Road Rage resonates because it's anonymous

Road Rage resonates because it's anonymous

Friday I was on my way to pick my daughter up at school and had stopped at a stoplight in my car when a man and a woman walked right in front of me right before the light turned green. No big deal, right? No, big deal. You see, I was running late and the light at this particular intersection from this particular side street only stays green for about two seconds. And it’s a three way stop, so it meant I’d have to wait extra long for another green. So, I did what I always do when confronted with idiocy when I’m behind the wheel. I mumbled “losers” under my breath. Oh, of course I didn’t. I wailed on the horn and shouted expletives telling them to get the hell out of my way because they’re making me miss the light.

The woman slowed down, stared me down and shouted her own little string of swear words. I missed the light. Great. Now I was late and fuming. But at least I’d made some new friends.

When I finally pulled up at school, I'd actually made it right on time. A moment later, the bell rang and shortly thereafter, kids started pouring out. And shortly after that, the couple I’d just made friends with came walking up. To my daughter’s school. To their kid’s school. F*&$.

Oh, they recognized me. But that’s about the extent of it. They got their kid, I got mine and we went our separate ways.

Road rage is such a tricky thing. I wish I were better at not succumbing to it. But they’d jaywalked against the light in front of my car! I think I had a right to be mad. But did I have a right to go all ballistic on their inconsiderate asses? Hell yes!

I think rude behavior on the road is only “safe” when it’s anonymous. If I’d known those people, would I have allowed myself to explode so rapidly? Probably not. I think everybody’s car should have a big flat panel with their own picture on it, so we’re not anonymous anymore. I mean, would you ever cut in front of another car if you knew your kid’s teacher was in it, or the lady at the bank? Well, maybe the lady at the bank. But you get the idea. We’d be nicer to each other if we ended up being accountable to each other for inconsiderate road behavior. As for jaywalkers, big name tags required on their chests. So if I absolutely must, I can personalize it when I mumble “losers”.

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Filed under: Driving

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