Author Topic: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.  (Read 7191 times)

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stormyskies

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Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« on: May 07, 2013, 07:16:40 PM »
This happened today and I’m still reeling/seething. I was on a busy 4-lane arterial road, waiting to turn left into a store parking lot. Another car (I’ll call him First Car) was in front of me, also signaling left. When there was a break in the opposing traffic, First car turned left, and I followed directly behind him. Immediately upon entering the parking lot, First car slowed down to a crawl. I had no idea what First Car was doing. I was now trapped on the road, with opposing traffic rapidly approaching.

Urgently needing to get off the road, I maneuvered around First Car. I continued up to the store (the parking lot entrance is on an incline) and parked. I was frazzled and angry that First Car had apparently stopped dead for no reason. After parking, I sat at the steering wheel for a minute and took a few deep breaths to calm down. That was the end of it...I thought.

As I was at the counter being served, the driver of First Car angrily walked up to confront me. I didn’t catch the first part of what he said, because I had no idea who he was or what he was talking about.

First Car: “(Something…something…something)…patient!” (This is when I realized the loud man was First Car’s driver). Jeez, you almost clipped me!”
Me: Why did you slow down all of a sudden?
First car: Because the driveway’s too steep, so I don’t scrape the (S-word) off the bottom of my car!”
Me: “Sorry, I didn’t expect you to suddenly slow down!”
First Car angrily stormed off. I said an annoyed “Whatever!” to no-one in particular and continued my transaction.

I was too furious at First Car to be meek and polite. First because he blocked the entrance with no warning, and then because he tried to start a fight in the store.

A minute later, I asked the store clerk “Is it normal for people to suddenly slow down when they’re turning into your driveway?”
Clerk: “Well’s it’s a steep incline. Sometimes they do that, depending on the length of the car. I’m sorry that that happened.”
Me: “It’s not your fault. That guy slammed on his brakes.”
I finished the transaction and drove home, making sure that First Car was nowhere in sight. 

I drive a short, small car, so turning into that store’s lot has never been a problem for me.  I now realize that I should wait until other cars are long gone before making a left, but hindsight is 20/20.

First Car was angry at me for going around him, but once I’d turned left I had few options: A: stay on the road and risk getting hit, B: honk at First Car to hurry up, or C: evasive action to get off the road. I chose C. I also wasn’t expecting First Car to angrily berate me inside the store, and didn’t know how to react.

Personally I would NEVER start a confrontation with another driver.  I realize now that it was partly my fault, but I'm still furious at First Car. Even if he’d been “right” on the road, yelling at me in the store was way over the edge. We've all had to avoid people who did silly things on the road, myself included, and my usual response once it’s over is to simply say “Phew. Thank goodness they're gone and nothing happened.” I don’t understand why some people feel the need to seek out and berate the other driver.

*inviteseller

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 07:29:12 PM »
I think evasive action was your best course of action.  If you sat there waiting for him to poke his way up, then you risk getting t boned, and honking at someone, in the day, aggravates people to the point of road rage, and he already had an attitude.  I don't think you were rude at all..he confronted you, you asked why he slowed down and then said sorry.  He was rude and obviously has to much time on his hands to be able to scout out the store for you to start a confrontation (that you didn't give him).  If we all went looking for the parking lot people who make us mad, we would never get anything done in our lives !

SamiHami

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 07:33:09 PM »
Even with a steep incline there is no excuse for coming to an almost complete stop. Take it slow, of course, but I wonder if this guy was like my father in law (a horrible driver his entire life), who would pull into a parking lot-any parking lot-and just sit there, blocking anyone else from entering, while he thought about where he'd like to park. Used to drive (no pun intended!) my DH crazy, and FIL would get angry with us because we flatly refused to ride with him. We would always meet him wherever we were going.

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Dazi

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2013, 07:38:02 PM »
While you might have been frustrated by having to wait, depending on where you live and current traffic rules, you were in the wrong where I live.  You should never follow directly behind someone making a turn through opposing traffic.  It is very dangerous to do so as you may not see a rapidly approaching vehicle and risk getting T-boned.

You should also leave enough space and time as not to hit someone or get stuck in a lane in case a vehicle stops suddenly.  You have no way of knowing why a car stops suddenly.  There very well could have been someone that ran out in front of his car and by going around like that, you could have accidentally killed someone.  I've seen a car, bicyclist and a pedestrian hit in similar incidents.

I do think other driver should have kept his mouth shut though.
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JenJay

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2013, 07:40:12 PM »
That's why I always wait until I can clear oncoming traffic before I proceed, be it pulling into a parking lot, crossing an intersection with traffic backed up, etc. I never put myself at risk of being stuck in the way. I occasionally get honked at by the person behind me but I'd rather somebody in a hurry be annoyed than I get hit by oncoming traffic.

He was absolutely rude to confront and yell at you but I think you did create an unsafe situation by not driving defensively. Sorry.  :-\

silvercelt

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2013, 07:45:52 PM »
While you might have been frustrated by having to wait, depending on where you live and current traffic rules, you were in the wrong where I live.  You should never follow directly behind someone making a turn through opposing traffic.  It is very dangerous to do so as you may not see a rapidly approaching vehicle and risk getting T-boned.

