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The terror within!
Member Name: Mcdaddy
Date: 22/10/01, updated on 25/04/05 (357 review reads)
Disadvantages: Shows how little we have evolved over the years!
Personally I am not a person that actually suffers from the severe type of road rage that you here about more and more frequently in the news at the moment. I rarely use my horn and am extremely tolerant of the liberties that many other drivers take in my right of way. I do not shout or swear at people, and keep all of my fingers on the steering wheel rather then waving a variety of them out of the window at people that decide that they would rather be in front of me than behind. However I do get frustrated and annoyed, and this can often lead to me driving a little faster and more erratically for the next few miles than I would have done before my encounter.
If you actually think about it the stirrings of road rage can actually be linked to the amount of accidents on the road today. For example, you are stuck in yet another traffic jam on the way home, and all of a sudden a driver pulls across in front of you using no form of indication, and then dives in front of another road user doing exactly the same thing. You end up getting annoyed at their inconsiderate behaviour and bad driving, as do many of the other individuals in the traffic that have also had the same done to them. What this driver has ultimately done by driving as if he/she were in the qualifying rounds of Daytona 2002 is cause the individual that they have just 'cut up' to become more frustrated that they are stuck in traffic. A catalyst has been started and the little demon within them known now so commonly as road rage starts to stir. When the traffic has eventually cleared, and you start to get under way you are still left
infuriated at what has just taken place, plus with the addition of having been stuck in that traffic jam makes your temper brew even more dangerously. You are now officially angry and in a rage. As a result you start to drive a bit like the idiot that has just done this to you, and find that your speed is more than a little in excess of what it should be. At this point one of two things can happen depending on the type of person you are, if like me you will start to calm down now that you have vented some of that pent up anger and will return to normal safe driver mode. However the other type of person is the dangerous element on the road, this person has fed off the rage and remains furious, they will drive fast and ultimately cause an accident. When this happens they will shout and rant, and may even get physical with the other driver; at this point the road rage demon has a hold of you.
As you can see, a simple act of stupidity can result in an accident and violence. Unfortunately with the growing number of cars on the roads and the lack of maintenance and traffic signals to control the flow of vehicles you cannot blame people for getting worked up, and this also explains the growing number of incidents of road rage that we see today.
As I mentioned earlier I myself do not really suffer that badly from the syndrome, but I have been pushed very close a number of times. The things that really infuriate me are the lack of manners that around 30% of road users have. When I let someone into traffic, or let him or her carry out a dodgy manoeuvre all I expect is a gesture of gratitude, even a nod of acknowledgement will suffice. I always manage to do it, so what makes it so hard for them? The other thing that annoys me is dangerous driving, such as swerving in and out of traffic. It gets my blood boiling as these people drive around like nutters and never have an accident, yet I drive around safely and people keep aiming their cars at me!
t follows are two accounts of road rage, one I witnessed in person, as I was the passenger, and one that my friend witnessed.
The first was when I was with a close friend of mine, she was driving near Brent Cross Shopping Centre when another female driver pulled out in front of us from a roundabout causing my friend to brake suddenly to avoid running into the other driver. My friend sounded her horn, this caused the driver who was in the wrong to put her fingers up and look in the rear view mirror, obviously screaming obscenities at us. Little did I know that my normally calm friend was about to do a Jekyll and Hyde on me. She put her foot down on the accelerator and came to within a foot from the back of the woman driver. What followed was a chase at speed until the car in front came to a halt and the female driver got out of the car. My friend also got out and they proceeded to have a slanging match in the middle of a busy flyover. I thought that the situation was about to come to blows so I got out, and not being the smallest of blokes walked over and told the pair of them that that was enough. My friend was persuaded to get back into the car. I told the other woman to go, she decided to add some colourful language until I gave her a look that soon made her realise I wasn't going to put up with any abuse. She returned to her vehicle and left.
I got back in my friend’s car and we got back under way. I asked her what had happened, and she couldn't actually explain it, she said the she felt something click in her head and that sheer adrenaline and anger had taken over. I know for a fact that she uses her horn quite a bit and swears at other drivers on occasion, but she has never done anything like this before. Once she had calmed down some more she actually felt embarrassed about what she had done, and realised that others had seen the commotion. As a result she has never done anything like this again.
The second example is
as I say one that I heard about, and this one is far more extreme and worrying. It took place in Harlesdon in London and involved an estate car and a Luton van (the ones with the big boxes mounted on the back with the draw down door). What happened was that for some reason the estate rolled back into the van when it had obviously seen it beforehand. The driver of the van got out and an argument followed. The driver of the estate and his passenger got out and a fight followed. Outnumbered the van driver got back into the van, whilst the two men tried to get in to continue to assault him, they also proceeded in kicking in the van out of frustration. Whilst this was going on the driver of the van managed to get it started and drove his van back into the estate, hitting it at about 15 MPH causing damage to the back. He then drove off. The two men got back into the estate and drove after him. They caught up with him due to traffic a few hundred yards up and once again got out and started pounding on the van trying to get to the driver. The driver put his van into reverse and much faster this time once again rammed into the estate, this time the front.
What follows just goes to show what road rage can make a person or persons do out of blinding rage. The two estate guys started to pull bricks off of a nearby wall and threw them at the van. One of them was trying to break the class in the cab and attack the driver. Knowing what they were up to the van driver pulled off the road into a drive trying to avoid them. But there was not enough room for him to manoeuvre the van. At this point one of the two men went in front of the van and started to pelt it with bricks trying to shatter the windscreen, somehow it withheld the attack. However the van driver was not going to wait for this to happen, and with a screech of rubber he suddenly pulled forward and ran straight into the man throwing bricks, the impact threw him back in the air about 10 feet. What is hard to beli
eve is that this man who had just been run over by a one and a half-ton vehicle got up rather groggily and continued to throw stones. The van driver went at him again and narrowly missed him as the man staggered out of the way of being knocked down again. The van driver at this point decided to make his get away, and drove off, and once again the two men followed, what happened afterwards is not known.
As you can see the way in which road rage can escalate into extreme acts of violence is unbelievable, but so very real. I mean take into consideration what had happened, the two vehicles were ramming into each other on a busy main road with other cars and pedestrians around. Therefore showing complete disregard for anyone else’s safety or property. Then a man who has been knocked down at a fair speed gets up, so driven by rage, to continue his onslaught on the van. What I ask drives these people? How can rational human beings turn into violent psychopaths in the blink of an eye? It is safe to say that if the driver of the van had have got out and confronted the two men again it is certain enough that someone would have been killed or at the least hospitalised.
I can not condone road rage, as it is in my eyes completely unnecessary. Cars are mere objects that can very easily, however costly, be replaced. However if whilst gripped with the adrenaline charged psychosis of road rage you end up beating an individual to death, there life and the loss of that person to their families cannot so easily be replaced. At the end of the day these people that go for tyre irons during a road dispute rather than calmly acknowledging that a few apologetic words will solve the problem must appreciate that cars are just materialistic objects; readily available and at no great cost. Not as valuable or irreplaceable as a human life.
I urge all road users out there to after reading this opinion try to control the beast within. I know it lurks in all of us,
I have felt it many times myself, but I have managed to keep a very tight leash on it. As if you do succumb to its hatred then you may not realise what you are doing, but you will be held accountable for your actions.
Drive safely everyone.