The Root of Road Rage

 

A speed limit sign entering a school zone, alo...

School zone sign in U.S. In Alberta, the speed is 30km or about 22 mph – Calabasas, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I am starting to believe that people who rage at other motorists are simply embarrassed about their own dickish driving behavior. Those who thumb noses at speed limits, consideration for safety when passing and view treat stop signs like yields and yields as though they were invisible are perfectly aware that they are cunts and resent having it pointed out to them.

 

Few things will provoke a fellow road mate to rabid rage like honking at them when they cut off your vehicle or pull out in front of you. It’s not that the driver didn’t know he/she was committing a transgression. He/she is angry at you for not ignoring it. You are supposed to just “take it”.

 

I drove Dee to school this morning because I’d been guilted into volunteering to help chaperone her field trip to the annual historical festival at the local museum. The trip was short parent volunteers and despite the fact that my loathing of field trips pre-dates even my years teaching middle school, it was important to Dee. So I sucked it up and said, “yes”.

 

Upside was sleeping in. Downside was driving her to school.

 

The elementary school is located on a rather well-used road in the older part of town. The speed limit during school hours is a mere 30km, which is even lower than the U.S.’s 25mph, and during the morning rush, you can see steam hissing out of the ears of every driver crawling past.

 

It invites stupidity as commuters jockey and nudge each other to go just a tad faster and knowing what a clusterfuck it can be with angry workers off to their day job slog, parents trying to drop off students and school buses pulling in, off-loading and pulling out to vex the already late for work – I am in extreme slow and cautious mode.

 

Traffic was slow today even before I hit the school zone and cars pulling from the side streets did so with a whip-it turn and gun it that speaks volumes about how spatially challenged most people are. Therefore, I was watching the side streets carefully and it’s a good thing because a car raced up, barely slowed and then pulled out in front of me.

 

So I honked.

 

Which is where I went wrong because Princess already knew that she’d pulled a fast one and was basically expecting me to be fine with it. She was in a hurry after all.

 

We were barely two blocks from the turn into the school parking lot and Princess, not being able to see Dee in my backseat, likely assumed I was on my way to work. Her reaction to being chastised for being a dick driver was to slow down and slow down and then finally – slam on her brakes.

 

Did I back off? No. I was never in any danger of hitting her. I was under the speed limit to begin with and her wedge manuever caused me to slow even more. But, I am in a truck and she is in a little hatchback-ish thing and I probably looked closer and more menacing than I was.

 

And as if attempting to get me rear-ended wasn’t enough, she flipped me off.

 

So I gave her the finger back.

 

“You what?” Rob asked when I related this to him.

 

“Gave her the finger,” I repeated. “Why not. She was being an asshole, trying to teach me a lesson by causing me to get rear-ended. There are somethings that need to be commented on with profanity.”

 

And then she sped up and signaled to turn into … the school parking lot.

 

I’d have given a lot to see the look on her  face when I signaled to turn there as well.

 

She quickly whipped into the aisle leading to the drop off lane while I went to the back row of the lot to park. I kept an eye out for her and was amused to note that she parked in the drop off and stayed in her car until Dee and I had walked half-way to the building before she started up and darted down the center aisle of the lot. I watched her roll slowly past and even turned around and walked backward as she queued up to exit. I was tempted to wave. No, not with my middle finger. There were children in plain sight who aren’t mine and I am only allowed to corrupt my own child.

 

Lately, I haven’t been shy about using the truck’s horn. I don’t sit patiently behind someone as they fiddle with their smartphones and the light has been green for longer than it takes to blink slowly several times. I am not patient with semi-drivers who think it’s okay to pull out in front of me because they are larger and are “working”, which allows them some sort of road dispensation. I don’t suffer idiots to endanger my life with their precarious passing prowess because – their lack of brains and spatial awareness should only rid the world of them and not me too.

 

There was an interesting conversation on a local radio station a few weeks ago about the so-called “passing lane on the major roads in Edmonton. It’s a widely held, though completely wrong, belief that the far left lane is for the “fast” traffic. And by “fast”, they assume that means license to exceed the posted speed limit by a margin and a half. When the on-air host pointed out that technically the speed limit is exactly the same in all three lanes and that the far left is only for those to use to get around traffic that is moving slower than the limit – he was roundly and soundly dismissed.

 

Which just proves that there are a lot of stupid people being given licenses to drive. Like Princess this morning. And that they don’t appreciate it when their self-serving disregard for others is brought home to them. More often than not anymore, I am disinclined to care.

 

 

4 thoughts on “The Root of Road Rage

  1. I am an old lady driver!!! I go the speed limit can I go faster when needed you bet!! but i do get pleasure of upsetting people when they think they own the road….guess what get up on time and leave on time so you don’t have to worry about traffice… oh and not to long ago maybe a year or so I was leaving moms house and I was at the stop sign and cars were parked all around and the driver from the other street wanted to turn in and she had to carefully pull in while I was as far over as I could be with out hitting the parked car she was well prepared called me every names in the book!! that did it…I calmly told her to “shut the fucking mouth of hers or I will shut it for her!!! Then I called her “A FUCKFACE” which I have not said in years… and then I calmly left with her mouth hanging open I think she thought this old lady was not going to say anything… I detest RUDE teenagers/young adults!!!!! Laughed all the way home.

  2. How do people pass their driving tests nowadays? That’s what I’d like to know. I’m convinced only 10% of licensed drivers could pass a driver’s test if they were given one on the spot. Perhaps if we were forced to take and re-take our exams every 3 years, our roads would be safer.

    1. Well, there would certainly be fewer drivers b/c I doubt that most adults could take and pass a driver’s exam after years of bad habits have driven every rule out of their heads.

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