Road rage is aggressive or angry behavior exhibited by a driver of a road vehicle, which includes rude and offensive gestures, verbal insults, physical threats or dangerous driving methods targeted toward another driver or a pedestrian in an effort to intimidate or release frustration. Wikipedia.
I saw my first extended road rage incident last weekend. My husband and I were driving home after buying groceries. We were in the middle lane of a three-lane boulevard, going with the flow of traffic, when two cars whizzed by either side of us and crossed lanes in front of us, nearly hitting each other and the car ahead of us. This zigzagging continued for about three miles that we saw (they turned left at the end of the road; we turned right). One car actually nudged the side of the other on the way, causing it to veer off the right lane. It quickly regained its bearings and continued the rage onward.
I am not a perfect person, but I have never understood road rage. To me, it is just another form of bullying. I rhetorically asked my husband what made those drivers feel they had the right to harm someone and why did they think what they were doing was OK. My husband explained that they think the opposite. They wonder what gives other drivers on the road the right to be so slow.
We are taught in driver’s education to watch for all types of drivers and to make accommodations in our driving to compensate for all situations that we face – new drivers, lost drivers, distracted drivers, Sunday drivers on a Monday, hurried or dodging drivers and reckless drivers. The rationale behind making those accommodations is for our own safety as well as the safety of others. It is called defensive driving. I call it consideration. What part of this verbiage is misunderstood? Why do some people feel entitled to interpret this rule in their own way or forget about it altogether? I just don’t get it.
What does anybody gain by intimidating, hurting or killing someone while driving? A suspended license? Jail time? Time off work for court appearances? Legal fees? Bankruptcy or wage gouging for the resulting medical and insurance bills? The expense of buying a new car if you are legally and physically able to? Lifelong guilt? Isolation? That’s a lot of time and money that can be used on life’s more pleasant events like marriage, parenthood, enjoying grandkids, family traditions, special vacations and a myriad of joyous occasions. Oh yeah, now I see the benefit of road rage! NOT!!