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Internal problems from road rage incident

This past Monday some hair-on-fire, insane-aggressive, mouth-foaming lunatic tried to intimidate me into getting out of his way, tho he could pass me in another lane. He freaked me out so bad I slowed down then stopped my 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee in the road. At this point, despite the free lane next to him, he decided to take out his aggression by trying to push my Jeep out of his way. He was only two inches or less off my bumper, but accelerated into my bumper & gunned his vehicle, which was a full-size work van. He did this a few times while I had my car in drive, with my foot on the brake. I didn’t know what to do other than shift the Jeep into park, & he tried to push me a couple more times. Then the last remaining shred of sanity flipped a switch in his brain, & he decided to go around me, with a brief pause next to me with lots of gesturing and contorted-face snarling and screeching.

I was pretty freaked out, especially since the guy came out of nowhere & seemed to be enraged at my not turning right-on-red for 10 seconds because I was staring at a horn-blasting maniac filling my rear-view mirror. Got his tag tho…

Aside from scratches, scrapes & light lens cracked, I am wondering what I should ask my mechanic to check internally. Vehicle is all-time all-wheel drive, and seems to be running “rougher” & thinking about stalling since then. Trannie, brakes, engine, drive system, or what could be amiss?

Thanks for any answers!!

added after Post 26: PLEASE read the whole thread before commenting on my decisions, rather than my question on mechanical issues.

He struck your car? did you call the police?


This definitely calls for a police report.
In addition to police intervention possibly saving others from injury or death at the hands of this person, your insurance company will require a police report if you ask it to cover damage to your transmission or other components as a result of this incident.

Kudos to you for getting the license number, but I have to wonder–Why bother writing down the license number if you then decided to stay silent about the incident?

Report this incident to the police–today!

I don’t have a cell phone, & was hoping that some people @ the BP station in front of which this occurred would call. It seemed to take an hour in my mind but was probably less than a minute. He was “lunge-ing” his van at me all the way thru the turn after the light changed, so I just kept slowing down & hoping he’d pass.

Was shaking & in shock & hyper-focused on my chore (picking up daughter) but stopped @ police station after dropping her off. They are looking for him for felony assault.

I can be a bit flip about it now but it scared the cr*p outta me!

Jeep also seems to be shifting harder w/ longer interval between higher gears.

True, but stopping in the road when faced with an irrational driver is not a good idea, you want to get away from them, not incite them further.

@texases: not per the police!

I was not trying to “incite” the lunatic, my slowing & stopping was a natural & predictable reaction to being intimidated and then assaulted by a maniac. I assume you are not female & may not understand my visceral fear reaction. Blaming the victim is not fair. I came here to ask for advise on what may be wrong w/ my vehicle, not critique on my behavior, which the authorities have NO issues with.

If you were walking down the street & some stranger came out of nowhere & stopped two inches from your face, screaming at you the whole time, I bet you’d stop in your tracks from shock, not run away. This is no different.

Well, I assume you are home now. You are the victim on a hit and run and road rage and this bozo needs to spend a little time thinking about those felonies. You got the license plate and apparently there were some witnesses. You need to call the police ASAP and file a report.

That being said we’re glad to hear that you are okay and hopefully your car will be better in the long run.

I don’t mean to blame you, just pointing out that stopping in the road, while understandable, is not the best option. You definitely need to contact the police.

I did go to the police. Within the hour. As written in my second post.

Any thoughts on my original question?

I’m very glad that you clarified the situation, and that you did file a police report.
As I stated, this will fulfill the requirements for your insurance company to cover the damage to your vehicle.

As to what to check, the only component that I would worry about is the transmission. By placing the shift lever into Park (don’t ever do that in this type of situation!!), and then being hit repeatedly, it is very likely that damage to the “park pawl” has resulted, and this can have led to metal fragments breaking off of the pawl and entering the trans fluid.

Instead of having your regular mechanic check this for you, I urge you to take the car to an independent transmission shop (Do NOT go to AAMCO, Lee Myles, Cottman, Mr. Transmission, or any other chain operation) so that they can drop the transmission pan and do an internal check of the trans. If, as I suspect, the park pawl has been damaged, they can take care of the repair, as well as changing the trans fluid that likely has metal fragments in it.

Good luck!

Get your vehicle inspected for the insurance claim and let your insurance company do the work for you. If you were stopped, in park, holding the brake pedal down firmly with the engine running the only likely mechanical damage would be to the parking pawl mechanism which a good transmission shop can inspect. I am glad that you were not injured by that nut case. Drivers with such mental problems should be required to display a banner in the windows ANAL RETENTIVE DRIVER warning sane people.

@ VDCdriver;

Thanks for taking the time to read my posts & answer my question! This sounds like its gonna cost me a bunch. I hate No-Fault insurance with a passion! If one is poor & can’t budget more than PLPD, there’s no recourse, even if its not your fault.

My only option is “mini-torte” case w/ cap of $500.00, which won’t even cover exterior. hmmm, maybe I can find nail polish in a matching shade of forest green (just kidding)

“(don’t ever do that in this type of situation)” Geez, I was sure hoping I’d borne the brunt of my lifetime limit…

Seriously, is having your car rammed while you are in drive really a better option? BTW, I shifted it “between” revvs. He was not gunning it continually. So when he laid off for a second I shifted it from drive into park. This was after 2-3 full-contact revs on his part.

