There’s been a lot of discussion recently about a video from Tampa involving a road rage incident, with a tailgating truck ending up on the wrong end of karma. People have been divided, some saying that man got what he deserved, others blaming the woman taking the video for causing things to escalate in the first place. There are many opinions on what to do when dealing with an aggressive, hostile driver, but the ones I disagree with the most involve just giving in and getting out of the way.
Speeding up and pulling over all to let an asshole go by is the wrong solution and contributes nothing toward a better “road culture”. That’s like telling a school kid being bullied the solution is to keep his head low and avoid where the bully is. At some point, someone has to stand up to people who are assholes. If that requires being an asshole yourself, I’m fine with that. If someone bullies my kid, I’ll let him fight back regardless of school policy, “two wrongs”, etc. That doesn’t mean I regularly drive poorly or screw with other drivers. I’m actually a safe, defensive driver who tries to abide by the “social rules” of the road, and I will be respectful to other drivers as long as they are to me. The moment someone decides to be an asshole, though, I will make sure they learn their place. Here’s some basic rules everyone should understand…
- If I’m in the left-hand lane, going at least the speed limit, and passing people… you can wait.
- If I’m pacing the vehicle in front of me, regardless of speed limit… you can wait.
- If I’m in a middle lane and passing people… you can wait or go around.
Any tailgating, flashing of lights, obscene gestures, etc. will result in my pacing the vehicles next to me and locking you in. Anything more aggressive will result in a police BOLO of a “drunk driver” matching your vehicle’s description… if I’m being nice (and law-abiding).
The issue with drivers these days is there are no consequences for their poor behavior, and thus they keep acting that way. The state doesn’t care, as they’ll hand out a license willy-nilly to anyone who can pass a simple written test and parallel park in a closed course. The police don’t care, as they have bigger things to focus on than aggressive drivers. That leaves the rest of polite society to remind some people that their behavior will not be tolerated. There has to be a consequence, and since there is rarely a legal one there has to be a social one.
I fully agree with what the woman did, so long as she herself was driving safely. Don’t want people to be assholes to you while you’re driving? Don’t be the first one to start it.