Road Rage out of hand

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    Apr 19, 2011 2:37 PM GMT
    I was somewhat assaulted by a guy with road rage. It is ironic because I never get road rage; road irritation maybe but never road rage. I think I handled the situation as best I could, but in retrospect I would have done some things differently. I posted up the incident on the city-data forum for the my local area. I thought you guys might find my story entertaining. I think what bothered me well after the incident was the thought that had I been someone more feeble the consequences of his actions could have been far worse.

    I'll let you read the story and you will see that all I did was honk my horn at a driver who had run a right light and stopped in a rage holding up traffic in my lane. For those who don't want to read the story I will tell you that in the future I would not even honk my horn but rather pull out my cell phone and start taking pictures of his car, license plate and of him if I could. So here is the story:



    The time was Sunday, April 17th close to 5 p.m. and the place was Covil Avenue and Market Street. I was first in line in the left lane on Market street waiting for the stop light of Covil Avenue to change. When it changed I proceeded forward and heard at least one loud horn sound. I believe it was the driver to my right who was honking at the driver of a green pick up truck (or SUV), running the now red light on Covil avenue. The driver running the light was turning right onto Market Street but making a right turn into the left lane of Market Street. This implies he was making a right turn into my lane and as such had to drive in front of the car to my right and cut me off as well. The driver in the green truck (I’ll call him the assaulter) looks back at the traffic with rage and stops his vehicle right in front of me. At this point I honked my horn along with many other drivers because he was now holding up traffic in our lane. He stuck his head out of the window and yelled at me and I motioned with my hands for him to move on. This prompted him to get out of his car and head towards mine.

    I have a tall athletic build and am not easily intimidated. I probably have a good 4 or 5 inches on this guy and could have used my stature to intimidate him by getting out of my own car. Rather I chose to remain seated with my seat belt on. I’ve trained myself to remain calm and highly focused when adrenaline kicks in. As such I was not feeling rage or fear but a need to calmly talk to this guy and tell him to get back in his car and drive. I have found this strategy to work with past experiences with angry men. I mistakenly opened my door to talk to him. He slammed it shut. Then I’m not sure which of us opened the door again but with the door opened he threw a punch and hit me on the right side of my nose and lip. I’m still not feeling rage nor a desire to fight in the middle of Market Street. I looked at him with complete dismay and said “What the hell was that”? While I am still seated in my car with the seat belt on, my eyes moved from him to his passenger who is standing behind him, to a bystander who has also stepped out of his car. I expect his passenger was there to back him up in case I left my car and started throwing punches. Despite the assault, I still did not feel in danger. The witness, a man, I’m guessing in his early 40s, however, played a key role. When the assaulter looked at this bystander, something clicked and the assaulter turned to his passenger and said, “get back in the car, let’s get out of here.” I believe the mere presence of a bystander out of his car made it clear that there were plenty of witnesses in their cars watching what he was doing.

    I did not get a nosebleed and received only the smallest amount of bruising. I have taken far bigger hits to the face from my board while surfing so I decided to get on with my day and I headed to my next location. I have also been the victim of far greater crimes, including surviving the 1993 world trade center bombing. As is typically with me, I had a delayed emotional reaction to the incident Sunday. I initially spoke of the episode with surprise and amusement to my friends. They asked me if I had gotten his license plate, which I took note of after he punched me. I remember the first three letters were something like YAD but I’m not sure if it was an NC plate or out of state. There were a lot of people in town for the car show yesterday and I’m thinking these guys were here for that. Still you must understand I was doing my best to have a normal day after an abnormal incident.

    While discussing this episode, a friend told me about a road rage incident that occurred while he was living in Dallas. A man pursued an elderly woman in a fit of rage. Terrified, she drove to a strip mall parking lot for safety. With him banging the rear of her car with his, this poor woman continued driving off the parking lot into an open field. She eventually stopped the car and when he got out of his car and approached her, she cracked her window to beg for mercy. This man grabbed her hair, pulled her face to the window and cut her throat. His story is an eye opener on how deadly road rage can be.

    I was hoping the incident was behind me but his story made me feel compelled to share my thoughts on how I could have handled the episode differently. I still have no desire to seek vindication. Hopefully someone in his life will tell him he needs therapy. There is probably a separate story behind his rage. Given the high presence of military in the area, for all I know he could be a traumatized vet recently returned from a war zone.

