Hello, my name is Puck and I suffer from a mild case of automotive induced intermittent explosive disorder, which is more commonly referred to as road rage. Road rage is a crippling mental illness that affects many drivers, sending them into outbursts of anger fueled aggression that may include rude gestures, verbal insults, and reckless driving. When left untreated, extreme conditions of road rage can lead to assault against motorists and sometimes even vehicular homicide.
While I acknowledge the fact that I do experience road rage and I am fully responsible for my actions during an “episode” of the syndrome, I can no longer sit in silence and be shamed by the majority of the driving public that acts as if they’re not at fault for the unsafe conditions of our streets and highways. The truth of the matter is that my road rage, and the road rage of many of my peers, is justified.
“Justified,” you say. “But why?” Because way too many drivers simply should not be on the road to begin with. It’s these idiotic motorists who are to blame for ruining the driving experience and bringing upon the symptoms of road rage in me and my brethren. Would I experience road rage if I could get from point A to point B in a safe, nondescript fashion? Of course not, but that’s an all too rare occasion these days. Rarely a day goes by when I don’t encounter at least one imbecile on the road doing something stupid or downright illegal.
One display of mindlessness I’m seeing far more often lately occurs at a 4-way signal-controlled intersection I encounter just after leaving work. This intersection has two left turn lanes that flow into two separate parallel lanes of the same road. I’ll usually be in the right left turn lane and while making the turn the nitwit in the left left turn lane will drift across into my lane, nearly hitting me in the process if he doesn’t drift the fuck back where he came from upon hearing my car horn. At least once a week some Neanderthal of the lowest order will, or attempt to, cut me off like this, which almost makes my head explode every time.
This likely happens sometimes due to driver incompetence whereby they think there is only one turning lane (pay more fucking attention you pieces of shit). Those drivers are idiots, but at least they’re not idiots and assholes like the ones who probably pull this fuckery on purpose. I don’t give a shit if you think you have room to do it, you don’t fucking change lanes in the middle of a turn at a God damn intersection. It might not even be illegal, but common fucking sense should dictate that it’s ill-advised and a total dick move.
Then there’s the stuff I run into constantly, which isn’t quite as dangerous but still extremely irritating. I seriously can’t drive anywhere without seeing multiple cases of the following:
- Drivers not using their signal lights. If you’re gonna turn or switch lanes, let cars behind you know! Hell, cars in front of you want to know too if they’re waiting to turn out onto the road you’re on. Use your mother fucking signal lights people!
- Drivers using their signal lights like a bitch. Turn your God damn signal lights on well in advance, not when you’re already in the middle of fucking turning or switching lanes. That’s stupid and you’re stupid.
- Slow drivers. Don’t drive below the speed limit. The roads are not your leisurely pleasure cruise. If you want to putt along at a snail’s pace, go do it on some dirt road in the middle of nowhere. Oh, and if for some reason you have to drive slow, for fuck’s sake don’t do it in the passing lane you worthless sack of shit.
- Drivers not keeping their eye on the road. Texting while driving? GTFO. I hope you choke on that smart phone. Applying makeup? I’ll pistol whip you so hard you’ll need plastic surgery. Talking on the phone? I’ll admit, I do this sometimes as well, but only on speaker phone and only to accept a call, sure as hell not dial one. Just don’t go looking at your phone or holding it up to your ear and I’ll tolerate it. Actually, scratch that, as this would assume everyone is capable of driving and talking at the same time. Not true.
- Drivers making left turns out of parking lots into heavy traffic. No, just no. No! OK, if you have the balls to do it quickly (and safely), sure, but don’t sit there 10 minutes trying to edge out, meanwhile blocking everyone that wants to turn right. You can just turn right, then make a U-turn or turn left into another parking lot and exist that one to the right. Either option is better than waiting for an opening big enough for your cowardly ass to take advantage of.
- Drivers thinking they own the road. This mostly applies to taxi and truck drivers. They just don’t give a shit and probably hate their lives, I dunno. Plus their insurance is covered by the company they work for, I assume, so they don’t care if they get in an accident, or something. Anyway, this also applies to losers in their gas guzzling Dodge Rams and what not who always expect you to yield to them because they’re in a big ol’ truck that will smash your itty bitty car to bits if it dares cross them. Eat a bag of dicks.
The previous examples illustrate the main reason why garbage like this happens so often; not all bad driving practices are illegal and it’s difficult to enforce those that are. You can drive like a fucking moron all you want and nobody can stop you until you get caught doing something insanely stupid, like driving under the influence or causing a hit-and-run. Sure, you could lose your license after building up a bunch of minor infractions, but I doubt that happens very often, other than to folks constantly caught speeding.
Compounding the issue is a complete lack of manners once you’re behind the wheel. Usually no one can call you out on anything. If you almost bump into someone while walking, you can apologize and move on. If you’re in someone’s way in the mall, they can say “excuse me” and move past you. If you cut someone off mid-sentence, they can call you a jerk and you can not-so-humbly apologize. Drivers rarely interact like this due to being confined to their cars. If you know you don’t have to apologize for cutting someone off, you’re more likely to do it. There are no repercussions to being an asshole on the road.
The state of our roadways continues to worsen thanks to a number of factors, such as the increasing number of new drivers on learner permits that don’t know how to park, let alone fucking drive, and plenty of idiots that continue to just hop behind the wheel unlicensed.
However, the number one factor is obviously age. The baby boomer generation is currently at 50 to 70 years old and growing older by the day, meaning the abundance of seniors driving cars has never been higher. Now I’m not saying all seniors shouldn’t be driving, hell a lot of them are probably better than most of the dumb kids out there, but the fact of the matter is as people grow older they begin to suffer from more and more medical problems and thus their driving ability deteriorates.
I was picking up groceries one day and there was an old lady across from me who couldn’t back out of her parking spot. I watched her try a few times and she kept just going back and forth into the spot until finally a guy came over, got in her car, and backed out of the spot for her. Then she got back in the car and drove off. The guy who helped her probably thinks he did a good deed, but the reality is he probably sent her off to cause an accident. She clearly should not be driving anymore when she can’t manage to back her car out of a normal run-of-the-mill parking spot.
In most areas, seniors are required to pass medical exams to renew their driver’s license after a certain age, somewhere around 70 to 80, but I suspect it’s a far too lenient process. Also, everyone ages differently. I’ve met people in their 60s that could barely function and people in their 90s sharp as a tack. A medical exam isn’t enough and additional road tests usually aren’t required unless they’re already caused an accident. Anyway, enough picking on seniors as, like I said, plenty are great drivers, but more should be done to get the bad ones off the road.
Finally, I have to mention one last pet peeve which doesn’t have anything to do with other drivers. No, this one is aimed squarely at pedestrians who are just asking to be run over.
When I was a kid, I was taught from a very early age to look both ways before crossing the street, even at crosswalks. I understood (correctly) that that meant to make sure no traffic was coming, then cross, or wait for traffic to stop for you and then cross. Well apparently that’s no longer the case for a lot of people. I regularly have to stop for morons who just walk out into the middle of the road, oblivious to the world around them. Even if you’re at a crosswalk, you should never just start walking across without first stopping and looking. Why? Because how am I supposed to know you were going to start crossing the street? For all I know you were just walking along the sidewalk and would have continued to do so. But no, I have to slam the breaks to avoid killing you and in the process I could be rear-ended. I hope
someone else hits you’re happy.
I could rant more about all of this, but I think I’ve made my point. Once again, I leave you with words of wisdom from The Offspring, this time in audio form!