When you think of road rage you may think of someone beeping at you and maybe giving you a not so friendly gesture. But I can assure you from experience that real road rage is a whole lot scarier and intense. Monday I had a real scary experience and it's making me look at all other drivers in a different way.
I've been beeped at, flipped off, called bad names because someone thought I was driving too slow or I cut them off. But nothing can compare to the scary experience I had Monday evening. I am sharing this story with you because sometimes I think we brush road rage off as just being cursed at or someone cutting us off in traffic.
After work Monday I went to the gym to take a class and met my best friend. Afterward, we decided to run to Harris Teeter because we both needed to pick a few things up. I dropped her back off at the gym where he car was parked and proceeded to drive home down South Tryon in the Steel Creek part of Charlotte. Everything was fine until I noticed a truck driving super close to another truck that was on my right side. The truck that was tailing the truck next to me was trying to squeeze in between my car and the truck. The guy was nearly ready to side swipe me so I beeped to let him know I was there. That's when this wacko went nuts.
He immediately jerked his truck and got right behind me, following me with maybe six inches between our cars. I immediately called 911 because this guy was driving erratically and was going to cause an accident. While on with the 911 operator he already rammed into the back of my car once. I then moved into the far left lane which was a turning lane in hopes he would stop because he hit me. He then proceeded to ram my car five more times while I was stopped. He also had his foot all the way on the gas trying to push my car into the intersection.
I was scared. Clearly, someone who would act this way on a busy road isn't all there. He drove away, but luckily I was able to get his plate number. I have never been so scared in my life.
Thankfully there wasn't too much damage to my car. But the whole incident has really left me feeling unnerved. The incident was reported to cops and this crazy guy should be charged with reckless driving and fleeing the scene of an accident, which are both misdemeanors. But honestly, I feel like he should be charged with a lot more.
Also one of my friends had a run in with someone like this a few weeks ago on 485. They pulled a gun on him. This insanity needs to stop.
So I found some tips to help everyone out there should they find themselves dealing with someone like this on the road.
1. Appease. Whether it's your fault or not, show some grace and class by giving them a friendly wave (ideally with all five fingers) to acknowledge the situation. Most of the time this works just fine to diffuse the situation.
2. Apologize. If said maniac driver won't let it go, consider offering a sincere apology and yet another wave of the hand. Of course, never get out of your car.
3. Call police. If you sense that the driver is on a downward spiral (e.g., yelling, cursing, threatening), tell the driver you are calling the police.
4. Disengage. If calling the police doesn't get them to stop following or harassing you, stop all communication with them. Roll up the windows, look straight ahead and drive to the nearest police or fire station.
Have you ever been a recipient of "road rage"? It can happen to the best of us. A lane change that cuts someone off can turn your regular commute into a dangerous situation in an instant.