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“How to deal with road rage”

I don’t know if I’ve told this story before, but here it goes… A few years ago, when I was driving down to DC for classes almost every day, I decided to pull into a fast food place and grab lunch. I was a little rushed because I wanted to get to school early and do some readings before class. I pulled into the drive thru lane without seeing that a man in an SUV was trying to get there as well. I honestly didn’t see him,

The man started yelling at me. He used a lot of foul language. He even threatened to get off his vehicle and come after me. I tried to ignore him, but he kept honking his horn as I tried to put in my order. I ordered a combo meal and a slice of cheesecake. When I got to the window, I asked the girl to give the cheesecake to the man behind me. I pulled ahead afterward and waited to see the look on his face. She gave him the cake and he looked over at me. I waived at him. He gave me the finger. I drove off.

There are different ways to deal with people who are having some kind of road rage. The worst way to deal with them is to confront them. They’re not in their right mind at the moment. They’re not being rational. Confronting them only leads to more trouble.

Now watch how this road rage incident was fixed:


Can you tell me of a more creative way to address road rage?

Categories: Blog Video of the Day

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René F. Najera, DrPH

I'm a Doctor of Public Health, having studied at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health.
All opinions are my own and in no way represent anyone else or any of the organizations for which I work.
About History of Vaccines: I am the editor of the History of Vaccines site, a project of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia. Please read the About page on the site for more information.
About Epidemiological: I am the sole contributor to Epidemiological, my personal blog to discuss all sorts of issues. It also has an About page you should check out.

1 reply

  1. My worst experience of road rage was, quite literally, at the risk of my life and that of my passenger, a coworker.
    I was driving home from work on a US military base, abroad.
    It seems, I was driving a bit too slow for one Arabian man (I learned after the incident), despite our being in an industrial area and with tractor-trailer traffic in significant amount.
    So, when the road opened into three lanes and I moved into the middle lane, from my former position in the left lane, I was engaged with a Land Cruiser, while I was driving a Nissan Suny. We’ll suffice it to say, I was outclassed.
    The gentleman then moved toward me from his middle lane, with apparent intent to force me under the trailer of the tractor-trailer on my right.
    Well, I declined, which resulted in his front wheels leaving a *lot* of rubber in the center of my driver’s door. I, on contact, forced my wheel hard left and into him, forcing him from contact and he entered the median.
    He engaged again, string my driver’s door again, closer to the A post (where the windshield ends and the car door is near). More grinding, a wheel turn upon impact and he went onto the median again.
    He approached again, at this point, I’m uncertain if it was due to intent or poor control, as he nearly flipped, but I remarked upon the end of engagement two that if he tried again, I’d PIT him. At the speeds we were driving at, he’d flip and end up deceased, but then, I didn’t care, as it was him or me and it was real nice meeting him.
    He struck my vehicle near the edge of the front fender, what prevented further engagement was he drive over my valve stem on the driver’s side and instantly deflated my front tire.
    I pulled over, he pulled over behind me.
    He exited his vehicle and kept on exiting it. 6’5″ if he was an inch or a mile. I asked if he was alright, he grunted something in an accent I was unable to comprehend, shrugged up, threw his hands up and I left him between me and the roadway. If he physically attacked, I fully intended to shove him into oncoming truck traffic. I’m real big on coming home alive.
    A Qatari police officer eventually arrived. *Really* eventually, I was starving by then, as I was *really* late for dinner in spades.
    The Arabic gentlemen had previously told us that he’d accept responsibility.
    What he told the Qatari police was so strange that I had one hell of a time continuing to pretend to not understand basic Arabic. We’ll suffice it to say, I had to further suppress laughter when the Qatari police officer said, “If what you say is true, *how* do you have *two* wheel marks on *his* drivers door?! I call you a liar, my report will reflect the same.
    The system there was, whoever was at fault was financially responsible for reparations *and* a fine.
    The reparations were a valve stem and a manger cleaning off the rubber from the door of my car.
    The system there is also one of, Arab, lie to me, a fellow Arab, you’re out of here.
    With some influence bits thrown in.
    Frankly, I don’t know if he was allowed to remain in Qatar, don’t really care. He learned a lesson, I learned a lesson. I had less damage than he, as I’m sure he threw a tire weight *and* unbalanced the rims.
    Today, I’d do the same. And would PIT him at the same point.
    My only real advantage was, I went to the “offensive driving course”, aka protective service driving course.

    I prefer to deescalate a situation, but I’m quite well capable of escalating it to my benefit.
    Today, I was in the midst of a road rage conditioner, unexpected highway construction. Needless to say, I as and remain highly annoyed at the last inch crowd and the last inch racer.
    Highly annoyed doesn’t qualify as rage or even actionable. If that were actionable, I’d be Emperor by now. 😉
    So, when one brave individual shut down the lane that was closing, I slowed near the closure point to let him/her in. the vehicle behind me did the same. The shut down individual actually stopped. With three car lengths and change to spare, I let the savior turned village idiot to do what he wanted. The car behind me also stopped, thereby screwing up traffic even more.
    I chalked it up to human absurdity and communal stupidity. We work together to be stupid at times.
    Still, as I had set out for work early in change, I got to work before starting time, logged into half of my environments I need to log into, filled my coffee mug and water bottle and was 2/3 when shift started.


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