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A Stupid Overreaction On The Road

by Anonymous
(Peabody, MA)

On 8/30/2011, I had the day off, spent the day at the beach and had a relaxing, great time. Driving in an unfamiliar area on the way home, I came to a fork in the road where two roads merged. I couldn't tell which side had the right of way, so I braked - not stopping, but slowing down considerably.

I was confused and the woman in the black BMW behind me started honking angrily, leaning on her horn quite a bit. I turned around and yelled, "I have no idea who had the right of way!" (It turned out I did.) A mile or so down the road, when she turned off, I'm very embarrassed to say that I gave her the finger and called her a few choice (unprintable) words.

I knew about two min after this how stupid my behavior was. A few minutes later, the black BMW was behind me again; the driver must have turned around and raced like hell to catch up with me. I turned onto the highway, and she stayed behind me for about 15-20 min. Finally, she passed me - perhaps to get another look at me or give me the finger, I don't know, because I didn't even glance at her and she didn't honk - and she got off at the next exit. Shortly after she got off, a state trooper passed in the same lane she had been in. Maybe she saw him and decided to end things.

If the other driver ever reads this: my profound apologies for my ridiculous and embarrassing overreaction. I have never done that before. I had a beautiful day off, and my behavior completely ruined it. I will remember that for a long time. But I hope you do, too, because the next person you decide to follow may not realize how stupid he was, and could escalate matters.

Response from Dr. DeFoore

Hello, and thanks for telling your story here. I respect your willingness to take responsibility for your actions, and I'm glad nothing worse came from your encounter with the other driver.

I'm glad you posted your story here, as it shows how a good person can lose control for a moment and do something they regret. Maybe this will help other readers to have more empathy and forgiveness for upset drivers they encounter on the road.

It sounds like you learned a valuable lesson from your experience, and that is excellent. That's the best we can hope for when we lose control and make a mistake. You're right on target.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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