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Okay, let me paint two pictures for you, just so you'll understand that I'm not driving slower than a scooterbike. These are both TRUE scenarios, and they're not much different than others that happen several times each week.

SCENARIO 1: I'm approaching a traffic light, in the right lane. The light is red. There's one car already at the light. I'm going the speed limit, until about 40 or 50 yards from the intersection, when I let up on the accellerator, letting the car begin to regenerate.

There's nobody behind me for at least 30 yards or more. Except for a fast-moving Lexus or something. He's in the right lane like me.

At about 25 yards from the intersection, I see that the light hasn't changed to green yet, so I begin stepping on the brake. I'm going about 20 MPH by now, still decelerating.

Mr. Lexus-behind-me approaches to less than 6 feet from my bumper, swerves into the left (through) lane, then he just as suddenly passes me and cuts in front of me to grab that spot behind the first car waiting at the traffic light. His rear bumper was within 3 feet of my front bumper when he cut me off.

And of course, he has to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting the car at the light. This also makes me slam on my brakes to avoid hitting him.

My reaction: :x
My gestures: None. I keep my cool.

SCENARIO 2: I approach a red light, preparing to make a right turn. In Florida, it's legal to turn right on a red light, after you have made a complete stop and allowed all "through" traffic to pass.

I'm first at this light, halfway committed to my turn (I'm over the crosswalk), when I see several cars coming through the light. I can't merge with them safely, so I let them pass, but while this is happening, Mr. SUV behind me wants to make the same right turn that I am waiting for.

Rather than wait his turn, Mr. SUV decides to turn wide, going around the left side of my car, and basically using the intersection as a "double right turn". I see him going out of the corner of my eye, so I know I can't use the left lane after my right turn is complete, because that's going to be occupied by MR. SUV. It's clear in my lane (the right lane), but not really clear in his lane (there's another car coming through the intersection in the left ("through") lane).

The car proceeding throught the intersection lays on his horn, and nearly rear-ends Mr. SUV. My passenger, always concerned for her life, says "are they honking at you?" I explained that Mr. SUV almost got rear-ended because of his impatience and his illegal right turn, and that the person behind him was justified in being angry with Mr. SUV.

My reaction: Calm on the outside, but :? on the inside.
My passenger's reaction: :shock:
Expletives uttered: Probably many by the "through" driver.


In both cases, I was neither driving too slowly nor in a "scardy-cat" fashion for the traffic or road conditions. I really do think that people are becoming ever more and more impatient and rude on the roads. I've been feeling this way for a few years now, but it seems to be getting worse.

In this day and age, we can't just yell at another driver; there's a good chance they're "packing," and/or that you could become a victim of road-rage. How do you folks handle this?
 

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If it was me, I'll load up my AK47, plus wipe out my magnum45, put my finger on the 20mm vulcan canon, and reach over and charged up the disruptor banks and then I'll take a deep breath and "smoke them if I got them then". I'll power down my weapons and say "I get you next time, you moron". then I'll continue on with my life.
You can't let those moron affect you personality or rise your blood pressure...it's really not worth it. :eek:
 

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I have had experiences close to your scenario #1 three times in a 2-month period. In each of my three experiences, I was passed in a very dangerous manner by a driver who was either in a big hurry or who was trying to prove that his aggressive driving style could not be controlled (not ever my objective). In their defense, I can see some drivers getting upset because they don't understand that I am driving in a manner to maximize my gas mileage while still getting to my destination without a time loss. It takes a very attentive driver to understand my driving style. I suppose I may be rear-ended sometime because some driver may want to push me along faster and tailgate too closely to stop in time to avoid hitting me. I like to drive in a manner (predicting stop-light, light changes) to keep from having to stop at intersections. This definitely helps my gas mileage. However, I don't do any significant coasting if my reduction in speed will keep cars from being able to get through the intersection behind me. In heavy traffic, with intersections that are close together, coasting can really slow down the traffic and cause drivers to get upset. So, I only coast when I can do it without slowing other drivers. Also, I make it a point to accelerate from a stop light at a rate that is consistant with the drivers around me so that it is not perceived that I am reducing the number of cars that can get through an intersection before the light turns red. I try to be courteous at all times, but at times, other drivers will not understand that I have no intention on slowing them down and they will react in an offensive manner, something I will just have to get used to. It would be nice to be able to light up a LCD display on the back of my car with a message that would allow drivers behind me to understand what I am about to do.
 

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Knguyen said:
and reach over and charged up the disruptor banks
Yeah... where's a cyborg with a plasma rifle when you need one? 8)
 

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Rude, obnoxious driving certainly seems to be getting more and more common. I try really hard to ignore all the jerks, but every now and then my temper gets the best of me and I lay on the horn while flipping them the ugliest bird I can muster. Of course I immediatley regret doing that and feel sickened for stooping to their level, so I'm working hard to train myself to give people the peace sign instead--letting them read between the lines.
Drive happy,
Moo :)
 

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hahahahahahahahahaa! I've been reading your posts for a few weeks now Moo, so of course I am used to seeing you sign off with 'drive happy'. The visual I got of you, or anyone, losing your cool, honking and flipping the ugliest bird you can muster!? Oh man, that is great stuff. Reminds me of being in the car with my mom when I was a kid, and growing up in Los Angeles amongst so many aggressive drivers, I witnessed several of her balled-up-fist-over-extended-middle-finger flip offs. Hand and said finger slapping the windshield as she screamed, "jerk!" :shock:

Ahh, the memories. I've taken a page from her book for sure, but I try to keep my cool and drive by example.
 

