Monday, July 9, 2007


Whatever happened to road rage?

Several years back it was--pun intended, of course--all the rage, motorists killing motorists over the simplest of infractions. From changing lanes without using turn signals to ugly stares from one car to another, Americans drivers were pissed off at each other and ready for some good-old vigilante fun on the highways.

It's not that I'm condoning road rage. I'm just curious about where it's gone. On today's roads drivers are constantly pre-occupied with cell phones, iPods, and in-car DVD players. And now that the iPhone is here (and does just about all of the above), lack of concentration on our roads is bound to decrease. Again.

As I drove from Milwaukee to Iowa City today, several drivers from a certain state I shall not name directly (the one between Wisconsin and Iowa, if you must know) glared at me as they passed--at 95 miles per hour. I don't drive slow. I just don't drive fast enough to get pulled over.

In the past some of these drivers would slow beside me to wave fingers, shake fists, and scream as if I could read lips through several panes of glass and several feet of open road. But not today. Or not recently either.

Maybe the fear of road rage decreased as the fear of West Nile Virus, SARS, and Bird Flu swept across America. Or killer bees. They've been buzzing at our borders for how long now?

Or maybe road rage wasn't as bad as my parents told me when I finally got my license some time back. "Don't do anything to cause an accident," I remember hearing. "Or road rage."

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