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Road Rage

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I admit I wasn't a very tolerant driver when I was younger.  One day driving on a three lane highway in heavy rain in the speed lane I realized that a guy in a brand new decked out pick-up truck next to me was honking his horn at me, yelling and giving me the finger.  I honestly don't know what I did to upset him as I didn't even notice him until he started honking.  Since it was raining I didn't try to roll down the window to hear what he was screaming but through hand gestures he made it clear that he wanted me to pull over to the break down lane so we could get into a fist fight (picture poor mans sign language, he points at me, points at himself, holds up a fist the points at break down lane).  

Just as I worked out what he wanted we came up to a car in his lane so he had to pull into the first lane to remain parallel with me.  I gestured back to him (pointed at myself, pointed at him, held up a fist and pointed at the breakdown lane) with a questioning look.  He stayed in the first lane vigorously nodding his head apparently happy that I finally understood (and probably anticipating a need to pull into the break down lane soon!).  Did I point out he was in a truck that had to cost at least 20 grand and I was in a $500 beat up VW Rabbit?  I gave him the thumbs up signal and swerved across the middle lane and came within about one inch of his truck.  The last I saw of him he had screeched to a halt with white knuckles gripping the steering wheel.  I swear I think I made him piss his pants!


Ok, this isn't really road's a story about a car accident, but I think it fits here.  I was fifteen, and in driver's ed.  I lived in a small town in Montana, only about thirty five hundred to four thousand people, so when we had to practice "city" driving, we had to go to a town about forty miles away.  Well, we got to the town, and stopped at Taco Bell for dinner.  My driver's ed instructor decided that I was going to drive us out of there and to the mall, which was across the street.  Now, I'm really nervous, because I'd never driven in this "city" (it's a town really, as most Montana "cities" are) and there were two boys from my band class in the back, so I didn't want to do anything stupid for them to make fun of later. (I wasn't very popular in high school.)  

I pulled out of Taco Bell, and proceeded to get in the left turning lane to turn into the mall parking lot.  I put on my blinker, and started turning really slowly (hey, I was nervous!).  As I was turning, the green arrow turned yellow.  Me being a VERY inexperienced driver, I asked my instructor what I should do.  He said that I was already turning, so I had to keep doing so because I was already half turned by that point.  Ok, so I keep turning (slowly) and I would have made it before it turned red, but out of nowhere comes this truck doing at least 55 (it was a 35 mile zone) coming down from the opposite direction.  The truck slams into us, and send us flying into the parking lot.  Needless to say, this was very scary.  Thank God no one was seriously hurt (My instructor hurt his back, I smashed my knee on the steering wheel, and the boys in the back weren't hurt at all.) 

We all just kind of sit there for a second, making sure we're alive, and then we noticed the beer.  That's right, beer had literally gone flying out of the truck and got all over our windshield, the car, the ground, etc.  Suddenly, the driver of the truck comes walking, well, staggering over to us and leans in my window (it was May, so we had the windows down.) I could have gotten drunk off his breath!  He starts screaming at me and calling me some not so nice names, and telling me that this is all my fault. 

 I'm just mortified by this point, because now there are people gathering around and most of them are laughing because you can see the big yellow "Student Driver" things on the sides of the car.  Well, while we're waiting for the cops to show up, we see another truck pull up and park.  The driver and the two other drunk as hell ladies he was with are taking all their open beer cans and shoving them in the other truck.  Unbelievable.  I was just waiting for the cops to come and arrest this a**hole for drunk driving.  Sadly, this was not what happened.  I should have remembered that Montana is the epitome of a "good ol boys" state.  Plus, we were from another town, and most towns in Montana "take care of their own" or some crap.  

So, the cops finally show up and proceed to write ME a ticket.  Refusing to yield to hazardous traffic while making a left turn.  I can still see it written on my ticket.  Thank God it got wiped off my record when I turned eighteen.  We tried to explain about the beer all over our windshield, the ground, all that, but the driver of the truck said it was....get ready for this....OIL!  And the cops took it, and let him go!  They said he was indeed intoxicated, but not enough to prosecute because it wasn't above the legal limit.  My ass.  Like I said, I could have gotten drunk off his breath, and his eyes were so bloodshot you could barely see them, not to mention the fact that he, and the ladies, could barely freaking walk!  We also tried to tell the cops about them stashing their opened containers in another truck, but it had already taken off, and I could tell they either didn't believe us, or didn't want to deal with it.  Plus, our car was totaled, and his truck wasn't that bad at all.  

Later on, the driver actually tried to sue my high school too!  That didn't work, thank God.  I still, to this day, don't know how they got away with giving me a ticket.  If I'm not mistaken, when I light turns red the other ones don't turn green for a couple seconds.  The arrow had not ever gone to red yet when they guy smashed into us, it was still yellow, so I know the guy still had a red light from where he was coming from.