Wow, that sounds… …bad.

@ Rod Knox;

Thanks for confirmation on likely damage.

I am very thankful I wasn’t driving the little old Civic of two years ago. He’d have ridden my bumper up & hoped to decapitate me! People in my town seem to be on crack; there have been a couple incidents of people pushing others’ vehicles into intersections & oncoming traffic. One woman was killed.

Methinks that maniac would LOVE such a banner so he could better work his penchant for intimidation. I think maybe some lithium in the municipal water supply would work better.

Hindsight is always 20/20 but…
you really should never stop IN the driving lane.
Several options, none of which would be clear due to his unknown phsycotic instability.
some things to have tried, and do next time , maybe ;

  • since he wouldn’t change to the open lane…YOU change to the open lane.
  • you turn off asap, parking lot, side street , but be prepared to keep going should he follow. If he follows go to a VERY well populated place like a busy store’s front door where you’ll find lots of help, witnesses , and a security guard or two, 60% of whom have celphones.
  • try accelerating to some degree to see if it satisfies him.

I also agree that the transmission has suffered from being pushed and needs checked.

Since you have his tag number the police will find him.
He should then be on the hook for EVERYTHING it takes to fix your car.
Just 'cuz there’s no-fault insurance in place does not mean the full liability is removed.

( I got hit once by someone who acted as though just because they had NO insurance they didn’t owe at all for the damage . Boy did they get a big surprise.
I sued . Garnished their wages and everything ! )

@ ken green;

This all happened in the length of about 60 feet. From stopped at a light, to turning a corner w/ a vehicle literally up my *ss & lunging at me like he wanted to kill me (widest gap was about 10 inches, lunging to two or less inches) , to stop. The guy was NUTS.

You guys don’t get how INSANE he was from the get-go, & unless you have been confronted in such a way yourself, you’re probably not going to get it.

Yes, I know & have actually practiced your other suggestions while driving for decades in an urban area. There was literally no time this time around. He was driving a much larger & heavier vehicle. I couldn’t see around him to make a safe lane change. He was way too close & obviously irrational for me to think that accelerating would help. It would just compound injury/damage if he decided to ram me. He could push me easier into oncoming traffic. My best bet was to try to keep injury to a limit, which was the decision I made. HE WAS INSANE!!!


Well, I’m definitely no expert at all in what kind of damage could have been done to your car, AspieFarm. Other people on this forum are extremely helpful and well-equipped to answer your question, so I think you’ve come to the right place!

I did want to say, however, that I work with people with disabilities…people who may turn on their care providers at any time, sometimes for no apparent reason (and when there is a reason, that doesn’t always mean their reactions can be resolved immediately or without physical restraints or police intervention). As a direct service provider, I get training in how to handle these types of scenarios. They give us training because it’s necessary! Most people’s normal reactions when dealing with a crazy-seeming violent person aren’t necessarily the best reactions in hindsight. We don’t react rationally when someone is becoming violent toward us, usually. And someone with no training can’t really be expected to do anything but what comes naturally to them, which is what AspieFarm did in this situation.

This IS my area of expertise, in other words – and even I’m not totally sure I wouldn’t have done just what she did!

So I hope that whatever advice everybody gives on how to deal with this kind of maniac driver in the future goes for future encounters any readers might have with similar situations – as a sort of advance training that might help us all cope in the best way possible if this ever happens to us – and isn’t aimed toward what AspieFarm “should” or “shouldn’t have” done in her own situation, except as it may help us all understand our possible natural reactions, and how we may cope with them in similar situations. If that’s the goal, it should help us all! But let’s be careful not to put any blame on AspieFarm for how she reacted in a situation she couldn’t have been properly prepared for, and that we didn’t witness.

I think everyone here is on your side, AspieFarm.

Yes we do get it.
We also get that in the heat of the moment you gotta do what you come up with in split seconds. ( that’s why I qualified with "hindsight is 20/20 ) Happens to me too in many situations I’ll think back to “I coulda, I shoulda”

My biggest gripe, though, is that no-fault insurance thing. Don’t for a second let this weasel try to slide out on that twisted logic. It’s there for accidents not for intentional dammaging.
WHEN they find him, not ‘if’, take him to the cleaners. He wrecked your transmission and quite probably the transfer case too. He owes you every penny to make your truck perfect again.

Back to mechanical issues.

I am concerned that this could have screwed up all-wheel drive.

I am concerned that this could have baked the brakes; stress on pads & system as a whole.

Tires could be impacted…? Stress from fixed position & uneven physical force.

Dunno, just guessing on this stuff but don’t want to sound like a driveling idiot when I ask about it or I may just look like a fat wallet waiting to be cleaned out. Some mechanics think all women are marks, and I don’t have much history w/ the shop I’m likely to work with on this.

And if the police say she did the right thing, then that’s important information for all of us, too.

I wonder if…

Once the police have the guy in custody, Could they take you, your truck, that guy, and some police personel over to the repair shop and tell them strait up “evrything that’s wrong with this truck, this guy’s paying for.”

Flat spotted tires, bent brake springs, transmission, transfer case, overheated pads and rotors, paint dammage, lamps, dents .
What else can we think of class ?

That is the basis of her initial inquiry here anyway.