Sunday, September 26, 2021

MENU

A sad story of road rage. Why is everyone still so angry?

By Nanci Dixon
Yesterday I had an experience that unnerved me. I had thought I was seeing light at the end of the long COVID tunnel. The elections are over, there is a real possibility of going back to work and the children back to school… I thought all that would lighten the tensions. Evidently not.

The exit from the interstate was abysmally slow. There was at least a two-mile line of cars. It was going to take me 30 minutes just to get to the stoplight. Once I finally got close enough, I immediately saw the problem. Cars were packing the cross-street and there was nowhere to cross over for a left-hand turn. The waiting cars would need to nudge out and stop traffic to get through. This is in Phoenix, where drivers are not the most accommodating to people nudging in.

As the turn signal changed – once, twice, soon ten or more cycles – cars began to honk. I tapped my horn lightly to encourage the car in front of me to at least try to get out.

I became aware that nothing was going to change, and I was still going to be watching the left turn arrow come and go. Knowing that approaching a car could well end up poorly, I waited until I just couldn’t stand it anymore. I got out of my car and knocked on the driver’s window, as politely as I could. The young woman lowered her window slightly. I realized she was scared and didn’t know what to do. I told her that I was just going to get right back on the interstate in the opposite direction so I wouldn’t have to try and cross over. She could do this too. She was thankful for a solution she hadn’t seen. Problem solved.

As I was returning to my car an older man stormed down the side of the road, obviously in a fit of rage. I told him as he passed me that she was just scared and at the next light we would all be moving again.

He just could not let it go

As he raced to her window, he blasted her with every swear word I have ever heard and a couple more. He performed an angry tirade that easily could have escalated into a road rage death. It was a tantrum versed for something else and as he ranted I could feel it was more than being stuck in a traffic jam on a Saturday morning.

It was a culmination of the last year, perhaps of many years, and I was reminded of the increase in road rage incidents, domestic violence calls and deaths this past year.

I was ashamed for him, for someone in my rather advanced age bracket, acting that way toward a young driver – afraid, confused, and uncertain. I was also ashamed of the literally hundreds of cars backed up that no one reached out to help. And in the end, I was ashamed that while I could honk lightly in anonymity, it took me so long to put my own fears aside to help. Lesson learned.

And still, I ask myself: Why is everyone so angry?

Related:

Lane-savvy driving – The safe way to travel
AARP: Refresh your driving skills

##RVT992

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

49 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rosy
5 months ago

This seems to be a reposted article. Kudos to you Nancy for bravely showing kindness to another person. By the comments posted thus far, at the very least your article generated discussion. I find it unfortunate that so many of those commenting chose not to focus on their own behaviors that might be improved and how they could become a solution instead of a contributor to a problem.

Gary Stone
6 months ago

I have never in my 77 years been so disappointed in so-called adults behaving like children than I have in the last year or so. Correction: children have been behaving better.

CHUCK S.
6 months ago
Reply to  Gary Stone

Pleased to see that I am not alone in my disappointment. Thanks for your assurance.

Bobby
6 months ago

Some of these people are just bullies at work and get away with it there and act that way behind the wheel. It is all about me. As far as mask wearing, you know who to blame for that BS that you don’t have to wear a mask. Heading for 600,000 deaths shortly. Shocking that idiots won’t wear mask to protect others. May that type of thinking bring Covid home to you and your family. Then you become part of “thinning the herd”. Works for me.

Matt Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Rick

👍👍

Tommy Molnar
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Great article. Especially where OSHA flip-flops to keep up with the PC requirements, but still emphasizes their original stand on masks.

Mike Albert
5 months ago
Reply to  Rick

Sorry to see you are believing an OP-ED publication. It’s proven that wearing a mask decreases the chance of spreading COVID-19 from the wearer to others. No, it doesn’t prevent the wearer from contracting the virus, but it does lessen the chances.
Hopefully, you are not one of the ones going about maskless.

Matt Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  Bobby

Your right we know who to blame, ignorant people that say to do something just to make you feel good. The cloth and paper surgical mask’s cannot stop a complex molecule that measures 75 to 128Nm. Even a correctly worn N95 can only stop about 70% of the ***** virus.

Bill N Stacey
6 months ago

Good Judgement, Situational Awareness and Be Armed…. Our Country is currently in a Crisis!

CHUCK S.
6 months ago

R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Without it, where are we? Without it, how will the future be?

Steve Murray
6 months ago

Narcissism. Victim Syndrome. Why do people Litter? The only thing that will change people’s behavior is a Financial Penalty and Mandatory Community Service. Let the Road Rager’s Rage. You can cancel them by doing nothing except smiling and agreeing with them. Now Litterers on the other hand.. Lock’m up!
Oh yeah.. I always have Bear Spray in my Driver’s Door. Road Rager touches me, He gets a generous blast of Capsaicin. Protect yourself folks. Nobody else will.

