Several months back, my wife and I were driving to work when a large black Dodge Magnum whipped out of the driveway to an apartment complex and came within inches of hitting our car. luckily I was able to hit my brakes and avoid the collision. After the near hit, I tapped my horn as sort of a “hey, watch out buddy” and that’s when the excrement hit the fan.
The Magnum immediately stopped his car, threw it into reverse and acted as though he were going to back into me. He then put his car into park across 2 lanes of already congested morning traffic and proceeded to curse me out from the open window of his car.
I tried to wave the gentleman off and began to laugh a bit to try to offset the mood coming from my wife’s side of the car. Unfortunately My non-reaction to his violent outbursts only seem to upset him more.
It was at this point , now several minutes after the initial incident that the driver decided to leave his vehicle in an attempt to pull me into a fight, and now was when I became very uneasy.
This man obviously had something badly wired in his head and I did not want him anywhere near my wife or myself. As he approached the car I told my wife to memorize the license plate on the Dodge as I pulled out my cell phone and called the police.
I locked all of the doors on my van as he attempted to open the door and pull me out. He tried everything to goad me into a physical confrontation; threats, punching at the windows, screaming obscenities at me , but fighting him was just not worth my time.
My concern was to get my wife to safety no matter what. I was prepared to drive around or over this man to do it. Luckily it never came to that.
When he realized that i was calling the police and had snapped a picture of him, some sense of reason must have returned. After flipping me the bird and throwing a few more obscenities my way, he ran back to his car, threw it and drive and spun rubber all over the road as he sped off.
He was gone by the time the police answered the phone, I gave them the make and model and license plate number of the car, a verbal description of the man, as well as the offer of a photo. I even told them the name of the apartments that he had come careening out of to start the whole incident.
The ever so polite dispatcher said that even with that information, there was nothing they could do and in fact, I should have called them when it first started, and I should have followed him when he left until the police could have caught up with us.
I kept my cool through that entire fiasco, but when that lady tried to tell me I should follow the guy that just moments ago was trying to drag me out of my car and pummel me for absolutely nothing, well, suffice it to say I left her with a few choice words and increased blood pressure on my part.
Just goes to show you that when it comes to emergencies like road rage, your pretty much on your own.
Unfortunately, the holidays are here an no amount of holiday spirit can cure chronic road rage.
More people will be on the roads this month than any other time in the year and these means that more schmucks like the guy in the dodge will be out and in a hurry to get to wherever they feel the need to be.
Add in that most of the country will be layered in less than optimal road conditions and you have a recipe for disaster.
If you are ever a victim of road rage, make sure that you learn from me, keep calm and stay in the car. You never know what that other person is capable of, and it’s not worth finding out.
If you read this and think that road rage is funny and driving aggressively is “OK” because you are a safe driver, just stop and think for a minute. Is getting somewhere a few minutes quicker, worth the chance of losing your life, or being the reason that someone else lost theirs?
Stay safe this holiday season my friends and remember, If you drive like hell, you’re bound to get there.