If you do much driving on our nation’s highways,you’ve probably noticed that, more and more often, bullets are coming through your windshield. This is a common sign of road rage, which the opinion-makers in the news media have decided is a seriousproblem, ranking just behind global warming and ahead of Asia.
How widespread is road rage? To answer that question, researchers for the National Institute of Traffic Safety recently did a study inwhich they drove on the interstate highway system in a specially equipped observation van. By the third day, they were deliberately running motorists off the road.
“These people are morons!” theirofficial report stated.
That is the main cause of road rage: the realization that many of your fellow motorists have the brain of a cashew. The most common example, of course, is the motorists who feela need to drive in the left-hand lane even though they are going slower than everybody else.
Nobody knows why these do this. Maybe they belong to some kind of religious cult that believes the rightlane is sacred and must never come in direct contact with tires. Maybe one time, years ago, these motorists happened to be driving in the left lane when their favorite song came on the radio, sothey’ve driven there ever since.
But whatever makes these people drive this way, there’s nothing you can do. You can honk at them, but it will have no effect. People have been honking at them for years: It’sa normal part of their environment. They’ve decided, for some mysterious reason, wherever they drive, there is honking.
I am familiar with this problem because I live and drive in Miami, which billsitself as the Inappropriate-Lane-Driving Capital of the World, and where the left lane is thought of not so much as a thoroughfare as a public recreational area, where motorists feel to stop,...