Mike Sherman
6 months ago

Nanci, that was a kind act, but dangerous. Too many nuts out there these days to risk such a move. Stay in your car, turn right instead of waiting to turn left, then find an alternate route.

BIllinois
6 months ago

I see so many people my age (mid-60’s) who are just so angry all the time and I don’t understand why. Most are successful, have the retirement they worked for, have family, kids, grandkids, leisure time, yet they are in a constant state of anger. It really gets tiresome. It doesn’t make any sense. I can only assume that they can’t deal with change. It’s not 1973 anymore, folks!
My BIL is one. He and his wife make a ton of money, have a beautiful home, money to burn, great social life, yet he constantly rants about anything and everything. I can’t stand being around the guy.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  BIllinois

Election rage?

wanderer
6 months ago
Reply to  BIllinois

A lot of otherwise sharp people seem to have fallen prey to talk radio derangement syndrome. It is sad.

Matt Johnson
6 months ago
Reply to  wanderer

I agree PBS radio is terrible. It’s one sided bias is as bad as CNN, ABC and NBC.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Matt Johnson

So now PBS is fake news??

Travis
5 months ago
Reply to  chris

Yes. Unfortunately it has fallen victim to one sided views.

wolfe
6 months ago
Reply to  BIllinois

Anyone over 40 remembers when everyone wasn’t so EAGER to find offense; we remember when government wasn’t trying to control every single tiny thing in your private life “for your own good” no matter how much it hurts you and your neighbors; we remember when doing a good job meant reasonable job security and a reasonably good lifestyle; we remember when the best safety advice was to be polite and help people, and not to hide in your car, carry bear spray, wear ineffective masks, and all the other crazy things being advised lately. WE ARE TIRED. No, it’s not healthy to be mad all the time, but we do have some valid reasons…

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  wolfe

And many of us have valid reasons not to be mad.

Last edited 6 months ago by chris
Snayte
6 months ago
Reply to  BIllinois

As they say, money does not buy happiness.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Snayte

But lack of it buys a lot of grief.

Bob
6 months ago

This may be a different scenario, but I was also sitting at a light waiting to make a left turn. The green arrow came on twice and no movement. As I looked ahead to find the problem, I noticed the first car had not moved at all. I tapped the horn. Then I noticed the cell phone in their hand, completely oblivious to the green light. Apparently the text message was more important than the traffic behind them.
This is not really a reason for road rage, but I would have loved to grab that phone and throw it across the road. It’s a shame that cellphones now rule some peoples lives.

Ron Lane
6 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Maybe that person had car problems and was calling for help.

Cheryl Bacon
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron Lane

Exactly what I thought or was lost. So many just hate cell phones and blame them on everything wrong.

Gary W.
6 months ago
Reply to  Ron Lane

Then she should have had her flashers on to let others know she was having car trouble….which I highly doubt.

friz
6 months ago
Reply to  Bob

Bob me hearty, you maybe angry at life. My 1st reaction was car trouble.

Sharon Boehmer
6 months ago

I’m sorry, but I’m the one who got angry the other day. I was grocery shopping in a small town (Texas) store a few days ago where masks were “highly recommended” and I was wearing one. A man kept looking at me oddly and finally said, “You know we don’t have to wear masks here in Texas anymore”. I replied “So I have heard”, but he started in on his freedom being taken away and how I should not let the government tell me what to do. I was done, I had enough, as politely as I could…..”Do I know you? Do I know what your current health situation is? Do I know if you have been vaccinated, yet, because I know I have not, I don’t qualify, yet. Here you are, not the government, but still telling me what I should be doing. PLEASE leave me alone and let me have the freedom to wear a mask, if I want to without any harassment from you!” And I walked away. He had to have stayed in the same spot for at least 2-3 minutes, I finished my shopping and left the store. I felt better, now.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Boehmer

Some people equate medical advice with “the government.” I don’t understand it.. but I guess that’s Texas. These anti-government and science people must think we’re supposed to walk around with guns on our belts and say and do whatever we darn well please in the name of “freedom”, like the old west. A civilized society doesn’t have absolute freedom. There have to be some rules. Apparently this “freedom” person had no problem telling YOU how to behave.

Last edited 6 months ago by chris
Ron T.
6 months ago
Reply to  chris

Remember in the old shows how when a western town finally considered itself to be a civilized place to live and raise your family they often had you check your sidearm at the marshal’s office while you were in the city limits?