To top off this story, this incident followed me all through high school.  It's an urban legend in my old high school now.   We had to reschedule all of our driving time in class, because now we only had one car instead of two.  When I walked into class that day, everyone laughed at me....and remember, I wasn't very popular to begin with.  It was horrible.  Two years later, I had my instructor as my History teacher, and barely a day went by when he didn't say something like "Hey Ashley, my back is kind of hurting today." and stuff like that.  And of course, after we graduated, I was reading my yearbook, and one of the boys in the car with me that day, when asked what the worst part of high school was, proceeded to put "Riding in the driver's ed car with Ashley."  


Many years ago , a high school friend had an awesome vintage convertible car. When we went anywhere, she usually drove. Anyway, a group of us were out one night when she cut through a local subdivision. She was NOT speeding or driving recklessly. She was a really careful driver. (She loved that car!) She had rounded a turn when this man comes whipping around and cuts in front of her car. She stopped, stunned. This older man jumps out of his car ( you could smell the alcohol on him) and starts fighting with the guys in the car. I stood up in the seat, and he hit me in the face. I was maybe 89, 90 pounds back then.  

I, to this day, do not know what his problem was. We were all too scared to tell our parents. Who would have believed a bunch of teenagers, right? Fast forward a few months. My friend was driving again. There were 4 of us girls in the car. Daytime. So my friend drives through the subdivision because she thought it was safe. The same man attacks us again! The car we were in stalled, and my friend could not get it started again. Here's this psycho chasing us down. I can only assume he had mistaken her for someone else, but what could a 17 year old girl have done to a 40 something year old man? She got the car started at the last minute and we got the heck out of there. Anyway, it was years before I would drive in that subdivision, but, ironically, I live there now. I have not seen him since. Maybe he attacked the wrong person.


This is how one goes about to initiate road rage, as I learned not too long ago. Every year in July, I go to a week-long event in Illinois with a bunch of my friends. It's about a four hour drive and I was the only one who had a car. By the end of the week, I had injured my shoulder and, topped by a week-long deprivation of sleep, had a very hard time driving. I asked a friend of mine to drive most of the way home. At some point during the drive, I dozed off. When I came to, my friend was decelerating from going ninety-five miles per hour. I was a little disconcerted. I'm not big on speeding and my car is over ten years old. My friend, on the other hand, rarely goes under twenty-five miles under the speed limit. We compromised at going eighty in a sixty-five speed zone.

We had been driving in the left lane for a while when a woman going at least ninety pulls up behind us and starts tailgating. My friend thought it would be just hilarious to slow down to the speed of a car in the right lane- about sixty-five. The woman behind us turned purple from anger. Being a generally safe driver and recognizing a dangerous situation, I blatantly ordered my friend to speed up and change lanes. As we expected, the now crazed woman hurled past us, yelling and gesturing in unmentionable ways. What we didn't expect was being hit by a half-empty cup of soda out of her open car window at a speed that must have been nearing a hundred miles per hour. We were duly terrified. While we weren't exactly blameless situation (my friend is never driving my poor car again), the thought of what harm that cup of soda could have done if it had hit something other than just the side panels makes me wonder whether some people are raised in secret colonies of savages.



I was sitting at a red light behind five or six cars in the right lane at a busy intersection.  In Florida, we can turn right on red, but cars in this lane had the option of turning right or going straight.  If the car at the front was going straight, all the cars behind it had to wait till the light turned green.  It wasn't a big deal because the light wasn't that long. 

That afternoon, the car at the front of the line was going straight, and the driver of the Jeep in front of me got mad.  He honked his horn, revved his engine and rocked back and forth with his clutch.  Finally, he decided he couldn't wait any longer and pulled up onto the curb, drove down the sidewalk the length of the four or five cars ahead of him and stopped when he arrived at the end of the sidewalk.  He yelled out the window at the driver waiting at the light, and then he bounced off the curb and onto the busy street.  Oncoming cars were not expecting someone to be pulling off the sidewalk, so the Jeep's sudden presence caused some screeching tires, but he didn't seem to care.


