Road rage is, sadly, something experienced to one degree or another by all of us. Let’s be honest. How many times has a four-letter word popped out of your mouth after being cut off at an intersection? Granted, the “rage” in the phrase “road rage” may be a bit over-stated in most cases, but we’ve all been there to some degree.
I brake for airplanes
I actually had to hit my brakes for an airplane the other day. Yes, you read that right – an airplane! I was heading down the highway and saw an airplane about a half a mile ahead take a dive that I was sure was going to result in an explosion. It was around a bend, and I honestly waited for the BOOM as I approached.
A few seconds later, I saw it climbing again and passing over the highway, only to repeat the pattern. I kept driving, hoping it was done with its little flight show, only to see it rapidly approaching me from the left… at about head level! I literally ducked and hit the brakes. Frankly, I was so stunned at that point that I was speechless, so no unfortunate potty-mouth words escaped.
Once it passed by, though, it was game on. I’m not sure this was technically “road rage” considering it was an airplane, but I was NOT a happy camper.
I found out later it was a crop duster. I’m told that a few years ago there was a crash and fatality of another crop duster in the same area. Well, considering the dives this one was taken, I’m not terribly surprised.
The words our kids learn
The town I commonly work in has a roundabout. It’s amazing how many people can’t navigate a simple roundabout…
I confess to struggling with these new versions found around the interstate, but I’m talking a simple yield and continue forward roundabout here.
When my youngest was about three or four, we were driving through this particular roundabout and I was nearly hit by an out-of-towner who evidently didn’t understand the concept of “yield.” Bad mommy moment here, as I slipped and called the driver a bad word. My son immediately asked me what a “shash-hole” was. I worked harder after that to bite my tongue.
Reverse your thinking
Confession… I tend to cuss like a sailor at bad drivers. Just keepin’ it real here. That pattern is changing, though, as I’ve started to take a different approach to the driver who cuts me off or the one who hasn’t figured out that it’s the pedal on the right that makes the car go.
The next time you get aggravated with the “granny” driver, stop for a second and think. What if that person just found out that a loved one had passed away? What if their car isn’t operating right and they’re just trying to safely make their way home or to a mechanic? What if they just got their driver’s license and are just overly-cautious?
There are so many variables. It is highly unlikely, however, that they are driving slow just to tick you off. (Granted, this does happen… although more of an “if-you, then-I” sort of thing. For instance, if you want to ride right up on my bumper, I’m probably going to slow it WAY down until you back off!)
Take a moment and give them the benefit of the doubt and count your blessings. You’re safely traveling down the road in a vehicle that is operating well and there is no emergency in your life at that moment. Those are blessings to remember. Send happy thoughts to the person… just in case they are having some personal issue. Simply put, give them a break.
Road rage anonymous club
There are people out there that just should not be on the road. There are people out there who don’t care that you’re on the road. We have to share the road with them all, so why be miserable when you do it? Keep your eyes open, drive defensively, and try to keep the four-letter words to a minimum! It’s a process, but if you want to get from Point A to Point B without having a road rage meltdown, you need to learn to let it go.
Don’t forget to watch for rogue airplanes along the way.
From columnist to blogger, Tina began writing in 2015. She blends the various bits of her life — professional, entrepreneurial, and personal — and shares her experiences with you.
Tina's Coffee Break became the means for her to express herself on seemingly random subjects, but subjects that are on her mind and in her heart at the moment — things we can all relate to many times.
Simply put, Tina writes about life’s moments.
Tina has managed her court reporting business for over 20 years. She owned her community newspaper for several years where she first discovered her love for writing through her weekly newspaper column, "Tina's Coffee Break." She was a member of her community's town council for six years, the last three presiding over it as president. Drawing from all facets of her life experience, Tina now provides business strategy guidance to others working to build their own success story.
A mother of two, wife for 32 years, and businesswoman of 25 years, a piece of Tina is in everything she writes.