I posted a while ago about recently acquiring a car and in the grand scheme of things, it’s massively improved our lives. We’ve been able to do SO much more stuff without factoring in public transport and we’ve been able to go places and see things. It’s made our world bigger.
The one, very slight, downside to this is that since I last had a car, everyone else on the road seems to have turned into a MASSIVE TWAT.
I passed my test at 18 and have worshipped at the altar of my driving licence ever since. I adore being able to drive, it gives me such a sense of freedom and independence. We had a car right up until just before Sausage was born, but the house we moved to didn’t have a parking space, so we went pedestrian for a while, with a brief ownership of what turned out to be a money pit on wheels somewhere in the middle.
So I’ve been without a car for roughly three years, but the world seems to have changed a lot in that time. I’ve been back on the road for about a month and I don’t think I’ve been cut up, pulled out on, tail-gated, sworn at and been generally victim to a lot of fuckwittery as I have in that very short space of time. People’s level of patience seems to have diminished exponentially.
Just last week, I was in Waitrose car park and I stopped to let someone pull out of a disabled space, right outside the shop. Instead of waiting patiently, the massive tank-like vehicle behind me decided to pull around me aggressively and at some speed and almost drove into the side of the car pulling out. He didn’t even have the grace to look embarrassed, he just reversed a bit and sat there swearing.
Another example; on our way to Lakeside on Monday for my birthday shopping trip, there are some quite extensive road works going on along the main A-road that takes us there, and not only have the lanes been split up by cones and temporary markings, the speed limit has been reduced. I was driving in the correct lane to take me to my destination, at the 40mph speed limit. Some absolute knob-case in a big white van decided to sit with his front bumper almost to my rear one, flashing his lights and waving his hands.
Yes. I was in the right-hand lane.
Yes, under normal circumstances, that’s the overtaking lane.
But on this day, it wasn’t the lane for overtaking, it was the lane that had been marked off to go in one particular direction. As SOON as the road works ended, this guy did a really dangerous undertaking manoeuvre and sped off, whilst making aggressive gestures through the window.
The problem with all of this is that it makes be unbelievably cross. I know you could argue and say that this anger makes me no better than the perpetrators, but you know how everyone has a button that you can push that makes them angrier than almost anything? This is one of mine. The lack of manners and patience combined with the fact that in both situations, I was doing the right thing, makes me want to kick puppies**
I know I’m naive to think that if everyone behaved nicely, we’d all get on a lot better. There will always be twats on the road, but why does it suddenly seem worse? Maybe it’s my inner lioness, the fact that they’re doing this when I have Sausage in the car makes it worse because they’re endangering her. All I know is, I’m going to have to learn some techniques to help me with my own rage because driving along, preoccupied with someone elses mistakes is liable to make me make my own mistakes and that’s a risk I just can’t take.
Do you suffer with road rage? If so, how do you deal with it?
**I would never EVER kick a puppy. I’m just trying to illustrate how mad I get.