Service of Road Rage

July 21st, 2016

Categories: Accident, Anger, Driving, Road Rage, Travel

Can't Speed Poster turned

I recently got a speeding ticket—my first–so I now follow limits to the letter, much to the irritation of drivers behind me. I want to print a sign for my rear window that explains that I must dawdle [an example above] as according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety survey, I’ll surely hear about it. “Gesturing, honking and yelling at other drivers were significantly more prevalent in the Northeast,” wrote Joan Lowy for the Associated Press.

road rageAccording to the 2,705 licensed drivers queried in 2014, [just published], in addition to yelling and honking, drivers said that they cut off others and the AAA Foundation reported that about 8 million did worse: “bumping or ramming a vehicle on purpose or getting out of their cars to confront another driver.” Lowy also wrote that 104 million—half of all drivers—tailgated and “about 1 in 4 drivers said they had purposely tried to block another driver from changing lanes, and nearly 12 percent reported they had cut off another vehicle on purpose.”

road rage 3An indication of aggressive driving, wrote Lowy, is speeding and running red lights, which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports is involved in two-thirds of crash deaths, over 35,000 last year.

Jonathan Adkins, executive director of the Governors Highway Safety Association pointed out that people don’t yell or make angry gestures when walking behind a slow pedestrian but that somehow it’s OK in a the “relatively anonymous confines of our cars.”

Have you done any of these things or been the victim when others did them to you? Are you surprised people admitted to these actions? Why does it take two years to publish/promote results of such a survey?

road rage 2


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4 Responses to “Service of Road Rage”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    Drive under the speed limit on many highways, and one might be arrested under suspicion of drunken driving, since drunks often creep along in hopes of eluding the law. Cops know that and act accordingly. That said, there’s no formula for avoiding speeding tickets. However, keeping an eye out for police cars, using the right lane whenever possible, graciously letting the 90mph crowd pass without pissing them off more than they probably are, promotes ticket avoidance.

    I’ve been stopped and talked friendly policemen out of tickets in Scarsdale, and Yorktown, NY, generously greased a South Carolinian palm, which then vanished into the night, and got stuck with one in Mount Kisco, NY, but made it go away on a technicality.

    Like most of the driving population, I speed, but never without a card to play if stopped. A crafty neighbor avoided speeding tickets by playing the “I’m on my way to (or from) XYZ’s Bar/Bat Mitzvah, wedding/baptism” card. It worked every time. I haven’t used it yet, but it may come in handy some day.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I was shocked by the policeman who seemed to come out of nowhere and my mind went blank. It was on a winding road with only one lane in each direction. I wasn’t well dressed so it would have been hard to claim rushing to more than a Bar-b-Q and that wouldn’t be a sufficient excuse–though what a good idea re. wedding/etc!

    In Mass. I was given a warning as my mood was such that day that I almost broke into tears and I think that the sweet young policeman felt sorry for me. I framed the warning and it is still in the hallway but clearly, I didn’t take sufficient heed. I was alone in the car. What irritates me, on a road that keeps switching MPH, as this one did, when with someone else I frequently ask, “Did you notice if the speed limit changed?” if I haven’t seen a sign in a while. I’m diligent. No excuse, I know.

    I’ve not been accused of driving under speed limits. Quite the contrary. I had an ex-aunt-in-law who was famous for driving at 35 mph where the speed limit was 55 mph and even though she was told she was in greater danger to herself and others by doing this, she was convinced she was safer.

  3. hb Said:

    You have touched on a heck of a problem! Yes, I. too, have noticed a change for the worse to the amount of road rage about not just in the city, but also in the country.

    I think it is a reflection of our general anxiety as we face radical change, often seemingly not for the better, and neither understand what is happening to us, nor why it is happening.

    Mass Moslem population migration, despotism and fringe terrorism, our collective fixation upon the horror of violent weaponry and lethal racial anger, and, not the least, but last, our dismal options to choose between for our next president, are all born of this same anguish.

    Unless we can all come to understand and accept that global climate change and a shrinking resource base are for real, and that we must consume less and live far more frugally, road rage and all our other problems can only become more aggravated.

  4. hb Said:


    I agree with your assessment. On top of it, people are more impatient. The speed of the Internet, text responses, receipt of packages overnight and the like create unrealistic expectations in all aspects of life. Parents overwhelmed by what they are expected to juggle makes some to be chronically late and on edge. In addition, who do you think takes the brunt of all these giant corporations being able to succeed in spite of a floundering economy? The shrinking numbers of employees lucky enough to keep their jobs. So they work 12 hour days and are never caught up. Add a dollop of drugs and a splash of too much liquor in hopes of coping and temptations of messages calling from a smartphone and the road rage soup boils.

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