Am I missing something, or was this lady just insane?

This is a parking lot story.

I was driving out toward the exit of the YMCA lot, and I passed a bus that had pulled up to the curb, and was backing up along the area where some cars were parked. I was going really slow, and once I saw that the bus was staying aligned with the curb/back bumpers and not pulling out, I went ahead by.

An SUV that the bus had just cleared started backing out, right towards me. There was nowhere for me to go, and no time for me to throw it into reverse and back up to avoid her. So I honked the horn.

And she kept coming.

So then I was worried, and held the horn down, and she kept coming. So I’m desperate here, laying on the horn with a pause or two for emphasis, and finally she stops.

Very glad that I didn’t just get bashed, especially with my baby in the car, I started to drive by, only to see that she has opened her door and stepped halfway out so she can scream at me.


The closest I can come to an explanation is that the bus was backing up to allow her to pull out, so it was her “right” to back out regardless of other traffic, and therefore I’m a bitch for being in her path and daring to honk at her.

Almost as scary: she followed me the whole way back to my neighborhood, and I was starting to seriously wonder if she was following me home, when she turned into the development across the street. Made me realize I should know the location of all the local police stations off the top of my head!

I’ll go with “insane.” She sounds like someone with an overly-developed sense of entitlement.

I learned a lesson a few years ago - when people are doing something weird in a vehicle, back off and give them plenty of room to do so.

I like to blow kisses at these people. It seems to cause confusion.

Possibly insane, but I vote oblivious.

Since the bus moved, it was clearly “her turn” to go, and as such there couldn’t possibly be anything in her way. She was probably so preoccupied with waiting for the bus to move, she didn’t even bother checking behind her, and didn’t even realize right away that you were honking at her, not something else.

What else, I have no idea, but some people are off in their own worlds a little too often.

Something very similar once happened to me, and I was as confused as you–and for a couple days, filled with self-doubt. But Skald’s post pretty much articulates what I came to realize.

Some people do not see the horn as a warning device. They see it as a personal insult. I assume she was backing using her rear view mirror instead of turning around as well? So not insane, just self-involved and unsafe.

This was your mistake. As soon as you saw her stepping out of her car to yell at you, the correct response would have been to pull out your gun and shoot out two of her tires. Then we could have read about you in the paper and you would have been the subject of another interesting thread here. Not that this discussion isn’t interesting, but by following my suggestion it would have been a lot spicier.

Last time something like this happened to me, the woman backed right into me with my horn sounding continuously, leaped out of her car, and said “What happened?”

I was passing down a row of parked cars when the car in front of me stopped. I stopped too. The woman in the nose-in spot to my right waited about three seconds and then began to back toward me. I assume she was mentally “allowing time for me to clear her bumper” and then coming backward, and the possibility that something might make me stop wasn’t in her calculations.

I leaned on the horn and she drove backward until she struck my car, then turned her head to see what had happened, then jumped out and said the phrase that comforted me, because I knew I would win in any potential court action against a driver who struck an unmoving car and couldn’t figure out what had happened.

Fortunate insurance handled it just fine, and even more fortunately, I wasn’t a small child or a nun.

Every day on the way to work we have to merge into a street. The point where we merge is at the bottom of a long hill (that street, not the one we’re coming off of). This point is very close to a main intersection, where there is a traffic light. Usually there are stopped cars here, waiting at the red light.

Quite often there is someone way at the top of the hill when we pull out. I don’t know if it’s the hill that makes them speed up, or they’re thinking some kind of “I’m going to get to the traffic light FIRST, DAMN YOU,” but frequently we get the finger or they make a histrionic cut-hard-right like they are missing us by >< this much. Hello, please apply the breaks.

Trust me, there is plenty of road between where these people are cresting the hill and where we pull out. We’re not pulling out in front of these people. But they act entitled to the road as they come zooming down the hill at god knows what speed, when the limit is 35 mph.

This is especially fun on the freeway. I always respond to someone flipping me the bird with a wave and a big smile. I’ve had SUV drivers glaring down at me in my little sedan, absolutely livid that I don’t seem to be understanding their insult. Nothing makes people angrier than the idea that no one is listening.

I’m feeling better about this, thanks guys. As **Caprese **says, I was kind of wondering how anyone could get that bent out of shape when I did nothing wrong (someone once actually backed into my parked car when my then-baby was in the car, and it never crossed my mind to jump out and scream at the person). But yeah, some people are assholes.

I once had an older gentleman back into me, pull forward, back into me again, then get out and yell at me, all while I was honking trying to let him know I was behind him, hemmed in, and unable to move. It was especially interesting to listen to the policeman who eventually arrived go off about women driving SUVs (meaning me) for a good five minutes as I held up my hand to the witnesses to let him finish before they set him straight.

The eventual report was correct, and the older gentleman’s insurance covered verything.

The realization I had recently was that everyone is an asshole occasionally. She probably isn’t an asshole all the time, but that time, yeah she was an ass. I am trying (not always successfully) to remember that I too can be an asshole sometimes, it helps me stay calm in these situations when someone else was an asshole. Just sayin’

Oh she was just mad that you busted her with her head up her ass. Some people’s immediate reaction when you alert them that they are doing something stupid is to immediately go on the defensive no matter how at fault they are.

I once was leaving a store and pulled onto a side street adjoining the main road and got behind a car that was at the stoplight in my little hatchback. About 30 seconds later a semi cab pulls up behind me. In my rear view mirror he looked pretty close. Another 15 seconds later he rolls forward, hits my back bumper, pushes my car forward, and I hit the car in front of me. The driver in front of me jumps out of his car as well as I and we look at the semi driver thinking “dude, what the hell are you doing?” He must of saw the looks on our faces, realized he just f’d up, and immediately goes on the defensive saying I “snuk in front of him down there where he couldn’t see me.”

Just remember that even though you can see someone backing out, it’s often impossible for THEM to see YOU. Treat every situation in which someone is backing out ahead of you as if they couldn’t possibly see you. Give them space. Don’t try to zip past even if you have the legal right of way, because it’s just not safe.

The other driver in the OP was definitely an asshole though. Anyone who gets out of their car to scream at you is being an asshole, ESPECIALLY if there was no accident involved.

You did nothing wrong, and I’m sure from her perspective, she doesn’t feel that she did anything wrong either.

I’ll bet she’s posting on her “Mother’s and More” message board about the bitch that nearly ran her over as she was backing out of her parking space, and how she was tempted to follow her all the way home so she could get her address and send her a nasty letter. But she decided to be the better person and just let it go. And several other posters are telling her about all the crazies they run into. :slight_smile:

If they can hear him, my boyfriend yells “I hope you have a NICE DAY!”

Wow, are you me? The only difference was the woman insisted we NOT contact her insurance company. She was about 106 years old, and said she was afraid they’d take her license.
We stayed stopped behind her car and called the police, who got her insurance information for us.
After we got an estimate, we called her and she brought us a check. While chatting at that time she told me she was actually 89 years old, caring for an invalid husband, and working full time in her son’s insurance office. :smack:

I was driving down the 395 near Big Pine last week. The street comes up where I need to make a left turn onto. So I slow down, get in the left lane and make a left turn from the highway onto that street. A guy from the smaller street, trying to get onto the highway then gives me the middle finger and starts honking up a storm. I guess I should stop on the highway to allow him to turn on next time. :smack: