We’ve all had our share of road rage. Although it can be satisfying to share a harsh exchange of words and blare the horn to blow off steam, for some people, this is far from enough. Here, these drivers reveal their worst run-ins involving drivers with horrific anger issues behind the wheel.
All stories have been edited for clarity.
The Fast Lane
“I was in Monterey, California. I was driving on the main highway by the shore, and ended up passing someone going ten miles under the speed limit on the left side.
I didn’t cut the guy off because I was going much faster than him. I remember muttering something out of frustration but what I failed to see was my five-year-old daughter giving the driver the finger as we passed.
I know she didn’t mean it. But for whatever reason, my little Shirley Temple look-alike flipping the bird offended the driver more than it probably should have. Of course, I scolded my daughter and told her to stop. However, after driving down the road and making a couple of turns that would take me to my destination, I heard my daughter announce something that sent a chill down my spine.
‘Mommy, the mean man is following us!’
I had stopped at a light and looked in my rearview mirror the moment she blurted this out. The man was in fact behind us. At first, I sighed with relief and assumed he was just going in the same direction, but that was when he started waving his fist and got out of his car.
The look on his face could kill.
I immediately started honking my horn like a crazy person and turned into the lane next to me headed the opposite way. Luckily there were no other cars coming because of the red light. I passed up two cars that waved at me to drive past them because they too could see the altercation that was unfolding.
Thankfully, I was able to turn onto a different street, leaving the driver at the light altogether. He was shouting at me so loud I could hear him through my closed windows. One last glance in the rearview mirror revealed him still shaking his fist at me and jumping up and down in rage.
Once I calmed down, I had to think for a moment. Was he really going to harm a five-year-old for giving him the finger?
It was just idiotic.
The man was lucky I was able to leave and didn’t have to run his ass over.”
Pedal To The Metal
“Back in the mid-1990s, I lived in Southern California. I was returning from my lunch break with a coworker one day when we noticed two pickup trucks driving erratically. It was a bizarre sight to see the two vehicles jumping from lane to lane on the three-lane road
One truck seemed to be chasing the other when suddenly the truck ahead of him made a quick U-turn. The second truck followed suit but came to a stop just after making the turn. That was when the driver of that truck got out, walked to the front of his vehicle, and raised his arm holding a semi-automatic handgun.
My coworker and I held our breath as we watched his next move.
Everything happened in slow motion. The man holding the gun raised his arm and fired a single shot.
At that moment, I was parallel with the shooter’s truck. I remember my coworker exclaiming, ‘Did he just shoot at the truck?!’
I floored my accelerator and sped off to our workplace which was about a 1/2 mile down the road. I parked and my coworker and I got hightailed it into the building as quickly as we could.
While my coworker started telling our other coworkers about what we had just witnessed, I ran to my desk, called 911, and reported the shooting. The dispatcher kept me on the line after my initial report and then transferred me to a detective in order to take down my information.
It was my information and quick thinking that resulted in the immediate arrest of the shooter.
I was later asked to testify in court and the shooter was convicted.
I have since lived in Southern California for ten years. I drive a commercial truck several days a week so I have PLENTY of other ‘road rage stories’, but this is still the craziest one.”
What’s So Funny?
“As I was driving down the highway, I noticed a woman tailgating another driver.
I thought, ‘That’s gotta be annoying,’ but went on with my driving. As I got to the red light, I turned my turn signal on and proceed to get in the right lane to make my way up to the front of traffic.
To my surprise, the same woman that had been tailgating the other car decided to abruptly change lanes and almost hit me in the process. There was absolutely no way she couldn’t have seen me unless she didn’t look in her mirrors. I was right beside her when she moved over. It was shocking to say the least, but thankfully she didn’t cause a wreck.
After calming down, I moved up to the front of the line.
That’s when I heard the woman yelling at me.
The woman started cussing me out. I was being called every name in the book. The old me would’ve gotten ugly right back because she was the one in the wrong, but I started to laugh. I rolled down my window and waved at her with a big smile on my face.
Should I have done that? Probably not, but I was already amused.
