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At one time we lived in a suburban development not far from the intersection of a three county roads and an interstate. You had to go through this intersection to leave the small suburban town, there was no other option. The traffic and repeated incidents of road rage at this intersection were one of the reasons we eventually moved away.    

In my first experience, on a clear dry summer day I had exited one county road to turn left on another one. To do so, you cross the east bound lane and wait in a median strip for your turn to turn left onto the west bound lane. I am waiting my turn. The traffic is heavy, but finally there is a long break in the closest lane and so I turn left into it. 

At the time there is no one coming in the farthest lane for quite a distance but one minivan. I turn and proceed forward about 10 feet.   Suddenly there is a blur of a vehicle to my right, then a loud squeal of brakes and the minivan who had been WELL behind me and in the OTHER lane is now in front of me doing 180s. The driver must have been doing at least 80-90 MPH to get to my spot that quickly and pass me in a blur.  I immediately slow down and then am forced to stop because Minivan Maniac now has control of his car and has rushed over and parked – yes PARKED – his car sideways in front of me. He rushes out of the car with such a look of rage on his face, that I immediately lock my doors and roll up my windows. I am also wishing I had a cell phone. 

MiniVan Maniac – Mr. Suburban Dad in a suit with a baby seat inside his minivan – proceeds to scream at me that I had HIT his car and caused him to lose control of his vehicle.   I am stunned. Hit his car? In what alternate universe?  In no way did I hit his car and I told him so. He kept insisting. I kept insisting that if I’d hit him I would have certainly FELT it and moreover, since his car was significantly larger than mine, I would be in dire straights right now, but my car was fine. He is SCREAMING at me that I hit his car and then proceeds to scream that I’ve totaled it. At this point, my jaw drops open and I demand, “Show me how your car was totaled.” He backs his car up and there is – needless to say – not a scratch on it. I point this out. He’s still screaming and I demand again to be shown any damage. He finally points to a very small black mark on his car (the kind you’d get from bumping up against a black bumper while parking) and demands that I pay for it.   I told him what he could do with his black mark, put my car into drive and drove off to the nearest police station in case he followed me. He did not, but I tried to avoid that intersection at that time of day for months. I realized subsequently that what really happened was that he decided from a long distance back to speed to pass me to make a left onto the exit ramp of the highway and in order to do so, he had to hit his brakes hard while going at a speed of 90+mph and had lost control of his vehicle. But then he went nutso and was trying to blame me not only for his own poor driving but for totaling his vehicle when there was not a scratch on it. The worst part was seeing that baby seat in there and thinking about him driving that way with a child on board.



I was in a parking lot that was large enough to warrant stop signs.  One particular stop sign was very close to a restaurant where I had just eaten lunch--the restaurant was the last building before the parking lot aisle.  I had backed out of my parking space and I was getting ready to drive toward the stop sign when a woman and her two children stepped out from the restaurant, meaning to cross in front of my car.  Of course I stopped, and before they were across a woman in an SUV pulled up behind me.  I was about ten feet from the stop sign and I guess she couldn't figure out why I'd stopped in the middle of the aisle (I drive a small car--I'm sure if she had been paying attention she'd have seen the woman and children in front of me) because she blasted her horn at me.  I looked up, surprised, and made eye contact with a very angry looking woman.  I pointed at the woman and two children in front of me, and averted my eyes back to the aisle, but not before I saw her rolling her eyes in impatience.  I guess I was supposed to run over three people so she could get to the stop sign faster.  Unbelievable.


I was leaving my son’s elementary school last year after picking him up from Kindergarten at the end of classes.  At the time we lived in an inner city area where all the kids were within walking distance of the school, there were no busses for this particular school.  I drove, as I was only transporting him from school to the babysitter so I could return to work.  At this time of day there were a lot of children of varying ages walking home from school, thus good reason for multiple crossing guards, one on every corner within a 5 block radius.  I was the second car back at an intersection not even 2 blocks from the school.  We had a green light, but the crossing guard had traffic stopped for children and parents crossing.  The little beat up Honda Civic behind me decided the rules of the road didn’t apply to him and pulls his car up onto the sidewalk (remember, lots of kids?) and DRIVES down the sidewalk going about 20 MPH, sideswiping his own vehicle with multiple parking and direction road signs and proceeds past myself and the lead car, only leaving the sidewalk are once he is clear of the intersection!  There were kids screaming and running everywhere to avoid this guy.  He didn’t get pulled over that I could see, but I’m pretty sure action was taken since the crossing guard was yelling frantically into her walkie-talkie and I noticed at least 2 other people on their cell phones repeating the license numbers.  I myself made a call when I got to the sitters.  Thank goodness nobody was hurt, but really, where do people get these ideas? I still wonder what his excuse was!



