Have you felt personally threatened during an incident of road rage?

A Coon Rapids woman was convicted last week on charges related to a road rage case. An Anoka County jury found that the defendant had pointed a gun at a motorist who honked at her. Today’s Question: Have you felt personally threatened during an incident of road rage?

  • Alison

    I had my side mirror taken off by a guy during a road rage incident. I’m just glad he didn’t push me into the guard rail.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Once, years ago in another state, the guy behind me on a two-lane country highway apparently got upset that I was obeying the speed limit and rode my bumper for several miles, while the woman beside him appeared to be telling him to knock it off, which appeared to upset him further. When we came to a good place to pass, as he zoomed by, he reached over his passenger to flip me off, taking his eyes off the road and nearly losing control of his car. That’s when I decided to overcome my own tendency to get angry at other drivers.

  • Gary F

    I guess I’ve been shown the middle finger and told I’m #1 a few times, but never more than that.

    I will tell you, if you are driving dumb, and I see you have cell phone to your ear, I will lay on the horn and leave it at that.

  • Dana

    While it hasn’t happened in a while, I have had people throw bottles at me, try to run me off the road, and rev their engines at drive at me while driving my bicycle. I had one man lose it and get out his car and yell at me while waiting for a light at a “no turn on red.” My son was in the trailer and was terrified. Luckily, bikes are nimble vehicles and I have never been injured in these incidents.

    Life is too short anyway. We all need to take a breather and realize most stuff isn’t a big deal. I sort of pity these angry people as their lives must lack joy.

  • david

    It’s been my experience that those road ragy nut jobs are only tough guys when they are in their cars. Last time i had one on my bumper I stopped on an on ramp got out and asked if he wanted to settle this, he did not and backed up and off the ramp. It is amazing how going the speed limit pisses people off. Later after i stopped laughing I realized that little toad was probably also the type to be carrying a gun. I decided i probably shouldn’t do that again.

    One thing I’ve noticed is most road ragy j-offs drive a particular brand American made truck/suv. I have wondered why for a long time. Noticed that after also noticing they are also less likely to use turn signals while racing and weaving in and out of traffic. Lao Tzu said racing and hunting madden the mind, i almost think he had our car culture in mind when he said that.

  • Craig

    Not rage, but I incur unnecessary risk due to other drivers’ road-peevishness on a daily basis.

    One example would be, when merging from an onramp, I will signal and match my speed to a sensible gap, when the car trailing the gap accelerates with a “not in front of me” sentiment—attempting to close it.

    Another is when driving with the flow of traffic, well out of the fast lane, I pick up an extremely close tailgater. Not the inattentive kind, but a choleric person sending a message in my rearview mirror.

    I have become inured to these issues, but occasionally I remember I am responsible for the lives of everyone in my car, and ponder the best risk mitigation approach to them. If there is a state-patrol officer or other expert reading, I would be very interested to hear what they advise in those two scenarios.

  • GregX

    Yes. twice were it got to a level of concern. In one case – they pulled even and started calling out names and threats. Right past a police cruiser. He got stopped – but I don’t know if anything else happened. I kept rolling.

  • Wally

    Threatened, not by road rage, but by run-of-the-mill jerks and idiots, when on bicycle. I’ve never felt threatened while driving, or riding motorcycle, but as a bicyclist I am more vulnerable. Have been knocked down by a careless driver.

    I think distracted drivers are far more dangerous, sometimes I feel like using my old beater pickup to crunch a fender on the vehicle of one of those idiots, than grab my phone, act like I was on it, and say “Oops!” Maybe the cops will say: “Well, both were distracted, equal fault here.”

  • Jim G

    Yes. It was scary. I was in our Subaru with my wife and 80 year old mother-in-law. All of my male protective instincts kicked in, testosterone and adrenaline are powerful hormones that can take over rational decision making very quickly. Beware of WHITE ESCALADES! We called 911 and thankfully the police responded in record time. I’m positive that if I’d been driving my Ford F-150 things would have been different.

  • kim

    I had an incident, also in another state, much like Steve the Cynic. Except that, in my case, the other driver was alone. After he roared past me, he stopped a ways down the road. Since I had NO idea what he was up to, I stopped too, a respectable distance away. He eventually drove off.

    I worked for a metro highway contractor for a few years some time back. We had several scarey incidents. People throwing stuff (like glass bottles) and drivers running down cones and towards a crew that was putting down lane tape, I have no idea if those folks were drunk, otherwise impaired, or just lacking in manners and good sense.

  • CarlS

    I’ve seen my share, but at least I feel at ease knowing I haven’t experienced behavior as bad as what I’ve read from others.

    When I had a smaller vehicle I noticed that other drivers were more aggressive with me, mostly with tailgating. When I got a full sized pickup the tailgating dropped dramatically, even though I also reduced my speeds down to the speed limits. I see this as evidence of the bully mentality. Their behavior is modified by their perception of the driver based on vehicle size. Like a bully they pick on people/vehicles smaller than themselves/theirs.

    The term ‘aggressive driving’ is too complimentary. More like ‘passive aggressive’ driving because their actions are basically non-confrontational, cowardly operating within the anonymity and safety of their vehicles. If they had to stand face to face most wouldn’t say ‘boo’ to a goose.

  • Zebulun

    I sense a theme in this thread of comments. Road rage seems to be the default setting for modern American driving. If you hope to survive, you either have to drive as aggressively as everyone else, or swallow your pride and drive as defensively as possible. Regardless, the daily commute has become a dehumanizing experience.

  • Jefferson

    Here some basic rules people need to follow:

    If you can’t drive and talk on the phone at the same time please get over to the right and stay out of everyone’s way. Or put the phone down if you can’t even stay in your own lane.

    If you’re in the left lane then go at least the speed limit…maybe even 5 mph faster and only use that lane for passing if you can help it.

    When merging please accelerate up to the speed of the road you are merging onto…do not stop at the end of a merging lane. If you’re on the highway and you can get over to allow a car (or cars) to merge then do that, get over and let the other car merge onto the road you are on.

    Finally, stop trying to speed on busy roads. If there is a lot of traffic stop trying to go 15+ mph over the speed limit and weaving in and out of each lane. If you want to speed on an open road then fine, just don’t expect everyone else to do the same and you’ll have to patient when there’s traffic.

    Follow those simple rules and there will be little road rage.

  • jockamo

    Rules?

    We don’t need no stinkin’ rules!!!

  • Carol

    The term “road rage” almost makes it seem justifiable. I think “traffic tantrums” is more descriptive. When you’re out on the road, things happen. Get over it!

  • David

    Have I felt personally threatened during an incident of road rage?

    Maybe in the form of road craziness. On my way to the airport along Highway 62 Crosstown one day I felt a stinging burning sensation on my arm and found that a young man from a black primer painted van had flicked a cigarette from the passenger seat at me. He looked at me with a crazy grin and I heard maniacal laughter coming from inside the van as it sped off beyond me. I didn’t have a cell phone and missed the licence plate, they got thru a traffic light before I could and didn’t want to drive recklessly. I felt quite disturbed and hoped they would encounter a learning experience that would somehow counter any similarly stupid decisions/actions in the future.

  • Steve the Cynic

    I suspect road rage these days is also being agravated by the profusion of bumper stickers with angry, in-your-face political messages.