New Jersey Road Rage Almost Killed Me Today on the Garden State Parkway
Driving in New Jersey. It doesn't matter whether you're on a residential street or going 80, I mean, 65 on the Garden State Parkway, it's an adventure.
That is putting it nicely.
I had an experience today that will change the way I drive forever.
I was on the Garden State Parkway northbound heading up from the Atlantic City area.
Due to the fire at Wharton State Park, it was very smoky. It didn't affect my visibility, but it made it look cloudy on a crystal clear sunny day.
I was driving with the flow of traffic in the middle lane, which to be honest, was a little slower than usual most likely because of the condition of the air.
After traffic really slowed down I saw a massive car delivery truck up ahead.
First of all, that will slow things down real quick. Secondly, you never want to be directly behind one of those vehicles.
So I like most of the drivers in my lane moved to the far left to pass this truck. There was only one snag. There was a driver going 60 in this "passing" lane.
You know the kind of driver I'm talking about. They are either dead set on cruising slowly and not moving over, or they are completely oblivious. Either way, that is just as dangerous as going well over the speed limit.
I found myself in a line of cars trying to pass a truck in the far left lane just waiting for the opening.
Out of the corner of my eye in my rearview, I see this silver bullet. This car had to be going over 90 mph.
They were swerving in and out of traffic and ended up right behind me. I mean right behind me.
I don't think I've ever been tailgated so closely before. This person was so close to me that I couldn't see the hood of their car in my rearview.
At one point I started thinking, "they're going to tap me."
Usually in this situation, I will move over to the right and let the maniac pass. The only problem was that I had nowhere to go.
I was in a line of traffic and there were cars to my right.
The driver that was up my a** knew I was stuck because so were they.
I don't know if it was because it was a Monday, or that I was not having the best day, but this rage came over me as I've never felt before.
I went from wanting to safely move over to wanting to find every possible way to get this person to stop tailing me and prevent them from getting ahead of me.
I did one of the most dangerous things you can do in this situation. I brake-checked the driver behind me.
I'm not going to lie, at first, it have me great pleasure to watch the driver behind me get a jolt and start screaming.
While I was paying attention to messing with this driver, guess what I wasn't doing? Paying attention to the road in front of me.
The driver that was going 60 that was holding us up must've slowed down to 55 because all of a sudden I saw the break lights of the car in front of me and I had to slam on mine to avoid a collision.
Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
I can honestly say that I don't get road rage a lot and when I do I rarely act on it. I don't know what it was about today, but I caved to it.
It doesn't matter what kind of day I was having or what the traffic was like, acting on road rage on any day is foolish, immature, and it can be downright deadly.
What if I break-checked the car behind me and they lost control of their vehicle? I wasn't happy with them, but I would never want that to happen.
What if my road rage caused me to lose control of my car? I could kill myself and others. For what?
I know it's not easy, but when you feel road rage coming on, take a breath and do the right thing.
Don't fall for the temptation of "teaching an ass**** driver a lesson."
It's not worth hurting yourself, especially the innocent drivers around you.
To everyone who was around me on the Parkway today, I'm sorry.