When you are literally on the road 365 days a year, you see some pretty crazy things. When I started traveling, I had these preconceived notions that drivers from certain states were better than others. You imagined, as one example, that drivers in New York City were simply not as laid back as drivers in Orlando, Florida. After three full years of driving in almost every state, I can say with confidence that crazy drivers live everywhere. No state has a monopoly on these unique people who just can’t get where they are going fast enough.
Let’s give some examples of what kinds of drivers we are talking about. These are the people will tailgate you, flashing their lights repeatedly and waving their hands in frustration when you look in your rearview mirror. The people who will swerve left and right trying to look ahead of your car, searching desperately for a good reason that you are only going five miles above the posted speed limit. They will dangerously weave in and out of traffic, fly by you on the right hand side before you even realize they are nearby and likely are one of the biggest causes of accidents on major highways.
I have been tailgated by a semi-truck driver who then proceeded to almost clip the back end of my Jeep as he raced past me at 90mph. I have been flicked off more times than I can count, had balled up fists shook at my wife who was in the passenger seat, been serenaded by dozens of honking horns and more. It is a sheer wonder that some of these people make it through the day. While some might have legitimate one time emergencies, most of these people probably drive like this on a regular basis. A government alert should be issued every single time they pull out of their driveway.
But who are they? Are they really that angry all the time? I doubt it. My completely uneducated and unscientific guess that is backed up by no data points whatsoever and which should not even be considered remotely accurate is that they are way too busy. We live in a society that actually encourages stress by forcing us to work longer hours or even hold down second and third jobs just to pay the bills. This is a society that does not tolerate being late for work under any circumstances because you can be replaced easier than you can be given a raise for a job well done. A society that does not care who you are as a person, that your mother is in the hospital or that your child is home sick with a cold.
We all have problems though. That doesn’t excuse putting the rest of us in danger with erratic driving. Because, we also live in a society that encourages you to blame your bad luck on everyone else. You were speeding because the boss changed your schedule, but you should have gotten up earlier. You were swerving because you didn’t see the car in the other lane, but you should have been paying better attention to the road. You were flicking me off because I wouldn’t get over so you could fly past at excessive speeds, but you should just slow down a little.
Think about it. What do you really accomplish with road rage? You might speed past me, flash your lights and flick me off but is that harming me? Not if I just go on with my day and continue driving down the road. The only person you are hurting is yourself. Not the mention that you likely won’t even reach your destination any faster because right after you pass me there will be another car going the speed limit too. Then there is the extra cost of fuel as you speed up dramatically and then slam on the brakes and speed up and slam on the brakes. Stressed about not having enough money? We found a place to start.
Stress is one of the biggest contributors to an unhealthy body and can cause things like heart attacks, depression, headaches, weight gain and more. If you truly care about your body and living as long as possible then stress should be the first thing you cut out of your daily diet. It is a vicious cycle though, as too much stress causes more stress and it seemingly never ends. You can have difficulty sleeping which leads to more stress, difficulty concentrating which can have real consequences at your job and a seemingly never ending list of medical symptoms which will certainly lead to more stress.
So the next time you feel like things are getting out of control, just watch this video and calm down a bit.
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