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The proliferation of remote cameras set to catch people running red lights and blowing off tollbooths has led me to the following daydream, which helps calm me when I see similar rude and unsafe driving:

What if I mounted a bunch of digital cameras around my car (inside the windows at dashboard level) such that they had an uninterrupted 360 degree view, and then set up some kind of monitoring software that could dump their video to a trunk-mounted harddrive, including a date/time stamp and maybe some other data such as my speed, heading, GPS lat/long, etc? This could be controlled with a pushbutton on the steering wheel; pushing the button would dump the previous 30 seconds of buffered data and then continue storing realtime until the button is released.

This system would allow me to get great proof of the occurrence (including license plates and an image of the driver), and although some rude driving is only that, most would also fall into the category of "reckless driving", which is a ticketable offence in most states. It would also be helpful in case of an accident (airbag deployment could also trigger the recording).

I doubt any law enforcement agencies would be particularly interested in getting any videotapes from me, and there are probably legal issues involving admissibility of evidence, but it gives me some peace of mind to think about it. :)

Douglas (2002 Silver, Wisconsin)
 

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This isn't great advice about how to deal with those kinds of drivers (yes, I see them here too), but, instead of stooping to their level and flipping them off, do this:

Stick your tongue out at them!!!!

I was driving poorly one day a couple of years ago, and this young, big macho black guy in a white truck pulled up next to me (after I had cut him off or something) and he looked at me and just stuck his tongue out! I nearly lost it laughing, he did too, and we both learned a lesson. I shouldn't be rude, and telling someone that in a funny way makes it hit harder. It's fun to watch the reaction of folks when you do that!
 

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Why are you coasting at 40 yards?

Why are you coasting 40 yards from the intersection? If I drove my prius or my suv like that in NYC I would be run off the road. Be more decisive! Me personally, I would have honked at you too!
 

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It use to annoy me but now I just do not let it bother me. Now I usually anticipate when someone like that is near and just give adjust accordingly (giving up more space - might as well let them in or they will shove their way in anyways). I drive the speed limit (must be my law enforcement background).

I did love seeing the cops go after a guy who was driving on the shoulder. We were stuck on the freeway for 90 minutes going avg 3 MPH and some guy in a a pick-up speeds down the shoulder at 70 MPH. He did not see the cop sitting in the traffic also.
 

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Best advice: smile at them, acting as if you didn't even notice their stupid move, and wave nicely as if to a friend. Imitate those annoying yellow smiley face stickers as best you can. Then watch the fun.

In the brief glance they send your way, they will be a little unsure just who you are, and in their uncertainty it will dawn on them that they might have done something REALLY stupid in front a friend or neighbor. Their balls shrink a little as they worry you might be a superior at work or the pastor at church, and they cease their hostility at you.

It's great fun to see their expression change from aggression to sheepishness and befuddlement. You feel better, they don't go after you, and you just might have changed their driving attitude for the better.

Works like a charm!
 

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A week or so ago, I was coasting towards the right-most e-pass (prepaid tolls) lane on the East-West expressway. Typically at this time of day, there's a wall of slow moving cars one lane to the right waiting for the exact change lane.

Anyway as I approached the lane, in the rear view, I spotted another car comming up behind me, and slightly to the right. I didn't think much of it at first glance, because there is always some jerk who waits until the last minute before cutting into the exact-change.

Needless to say I was quite shocked when the next time I looked he was not only immediatly to my right, but moving ahead. Had I not hit the breaks hard, one or possibly both of us would have ended up on the toll plaza pylons.

He quietly ignored the nice long honk from my prius's horn, but I think I really got to him when I pulled up beside and snapped pictures of both his license plate, and his face on my camera phone.

My aim was off, and neither one wasn't worth much... but *he* didn't know that, and the look on his face was worth it.
 

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Heh. Put a sticker on your rear bumper: You are being recorded. Any erratic behaviour may be charged against you.

or

Smile! You're on camera.
 

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Or go all out and mount phony cameras out your windows, and a "PHOTO ENFORCEMENT TEST VEHICLE" sticker. make it removable so in the parking lot the provacy folks don't key your car...
;-)
 

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It has take many years to aproximate the level of Zen to which I aspire. I have a little litany in my mind where I remember there are many types of people in the world. Some are impatient and real type A's. We need those people. They get stuff done, and they often really suffer for their inablility to let go and kick back. I even back off and wave them in if I can anticipate their move. Smile and thank them because they are keeping the world going for us "coasters". Now I am trying to teach the same mindset to my wife who just thinks they are a**h****.
 

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Hep said:
...Now I am trying to teach the same mindset to my wife who just thinks they are a**h****.

Ah, I think I'd like Mrs. Hep. :)
 

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KTPhil said:
Or go all out and mount phony cameras out your windows, and a "PHOTO ENFORCEMENT TEST VEHICLE" sticker. make it removable so in the parking lot the provacy folks don't key your car...
;-)
Actually I've got 4 or 5 X-10 cameras I could mount on my car fairly easy
 

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The bigger the tires, the ruder the driver.
 

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An04Prius said:
The bigger the tires, the ruder the driver.
Wow... these guys must be REALLY rude! Of course, they cannot really cut you off very quickly...

:)


(The Crawler, built in 1960 to transport Saturn V rockets. There are 2 of them, and they travel at top speed of 3k per hour. It takes eleven crawler crew members and the fully loaded crawler five to eight hours to make the 6 kilometer trip on the pebbled crawlerway to the launch pad.)
 
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