Road Rage

I don’t understand why people have this need to be so adversarial when they’re driving. Why is everyone in such a hurry? As a driver, I have noticed that many people are in a rush to push their vehicles to their limits. They zigzag through other cars, they pass in non-passing lanes, they cut off others, and they drive as if they’re driving at Indy.

I’ll admit, I used to be the same way. But then I realized that it wasn’t worth it. Your car ends up wearing out faster, your tires need replacing sooner, your brakes burn up more quickly… and for what, to get to that next red light so you can wait longer? Is that how you like to spend your time in traffic… waiting?

And who said it was ok to make illegal lane changes, illegal U-turns (a U-turn at a traffic light is not allowed in Wisconsin), and illegal turns? The last time I checked, it is illegal to turn from a left lane into a right lane (and vice versa). And you wonder why we have so many accidents in our intersections. And if that’s not enough, I’m supposed to read everyone’s minds when they decide to cut in front of me without a signal. Do you think I keep a crystal ball in my glove box? Do you keep one?

Furthermore, I really find it annoying when I am driving, I look up into my rear-view mirror, and there’s some idiot right on my tail. I don’t mean a few feet back… we’re talking inches! Do I look that good that you feel you have to get a better look? Is my car that impressive? It can’t be my bumper stickers, because I don’t have any. Try getting on my tail and see if you go any faster… I know how to slow down and really tick you off! And what about those people at traffic lights that just screech off when the light turns green? It’s like I’m in freakin’ Indy again.

Or worse, why don’t people pay more attention to what’s going on around them? I really love when I’m driving and I see the bright-orange construction sign that says, “Left lane closed – 1 mile.” So what does everyone do? They wait until the last freakin’ minute to move into the right lane. What really bothers me is when I’m at a red traffic light, it turns green, and the person in front of me doesn’t seem to either remember what a green light means, or where the gas pedal is.

Speaking of paying attention, there should be a law banning the use of personal phones in a moving vehicle. People on phones while driving seem completely impervious to what’s going on around them. Hey, those mirrors only show you so much when you want to make a lane change… I’m right next to you! And they drive so much slower. I don’t know about anyone else, but if the posted limit is 40, I’d like to go that fast so I can make it home before Nightline! Isn’t there a minimum speed limit as well? And what on earth is so important that you have to talk about it while you’re driving, risking life and limb, and possibly making it more difficult for me to get home in time for Nightline because you’ve turned over your SUV and created one ugly traffic jam?!? What’s more important, your phone call or getting home in one piece? And don’t assume that I wouldn’t know what I’m talking about… I had a phone once, and I nearly got into accidents myself while speaking on the phone.

My solution to everyone, then, is to use common sense while driving. It doesn’t take much to show a little courtesy and proper judgment. Think about this: You’re in a vehicle, all surrounded by 1/8″ steel, a couple of bars between you and the outside world, or a piece of glass. Is it worth risking life and limb just because you got a little upset, or because you’re in a hurry? And what happens if you crash? Your insurance rates jump, you’re out a car, and you risk having lifelong injuries. Take it easy out there… there are better things to do than to drive like an idiot (now hush up… The World’s Worst Drivers is starting… I need to get home to watch it).