You should also leave enough space and time as not to hit someone or get stuck in a lane in case a vehicle stops suddenly.  You have no way of knowing why a car stops suddenly.  There very well could have been someone that ran out in front of his car and by going around like that, you could have accidentally killed someone.  I've seen a car, bicyclist and a pedestrian hit in similar incidents.

I do think other driver should have kept his mouth shut though.

I'm going to second all of this.  While the other driver was completely wrong in coming after you for a confrontation, I think you were in the wrong to pull right behind him.

SiotehCat

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #6 on: May 07, 2013, 07:48:48 PM »
While you might have been frustrated by having to wait, depending on where you live and current traffic rules, you were in the wrong where I live.  You should never follow directly behind someone making a turn through opposing traffic.  It is very dangerous to do so as you may not see a rapidly approaching vehicle and risk getting T-boned.

You should also leave enough space and time as not to hit someone or get stuck in a lane in case a vehicle stops suddenly.  You have no way of knowing why a car stops suddenly.  There very well could have been someone that ran out in front of his car and by going around like that, you could have accidentally killed someone.  I've seen a car, bicyclist and a pedestrian hit in similar incidents.

I do think other driver should have kept his mouth shut though.

I'm going to second all of this.  While the other driver was completely wrong in coming after you for a confrontation, I think you were in the wrong to pull right behind him.

I agree.

OP, I think what you did was very dangerous. What if someone had stepped out and was crossing in front of him?

Sheila Take a Bow

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2013, 07:54:32 PM »
OP, I think what you did was very dangerous. What if someone had stepped out and was crossing in front of him?

I agree.  I've seen a cart (with a child in it) hit by a driver swerving around someone.

However, I think the other driver should not have confronted you, and you would have been best not to try to argue with him or defend yourself.

WillyNilly

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2013, 07:58:27 PM »
While you might have been frustrated by having to wait, depending on where you live and current traffic rules, you were in the wrong where I live.  You should never follow directly behind someone making a turn through opposing traffic.  It is very dangerous to do so as you may not see a rapidly approaching vehicle and risk getting T-boned.

You should also leave enough space and time as not to hit someone or get stuck in a lane in case a vehicle stops suddenly.  You have no way of knowing why a car stops suddenly.  There very well could have been someone that ran out in front of his car and by going around like that, you could have accidentally killed someone.  I've seen a car, bicyclist and a pedestrian hit in similar incidents.

I do think other driver should have kept his mouth shut though.

I'm going to second all of this.  While the other driver was completely wrong in coming after you for a confrontation, I think you were in the wrong to pull right behind him.

I agree.

OP, I think what you did was very dangerous. What if someone had stepped out and was crossing in front of him?

Sorry to dog pile, but this. In my state I believe its worded that a driver cannot enter an intersection unless they know they can clear it. You assumed the car in front of you would keep going but you didn't know he would. You are supposed to wait until there is A) no oncoming traffic for the left turn and B) the place you are turning into has ample space at that time for your car. You can't just assume there will be space in 2 seconds when you get there.

Otterpop

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2013, 08:20:52 PM »
We have a notorious intersection with quick left-turn arrow and a gas station on the corner.  Always, 1 or 2 cars will slow to a crawl or stop to get into the gas station driveway, leaving a string of cars behind them mid-intersection as the light turns red.  Cue lots of honking.  I've learned, after a few incidents, to avoid that turn at all costs.

OP, just learn from this and don't assume the traffic in front of you will keep flowing.  Other driver shouldn't have confronted you in the store either. 

Mental Magpie

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2013, 08:21:20 PM »
The OP has already admitted that she understands she shouldn't have done that.  I don't see any point in hashing that out again and again.

OP, I don't know why people do that.  While he was justified in feeling the way he did, acting the way he did bears no excuse.
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bonyk

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #11 on: May 07, 2013, 08:21:32 PM »
  I now realize that I should wait until other cars are long gone before making a left, but hindsight is 20/20.

Just wanted to point out that the OP has acknowledged that she was wrong for the way she made the left.

Surianne

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2013, 08:44:41 PM »
I do think you were wrong in this case.  You also probably made the clerk quite uncomfortable by involving him/her in your fight.  Since you were a customer, s/he likely couldn't disagree with you outright -- but I think the answer was very diplomatic!

gen xer

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 09:18:24 PM »
I've been that car stuck in the middle of the intersection before  :-[  so nobody knows more than I do about making sure you are able to clear it before proceeding.

Slowing to almost a stop for no discernible reason?  The driver of the first car also has a responsibility to maintain the flow of traffic.

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Re: Gulp. Confronted by angry driver in a store.
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 11:32:17 PM »
The OP has already admitted that she understands she shouldn't have done that.  I don't see any point in hashing that out again and again.

OP, I don't know why people do that.  While he was justified in feeling the way he did, acting the way he did bears no excuse.

I agree. Even if the OP did something heinous on the road, there is absolutely no excuse for the man to have confronted her in the store. If he had a problem with the OP's driving, the correct thing to do would be to note her license plate details and report the incident to the police (or local traffic authority, or whoever).

OP, I think your response was fine. I will add though, that if the man hadn't gone away, you would have been fine in getting the store involved, and asking them to call security, etc.