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.