A few years ago my younger sister was involved in a fender bender where a young teen rear ended her at a stop light. The wasn't much damaged so they pulled off the road to try and figure out what to do.  As both of these ladies were young and neither had any experience with accidents my sister called home and was told to call the non-emergency police number to report the it.   My sis and this girl call in, but no one would answer at the police station.  Eventually the phone battery dies so they exchange names and phone numbers and go home.  When she got home she explained what happened and we were astounded that the police department didn't answer the phone.  (As a note the dispatchers are infamous for getting upset if something isn't enough of an emergency when calling 911 so we are a bit shy in using it. I was yelled at once for trying to report a load of retaining wall bricks dropped in the middle of the highway- a clear emergency.)  

Now the vehicle she is driving is my Dad's and she is driving on his insurance, so he tells her she need to call this girl, get her insurance info and then drive over to the PD and file a report.  No big deal. I volunteered to ride over with her to the PD for moral support.  When we walked into the station and requested a police officer she had to explain why and the dispatcher smirked at her.  The police officer came in and listened to her.  He then gave her the third degree over the dispatcher not answering the non-emergency number (as if she had any control over that) and informed her the insurance company probably won't believe her anyway. Then he tries to convince her it wasn't in his city limits (it was).   

After that he begins to try and talk her out of filing a report.  After a few minutes of this she looks at me and asks what should she do.  The cop looks at me and barks, "Stay out of it!"  I was taken aback, but answered him and informed him as my sis had asked my opinion I was going to answer her.  I told her that she was driving her father's car, on her father's insurance and he told her to file a report.  If looks could kill I would be dead.  I guess he didn't want to do the paperwork.  

After filling the report I asked him if she should have called 911 when the other number didn't answer.  He said absolutely not for a fender bender and he had to admit if the non-emergency line didn't pick up then she would have to drive to the PD to file a report. The insurance thing was quickly straightened out.  Thankfully the other girl fully agreed with everything that happened.  I have since told this story several times and every time I tell it to a local they tell me stories of how they haven't been able to get a hold of the police on the non-emergency line either.  I guess they just don't answer it.



I always arrive at work before schedule, usually around 7:30am. At 7:25 this morning I’m on the main road to work, stopped at a red light. The light just changes to green and I step off the brake, before the Jeep next to me or I have a chance to step on the gas, the car behind me lays on the horn. I look in my rearview and see this woman in a silver BMW shaking her head and waving her hands in the “hurry up” gesture. I push on the gas; thinking “Geez lady,!” As I’m driving I notice she switches lanes, gets behind the Jeep, tailgates, realizes that her turn (also my turn) is coming up and switches lanes ending up back behind me.

I make the right hand turn and figure that she will hopefully pass me (it’s a 4 lane road), she doesn’t just continues behind me. There are 4 stoplights on this straight road. I watch the second light turn yellow as I’m going underneath, look behind and see Ms. BMW running it. Again she speeds up to get right behind me, yet doesn’t pass. I finally turn into my work parking lot and she continues on her way



I'm not sure if I was the victim of bad driving etiquette, or the violator. It was summer after I graduated high school, and I had gotten a job at the mall. I had yet to get a license, so my mother drove me. We circled around to the back of the mall where there was one of the large parking lots, but less crowded roads. We pulled into a double yellow line to make a turn into the lot, and there was another car in front of us. The driver, a guy, turned into the driveway. My mom should have waited to see if a car was coming, but she just followed him, pretty close behind. Driving into the lot, there was a big ditch and a big bump, so the guy slowed down. We saw a car headed for us, and we were still in the middle of the road, so I guess she panicked or something because she honked at him. Understandably the guy got upset. My mom just waved at him and said, "Keep going!" He got angry and shrugged his shoulders, like 'What do you want?' and flipped her off. So of course she flipped HIM off. I was SO embarrassed! I doubt she even knows what giving the middle finger means, except that it's not nice. It was so humiliating for me! I wanted to duck my head so no one could see me. I was also a little upset with her as well. Nice going mom, you set such great examples. "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: 'What?! You, too? I thought I was the only one.'"



I work in a government building that shares a parking garage with a very large city concert hall. I park on the second level (employees only) and at the end of the day I have to pass through the entrance to the first level (visitors only) to leave. One night, I guess there was some concert going on, and there was a huge line of cars waiting to get into the first level. I was on my way down the ramp and had to cross through the line of cars to get out to the road. There was a traffic cop there, waving people on. I waited.. and waited.. and waited!! Four cars went through into the first level parking garage, ever so slowly, because the man there had to get the parking fee for everyone. Not once did this traffic cop lady even attempt to hold back a car so I could simply leave the parking garage.

But here's the actual reason I'm telling you this story: A guy, with a guy pal in his car and two female friends, sees me waiting there to get out, as I'm trying to get the traffic cop's attention. He says this (I can read lips, anyway it wasn't hard to read what he said): "Watch this, this will piss her off," and pulls right in front of me and just parks there. I honked at the traffic girl and said "YOU WANNA GIVE ME A HAND HERE?" She made the rude moron wait on the side of the road until a space was cleared and I could finally leave the garage! I bet the girls in that car were real impressed by that young man's show of common courtesy.



