Mad on the Road

Have you ever been annoyed at other drivers who are clearly not doing what they are supposed to be doing? Driving too slow, too fast, swerving, etc… I know I have mumbled to myself, maybe even swore out loud a little, on occasion about that dumb jerk who can’t drive.

Not Road Rage per se, just maybe ODA — Other Driver Annoyance. I know we all have experienced this in our driving lives. Especially since many of us have been driving for more than half of them.

As I have gotten older, and with my precious cargo usually on board, these little annoyances definitely seem less important. Sometimes we are going to be late. It is what it is.

And hell, I am not going to risk the safety of my kids in the car for some irresponsible person behind me in a hurry — especially on the highway. I’ll pull to the slower lane, let the jerk pass, mumble a few choice words for him or her, and let them go.

Most times they’ll flick their lights, maybe flip you off and speed away. It’s annoying for sure, but sadly part of the fast-paced lives people lead these days. We are always in a hurry to get somewhere fast and damn you, you slow poke! Get Out Of My Way!

Whoa.

So the other day, I was the recipient of someone else’s ODA.

I was driving the kids to the dentist in the next town and, apparently the 3 miles over the speed limit I was going was not fast enough for the driver behind me.

So she  started flailing her arms and swerving her car into the view of my driver’s side mirror. Since I was not doing anything wrong and there was nowhere to pull over, I just kept going. On my merry way, all the while watching behind me.

I watched her in my mirror, my eyes shielded behind my sun glasses. This mad momma’s arms were all a’ flailing and her lips moving rapidly as I am sure a stream of obscenities left her mouth. She sped up to tail me, fell back, sped up and swerved more. I was thinking, Seriously? What a jerk.

And then I realized — Holy Road Rage! I know her!

She was a mom from my town. Her kids are about the same age as mine. And clearly she didn’t recognize my car in front of her. Since school was out, her kids were more than likely in the car with her.

I then had to laugh.

I wonder what she would do if she knew that she knew me. Would she have continued acting this way? How embarrassed would she be if I told her? I watched from my rear view mirror as this mom, someone I know and have talked to, just got angrier and angrier at the situation because I was going too slow. 38 in a 35 mph zone and I was cramping her style.

I would be mortified if it were me. To literally have someone look through a window to see you acting so incredibly stupid. It sure hit me that I never want to be that person.

Finally, the slower traffic in front of me sped up, so I did, too. And the one lane turned into two and when she could, mad momma flew by me. I wonder if she recognized me when she passed — hopefully that would have been BEFORE she wanted to flip me off.

Yikes.

So a lesson or three was learned that day.

If you are going to get pissed behind the wheel, make sure you know who is in front of you. We see you.

The second one is — slow down. Life is too short to be so angry, especially when you are carrying precious cargo. They hear and mimic everything you do.

One day they will be drivers. Very soon.

And there are already enough angry ones on the road.

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3 thoughts on “Mad on the Road

  1. Good post. Yes, people drive pretty crazy these days. But it’s more than an annoyance, because of our precious cargo on board. I’m more upset these days, because of the danger carless drivers pose to me and my daughter.

    At least sometimes it pays to take life slow. One time, some lady was tailgating me in a 35 MPH zone. Then when the road turned into two lanes, she subsequently sped off- and was pulled over by a cop who was waiting just ahead.

    • Glad you take it slow too. I just hope angry drivers slow down to realize that are NOT the only ones on the road. Somene should invent a gadget to throw on the back of our car that connects to the traffic cops so they see these people in action. Have a great day and happy, and slow, driving!

  2. People truly can become insane when they get behind the wheel. I’ve got a good one for you…

    Here it was, Thanksgiving morning, and I was on my way down to San Diego to spend it with friends. Leaving LA the traffic was a breeze but then it hit. Somewhere around San Clemente. The wall of cars. It was literally 4 lanes wide, and a dead stop. Fortunately for me (and the person in front of me at the time) I am continuously scanning my surroundings, looking ahead, behind, and side to side, just in case some jack-ass isn’t paying attention, and was able to stop in plenty of time. Once the traffic began crawling again, I maintained a reasonable distance from the car in front, and I look in my rear view mirror only to see the woman behind me practically having a tantrum. Now, mind you there is NOWHERE for me to go, nor anyone else for that matter. All 4 lanes are moving at about the same speed, which was all of about 2 mph, but because I wasn’t sniffing the exhaust of the car in front of me, the woman was having a fit. The traffic was stop-and-go for several miles, and then we stop again. We’re sitting there, not moving for at least 5 minutes, and suddenly my car jerks forward. Not enough to cause any damage, but just enough to send a message. Oh yes, I knew exactly what happened. The crazy chick decided to bump me. She continued to flail her arms like a mad woman as we began moving again, yet stayed behind me, making it easy for me to get her license plate. In retrospect I wish I had reported her as a suspected drunk driver, then perhaps the CHP would have pulled her over. As it was, I did call and report a case of road rage, which this clearly was.
    What is with people?

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