i was just reading about a woman in edmonton who honked at a car stopped in the middle of the road and drove around it, only to have that car follow her home. there, the driver got out and attacked the woman with a crowbar. both her arms were broken so police imagine the attacker was swinging for her head, and she had her arms up to defend herself.
he was trying to kill her for honking her horn.
this sort of thing doesn’t happen at the grocery store when someone gets in your way with their shopping cart, and i think we need to ask what the difference is.
i think the biggest reason people are more prone to violence while driving is that being in a vehicle gives people a sense of disconnection from what they see on the other side of the glass: the vehicle is a barrier between a person and the world around them. put other people in other cars, and that’s another barrier between two people. i think this allows people to feel quite removed from the reality of a situation — it’s like people being rude bastards on internet forums and comments sections when they’re actually normal, decent people in real life. when we’re not face to face with other people, we can be real pricks.
that lack of connection with reality shouldn’t happen in the first place, and at the very least, it should disappear by the time someone gets out of their car with a crowbar. at that point they should think, “good grief, what am i doing? am i a killer? does this person deserve death for honking their horn at me?” but if someone has
- kept a crowbar in their car for just these types of incidents,
- followed another person home,
- and hopped out of their car with said crowbar in hand,
then maybe they feel like there’s no turning back now. or maybe they’ve allowed themselves — in essence, chosen — to indulge in this adrenaline rush and thirst for blood. i personally believe the latter scenario is the most common.
it’s so fucked up. unless we find a way to make people feel more connected to those around them while driving, we’re not going to find a way to curb road rage. so i think anyone found guilty of it shouldn’t be allowed to drive, simple as that. they aren’t reasonable and rational enough to handle it.