    I rarely get road rage myself so it is ironic that this happened to me. I should not have blared my horn and I often don’t under similar circumstances. The moment he stopped his car, holding up traffic for the sole purpose of venting, I should have pulled my cell phone out and taken pictures of his car and the license plate, just in case things got out of hand as they did. This would have been a better course of action than adding noise to the chorus of horns. I should have taken another photo of him getting out of his car and approaching me. Next, you may be wondering why I opened the door, while still seated, and tried to talk to him. It was my attempt to show I was not intimidated, but in hindsight it was a dumb move that landed a punch in my face. If I had the chance to do this over I would have taken more photos of him raging at the driver’s window. I considered calling 911 but I really didn’t feel this was an emergency. If any of you reading this were in a similar situation I would recommend calling the cops at this point. I’ll repeat I still do not have the desire to take this case to court. I don’t want to file a police report because while it is technically assault I don’t feel it is serious enough to warrant an increase in the crime statistics for the area. At the same time, I feel perhaps the police should have been warned that a raging lunatic was on the road.

    I also really wish I could thank the bystander who stepped out of his car. His presence made the guy with road rage realize where he was and what was going on. He is a shinning example of a courageous man however minor merely stepping out of his car may appear. I truly believe he better represents the people I have met in this town since I moved here last June. The vast majority of the people here are exceptionally warm, friendly and downright happy. We all live in a beautiful place and this ugly incident is no reflection of life here
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 19, 2011 2:40 PM GMT
    colesnotes

    I live in montreal, this is road rage CENTRAL. People get out of their cars to fight here.

    Some taxi driver got out and came at me because I honked at him for cutting me off.

    Got out, said i have cameras in the car aimed at him. Come at me bro, just touch me and i ll sue your nutsack off and your family will be deported to whereever the fuck you came from.

    He walked away and drove off. DONE
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    Apr 19, 2011 2:43 PM GMT
    mi16t said Come at me bro,

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif
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    Apr 19, 2011 2:50 PM GMT
    Pyrotech said
    mi16t said Come at me bro,

    icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif


    srs, come at me
    come-at-me-bro-3.jpg
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    Apr 19, 2011 5:03 PM GMT
    We have mandatory training , to learn how to handle an angry passenger,
    and what you have done , is exactly what they are teaching us during these classes .
    Kudo to you for keeping your calm , if a person is in an episode of anger , and whatever the reason is , violence is just going to fuel the existing fire ....
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    Apr 20, 2011 2:52 AM GMT
    This is why I carry a Mag-Lite in my car.
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    Apr 20, 2011 3:24 AM GMT
    shoulda called the cops immediately
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    Apr 20, 2011 3:30 AM GMT
    jprichva saidtl;dr
    ia
  • commoncoll

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    Apr 20, 2011 4:14 AM GMT
    Good for you on keeping calm about it. Yes, in hindsight things could have gone better, but you were not hurt and didn't get out of the car or start screaming at him or something.

    That is a frightening experience. Thanks for the well-thought out post.
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    Apr 20, 2011 4:20 AM GMT
    we all live in cities and shit happens.......there are plenty of idiots and bad drivers...hardly even rates as news....hope you are ok....
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    Apr 20, 2011 3:05 PM GMT
    Glad you handled the situation as calmly as you did, good thing it didn't escalate into something worse.

    I'm going to say though, don't honk at crazy drivers no matter how much you want to. Take a picture of the plates and call the police.

    In NYC I've learned not to get after crazy drivers or idiots on the subway- most of these people are nutcases or have anger management problems. Drawing any attention to yourself is like putting a bulls eye on your forehead. No one else exists at that moment in time when they notice you and they focus all their rage on you no matter how well intentioned you were.

    You don't want to run across a person who's snapped and make yourself an easy target.
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    Apr 21, 2011 10:40 AM GMT
    Ehanson saidGlad you handled the situation as calmly as you did, good thing it didn't escalate into something worse.

    I'm going to say though, don't honk at crazy drivers no matter how much you want to. Take a picture of the plates and call the police.

    In NYC I've learned not to get after crazy drivers or idiots on the subway- most of these people are nutcases or have anger management problems. Drawing any attention to yourself is like putting a bulls eye on your forehead. No one else exists at that moment in time when they notice you and they focus all their rage on you no matter how well intentioned you were.

    You don't want to run across a person who's snapped and make yourself an easy target.


    Yep. That is exactly how I felt after the fact. It has cured even my road irritation. The "I won't be intimidated" technique of talking calmly came from my years of living in NYC. It worked with angry drunks in a bar or unruly subway passengers. But in retrospect it was hard for my voice not to sound a bit condescending because I was thinking about how childish his outbreak was. That is probably why he hit me even while I was sitting down.