I’ve been driving on a pretty regular basis for roughly 26 years now. In all that time, I have seen my share of road rage incidents. Heck, I’ve been a part of my share of road rage incidents.
Wait… By reading that last sentence, you may be assuming that I’m the sort of road-rager that will exit my vehicle and verbally berate or attempt to physically antagonize a fellow motorist. That’s simply not the case. No… I do suffer from my own brand of road rage, but I keep it confined to the safe confines of my own vehicle. I have no problem yelling at drivers I believe have done me wrong or cut me off or are otherwise not operating their vehicle in a manner I believe to be appropriate. But I’m yelling at them from behind my steering wheel with all my windows safely closed. No one hears my horrible screams. And I keep it to the verbal assaults… no hand gestures at all.
Anyway, this isn’t about my road rage. This is about some road rage that I witnessed this afternoon. It was something I can honestly say I’ve never seen happen before.
I came to a stop at an intersection behind a car that was properly stopped at a stop sign. Suddenly, the driver in front of me threw her car into park and exited the vehicle. For a moment, I thought she was going to come back and start yelling at me for something… though I had no idea what I could have possibly done to offend her. But, no, she was screaming at a passenger in her own car.
This driver then proceeded to slam the door closed and quickly walked down the sidewalk, away from her car. It was then that a man climbed out of the passenger side, returning some unheard dialogue. He walked around the car and got behind the wheel and drove off, clearly chasing after the woman that had been in the driver’s seat. The last I was able to see as I drove off was the woman breaking into a run. Well, as much of a run as one can break into when wearing flip flops.
At the time, I had a client in my car and had no choice but to not respond to what I was seeing. But even if I’d been alone in the car… was there really anything I could have done? Should have done?
All I could see was that this was some kind of domestic disturbance. I have no idea what the relationship is between this man and woman. Who would have been in the wrong in their conflict? Was either of them truly in the wrong? After all, the argument can be made it takes two to tango. If they were in conflict, as it appeared to be, maybe the woman getting out of the car and walking away was the right move… She leaves the situation so that one or both of them can cool off for a while. The man, on the other hand, goes ahead and chases her down, clearly unable to let whatever this is go.
So do I move forward with my day concerned that this woman could have been in danger? I kind of just hope for the best because, the reality of the situation is, even if I had been alone while witnessing these actions, I’d have convinced myself to mind my own business. What would I say if I called the police? What could they even do if I reported this couple’s behavior?
What would you do in that situation? Have you ever come upon a road rage incident and felt the need to get involved? Let me know your story in the comments!