I was trying to park in a Wal-Mart parking lot a little before Xmas and it was really crowded.  Normally I would just drive to the farthest reaches of a lot and walk but this lot was standing room only so I had no choice but to find a car that was getting ready to leave and wait for a spot to open up.  I found someone getting into their car and wouldn't you know it, instead of leaving right away they spent five minutes doing only God knows what before pulling out.  About thirty seconds before they actually pulled out a woman with a car load of kids coming from the opposite direction pulls up and puts on her blinker for the space I have been waiting for.  Now the spot was in a corner and we were on opposite sides of the corner so I don't really blame her.  If she saw my car at all it probably wasn't obvious that I was waiting for the spot and because of the geometry of the situation I knew I could pull into the spot before she could "claim jump" it.  What I didn't expect is that she would wait for me to get out of my car and start yelling at me in a foreign language.  From the volume, tone and gestures I feel safe in assuming she was laying on the worst swear words she knew.  When I approached her car to explain that I hadn't just "stolen" her spot but had actually "saved" her from doing that very thing to me she drove off (maybe she thought I was going to attack her?).   About thirty minutes later I saw her and her brood in the store.  I thought, ah, now I can tell her what a nice guy I am and that I would never steal a spot someone was waiting for.  I don't know if she didn't understand English or just didn't care but I got another two minute language lesson at top volume in the store.  Kids, the moral of this story is don't try to be nice if they are an idiot.  They know they are idiots and they are happy with it that way!


I live in Wisconsin a state that is known for the cold winters and warm people.  I was driving along a two lane highway in town when I noticed a small child playing on the side of the road ahead.  I watched as drivers swerved around the child but no one stopped to help.  When I got to the child,  I pulled off the road and pickup the little girl and brought her to safety.  I noticed a porch with an open gate which explained how the child got away and a mother coming from around the house.  I explained that the child had been on the road.   She was very thankful but still had to push the child in her husband's arms and yell for me to run to avoid being attacked by her husband.   


I love this site!  Can't get enough of it!  Anyway, here is my story:   Me and a friend were heading up to college that we were planning to attend in order to visit a good friend that was a student at the school.  We were traveling up Rt. 1 in the midst of lunchtime traffic near the mall.  While we were sitting at a long traffic light, I had noticed that the driver behind me was kind of a bit close.  My friend had turned around to signal for her to stay there because I was going to inch up to provide a cushion between our cars (we were on a hill and I didn't want to hit her car). My friend had turned around to signal her again, and the driver (an elderly lady) flipped her off!!  I was in disbelief!  What has our world come to that elderly ladies flip you off when you are trying to PREVENT a possible accident?!?


Hi!  I just "discovered" your site and I think it's hilarious!  Here is one for the "Road Rage" category.   It was early winter in the northeast and there was a light snowfall when I pulled up behind a middle aged woman in a nice mid-sized car stopped at a stoplight.  A few seconds later a young girl who obviously didn't have much experience driving in snow rear-ended my car so hard that she pushed me into the woman in front of me.  I pulled my registration out of the glove box and got out of my car so we could all exchange papers.  

As soon as I stepped out of my car the middle aged woman in front of me started yelling and swearing at me in a tirade that would do a drunken sailor proud.  Knowing that I was not at fault for the accident I just grinned at grin getting bigger and bigger as she came close to having a coronary.   Finally, she realized that her rant was not having the desired effect on me and said, "What the F. are you smiling about?".  Now that I could get a word in without raising my voice I pointed to the young woman (who looked like she wanted to be anywhere else in the world right now) standing behind me and said, "I think you want to talk to the young lady who rear-ended me and pushed my car into yours."  

 She was so embarrassed that she took a quick look at her car (no damage), told the girl to forget about the paperwork, got back in her car and drove off.  My car at the time had a lot of dents so I told the young girl I wasn't interested in filing a report either and we both went on our way.   I didn't mind not getting an apology (I really enjoyed the rant!).  My question is was she more embarrassed that she was yelling at the wrong person, or by the fact that the person she was yelling at had also been rear-ended and wasn't behaving in any way as poorly as she was?


The more I read these stories the more I remember things that I have seen.  Here are a couple of "poetic" justice stories.   1.)  Picture heavy snow and a four lane highway with only the first two lanes plowed.  I'm in heavy traffic going about 20 MPH and you can see the two plows up ahead.  A couple of brave souls in large 4 wheel drive vehicles go by when I see this guy in a BMW doing about 45-50 MPH in the unplowed third lane (following in the ruts left by the 4 wheel drives).  Less than 10 minutes later I passed this guy standing outside of his BMW which is facing the wrong way with the back end sticking into a snow bank from a previous storm.  He was on a cell phone, I assume calling for a plow (good luck getting one in the middle of a snowstorm!)   

2.)  I was driving in the fast lane of a three lane road when I saw a state police cruiser in the middle lane.  I had no idea what the speed limit was so I slowed down and the person behind me started to tail gate me.  I very slowly started to pass the cruiser when he flashed his lights and hit the siren for a couple of seconds.  Whoops, I must be speeding so I slow down (with the guy behind me still tail gating -- he had to have seen the cruiser flash me, right?).  I pull in behind the cruiser and as soon as I'm out of the way the tail gaiter floors it and shoots past me and the cruiser.  The cruiser immediately turns on his lights and siren and pulls out after the guy.  I saw him getting his ticket a couple of hundred yards up the road!


