Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Road Rage?

According to this article some “doctors” say that road rage is an actual mental disorder called intermittent explosive disorder. And? Maybe in some cases they are right.

The article says “road rage, temper outbursts that involve throwing or breaking objects and even spousal abuse can sometimes be attributed to the disorder, though not everyone who does those things is afflicted.”

Also from the article: “By definition, intermittent explosive disorder involves multiple outbursts that are way out of proportion to the situation. These angry outbursts often include threats or aggressive actions and property damage. The disorder typically first appears in adolescence.”

But? I also think there is another disorder going on out there on the roads that isn’t covered in the medical journals. I call it Entitlement Driving Disorder (or EDD). It is defined by someone who, while behind the wheel, acts on feelings of entitlement and self-importance giving them the distorted view that they are above traffic laws, basic driving etiquette and that their final destination is more important than anyone else. In other words, sufferers of EDD own the road, and the rest of us are just renting.

Here are some real life (mine) examples. Please answer either a or b depending on what action you would take in the following situations:

1. You are on the freeway in somewhat heavy (commute time) traffic. As you near your exit you see cars starting to slow down in the right lane. Knowing the lane will soon turn into an “exit only” lane do you a) merge immediately into the lane behind all the cars already slowing and take your appropriate place in line or do you b) speed up, pass all the slowing cars and cut in front of a large red SUV at the last second to exit the freeway.

2. It is your morning commute and you are on the expressway heading toward the exit for the freeway. Your lane (to enter the freeway going north) is bumper to bumper. The other lane (to go south on the freeway) is flowing at a nice pace. Do you a) stay in your lane and wait your turn to enter the freeway or do you b) get into the lane that is for the southbound entrance, bypass all cars heading for the north entrance and force your way in front of a large red SUV at the last second to get into the northbound lane.

3. You are merging on to an expressway where eventually (as in not immediately) you will need to move over four lanes to get to the far left lane in order to make a left turn. Do you a) merge immediately and move over one lane at a time when space is available or do you b) wait and wait and wait and wait and wait and wait (yes, there is a line forming behind you including a large red SUV that is backing traffic up) and wait and wait and wait and wait (and wait) until ALL four lanes are clear and then “merge” onto the expressway and cross all four lanes at the same time?

If you answered “b” to any of these examples (and I don’t mean you did it once because you were rushing someone to the hospital or weren’t familiar with the area and didn’t know which lane you were supposed to be in, but that you do these things regularly because you truly believe you are entitled to exhibit these behaviors) then you suffer from EDD and I hate you.

I think in some extreme cases that "road rage" could be in fact intermittent explosive disorder. But mostly? I think it just us plain old average folk, standing up to the EDD people and saying “We are tired and we’re not going to take it anymore!” "So, wait your fucking turn, don’t fucking cut me off and oh BTW if you check your owner’s manual you’ll find that little knob thing on the left hand side of your steering wheel ( I know you probably don’t want to touch it with all the "yucky" layers of dust it must have on it), it’s called a blinker and we’d really fucking appreciate it if you would USE it once in awhile."

That is all.


Mommy off the Record said...

LMAO. I am soooo sick of people not only cutting me off, but cutting me off without even the courtesy of turning their blinker on. I run into people with EED ALL THE TIME!

(P.S. Thanks for visiting over at my blog earlier!)

Nicole said...

That drives me nuts when I've waited in line and then someone cuts me off right at the exit. I've actually come close to hitting them in my car.

In one of my college psychology classes, the teacher asked what we would do if we were invisible and could get away with anything. My response was to hit other drivers in my car. Is that normal? Maybe I suffer from road rage or explosive whatever because most people answer robbing a bank to that question. That never even crossed my mind because I was so excited to be able to crash into people!

Babaloo said...

m.o.t.r - thanks for visiting again!

nicole-omg, that is so funny. I think I would choose that too if I could be invisible. I look for people, when I'm in those driving situations, that I know are going to cut in and I speed up and don't let them in. I have been very satisfied once or twice to make someone miss their exit because of their EDD.