Full disclosure: I am a candidate for the title of Most Impatient Driver.
But mindful of how crazy the world is, with road ragers killing other drivers, I mostly just mutter under my breath when another driver pulls a rude or dangerous stunt. If it’s an outrageous offense, I’ll let out a variation of “Ford Frick!”* followed by some choice adjectives.
That’s usually enough to get the ya-yas out so I can go on with my otherwise mundane existence.
But here I am on a long vacation weekend in Middle America, staying at a home that’s a stone’s throw from a moderately busy four-way intersection.
Three or four times yesterday when I was in the yard, I heard drivers at the traffic signals give the horn a workout because the motorist in front of them waited too long to see the green and get moving.
I admit I’ve tapped on my horn in such situations. If it’s done gently, chances are the other driver won’t mind and will get moving.
In my reckless youth, I may have leaned on the horn more than once. At worst, this is asking for trouble; at best, it’s inviting classic passive-aggressive behavior by the other driver, who will thoroughly enjoy lingering a few seconds more — just to annoy you further.
(I deliberately stall in the grocery store checkout line when the customer behind me gets in my personal space, or starts putting items on the conveyor belt a little too close for comfort. I go into slow-motion, and probably enjoy it more than I should.)
The subject of road rage is, I’m certain, taught in driver education programs and driving schools. On the subject of horn use, driversedguru.com advises waiting four seconds before tapping on it to let the person in front of you know the light has changed.
The site edmunds.com also offers 10 tips to prevent road rage. Invoking the name of a former baseball executive isn’t on the Edmunds list, but I still think it’s a sound idea.
* Ford Frick was Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to 1965. As a lifelong fan of both baseball and profanity, I have found that uttering Mr. Ford’s name in such situations is a good way to reduce F-bombs.