Forgive the Bad Drivers

Road rage (courtesy of

There was a time when nothing bothered me more than bad drivers. And to say I suffered from road rage would be like saying Albert Einstein was a pretty bright guy.

It consumed me.

Don’t get me wrong, though. I wouldn’t get angry every time I drove. And my particular strain of road rage varied in intensity based on each situation.

People who followed the rules of the road and showed at least basic consideration for others had nothing to fear. As long as they drove the speed limit, used their turn signals and didn’t slam on brakes for no reason, they would escape my wrath.

On the other hand, drivers who clearly had no business behind the wheel of an automobile—especially those who endangered my life or the lives of others—saw a different side of me. And yes, it involved lots of screaming, flailing about and presenting of a very specific finger.

I think you know the one I’m talking about.

Given all the anger I’ve unleashed on bad drivers over the years, it’s a wonder I haven’t been shot or had my ass kicked by now. But I was never the type to follow people home, accost them once they parked or drive by screaming obscenities out the window. I just did some cursing, some flipping off and lots of complaining, both during each incident and for hours to follow.

It wasn’t healthy, as you can imagine.

Fortunately, I just had an epiphany that changed my whole perspective on bad drivers. And since I’ve been so mean to them for so long, I feel it necessary to repent by defending them in this forum. Kind of like a reformed alcoholic in a 12-step program who apologizes to everyone he wronged while he was “on the sauce,” only to a lesser degree.

After all, most of these people have no idea that I was bitching at them out on the roads. And even if they did, I’m sure they’ve forgotten about it by now.

Nevertheless, this is for you, bad drivers. I hope that I make you proud.

If my earlier description of road rage struck a chord with you—and if you currently suffer from the “disease” with which I was afflicted—I implore you to set your anger aside and to forgive bad drivers. It really isn’t their fault and the sooner you accept this, the sooner you can relax and start to enjoy the ride again.

Driving is hard. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. I mean, think about it. You have to work the pedals, turn the wheel, check your mirrors, adjust your seat, tune the radio, control the climate and do a host of other things, often at the same time. Toss in the occasional phone call, text message, cigarette or sip of a drink and the situation gets even hairier.

Bad drivers always find a way (courtesy of auto-evolution)

It’s a lot to keep up with, so cut bad drivers some slack.

When they lose focus and slow down to a turtle’s pace because of a phone call, let it slide. I’m sure the call had to be important or why would they bother?

If they pull out in front of you and cut you off, don’t sweat it. They probably had something more important to do anyway.

And if you endure an hour-long traffic jam simply because bad drivers won’t let others merge onto the highway, big deal. It’s like I said before: these people are important and deserve special treatment. Please do us all a favor and get out of their way, would you?

At this time, I would like to recognize a group commonly slapped with the “bad driver” moniker: the elderly.

I admit. If someone can’t see because of their advanced age, I don’t think they should be driving. It simply isn’t safe. But if spectacles make decent driving at least possible—regardless of how thick the lenses have to be to make this happen—then who are we to complain when they creep along in front of us, slow down to a complete stop before every turn and ignore the traffic light that just turned green in front of them?

Some of these folks are military veterans, for goodness sake. And if you know anything about history, you know that the Civil War was no picnic. Show them the respect they deserve.

What it all boils down to is this: bad drivers are people, too. Special people. It’s time they were treated as such.

Sure, they may lack the small motor skills needed to engage a turn signal, or the awareness of every obscure traffic rule—like right of way or the speed limit—but they have other talents. Important talents.

I can’t think of any off the top of my head, but that’s only because I don’t know any bad drivers yet. The epiphany just happened today, after all. Dang.

So the next time you’re out cruising and some “jackass” (one of my old words for them) steals your parking spot, slows you down or bumps you in traffic, take a deep breath and remember: that very same jackass could be rushing to some lab to complete a cure for cancer.

Do you really want to be responsible for depriving human kind of that?

Posted on February 3, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. My husband cut somebody off once and the driver followed him for miles!

  2. Generally I don’t get to peeved at bad drivers when I’m driving my personal vehicle but that’s probably because, one of the great stress releases in my life comes from being able to “Light ’em Up” every time I see someone driving like an jerk when I’m at work…. “License and Insurance please. The reason I stopped you because all 4 wheels need to be contact with the ground at all times…” 😉

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