My story happened last December in Bennington, Vermont. I want to mention the place, because this makes the story real. I was going into the Wal-Mart store in Bennington, Vermont on the week of Christmas 2003. I personally heard and saw a 40-ish year old man get into an argument with an old man in his late 60's, maybe 70. Apparently, the older man hit cut off the young guy in the parking lot. I saw the young guy screaming in the other fellow's face, then he pushed him down onto the pavement. He threatened to kill the old man. This was in front of 10 to 15 other people. Vermont is really a cool, laid back, democratic state, but every state can have a bad day. The people are more friendly in Vermont, than Massachusetts, where I live. I guess the pressure of the holidays can make men snap.

Road Rage 1114-03

Page Last Updated May 15, 2007