On Driving – Stupidity, Rage and Trying to Stay Calm

No matter how much I tell myself to stay calm, there are times (probably far too many than I’m willing to admit) that rage happens while I’m driving.  And is it any wonder?  People on the roads are really stupid; which is strange if you think about it.  You’re behind the wheel of a machine that can cause a lot of damage if used incorrectly.  You’d think people would be more cautious with that knowledge.

There was a comedian (and for the life of me, I can’t remember who it was) who compared changing lanes to butting in line at a bank.  You’d never walk into a bank and survey the line then decide to step in front of someone… “I think I’ll go right here!”  So, why do we do it when we’re driving?

But, my rage is mostly internal these days (mostly being the key word).  I learned the hard way that sometimes it’s better not to vocalize how pissed you are at the stupidity of other drivers.  And here comes my story…

So, I’m driving home one night after work in the lane I’m supposed to be in because I know I’m turning left in, I don’t know, miles.  But this guy in a huge truck decides he needs to be in my lane and without a blinker and without making sure he had enough room (he didn’t), he moved into my lane.  I literally slammed on my breaks to avoid hitting him, and in my anger I didn’t honk or flip him off… I simply flashed my brights at him.

That, apparently, affected this guy big time because he slammed on his breaks in front of me.  I once again had to slam on my breaks and just about hit him the second time around.  He then drove really slowly… nauseatingly slowly.  I realized I was in a situation, so I decided to hang back.  But this guy wasn’t done.  He changed lanes, back to the one he’d just left, hit his brakes again and made his way behind me.  He then proceeded to tail me with his brights on for about three or four blocks.

Needless to say, I was scared out of my mind.  I called home and asked my roommate to meet me outside because I didn’t know what would happen if this guy decided to follow me to my end destination.  He didn’t… but I was terrified!

And what did I do?  Basically, I “told” the guy he did something really stupid, but he didn’t want to accept that, I guess.

In my search for the comedian about the bank line, I actually found this little bit right here by Louis CK about changing lanes.  Funny as hell!  And then I also found this one which basically says what I’m saying here in a round about way.  (Please note that Louis CK is not for everyone and swearing happens…)

What I’m trying to say with all of this is that driving basically sucks and if I could avoid it, I would.  But since I can’t, the best I can do is drive cautiously and just breathe; because stupid will happen and there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it.

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16 thoughts on “On Driving – Stupidity, Rage and Trying to Stay Calm

  1. I am usually a very patient person but I totally lose it while driving and I am sure I would have retaliated to this fellow in one way or other. I am yet to learn to keep it to myself. I either show it on my face or mouth some words (haven’t shown the finger to anyone yet)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I tend to flash my brights at the idiots. I’ve never had that happen to me, but one time when I was traveling in the mountains (about 2 decades ago) – just me and my daughter who was five at the time, in my little Toyota Corolla – some guy in a big pickup truck pulled right out in front of me off a little side road I was unaware of (Arkansas mountains are like that), so I laid on the horn, after slamming on the brakes, for a while. Well, it must have pissed him off, because just as we hit the other side of a curve, he hit his brakes, essentially trapping us in a blind curve on the 2-lane road, put his vehicle in park, and opened his door to get out. There were no cell phones back then, and since I was traveling back to the Ozarks from Texas, I was packing my pistol. It’s one of only two times I have ever pulled it. I grabbed my Glock from under my purse, chambered it hard (meaning it was LOUD) and where he could see me and laid it up on the dash, and shouted out my window, “Please get back in your car, mister, please!” Luckily, he took heed to my warning, as if he had approached my car under these conditions, I would have shot him – but he instead got back in his car, and quickly turned off a couple miles down the road. The guy behind me, who saw the whole thing, followed me for another 150 miles and I can promise you, he kept a safe following distance the whole time 😉 Guess he figured I was shook up enough! As I’ve gotten older, I have mellowed on the road, but I still have a moment here & there . . .

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I could not agree more. If I did not have to drive then I would avoid it at all costs. There are too many impatient people on the roads theses days and sadly many of them have no idea what an indicator is for or how to dip their lights when they are approaching on coming traffic.

    I think you did the best thing you could by alerting him that he had cut you off, and presenting this in a non aggressive or distracting way (I hear a horn honking and instantly start looking to see what’s wrong. Very distracting.) As far as getting your roommate to meet your outside, again I say wise.

    Liked by 1 person

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