What was going through this driver's head when we had this incident? (not a pitting)

This is not a pitting or a rant, so please don’t turn it into a “fuck 'em in their stinky assholes with razor dicks!” thing.

I was driving today, and began to turn onto a rather busy side road - it’s a common shortcut between two heavily busy main roads. There was a man in an SUV blocking this side road completely; though he had his flashers on, he was completely blocking the road, forcing me (having turned to go onto the side road) to hang halfway out into the road I had just turned off of. I gave him a quick “beep-beep” tap on the horn - a friendly “you simply cannot do what you’re doing and must move out of the way immediately” beep, not a “WHAT THE BUTTFUCK ARE YOU THINKING, BABY RAPIST?” blat, as I try to exercise and encourage civility on the road.

Inexplicably, he started backing up, rapidly closing the 5 feet between his rear bumper and the front of my car. I then laid on the horn, with an assertive “Wake up! You’re about to hit me!” blast. He slammed on his brakes, flipped me the bird, and then drove off.

Now, I’m not Mr. Road rage, so I was cracking up at the absurdity of his behavior rather than pounding the wheel and screaming, as most people would have done. But then I started thinking - what was going through this guy’s head? Why was he angry at me? Surely he realized that he was already breaking the law and creating an unacceptable traffic situation - so why was he angry at me? Has flipping the bird become the de facto signal among motorists? What was going on?

WAG - you caught him being a dork, so rather than admit he was being a dork, he flipped you off.

It’s instinct I guess.

A couple of days ago I was cruising in busy traffic in the center lane of Route 1 (a busy Jersey road), on my way home. Much to my horror, a minivan in the left lane suddenly started to swing into my lane when I was in his blind spot, at about 50mph. I could do nothing: my door was next to his rear wheel. Before I could reach my horn, he saw me and then swerved back into the left lane.

That should have been the end of it. But then I heard him honk his horn, and then he and his buddy shouted something nasty at me. Of course, how could I have possibly been such a jerk as to not lock up my brakes to allow him to cut in front of me?
As I whizzed past him, my left arm shot out the window, giving them a proper Jersey Salute.

My brain finally caught up with me and reminded me of the news story I had heard on the radio just five minutes earlier about a guy who died from a road rage incident (though it was his own stupid fault), and so I spent the rest of the drive home watching my rear view mirror, seeing the van get closer, watching in horror as traffic stopped in front of me, allowing them to get closer still. In my mind, I was figuring they would do anything from cursing at me more to yanking me out of my car and beating the tar out of me, or simply busting a cap in my stupid ass.

In short, they were idiots, but I really should have not flipped them off.

Of course, back to the OP, the other fellow was clearly doing the wrong thing and he was not justified in flipping you off. However, my point is that the flipping off happens so fast that the brain really hasn’t processed everything enough to determine right or wrong.

I need to restrain this urge since I do it on pure instinct about twice a year, after someone does something really buttheaded and acts like I’m in the wrong. In the cases where I have done so, I carefully consider the event after the fact and am usually convinced that I was totally justified. Nevertheless, I don’t want to die on the Jersey roads, so merely being justified doesn’t mean I should do it.

Giving him the “beep beep” that he shouldn’t be blocking the road may not have been your best choice.

I can recall when a friend bought her first stick shift. She would occasionally stall the engine when taking off from a stoplight. She would get so pissed when a driver behind her would honk because it wasn’t like she wanted to be stuck in the middle of the intersection. If she could have moved, she would have.

What should I have done, then? He was intentionally (hazard blinkers were on) blocking a road that he should not have been. He was aware that he was cutting off the entire road, though he was just sitting there and not actually doing anything.

Not knowing the whole situation, I don’t know what would have been the proper action.

However, if he was blocking the entire road with his flashers on, you can make one of two conclusions. (1) His car is disabled and he can’t move it in which case beeping at him will make no difference and likely piss him off, or (2) he’s an arrogant ass that thinks that the whole road is his anyway in which case beeping at him will make no difference and likely piss him off. See a trend here?

Unless you are in imminent danger, I wouldn’t recommend honking at anyone. People have been killed for less. The only suggestion I would make is to be patient. If he doesn’t move, then you may have to turn around or try to go around him.

He could have been reading a map, or having a medical issue (asthma attack, for instance), or trying to get that damn wasp out of his vehicle, or…any number of things. If the road is that narrow, it’s quite possible that he didn’t realize that it’s heavily used, and thought that it would be a good place to pull over while he dealt with whatever issue he had.

Or possibly you just encountered another random asshole.

I think short honks were fine in that instance.

We are all working under the assuption here that an intelligent, responsible human being would have known that by stopping there he was endangering other people and so should not have become angry when someone said, “Ahem, sir? You’ve left me in a predicament. Would you mind moving up a bit or pulling over?”

But you did not encounter an intelligent, responsible human being. Instead, what you ran into was either a) a self-absorbed asshole who was so consumed in his own life that he didn’t realize that he had done something stupid and was then angry you caught him at it, or b) he didn’t CARE that he was endangering other drivers.

My guess is “b,” and I’ve been encountering more and more of these types of people lately. We saw some of these people in action in New Orleans after Katrina.

I find it alarming.