After hearing about a man who, after a minor traffic altercation, followed a woman home and shot her to death in front of her two youngest children… I figured perhaps people are letting the stress of driving get to them a wee bit too much. After all, nothing that happens on the road is worth dying over.
Drivers can be quick to lay on their horns and flash their high-beams if a person changes lanes with a signal on (while they did not have a signal). The two or three seconds that might add to your commute is minor in the grand scheme of life.
I was driving down an alley (to avoid heavy traffic on the main road), only to find that a half-dozen people had the same idea. There was an abnormal number of people parked in the alley, and heavy traffic entering from both ends of the road. The woman in front of me pulled over as three cars were entering as we were near the exit. She pulled over, then I did the same. Making it even worse, she pulled over in front of a garage entrance someone needed to use, so we both backed up. As the traffic cleared, I notice she remained stopped, so I pulled out. She jumped out of her vehicle and yelled, “What is your problem?”
I replied, “No problem. All clear!” and drove off. Fortunately, no acts of violence followed.
I guess the worst thing about such “Type A” driving is that the levels of stress that people put themselves under are potentially deadly, even if no firearms are involved. I had the misfortune of witnessing one irate driver yell and scream at other vehicles, then suddenly slumped over behind the wheel as his minivan hopped the curb and came to rest against a pole.
This poor guy got so hyped up over trying to get to his destination that he wound up making an unexpected arrival at his eternal destination. The kid he was blowing his horn at got out to see if the guy was alright. Apparently not… the kid checked the man’ pulse, then turned with tears in his eyes.
Driving past, I looked into the van and it seemed the guy was in his 40’s or maybe early 50’s. I thought that there might be some poor woman pacing her living room wondering, “Where is he?”
Perhaps she might receive a phone call bearing sad news. And possibly some children would cry themselves to sleep that night, learning that daddy would never be coming home.
The next time you start to get wound up over a slow driver or less-than-optimal traffic conditions, just stop and ask yourself if playing a chorus of the horn concerto by Amadeus Ignoramus would be worth an organist playing “Pray for the Dead” as you are being carried off to your final resting place.