With various questionnaires, surveys, and profiles, I’ve admitted to having a problem with road rage. But I also claimed that I’m making progress in controlling the rage. Today, while returning home from the gym, I suffered a relapse.
I was driving about 70 mph in the left lane of Loop 1604, closely following another car going the same speed. A pickup pulled slightly ahead of me in the right lane and suddenly turned on his blinkers and squeezed into the four or five car lengths between me and the car in front of me. After his move, he was about one car-length behind the car in front of me and about two car lengths in front of me.
By necessity, I backed off to four or five car lengths again, and a minute or two later, another vehicle pulled the same maneuver.
When the first vehicle cut me off, my immediate instinctual reaction was consistent with “fight or flight,” and it wasn’t flight. My blood pressure or adrenaline or something went through the roof, and I so felt like ramming the truck. Instead I just blasted my horn for about 5 seconds.
Inexplicably, by the time the second vehicle did the same thing, I had calmed and controlled myself, and didn’t make a peep.
So, obviously, I still have a problem. But as I continued my drive home, I wondered how most people would react if they were standing in line at a movie theater and some bully pushed him aside and jumped the line. I think most men would immediately instinctually reclaim their position.
It’s in our DNA.