I came to the end of a nice country road, where it met the highway, only to find an elderly chap parked right across the road, sleeping in his car. At the time, I was about 16 years old, and simply didn't know what to do. I honked a little at him. He lifted his head up, did a sort of "Baaaah!" hand wave and grunt at me, and put his head down on his chest again. Confused, I pulled around him and left. If I had known better, I'd have taken down his license number and driven to the nearby cop station. That guy didn't know where he was!



One of my biggest pet peeves is tailgating, which is also (unfortunately) quite common. My drive includes a couple rather curvy roads, and the fact is you just can't take all those curves at full speed without crossing into the oncoming lane (which is also, unfortunately, quite common here). Once, a pickup truck drove very close to my car with its headlights blaring and I slowed down to signal that he was too close, and also because it was difficult to see with his headlights blinding me (even with mirrors turned away). I think he honked at me, and he flashed his lights. I wasn't creeping along; I just refuse to zip around curves in near-darkness when it's entirely possible there'll be another vehicle coming, perhaps partly on my side of the road. I am trying to be less rattled by the plethora of tailgaters and line-crossers so I don't act in a way that encourages them.


 This incident happened to me last Summer during the ubiquitous road construction season (our state has two seasons - Winter and Road Construction).  I was driving home from work, which involved getting onto an interstate highway in the midst of a construction zone. Being rush hour traffic, it was always difficult to merge onto the highway even though traffic is only (supposed to be) going 40 mph. There was a long line of us waiting to merge from the on ramp and a young man in an SUV (SUV moron from here on out) was directly ahead of me. I could see that the traffic on the interstate had a break in it so I merged onto the interstate, leaving plenty of room for SUV moron to also merge onto the road.     

Well, for whatever road rage reason, SUV moron saw me get onto the interstate before him and must have felt I was not going to allow him onto the road because he turns to look at me and takes time to flip me the bird. How lovely.  I motion that he is also supposed to be getting onto the interstate as there is plenty of room for him to merge. Well, as far as I'm concerned that is the end of it - we are both now on the interstate.    

But oh no, SUV moron is so upset by my actions - giving him plenty of room to get onto the freeway?? - that he now starts harassing me by cutting in front of me and then slowing way down forcing me to slam on my brakes. I change lanes and attempt to speed up to the speed limit - he jumps in front of me again and slams on his brakes forcing me to slam on mine. I change lanes back to the far right (there are 3 lanes of travel) and try to just get away from this moron, but he comes back across in front of me a third time. I was really starting to get upset by this time - I drive a sedan and this fellow is playing chicken with me in a big SUV. I could not see a good way out of this situation or so I thought. Also, there is plenty of other traffic that is being affected by his actions - I am trying not to rear-end him or to be rear-ended by some other innocent driver.    

So this has been going on for about a mile or so of freeway and suddenly I see a semi coming up along side me. Obviously this trucker could see what had been transpiring (it is a long straight stretch of freeway) and he gets his big rig up along side me.  I quickly change lanes as to be behind the semi to avoid SUV moron. The semi driver then gets next to SUV moron and sticks there - matching the SUV's speed - until the next available exit (another mile or so down the road). The semi driver then quickly changes lanes forcing the SUV to exit the freeway at the exit. I don't know if that was the exit SUV moron wanted but he took it and I was able to safely continue my journey home. I was quite glad to have been rescued by a truck driver - even if what he did was probably a driving faux pas as well.



This story is not as terrible as some, but ended with lovely karma biting the offender in the behind and it made me laugh.  I was a fairly new driver with only my permit, driving to my community college with my dad in the passenger seat.  At this point in my driving, I was confident enough to take on the freeways but still very cautious.  The speed limit was 70 and as So Cal drivers tend to take speed limits as suggestions the traffic (light at the time) was traveling between 70 and 80.  I was hovering at about 73 in the fast lane of the two lane highway, nobody directly in front of me, nobody directly behind me.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a man speeds up behind me and begins tailgating.  Technically I'm doing nothing wrong driving the speed limit, and as I said I was even a little over it, but for the jerk behind me that wasn't good enough.  There were a few cars in the other lane preventing him from immediately passing me, so I watched in my mirror as he would aggressively get real close, then back off a tiny bit, then threaten to eat my bumper again, all while making frustrated faces.

Finally the other lane cleared and the jerk literally floored it around me and over the hill.  My estimate was he had to be doing 80 or more.  I, in the meantime had edged up to 75 to keep him from getting too stupid behind me.  I adjusted my speed back to legal and looked in my mirror just in time to see a cruiser pull up behind me.  I couldn't help grinning as I saw him pull around me as well and flick on his lights.  I had a private little laugh to myself as I crested the hill myself just in time to see the officer walking to the window of the jerk's car.  Some people need to take a chill pill and learn how to pass appropriately, so hopefully that driver will think twice (although this being California, I'm not holding my breath).




Page Last Updated September 18, 2008