What are you like while driving? Suffering from road rage?

I’ve seen on the news lately several stories relating to road rage, and recently a TV movie on this topic was aired. We are becoming impatient and in such a hurry to arrive at our destinations.

This morning I left early enough to get to work for 8:00 (I live in the boonies, so “early enough” was 7:05). By the time I arrived (5 minutes to 8:00) I was fit to be tied and in a piss poor mood.

It got me to thinking: I’m developing a short fuse and becoming quite impatient. I’m not about to shoot anyone mind you, however, let’s say it’s a good thing they can’t hear me. I also seem to be developing a nasty habit of tailgating, only for a half mile or so to “prove my point”.

Now, I consider myself to be a very patient and understanding person, and usually content to arrive when I arrive, but in my car, alone, that theory goes right out the window.

I’m not a speeder and have never gotten pulled over. In an 80km/hr zone I’ll do 98 and don’t want to go any faster but get stuck behind someone going 95 and I’ll pass, my eyes shooting daggers at the inconsiderate driver as I pass by.

What are you like when driving?

I used to be a very patient driver until I graduated college and started doing the dreaded 30 mile rush hour commutes. Then I lost it.

I recently installed a CD player in my car, and it has made all the difference in the world. One of the things that would drive me bonkers was moving 1 mile an hour and listening to commercials, or music I didn’t like. Now if I start going nuts, I’ll put on something mellow that I like and it calms me down.

“My guitar is my first wife. It doesn’t scream at me. It screams for me.” SRV

I’ve got it bad, the cd does work.

All this science, I don’t understand. It’s just my job 5 days a week-- Rocketman

I’m a nice, patient person as well, but put me behind the wheel and I swear like a truck driver (no offense to the truck drivers on this thread).

I’m not even a competitive person, but if someone wants to cut in front of me, I speed up so they can’t. This is only during the am and pm commute, mind you. Any other time, I’m always the one who will let someone into “my” lane or out of a parking spot and into traffic. But there’s something about the work commute that transposes me into a beast. So I show up at work all pissed off and it ruins my day.

There’s got to be an anger management class we can take that specializes in the road rage phenomenon. And I call it that because it is a phenomenon. I don’t understand why I get like that and it worries me sometimes. Anyone else?

My wife compares me to the old Goofy cartoon about mild-mannered Mr. Walker and road-enraged Mr. Wheeler. Unless I make a conscious effort to stay calm I get a little “exercised”. Distractions like CDs work pretty well, though.

My ultimate solution: take the bus. It takes a little longer but I’m a much better person when I get there. Plus I can read and read and read. I have the added incentive of having an employer who subsidizes public transportation. I ride the bus, essentially for free, about half the time. I would ride more often but I live close (8 miles) to work so it’s not a difficult commute. When I worked farther away it was an every day thing.

If man was meant to fly faster than the speed of sound
he would have been born with 50,000 pounds of thrust.

I’m generally a very happy and calm driver, except if someone tailgates me, in which case I usually have to slam on the brakes for the invisible animal that ran out into the road.

O p a l C a t

I understand where you’re coming from, because I went through that phase some years ago. I started driving like, well, an ass. I would ride people’s bumpers if they were going too slow, etc etc.

I don’t know exactly how, but I got over it. I still drive fast (probably in the upper 15%), but I no longer drive aggressively. I leave plenty of room between me and the car in front. I let people into the lane even if they don’t signal. I always try to get out of the way of faster traffic. Overall, it’s a lot less stressful, and I’ve had no “close calls” since then, where I used to have them once in a while. Don’t get me wrong, I still wish slow drivers would speed up, and the ones who merge into the highway at 35 MPH would find their gas pedals. I just don’t don’t get to the point where I try to “teach them a lesson”.

I’m not sure what to tell you that might help, except “it’s not that important”. Where are you in a hurry to get to anyway? Work?

It helps some too to forgo the car once in a while and ride places on a bicycle. You get a different perspective that way. It’s less “anonymous” since you aren’t enclosed in a glass and metal box. (Think about how rude you might be to someone while driving - would you treat them like that face to face? Probably not). You tend to be more patient towards your fellow road users when they have faces and say “hello” to you in passing.

peas on earth

The worst I’ve ever done is put a mist of spittle on the inside of my windshield from screaming at idiots out there.

Never gotten out of my car, never felt the need to threaten someone.

I have a few driving pet peaves, which include, but are not limited to, driving too slow in the fast lane, passing on the right, tailgating.

The problem is that it all will happen at once, usually, as someone driving too slow in the fast lane will cause people to tailgate and pass on the right!

A never-ending circle of lunacy…

Can’t help but get irritated, but I realize that there’s nothing I can do but flash my blinkers and scream!

Yer pal,

I, too, curse like a sailor when I’m in my car. I don’t know why, I just do. Every other person on the road is either a bitch or a cocksucker.
My worst driving habit, by far, is what I do after I make a driving mistake. If I accidently cut somebody off (it happens to all of us), or peel out at a stoplight or something, I immediately speed up so that the people behind me don’t pass me and give me that goofy look. You all know what I’m talking about. We’ve all done it, we all have had it done to us.
Two things I hate about driving:

  1. People who sing to the radio/tape/cd. Why? Why? Don’t you know what you sound like? Do you think I want to hear that? What is that?
  2. 16 year olds. I got my license at 17, and then promptly moved to a state in which the driving age is 16. Every day some 16 year old girl who can barely see over the wheel and probably has blocks on the pedals (a la Short Round) tailgates me in her daddy’s Expidition. Scariest thing in the world. I follow the car in front of me at about a ten second interval just to make sure that I don’t have to brake suddenly.

