Van Canna wrote:
Few questions for you Bill...
1. How do you deal with the road shwing?
2. How about the tailgater?
If I was czar... I'd make everyone walk down the path I have walked.
I would make them ride a bike every day to work and back - rain or shine - as I have. I would make them deal with asssholes who do things like slam their hands against the side of their car/truck when they go by you, or cut you off, or even throw stuff at you.
Then I'd make them ride a motorcycle every day of the year for two years, sharing said bike with other cars on the road. Find out what it's like to be truly vulnerable. Know what it's like to be in a situation where you'd be right in an accident, but DEAD right. (I'm lucky I walked away from one...) Basically you need to learn to anticipate all the wrong things other people will do - before they do them. It's like sparring Bobby Campbell where - as Rad Smith would tell me - he knew what you were going to do before you did it. Rad was faster and stronger, but it didn't matter. Bobby was always thinking 2 steps ahead.
As with most obnoxious people in life, I think the biggest mistake is to engage them. It really isn't necessary. People with problems who are behind a wheel should be avoided. Let them bump heads with an equally obnoxious person on the road.
All that said... I think it's also important to be a good citizen on the road. If you don't like being tailgated, well then don't tailgate. If you make a mistake on the road, wave and mouth "Sorry!" It happens... If someone seems to have a beef with you on the road, do not make eye contact. And whatever you do, DO NOT FLIP THE BIRD. You just never know when the person beside you is packing heat.
If you really feel the need to do something obnoxious... Be the village idiot. When someone honks at you for no good reason, turn and wave to them with a grandiose style as if you are acknowledging a honk from a dear friend. It throws them into an OODA loop, and you are gone before they figure out what just happened. I've never had that technique fail me. But you have to get it right. Timing is everything. Experience with acting helps.
Just my 2 cents and some change.
I like to drive in a spirited fashion. And one time... a judge gave me "traffic school" instead of a speeding ticket. I was nice to the officer after all, and I knew to keep my mouth shut. And you know what? That day in traffic school was one of the best days of driver training I've ever had. If your state offers it, I highly recommend it. That course is all about being safe - even if that's also about being safe from the problems and mistakes of others.