After we pulled up to the next red light, and I could still see her yelling. The light was still red, so I had to stop. The woman then pulled up behind me, got out of her car, and ran up to my car door.
The woman then started yelling at me through my window that her child was in the car, and that I could’ve hurt them. I know it was a serious moment, but I found myself laughing a considerable amount. I start making fun of this woman through the window. I was making pouty faces and gesturing my hands the way you do when someone won’t stop talking.
That’s when the woman attempted to yank my car door open. It was locked obviously, but I kept laughing.
I know, crazy right?
The woman walked back to her car and turned on her left turn signal even though she was in the straight lane. So there she was, stuck waiting to get over. The woman was so bent out of shape over something she did that she decided to follow me, and attempted to fight me.
Moral of the story? Don’t do what I did. Even though it was funny because she was wrong in every single way, I could’ve easily been shot and killed because of it. Road rage incidents can turn very dangerous, very fast. I wasn’t scared then, but thinking back on it now, I could’ve gotten seriously hurt.”
The Full New York Experience
“When I was fresh out of college, I flew to New York City for the first time for a job interview.
At the completion of my interview the following day, I caught a cab back to the airport. On the way, my cab driver was involved in a minor fender bender with another cab.
The other cab driver stuck his head out of the window and started screaming obscenities at my cab driver. It frightened me, but it was what my cab driver did in response that made me tense up.
My cab driver got out of the cab, stood on the hood of his car, and screamed:
‘SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD!!! JUST PULL OUT A GUN AND SHOOT ME IN THE HEAD!!!’
I was completely stunned and had trouble pondering my next move. I nervously looked back and forth between the other cab driver and mine and began to wonder whether or not the other driver was going take the advice of my apparently suicidal cab driver. I slunk down low into my seat, afraid of about was about to unfold.
A few more obscenities were exchanged, but a moment later my cab driver was back in the driver’s seat taking me to the airport. Nothing was said for the rest of the ride.
‘Huh?’ I thought.”
A Far Greater Risk
“Well, I am usually a ‘let-it-go’ kind of a driver.
This one afternoon, I was coming back from the store. I was at a junction where traffic from the highway merged onto the road I was driving on.
It was also raining heavily.
This driver in a Dodge Charger, with three other passengers, dark tinted windows, and blaring music so loud I could hear it with even the windows rolled up, pulled up next to me.
Without warning, the driver jumped lanes. I was in the middle lane and he was on the right. From where he jumped it cut me off extremely close. Without my quick thinking, I would’ve bumped right into him because of reduced visibility and no signals.
When I slammed on the brakes the motion was so sudden that both of my kids actually bumped heads and started screaming and crying.
I lost it.
I revved up and cut right in front of the driver. I then slowed down on purpose just to get back at the driver. The guy was so lost, he would’ve easily rammed right into my car, had I not moved a little.
My move obviously caught him by surprise.
But the bigger surprise for both of us was yet to come.
Another Dodge Charger cut sideways and stopped in front of me. My heart sank when I saw the POLICE logo.
Then the flashing red and blue lights forced all of us to pull over.
One of the cops in the car stepped out and walked toward me.
Hesitantly, I rolled down my window. Without saying a word, the cop looked inside the car at my children and said, ‘You got kids in the car, you need to be careful with what you do.’
I replied, ‘But did you see what that guy did?’
The cop replied, ‘I saw and that is why am telling you to be careful because you can get hurt because of someone else. You got more at stake here.’ The cop glanced at my kids and then back at me.
The cop continued, ‘I will let you go because I actually witnessed what happened. But drive carefully from now on.’
I waited for the cop to move his car. I looked in my rearview mirror and saw his colleague already handing out tickets to the guys in the other car. I then drove away without another word.”
“I once had a guy chase me across town. I honestly didn’t even know he was chasing me for the longest time.
When I arrived in front of my home, I started to get out of my vehicle. That’s when the man pulled up in a car and jumped out. Before I knew it, the man was in my face screaming at me. He was saying things like, ‘I’m going to tear you limb from limb!’ and ‘You freaking moron!’