The IQ of a group is equal to the IQ of the dumbest member divided by the number of people in the group.

Nervous, attentive, defensive. At night, sometimes panicked.

“People who sing…”

Hey ease off man. I’m having a little fun. Try it sometime, your blood pressure might just drop a few points.

Been down that road rage road a few times as I commute 60 miles on way to work. I can’t say there is any help other than good music and nice weather, but I have had fantasies of traffic tickets being assigned by how many suction cup darts that have been designed so that only the cops can remove then when they hand you your ticket. In my fantasy world everyone is issued a dart gun and supplied with 10 darts a week…any one pissing them off and it’s fire away time! There now you have and idea of the thoughts that go thru my mind while I am driving.

“Only when he no longer knows what he is doing, does the painter do good
things.” --Edgar Degas

I’m only a moderately fast driver, but am fastidious about using the “fast” lane only for passing. I aim to be a smooth driver; no jolts, bumps, snap back and forth, etc.

Just about the only thing that really irritates me is tailgating. It’s rude, aggressive and needless. Nothing more satisfying than watching a pop-veined idiot who weaves, tailgates and cuts people off get stopped at–you guessed it–the same stop light as everyone else.

Maybe it’s an estrogen thing, or just age. I just can’t see getting all that het up over saving a few minutes just to “be first”. In fact, I enjoy the “practice random acts of kindness” style of driving: waving people to merge ahead of me, w/ a smile; switching lanes to make merging easier for someone entering the highway; flipping my headlights to let passing semis know they’ve cleared me and can merge back…

Hey, call me weird: I even enjoy stopping for pedestrians who pause, trying to cross parking lots to get into stores. Somehow smiling and waving them on, and getting a smile in return is just a lot more fun.

Of course my goal in life is to turn into Jimmy Stewart in “Harvey”. I’d really LIKE to stay gently tiddly, have a 6’ invisible rabbit friend and amiably get along with everybody.

Harvey in a world of Rambos,

I used to be awful – too fast, impatient and weaving in and out; when Md. passed it’s seat belt law, it pissed me off so much (how dare the state legislate what I do in my own car?)
I didn’t wear it for about a year. One day, I asked myself where all this was getting me – I was risking my life and others to arrive at my destination, what, 30 seconds sooner? (if that), and it really does make sense to wear the seatbelt. Observing redlight runners helped my thinking too. I’d see someone in front of me run a red; I’d stop for it, but then pull up behind that runner at the next light. Well, running that redlight and possibly killing someone gained him nothing. I changed quite a bit. For the most part, I stay calm, and even though I’m still driving over the speed limit, I stay in the right-hand lane most of the time so I don’t have people tailgating me, and I can relax a bit. What burns me are the folks who don’t use their turn signals. I mean, what’s up with that? I use mine all the time now, and I’ve seen how much it can help the flow of traffic if you know what the other guy intends to do and he knows what you intend to do. I’m in the D.C. area where the congestion is very bad. I don’t know if people here are doing better with courtesy or if it’s just because I am and therefore tend to notice it more, but I think it can be contagious. I ALWAYS let someone in front of me if they signal, and sometimes even if they don’t. Giving way helps the flow of traffic. DON’T TAKE IT PERSONALLY. And when someone lets me in, I give a little wave signalling “thank you.” My advise: try some courtesy folks - it just might catch on.

I haven’t had any problems with road rage since I got the Sidewinders installed.

Hey BOZO!! The speed limit is 50 not 30!

Instant gratification. :slight_smile:

Lex Non Favet Delictorum Votis

I’m sorry. I like to sing in the car. I don’t like other people to hear me, so I do it with the windows rolled up. It actally relaxes me and puts me in a good mood. So I just have to rely on hearing good songs, so I don’t turn into the beast.

Seriously, you guys are right. Why are we in such a hurry? Just because there are other idiot drivers out there, we shouldn’t let it affect us and turn us into “let’s-see-who-can-be-the-bigger-idiot-just-because-you-pissed-me-off” kinda people. I, for one, will make a concerted effort to be a more considerate driver–even if I have to sing to “Livin La Vida Loca”–God help me.

I assume you mean when you are driving with someone? I hate that too, because generally I’m wanting to have a conversation. If you mean you don’t like me singing when I’m all by myself in my own car…well… you can piss off. My windows are up, you’ll live.

O p a l C a t

I absolutely HATE to be passed by teenage girls in sporty cars, esp. when I’m already doing 15 or 20 mph over the limit.

It doesn’t bother me when anyone else does this – just the little girls.

Must be an age/jealousy thing. I’ll get over it.

AuntiePam - I know how you feel, but with me, it’s any female. About 4 years ago, I pulled up at a red light, a car pulled up in the lane to my right; I glanced over - a woman driving with a man in passenger seat. I knew the lane she was in was going to end, and she’d have to move over; I could tell by her body language she was getting ready to take off and get in front of me - I was also pretty sure from the kind of car she had (don’t recall now what it was) that I could beat her. Light turned green, I was off like a shot; I could see out of the corner of my eye that she was trying, but I left her behind. Man, I felt good about that!

The other day it was night & I was driveing & asking my woman friend about putting her son in domestic violence prevention & we got to an area where there were no streetlights & I turned on the interior light so I could see her answer [being deaf, I read her hands, see?] & her male friend in the backseat hit me in the head hard with his fist.

Said he didn’t like me driving with an interior light on. Such irony really.