Some folks are so selfish and self-involved they have no idea what’s going on around them. Since these narcissists genuinely believe the world revolves around them, they use the world and everyone and everything in it as an extension of their own egos.
The problem is, they have driver’s licenses.
Maybe it’s just me but sitting at the helm of two tons of metal barreling down the freeway at 70 mph+ seems like a good time to be aware of your surroundings. Conversely, it’s probably not such a good time to act out on unsuspecting motorists.
What other reason can there be for parking a car in the fast lane of a California freeway, sitting right next to an 18-wheeler so nobody can pass for miles and when some brave soul does manage to squeak by, speeding up and sticking to him like glue.
This isn’t just a pet peeve of mine – I wouldn’t think of making you sit there wasting precious moments of life you will never get back reading my self-indulgent rants. Come to think of it I guess I do that all the time, but that’s hardly the point.
What is the point? If you witness this sort of behavior anywhere nearly as often as I do, you’d be inclined to think that Americans can’t drive, especially if you’ve driven the German autobahn or the highways of Japan, which work pretty much like clockwork.
It’s true that far too many Americans can’t drive but that’s not the point either.
I’m talking about those who use driving as a way to indulge their childhood traumas – real or imagined – strike out against anyone they think has done them wrong and exercise control they abdicated by self-destructing and playing the victim.
Why does this seem to happen more in America than other places? Good question. Notice I used the word “seem.” I’m not really sure that it’s true at all.
I believe you must be a certified lunatic just to get a driver’s license in Italy, especially to drive in Milan. South Korea has I think the highest rate of alcohol related road deaths per capita. And nobody pays any attention to red lights and traffic laws in Taiwan.
Still, I think the great American ego is at least partially to blame. On average, I think we think too highly of ourselves and too lowly of everyone else who, in our warped perception, gets in our way, meaning they’re not really in our way but that’s not going to stop us from showing them what’s what.
Truth is, I was the “brave soul” in the above story, but what happened later that day may provide the most accurate, if not least fulfilling, insight into why so many Americans behave the way they do on the road.
On a narrow 20 mph mountain road I’ve been driving for close to 25 years some guy in a full-sized pickup hauling a boat trailer came barreling through, forcing me to pull over into someone’s driveway to avoid being sideswiped. As this cretin blew past he shouted, “Get out of my f—ing way, a–hole!”
What could possibly be more American than that?