Monday, March 12, 2007

Road Rage

A while ago, as I was driving, sensibly I might add, through a department store parking lot, a white van flew through the isles almost taking the side out of my car. As any road rage type person, I hit my horn furiously and continued on my way. I was justified! I was the sensible driver and he was the reckless one. Yes, I was justified because this “idiot” was being just that … an idiot! Or was he?

As I drove off, I couldn’t help but glance in my rear view mirror to see what his reaction was to my horn. To my surprise, he stopped his vehicle, hopped out and jogged towards me while motioning me to stop. Hmmm … I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear what he had to say … probably one more thing I could add to my account of this experience as I told my buddies about it later on.

Preparing a response in my mind to his expectant tirade, I rolled down my window ready to justify my actions when all of a sudden he said, “Hey look, sorry for what happened back there … I should have been more careful.”

I was speechless for a moment as my prepared speech on careful driving was not to be the appropriate words of wisdom for that day. Accepting his apology, I weakly smiled and drove off. Thoroughly impressed at this gentleman’s attitude and response to this affair, I drove back to him as he got back into his vehicle and commended him on his classy behaviour. This, to me, was class and it deserved to be acknowledged.

As I left the parking lot that day, I promised myself that the next time I run across a driver making a careless mistake, I will think twice before hit that horn, curse under my breath and give him a dirty stare. Maybe then, I could be a classy individual as well!


Leann said...

Good for you!!

I try not to get irritable with people because, well I have my moments also. There have often been times I've gotten out of my vehicle and apologized for my stupidity.

CHEZ BEZ said...

I'm stunned just to read that. As far as I'm concerned, that person should be Person of the Year.

Thanks for sharing that beautiful story.


CSL said...

Oh, man - that was great. I have a serious problem with road rage, and have fliped more people off than I care to admit. Especially when they are barrelling around the corner coming toward me and are over the center line. But I'm working on it, and this story helps.

john h said...

It's those grace notes that'll get you every time. Kudos for the man in the van, and kudos to you for recognizing the wonder, and for sharing it.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Ah, heartwarming and inspiring.

Jazz said...

Naw, hit the horn. You just met the 1 in a million, it'll never happen again.

Who me? A cynic?

Becky Wolfe said...

It could go either way. I suffer from 'road rage' now and then because, yes, there are too many idiots out there. You were fortunate to meet one that 'repented of his sins' but most would just drive away scowling. However, honking of the horn can bring people back to reality like 'oh, I am speeding thru a parking lot and I better chill out before I hit a person or a car' This one was apologetic, which is indeed humbling, but many others will scowl at you & STILL realize they are going too darn fast!

Bravo on both sides of this story!

Cheryl said...

I'm so glad your encounter ended so well. You never know, though, and I was scared reading this post. Whenever I make a driving mistake, like trying to change lanes without seeing a car already there, I'll motion that I'm sorry as the car passes me by, usually with the person glaring.

Janice Thomson said...

Guess this is why they say live in the moment because each experience is different. You probably shocked him with your thank you as much as he shocked you with his apology :) Delightful story Dave.