I stayed calm as I was still only partly out of my vehicle, and asked him just what exactly I had done to cause his anger.
The man screamed another round of hurtful words at me before he explained that he saw me speeding down his street while he was walking his dog.
‘You could have hit my dog driving that fast!’ the man snapped at me.
I asked, ‘Where were you when you saw me pass?’
‘Where do you think? I was on the sidewalk,’ the man hollered.
I was trying to get fully out of the vehicle but the man was pressing all his weight on the door. He clearly wanted to inflict some kind of harm on me, but I remained calm and tried to defuse the situation.
‘If I was in the street, and you were on the sidewalk, then what is the issue?’ I also pointed out I was in a 1968 International Scout that was not even close to fast. That’s when the man screamed at me to ‘piss off.’
He then reached into his pocket and started to pull something out.
Not taking any chances, I shoved the door as hard as I could, knocking the strange man to the ground. I whipped out my pistol, anticipating the worst. During the commotion, a knife clattered across the pavement from his hand. The man then looked up, saw the gun, as well as my badge, and realized he was in deep doo-doo.
The man tried to lunge toward me but I was able to step back and I called for help on my radio. I was in plain clothes having just left a meeting. I ordered him to stay on the ground and said if he moved toward the knife I would shoot him.
A patrol unit arrived on the scene, and he was immediately placed under arrest. The man got two years in prison for the stunt he pulled. We later learned he was on just about every type of illegal substance known to man.
On a side note, a year after I retired I went back to that town to get the rest of my stuff out of storage. To my surprise, I saw the same man ride past my truck on a motorcycle. This time he was wearing a jacket that indicated he was a member of a local motorcycle club. It was definitely a little nerve-wracking to see him again, but ignored him and went about my business.
A short while later, I went to eat at a local pizza joint and when I came out, an axe was sticking out of the rear fender on my dual pickup. I filed a police report and was pretty pissed about the situation. I visited the head of the local chapter and talked to him about what happened. He knew I was retired, and his father-in-law and I had worked together. Without hesitation, he then said he would take care of it.
I lived three hours away in another town and didn’t think anyone knew where I lived. A few days later, I walked out after working a long shift at my job and there was a new fender on my truck painted the correct color of white to match. The repairs were done so well, it looked like it had never been damaged. There was a note on the window that said, ‘Sorry this happened, it won’t happen again.’ I never heard another word and I have no idea how they changed the fender without anyone noticing.”
“When I was in my early twenties, I went to the US for the very first time for work. My job was in a small farming town called Cedar Rapids in Iowa.
The cars I was used to driving in India had doors that would open on a simple hinge and had a straight swing. I wasn’t used to the American cars where the doors opened differently. To describe, the first push opened the door halfway and the second push opened it all the way.
On my first day at work, I parked my Windstar next to a shiny red truck. I had my laptop bag in my hand. When I went to open the door, my first push on the door didn’t open the door far enough to let both me and my bag out. In that moment I pushed the door again, a little too forcefully because I thought the door was stuck. The door then flew open and hit the truck parked next to me.
Out came a large blond man with a beard and several tattoos. I was rendered speechless as he was absolutely apoplectic with rage. The man started screaming at me so hard that spittle was flying out of his mouth in literally every direction. His face was red like a dodgeball and his hands were balled up into fists at his side.
I stood there, shocked and stunned while he shouted at me. Every time I tried to apologize, the man screamed over me even louder.
Soon there was a crowd gathering around us. Most of the people worked in the office I was headed to. Someone must have mentioned it to who I assumed was his wife. A woman ran across the parking with a look that suggested she could have died of embarrassment on the spot. I quickly recognized her because she was my point of contact at the office and had picked me up from the airport the previous day. She pulled her husband away and said something to him. The man ended up leaving without another word.
It was only then that I could breathe. I apologized to her and gave her my insurance details. She was mad at her husband and said there wasn’t even a tiny scratch on his truck door.
‘My husband can be a little overprotective of his truck,’ the woman stated. ‘Don’t worry about it. I’m sorry that happened to you.’
