I became a victim of road rage today. I mean – I was on the receiving end of its effects.
I was tootling off to the shop and came to a roundabout where there are two lanes – the left hand one for going left and straight on, and the right hand for going straight on and right.
I always pick the left hand lane to go straight on because I know that, on the other side of the roundabout, the right hand lane merges fairly quickly in with the left, and I’d rather not go through the hassle of slotting myself in between cars.
Anyway .. this guy (why do they always seem to be middle-aged guys?) in a large car decided he’d take his chances in the right hand lane. He obviously thought that, since he had a fairly new, “proper” car, he’d burn off the crappy old Skoda no problem and give himself a big ego boost in the process. He was wrong.
It’s partially my fault because I get really annoyed when people don’t obey standard road rules (like keeping a safe distance behind someone, only enter a yellow hatched area if you’re turning right, or you know you’re not going to be stopping in it, only use you fog lights when *shock* its actually foggy … and even then not when you’re only a few yards from the car in front).
So when this guy came round the roundabout at the same time as me, then tried to push his way in front (despite actually being along-side me) I took the view that he’d be the one that came worse off if he decided to scrape cars. Needless to say, with cars coming the other way and his “lane” now having disappeared, he was forced to move back. At which point the gestures and swearing, flashing of lights and honking of horn started.
The next roundabout we came to, he pulled up alongside me (I was turning left into the car park), stopped his car, wound his passenger side window down and started no doubt explaining why I should have stopped, bowed and begged to let him in front of me. Unfortunately for him, by the time he’d done all that, my line of traffic had moved and I pulled off into the car park, relieved that he was going a different direction.
But no … instead he decided to follow me into the car park. He must have either cut up more traffic behind me, or gone all the way round the roundabout.
I slowly drove round, past an empty police car hoping he would take the hint, but eventually I decided to just park up. And so did he .. right next to me. He did a bit of gesticulating in his car and then decided that wasn’t good enough, so got out of his car and make his way round to my side (during which time I activated the central locking).
Then he stood outside of my window asking “what the hell” I thought I was doing. When I replied “what, you mean when you tried to cut me up”, he demanded I wind my window down. At which point I explained that I really wasn’t that stupid, then just sat there, windows up, doors locked, engine running, ready to leave if he started anything physical.
He eventually left, still shouting and swearing. I was just cursing myself that I’d left my bag (and mobile) in the boot, so I couldn’t take a photo of his numberplate, or ring the police if needed.