I’ll be the first to admit that my road rage is slightly out of control. What can I say, a switch flips and I can feel a fire spark inside me (runs in the family, thanks Dad) and before I know it, I’m acting ridiculously, cursing like a sailor (most of you wouldn’t BELIEVE the names that come out of my mouth!) and driving like a lunatic.

And why? All because that little sports car cut me off. Or that Prius is going 45mph on the freeway, in the fast lane.

I’m pretty ashamed of my road rage “problems”, and often times my over active imagination (as you saw before) kicks in and I tell myself, as I slink down lower in my seat, reclining so the other driver can’t see me, “What if they have a gun, and they’re coming up next to me to shoot me!”

Yep, my road rage is so bad that I sometimes think other drivers are going to shoot me. Pretty gnarly.

Photo by Steven KleinWhether we’re guilty of road rage, a victim of it, or a provoker, it can be dangerous to anyone. Accidents aside, there have been numerous murders reported as a result of road rage. AAA’s website reports “In at least 22 cases since 1990, aggressive drivers have intentionally plowed their vehicles into crowds of people.”

Wow, even innocent pedestrians can fall victim to aggressive drivers.

Other reports have included disputing vehicles pulling over and one driver shooting the other to death, or one person beating another after a fender bender type scenario.

Victims have also been teenagers who throw eggs, shoot drivers with squirt guns, or throw snowballs, etc. as pranks. Of course, you could argue they’re asking for it. I guess I can consider my sisters and I lucky we never encountered a driver who was struck by road rage after hurling our water balloons at them.

AAA’s website states weapons used by attackers include tire irons, baseball bats, knives (including razors, ice picks, and bayonets), rocks, trash, burritos/hamburgers, alcohol bottles, crowbars, mace, pepper spray, Surefire flashlights (just joking), and the list goes on. One man was even killed with a paint roller rod when it was thrown through his windshield and speared his head in a parking garage.

Most people guilty of these acts are reportedly “normal”, nice, well-mannered fathers, mothers, teachers, friends, etc. A good friend of mine has always said people’s driving personalities are polar opposite to their personalities outside of their cars, and I can definitely say I agree. I would not necessarily call myself a lunatic in everyday life OFF the road. (Although some people may disagree!)

These facts are definitely eye-opening in multiple aspects: to be a calmer, better, more aware driver and not provoke others, along with staying away from the crazies you may see out there. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for me, but the bottom line is that road rage is just not worth it for anyone involved!

Ok everyone, you got your disclaimer… see you out there! In my dad’s words, if you’re not careful, “You’re going to get a Tahoe up your ass!”

(Photo credit: Helmut Newton “Behind the Eyes of Laura Mars” and Steven Klein)