Cheryl Bacon
6 months ago
Reply to  chris

Oh you would love the story that has been a highlight in our local news. It is about a RVer from Oregon that has been arrested at least twice in Galveston County, TX. She is 65 year old woman who refuses to wear a mask in businesses that still require masks and has during through all this she has, gotten a broken foot, had her rv impounded, her dog taken to the humane shelter and now is in jail. She has literally fought with the business employers, customers, the police, all while screaming about her rights and “trying to school” (her words) all these people of them. Just look up any Houston/Galveston news station.

Denise
6 months ago
Reply to  Cheryl Bacon

My husband & I are both from Oregon. I guess we have to admit that we also have some asshats in our state. We wear our masks in every state we travel, wash our hands, keep our social distance and still managed to catch COVID. But, we have one vaccination shot and will get the 2nd soon. Not angry here, just weary.

friz
6 months ago
Reply to  chris

“I don’t understand it..” I think that sums it up.

wolfe
6 months ago
Reply to  chris

Sharon’s response was perfectly fine; SHE wants to wear a mask and has every right to. Well said! Technically, it doesn’t matter if she wants to wear a flamingo on her head to ward off aliens, it’s HER right to control HER body.

Respectfully, Chris, YOUR response IS the problem. Science is truth, and science says that masks do nothing to stop the virus. It’s been tested over and over, in countries that never required masks and never shut down vs. the most draconian countries. Corona IS nasty for many, but cute masks don’t stop it. Again, you have the right to disagree for YOUR own face with my blessing. But next assuming that people that carry defensive hardware to protect YOU believe they have the freedom to impose on YOUR rights is exactly backwards — you just said you don’t mind trampling THEIR rights. FACTUALLY, the “old west” you refer to is a fiction of Hollywood… most people were quite armed, and thus VERY polite.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  wolfe

Masks protect others from you. The “masks don’t work” attitude has propelled the US to one of the worst records in the world in dealing with this.

Last edited 6 months ago by chris
Travis
5 months ago
Reply to  wolfe

Well said. You beat me to it. I do not berate those who want to believe whatever science they think is correct that wear a mask. Just like I do not want to be berated for the science I belive in that say mask do not work other than keeping me from breathing fresh air. I am sorry Sharon was berated by this guy but those on the other side of the mask issue have been putting up being berated a lot over the past year.

Admin
RV Staff (@rvstaff)
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Boehmer

Good for you, Sharon! What a great response. Take care, and stay healthy! 😀 —Diane at RVtravel.com

Don Barylski
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Boehmer

Excellent reply

cee
6 months ago
Reply to  Sharon Boehmer

Thumbs Up Sharon.

Mike Ward
6 months ago

I left S.E. Michigan in part because the drivers are so rude and dangerous. I live in an urban area in Iowa now and drivers here are much nicer. I can’t recall one incident of road rage in the two years I have lived in Iowa. It was nearly a daily occurrence in Michigan.

Last edited 6 months ago by Mike Ward
Dr4Film
6 months ago

The only reason that people today are so angry as they are too self-centered and only think about themselves versus others. People have forgotten what the “Golden Rule” is about or I guess they are not teaching and practicing that at home and in classes these days.

STEPHEN P Malochleb
6 months ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Much agree, it’s a me me world and you don’t matter. If everyone would just offer a little help at times things in life would go much better. People have forgotten that we are all in this together and there’s only one way out, that sooner or later we all experience the same exit. Life is so short, enjoy it.

Bob P
6 months ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

Exactly, there are many things that are not being taught both in school and at home. It all started back in the 70s when to many parents read Dr.Spock instead of teaching their children about common sense and discipline, and I’m not referring to just corporal punishment. Discipline is taught through loving your children enough to correct them when they do something wrong, not letting them figure it out as they grow older.

Gman
6 months ago
Reply to  Bob P

I grew up in the 70’s and I know for a fact that the neighborhood moms and dads didn’t read Dr.Spock so where do you get your data. Oh, we were taught a lot of common sense and were we ever disciplined!. We all listened to the moms and dads in our neighborhood, they were all our extended moms and dads. I will respect them and honor their memories for all they taught us and the love they shared. It’s something we all figured out as we got older.

WEB
6 months ago
Reply to  Gman

and I know for a fact that the neighborhood moms and dads didn’t read Dr.Spock How? “The Book” first came out in 1946, over 50M copies sold to date… someone read them.

chris
6 months ago
Reply to  Dr4Film

You’d think that asking people to do the simplest of things like wearing a mask is like kidnapping their child and asking for ransom.

Adorable deplorable
6 months ago
Reply to  chris

oops, you.

Follow us!

31,714FansLike
26,462FollowersFollow
66,000SubscribersSubscribe