The situation was definitely scary but taught me a lesson. While I am a fantastic driver, in the US, I always park in a space with no other cars around.”
What’s Your Problem?
“I was just outside the city in an unmarked Ford Mustang police car when suddenly I got a notification about an alarm going off at one of the banks nearby by.
In a hurry, I passed this person on the exit ramp of the freeway. The driver apparently was offended by my actions and started following me. This went on for about two miles at speeds of about sixty in a thirty-five zone.
A different officer reached the bank before I did and cleared the alarm as an accident. Upon hearing the news, I did a U-turn in the street to get behind the driver that had been following me and used the red light behind the rearview mirror to do a traffic stop.
When the driver saw my gun and badge as I approached him, I could see his facial expression change. I asked him, ‘What the hell is your problem? I was trying to get to a robbery alarm at a bank.’
The driver sat there a minute and then apologized for chasing after me. I decided to let him go instead of citing him. Technically, I should have used my red lights before passing him but didn’t. This ultimately led to me not taking it any further.
I never heard anything else about it, and sometimes that’s the best outcome.”
“I had to stay late at work one day. As I was driving home, there was more traffic than I usually experienced on a daily basis. This wasn’t a problem, but since I left work at 11 am it was actually considered normal for that time of day.
It was also decided by the Department of Transportation to clean the shoulders of the interstate I took home that day too.
I was casually making my way down the road before I came up to the area where the crew was working. I merged to the right like everyone else and then proceeded to wait there like any normal person would.
Out of nowhere, a woman decided she was too good to follow the rules in her Cadillac Escalade and tried to force her way around everyone in the left lane. When she realized she couldn’t, the woman then tried to merge back. In the process, I had no choice but to move to the right shoulder or she would have hit me.
I laid on my horn to let her know I was there only to have the woman flip me off. For the next mile, the woman rode my bumper and laid on her horn.
As soon as we were in the clear, I passed the semi I was behind while trying to get away from her. The woman tailgated me so aggressively, I was tempted to pull of the road to just let her pass. It was when she merged over in the next lane and sped up that I realized she was trying to run me off the road. On purpose.
I was cut off three more times before she jumped in front of me and tried to brake-check me.
Her behavior frightened me so much that I ended up calling the state police. Further down the highway, a state trooper pulled her over right when the woman attempted to run me off the road a fourth time.
Come to find out, the woman’s license was suspended and she had a warrant for a failure to appear in court for a DUI.
When the officer put her in handcuffs and placed her in the back of his car, I felt a wave of relief.”
“While visiting Las Vegas, a guy got angry because I was doing the exact speed limit. We ended up missing the light ahead, which upset him even more.
With the traffic, the guy failed to realize it was nearly impossible to go any faster. The other driver apparently had not put on his big boy pants that day. I assumed he must have been running late, and was having a temper tantrum because I wasn’t going as fast as he wanted me to.
As we started moving again, the driver pulled beside me and started screaming threats and obscenities, while he veered toward me. I found him amusing, so I casually smiled back and nodded. That’s when the driver got back behind me and started to tailgate me as a form of intimidation.
After a few meters down the road like this, I applied my brakes because my destination was coming up soon. From what I saw in the mirror, the driver nearly had a stroke at my brake lights. He probably thought I was brake-checking him rather than slowing for my turn-off.
As I pulled into my destination, I was a little surprised to see that he followed me and parked right beside me. The driver climbed out, still screaming, and was raring to confront me until he saw my shirt and where he’d followed me into.
I sold equipment to Law Enforcement agencies in the Southwest. That day I was wearing one of my customer’s golf shirts that read ‘Arizona DPS SWAT.’
For all that driver knew, I was a Police Officer that might have subdued and arrested him for road rage if he threatened me face to face.
Talk about going from full-blown rage to the meekest, most humble attitude ever as he quietly drove away!
When I walked in, the officer behind the desk asked if everything was okay out there, nodding toward where I was parked.
‘Yea, I think it is now,’ I beamed.”