I must have a million of these (should that worry me?).   A little background, I had loaned my friend a sledgehammer so he could break some concrete away from a leaking pipe in his basement in an effort to save a little cash with the plumber.  He had just returned the sledgehammer and it was on the floor behind my driver's seat.   I was going to a convenience store on some back roads and I stopped at a stop sign, looked both ways then took a right turn.  About ten seconds later a guy locks up his brakes right behind me.  This guy then follows me to the store and parks in the spot to my left.  We both get out of our cars and he starts swearing at me saying that I drove through the stop sign and nearly caused an accident.  I told him I had stopped at the sign and he was nowhere in sight when I made the turn (there is a slight hill there so he must have been on the other side of it when I looked left), the speed limit on the road was 25 MPH, he must have been going at least 50 MPH and HE was the one that almost caused an accident.  

Apparently he did not like these facts since he said he was going to "teach me a lesson" and started to come around his car towards me.  I hadn't closed my door so I reached inside, picked up the sledgehammer (I'm talking HUGE sledgehammer here, not some little mallet) and held it so he could see it.  As soon as he saw the sledgehammer in my hands he did a 180 got back in his car and drove away at high speed.    It's best not to initiate a confrontation because you never know how crazy the other person is.  I got lucky this time by the fact that I turned out to be the crazier of the two of us!  


I see a lot of people writing in about what happened to them but no one owning up to their own misdeeds so here is what I did (long ago)...   

When I was in college it was typical that if you had a late class the student lot would be full so most people would pull in on the grass surrounding the lot.  The grass area was ten feet deep so we would pull straight in to allow the maximum number of cars to use this unofficial parking lot extension.  One winter day I did this and went off to class.  When I came out there was a car parallel parked on the road right behind my car.  There was another car to my right and a snow bank to my left so I was blocked in.  Instead of biting the bullet and waiting for the person blocking me to leave I tried to "gun" my car over the snow bank.  I actually made it to the top of the bank when I lost my momentum and my car slid sideways down the bank and right into the car that had been blocking me.  I couldn't get away from the car because of the snow bank and I couldn't push the car because I had no traction (don't think I didn't try) so I called a tow truck.  

When the tow truck arrived the driver looked at the situation and told me he couldn't pull my car out because he would be dragging it against the other car causing more damage.  I explained that I didn't want him to tow my car, I wanted him to pull the other car into the street so I could get out.  After a little quick negotiating we settled on double the normal rate paid in cash with no paperwork.  He pulled the other car sideways out into the middle of the street and beat a hasty retreat before anyone could notice what he had done.  I drove away, happy to be free and unconcerned about the damaged car now sitting in the middle of the road.   I wouldn't do now what I did then but I have to admit...I've never really been sorry about it.



Love your site - I cannot believe the audacity of some people! Especially the jerks (excuse me, guilty party) in this story. My now ex-boyfriend (EBF) and I were sitting in my car in a parking area of a major beach. Nearby is a dirt road leading to a section of beach used for ATV's. This was in summer of 1995, and Hurricane Felix was brewing off the coast of North Carolina at this point and was wreaking havoc as far up as New York, where we were, so that section of the beach was closed and a barricade was set in the opening of that road.

Anyway, we're sitting there when this 4-wheel truck showed up and drove up to the barricade. I guess the driver didn't know it was closed off and he's leave, but he backed the truck up and rammed through the barricade! I saw another guy about the same age in the passenger seat, and two kids in the back! I'm sorry, but if you're going to be stupid, do it on your own, but don't bring innocent children down with you!

Neither EBF or I had a cell phone at that point, but another witness did and called the police. There was a state police headquarters on beach property, so they responded very quickly. They went down that dirt road to investigate and came back with the bumper, which got torn off in the process. With the license plate still attached. Talk about karma!

Meanwhile, the truck blew a tire and only got 10-15 feet down, and the driver was arrested (gee, those a******* got REAL far!). I was told later both men had been drinking. EBF, the other witness and I went to the station house to make statements.

A couple months, l got a message from the DA regarding the incident. I called him back thinking he was going to have me testify, and he said there was a warrant out for the driver's arrest and he skipped town. Lovely! The following summer, EBF and I broke up and I moved out, he left a couple of months later, and I never heard anything else about the driver of the incident (once, I called the DA again to see if he had hear anything new - he hadn't). I don't know what became of that driver, but I hope he's cleaned up his act (or at least stopped endangering innocent children).


Page Last Updated May 15, 2007