My presence of mind helps avoid road rage with an errant driver
Thanks to what I’ve read on Team BHP, I kept my cool and made the smarter choice not to make it worse.
BHPian slowrider recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
I experienced a road rage incident yesterday. I was driving down a single lane highway in Kochi. There was a steady stream of vehicles travelling closely behind each other, mine being one of them. I noticed this Ford Figo approaching to overtake me. From where I sat, it was clear that he didn’t have enough gap to make that pass and merge back into our lane, but to my surprise, he did pass me and proceeded to brake hard and lodged his vehicle between my car and the one ahead of me, effectively cutting me off and forcing me to brake hard. I was annoyed, so honked for about 4 seconds in protest, and flashed the headlight 5-6 times. This set the guy in the Figo off. He gestured angrily in his RVM. Then pulled a bit to the side and lowered his window – an obvious cue that he wanted to argue. I had no interest in arguing with that guy, so I didn’t pull beside him, instead stayed behind him. I maintained this “you’re wrong!” look on my face, but didn’t say anything or make gestures.
In the next 100 meters or so, there was a traffic signal. There were two columns of vehicles queued up to go in my direction. He picked one queue, and I consciously picked the other one in order to avoid aggravating the situation. When the light turned green, the traffic in front of me shuffled and this guy ended up in front of me again. He’s again gesturing angrily into the mirror. By this time, I was pretty sure that this could take a turn for ugly, so I was determined not to be goaded into an argument with him. He then brake-checked me – twice! The first time was subtle; the car ahead braked and he braked a lot harder than he had to and I hard to brake hard as well. The second time, I’d learnt to expect it, so I put 2 meters or so between him. He then came to a complete stop. By now the it was beginning to affect the traffic around. Since I felt he would try to stay stopped for a while to make his point, I started to go around, at which point, he takes off again. Thankfully I think he had his fill by now, so sped away forward. With that level of anger on the road, he was bound to cut more people off.
Thanks to what I’ve read on Team BHP, I kept my cool and made the smarter choice not to make it worse. To the chimpanzee in every man’s brain, it feels like a failure, but I know in my head that I can sleep in peace, not having damaged the car or my health getting into an altercation with some angry rando on the road spoiling for a fight. That feels like a win for a thinking man.
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