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Road Rage

I've got to admit that I'm not really accustomed to aggressive drivers. Aside from my brief stint in Dallas, Texas, most of the motorists in the places I've lived have been generally calm. Now I'm back in a place where where aggressive motoring is part of the culture.

(from Flickr user WSDOT)

Why do people behave this way? I'm pretty sure one driving factor has to do with illusions of control. There are many people who believe that one of the great things about driving is the ability to feel "in control" of a huge two-thousand pound machine. To make it go faster than a human could ever possibly go on their own. To steer it in exactly the way that they want to go.

The problem is that drivers in many cities have virtually no control. Traffic lights get in the way. Construction gets in the way. Pedestrians get in the way. Police get in the way. Other cars get in the way. And this makes people angry, because automobile advertising has done its best to convince people of the incredible power that driving can. Problem is that it's often just an illusion. A dream that will never be fulfilled.


John Morris said…
Oh boy, don't go to New England. I gave some serious thought to moving to Providence and just peek at how people drive there convinced me this was not for me.

I must admit that NYC has pretty good drivers and kind of aggressive pedestrians which is actualy pretty cool in a way. Slow down on any street and people will walk in front of you.

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