Just like everyone else in the world, when I jump into my car and head to my destination, I am usually on a time limit of sorts and I have a preset time in mind of when I would like to arrive. While driving, especially in heavy traffic, there are certain rules that get ignored that can really put me in an extremely good mood by the time I reach my destination. Road rage is a serious problem in the United States. Just take a look at some of these alarming statistics compiled from surveys on road rage in the United States:
- 50 percent of all drivers who have been at the receiving end of an obscene gesture, or who have been cut off or tailgated admitted responding with honking horns, obscene gestures of their own, or cutting off the offending driver.
- More than 1 in 4 drivers yell, even when they know they cannot be heard by the other driver.
- Almost 1 out of 5 admitted to making an obscene gesture at the other driver.
- 2 percent of drivers admitted that they try to run the other aggressive driver off the road.
In addition to starting your day off in the right direction, you could end up in an even more fun situation. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reported that “at least 1,500 people a year are seriously injured or killed in senseless traffic disputes." Some states, such as California, have implemented laws that limit the use of cell phones while driving. Other states, such as Florida, are implementing laws targeted at preventing causes of road rage, such as driving slow in the left (fast) lane.
I don’t know about you, but I am ready to learn all of the ways in which I can really get under the skin of my fellow drivers. Since I know everyone reading this article would like to know all of the ways they can encourage road rage, here are some fun ideas to really irritate all of the other drivers on the road. Let’s have some fun.
Text Messaging/Talking on Phone
I know what you are thinking – “Everywhere I go, there are billboards, articles, and commercials telling me not to text or talk on the phone while I am driving.” Apparently it is dangerous and actually causes more accidents than drunk driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), driving a vehicle while texting is 6 times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. Additionally, a driver that texts while driving is 23 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-texting driver. I am thinking this sounds like something I definitely want to do and cannot wait to go out and try it! I might be able to get a rush that is comparable to sky diving.
This one is tricky, because you have a couple amazing options that can get your heart pumping. You could try speeding up to gun it through a yellow light if you think it is going to be a close call. On the other hand, when you are about to cross over the line into the intersection and the light suddenly turns yellow, it could be fun to slam on the brakes and see if the driver behind you has NASCAR-like skills and can also stop in time, or if they will just slam into the back of your vehicle. Having been in an accident where I actually had no choice but to slam on the brakes due to someone cutting off the car in front of me right as a light was turning red, I highly recommend trying to get rear-ended. There is no better feeling than another vehicle hitting you at 50 mph. It does wonders for the spine and your car will look even better!
Invisible Turn Signals
If you are really looking to have some fun with the people in the lanes around you, initiate a lane change in one swift movement while nobody is expecting it. This is truly an exhilarating feeling and everyone will love you for it. I have a term for when people do not use turn signals when making a lane change – “invisible blinkers.” I guess there must be a new technology for turn signals that allows you to use them without anyone else seeing it, because it is not uncommon to have a car sneak into the lane in front of you when you least expect it. I need to find out where to buy those invisible turn signals.
Intersection Driving Etiquette
What better way to win the race to your destination than to pull out into the already-crowded intersection so that when the light turns red, you can sit in the middle of the intersection and block all other traffic. You are sure to get a symphony of horns for this one, as everyone wants to make music for you on the joyous occasion of you blocking hundreds of other people from getting on with their lives. There are other ways you could handle this situation, such as waiting at the line until all other cars have cleared the intersection and you can make it through, but that would not be any fun. Another thing when it comes to intersections is changing lanes in the middle of them. It is such a good feeling to illegally change lanes in an intersection and then honk at the person who made a right turn, rightfully and legally, into the lane you suddenly changed lanes into in the middle of the intersection. How dare that person make a legal turn into a lane and slow you down after you illegally moved over into that lane!
If there are not enough ideas here to get your blood pumping faster, get creative with it. You could drive 10 mph under the speed limit in the left lane or go 20 mph over the speed limit in the right lane. There are plenty of ways to really make the driving experience more of an adventure and risk your life and the lives of others at the same time. In all seriousness, people will get angry when they read this article and say that this is all common sense, but I disagree. Based on daily observance in my 3 hours of driving every day, there is nothing common about it.