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A road rage crash in NH

Yesterday morning, just before noon, on a clear divided highway (the Everette Turnpike) in excellent condition and in excellent weather, we had a road rage incident sparked by a driver in an SUV apparently cutting off a driver in an Aveo. The SUV rolled, the Aveo hit the guardrail. The SUV driver is now clinging to life in critical condition in the hospital. The accident happened perhaps 5 miles south of where the original “cutting off” occurred. Apparently the “dueling” had gone on for a distance.

Please, I urge you, don’t let others drag you into road games. It isn’t worth it.

I saw that on the news yesterday. It happens far too often.

We all can empathize with the driver who feels that the action of another has suddenly put they and their passengers at risk through no fault of their own. Many behave differently behind the wheel then they would otherwise. I don’t see many driver education courses offering constructive alternatives to new drivers on how to respond. I feel that such topics should be part of all driver Ed curriculums. The response needs to be as automatic as what to do in a skid and it may not get enough attention. Having a reasonable, non esculating course of action is often enough defuse the situation. It’s not natural to many. It could be as simple as writing down the plate number and turning it in. It may not accomplish anything practical at the time, but it gives the driver some response to help relieve the feelings of being out of control.

On a few occasions I have phoned 911 and reported drivers who were getting too carried away and held up the cell phone to indicate what I was doing. Only one driver ever passed me once they were aware of my intentions and I don’t know what, if anything the law did. But other drives have purposely remained behind me to prevent me from reading their tag. I wish that all states issued front and rear plates.

Rod…excellent !

I unfortunately became the target of a road rager several weeks ago in medium traffic while driving my sedan. After I had signaled and changed to the right hand lane (with enough room to do so) on a long, 2 lane entry ramp I evidently ticked off a driver in a lifted truck behind me who evidently didn’t like someone getting in front of him. He moved into the left hand lane, pulled up beside me and deliberately moved to the right, forcing me more than halfway onto the shoulder. As I slowed down he slowed down as well and edged over more.

At that point I quickly swerved hard to the left (towards him) for a moment which fortunately backed him off and he moved back into his lane. I slowed down further to try to distance myself…he then pulled in front of me…good, maybe it’s over. No, he slowed down to a crawl. He sped up a bit and entered the highway. He slowed way down again. Oh boy, here we go!

How am I going to shake this guy? For all I know he could be carrying a gun or think nothing of ramming me. I got an idea and pulled out my cell phone and held it to my ear. It worked–he took off and got off at the next exit…problem averted. (But by that point I had forgotten his license number.)

There are too many times when I had the pleasure of big trucks with dualies try to merge into my hood, and got to slam on the brakes whenever that happened, not to mention finding another gear afterwards. For all we know, that Aveo driver could have had the 3rd experience of the day and was pushed over the edge. Everyone has their limits.

I don’t understand the power trip that people have when they drive a big vehicle. When I used to drive a bus in college, I tried to stay away from other cars as much as could.

Although it’s happened very, very rarely, I too have been the victim of the type of “car games” that Steve described. and I’ve felt the same fear. Generally, if they’re behind me and playing these games, I conservatively drive straight to the nearest police station and stop there. They always disappear when they realize where they’ve been led.

If ever one doesn’t disappear and exits his vehicle to come at me, I plan to lock the doors and lean on the horn…right outside the police station.