Road Rage. Noun. Sudden violent anger provoked in a motorist by the actions of another driver.
You are merrily driving…bopping along to Justin Bieber (or if you’re like me..listening to depressing love songs) and then it happens. Some asshole cuts in front of you. On a barrier line on top of it. You’re forced to brake or swerve a bit. Asshole rides off, so you speed up. Because heaven knows….this guy is not going to play you like that. Cut in front of you? Disrespect your car? Because you know your car can take him…any day…any time! What’s he driving anyways….a 1400? Puh-lease. You going to allow him to disobey the law? Nope. Not today. Not on your watch.
This happened to me recently. I sped up, got next to him….rolled my window down…thought about it for a split second. Rolled it back up and I drove off. I released the anger and let it go. There are many times that I have NOT taken the high road, but I am doing so more and more after an incident last year.
My husband and I were driving on the freeway and for some reason, some guy and my husband got hot and heavy real fast. I got so angry, because this man was so disrespectful and rude. Zapping us, swearing…and my husband doesn’t swear, so already he’s at a disadvantage. He was trying to intimidate us (from behind). I felt really scared. I then started mouthing at him in the rear view mirror and then I caught a look at him. Hmm this guy looks very familiar. The incident ended eventually and when I got home, I went onto Facebook to track down this familiar face. Indeed this was an ex client of mine. A ‘gentleman’ I held in high regard and somebody I worked with for many years. I felt so disgusted by his behaviour that I sent him a message on Facebook, but he obviously never replied.
It got me thinking, do other people end up in that situation? Maybe even worse….road rage on your way to a job interview and there in the interview room is the exact face you just zapped? Or it’s the person you’re about to interview? I just think of all the different scenarios. Where I work, we are well over 2 000 employees. I never know when it’s one of my colleagues next to me, when I’m getting ready to roll down my window.
Road rage is a very real epidemic. I never saw my dad act like this back in the 80’s and 90’s, but I reckon there were way fewer cars on the road. It takes very little to set us off these days….and reading about how road rage becomes violent??? People have died and committed suicide due to road rage incidents.
Today I don’t have the answer as to how to end road rage, but there are some things I try to be mindful of to dissuade me from getting involved:
- I have kids. I don’t want to die.
- The person that just cut you off MAY (probably not), but may be on their way to something really important.
- Me being cut off now, could have potentially been saving me from something else worse down the road. Literally.
- If I succeed in making my point. Out swearing the other driver. Intimidating them with my bigger car. Is that worth me risking my life and the life of others? Let’s face it, it takes focus off your driving when you need to co-ordinate zapping, swearing, rolling down a window AND driving.
- Am I innocent of that very same offence? Have I never cut anybody off before, or skirted in over a barrier line because I NEEDED to get into that lane? Yes husband….I am well aware that the fine I got for ‘channelising’ speaks to this very point. Let him who is without sin cast the first stone sort of vibes……
- I’m a nice person. A kind person. I would be courteous anywhere else. When we both want to enter the door at the same time, I’d let you go first. So why can’t I just be kind and gracious on the road?
I recall another altercation in the parking lot at our local Spar. A guy in a huge land rover type vehicle, kept trying to goad my husband to actually get out of the car and fight. This guy hooted at us because he wanted us to move forward so he could park. There was no place to move. He then drove up next to us….REVVING like a real asshole… He had TWO kids in his car. I asked him to refrain from revving ‘at us’ and to remember the fact that he had 2 small kids in his car. This guy was LOOKING FOR A FIGHT and has some serious anger issues in general I think….. Back to my first point, we’ve spotted him at my kid’s school, so we may very well end up at the same birthday party one day. You never know where your road rage may end up and how else it may affect you, off-road one day….