It’s Possible I’m the One Causing Your Road Rage
I’ve been in a lot of accidents. Most were before I got my license and hindered my desire to get a license. Most people I know got their license at 16. I was 30 before I got mine. In fact, I only got it to move up in the company I was working for at the time.
There have only been two accidents that have happened while I was driving. I take that as a badge of honor because I used to drive for companies like DoorDash and Lyft. Which meant being behind the wheel for about 15–30 hours a week, in addition to other driving to full-time jobs and get-togethers.
One of the two accidents was my fault, and I’m not sure I ever got over it. I was paying attention to an aggressive driver behind me, thought the car in front of me was going to keep going, and rammed into it. From then on, I’ve only driven when I had to, and in speaking with a psychologist last year, was determined to have driving PTSD. The second accident, not my fault, reinforced the fear.
I used to wake up from driving nightmares.
In these nightmares, I was driving and getting too close to the car in front of me. I was slamming on the break, but the car kept going forward. I’d force myself to wake up before impact.
When I do drive, I’m overcautious. I get terrified if I feel I’m too close to the car in front of me so I follow at a 6 or 8-count pace (the standard minimum in PA is 4). If the car before me stops, I stop a few feet behind. I have gotten to the point where I’m at the speed limit, but I won’t go beyond 5 mph above it. I’m super careful when making turns and signaling early.
My husband tends to get passenger rage when I’m driving. He’ll agree that I’m careful but states that I’m too slow. He also gets upset that I leave a buffer of time to get to a destination that exceeds his buffer.
I try not to think about what other drivers around me are thinking. I honestly believe that if we all leave on time or with an extra buffer of time, we’ll get there SAFELY. Unfortunately, a lot of drivers around me don’t want to be safe. They tail me, beep at me to get out of the way, and navigate around me.
I’m not trying to cause people frustration. I’m just trying to overcome fear and going slow is how I do that.
Post in response to Keeley Schroder’s May Mania prompt.