I hate the way people drive these days.

Have you noticed the amount of aggression on the roads lately? I certainly have. I don’t remember people driving this way in my youth. Especially not women. Sure, there was the occasional “mental patient” out there (“Must be late for his psychiatric/anger management appointment” is my husband’s droll response upon experiencing one of these types of drivers, usually)….but these days….well, it’s a whole ‘nother story.

Every day tests my resolve not to give these yahoos the finger, leave a note on their car, or otherwise vent my disgust at them using the road as their personal motorway, and to hell with my (and everyone else’s safety). Clearly we did not get the memo that they own the road and to get the hell out of the way because they are coming through and MUST NOT BE IMPEDED IN ANY WAY. I must have misplaced mine….again.

Yesterday I was coming home from a lovely dinner with my mom and daughter, driving on a bridge, and I noticed in the rear view mirror that the car behind me was driving too fast and too close. I switched my attention to the line of cars ahead of me that were slowing down rapidly. Thus I had to touch my brakes to slow my own (traveling a safe speed and stopping distance) vehicle down. I fully expected to be rear-ended by Ms. (yes, it was a female) Tailgater. Because we were on a bridge, there was no where for her (or I) to go in order to avoid a collision. When I looked in the mirror again, it was apparent she had seen my brake lights – but because she was following too closely she had to STOMP on her brakes in order to avoid colliding with my car’s rear end.

What happened next certainly surprised me, but maybe I am just that naive. Ms. Tailgater proceeded to lay on the horn and gesticulate wildly (I always wanted to write that!) at ME. Like I had done something wrong. Obviously I did, I guess. I did not read the memo yet again, the one that said she was ON HER WAY SOMEWHERE IMPORTANT and MUSTN’T BE SLOWED DOWN IN HER PROGRESS TOWARDS THE DESTINATION. The one that said “IF YOU SEE ME APPROACHING IN THE REAR VIEW, JUST PULL OVER TO THE SIDE OF THE ROAD I OWN. THINGS WILL GO BETTER THIS WAY FOR BOTH OF US, TRUST ME.”

I didn’t react to her. I didn’t give her the finger she-oh-so-richly deserved. You know the finger I mean. The finger that speaks volumes without saying a single word. That finger.

I did smile though.

And my smile got bigger and bigger as I noticed the huge distance she kept between our cars as we started moving again in traffic.

Do you think she learned anything? Or am I just being optimistic that her post-incident response meant she had seen the error of herĀ  road-hogging ways?


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  • Road manners.
    I miss those.
    My personal beef is cell phones. Still way too many people using those while driving.
    It’s illegal but some just can’t stand to not be part of the ‘hive mind’ for the extent of their drive – or like your wildly gesticulating female tailgater – maybe just have too much on the go and too many important things to keep up with, to worry about killing someone with their road inattention.

    Le Sigh.
    Good to hear from you!

    • Cell phones!!!!!! Don’t get me started!!!!!!!
      Road manners, yes! And what about the decline in manners in general?
      OMG I’m starting to sound like a cranky old coot…
      Thanks for the comment pal!

  • It is horrible these days. When I was still working in Haarlem and had to drive from Breezand to Haarlem I was tailgated by a woman. She was so close, I could not read her license plate! ( it was if like she was sitting in the back seat, so close, doing 100 km per hour )

    This is what I do in circumstances like that. I keep my foot on the gas pedal and just let my brake light go off with my other foot. Works instantly!
    I could see her expression in my rear view mirror and boy was that a look of fear! She slammed the break and I think she got the message, she was still behind me the rest of the way, but with more distance between us.
    I could not resist giving her the universal finger signal though.

    You know I work in the village I life in, so I do not get on the highway much these days. I’m not afraid to drive at all, but traffic is getting more and more aggressive. I can really tell the difference. It’s horrible.

    I remember when Ton and I were in Canada, the traffic was so much better then over here. People were more polite and were more relaxed. Sad to hear now traffic is getting worse there too. Hm…

    • Yes Helen, traffic is bad here too.
      Since this is a problem around the world (it seems to me), it mustn’t be related to any particular culture or nationality.
      What does this say of us as human beings and our lifestyles?
      What has changed over the past 30 years or so, to make us such ignorant and entitled drivers?
      Hm indeed? Food for thought….

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