Road rage incident last week

This is a discussion on Road rage incident last week within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've had a few days to sit on this one, but I was embarrassed by just how scattered my thoughts were when the situation took ...

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Thread: Road rage incident last week

  1. #1
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Road rage incident last week

    I've had a few days to sit on this one, but I was embarrassed by just how scattered my thoughts were when the situation took place. I didn't handle things as well as I should have, at all. So here's the story.

    Driving home from work last week I was on a four lane freeway coming up to a split (left two lanes go one way, right two lanes go another). Traffic was a real mess the whole way, but was hard stop, slowly speed up, hard stop, repeatedly smoking tires and brake pads all around me. I was taking it easy, in no real hurry, and allowing some stopping distance so I didn't have to slam on my brakes constantly. This lead to a few folks cutting me off, now and then, which I was focused on not being caught off guard by or being upset about.

    The split was less than 500ft in front of me, and traffic started moving a bit from a stop. I was in the left-middle lane, and a minivan in the lane to my right decided to merge into me without so much as a blinker of warning. I'm talking exactly next to me, our side mirrors almost caught, and I laid on the horn to warn him off as I slowed down trying to avoid a collision.

    He didn't change course at all, and very nearly snagged my bumper as I slowed down quick enough to let him in. My heart rate was up and I was furious, but kept my windows up and kept any words of wisdom I felt relevant fly in the comfort of my AC. No gesturing on my part, nothing but mouth moving and white knuckles on my steering wheel to convey my emotional state.

    Five seconds later, traffic grinds to a complete stop again. As soon as it did, the guy puts his minivan in park, hops out and comes stomping back to my car screaming and waving the whole way. I'd left at least 20ft between our vehicles when we came to a stop, maybe more. I have no idea what he was saying, as i kept my window up. I was watching his hands the whole time, hoping he would keep them both visible as I cut my wheel to the right; if he produced a gun or knife, I was taking the berm and going around his parked vehicle immediately.

    During his waving, ranting walk, I stayed perfectly still in my car, just staring at him. I could tell he was disappointed not to have a response, and it was taking away from whatever he was saying to get nothing back from me, and he quickly gave it up and went back to his car. He never walked closer than about 15ft from my car window, but held his distance and kept his hands moving and away from his belt and sides.

    I very likely should have gone around him on the berm as soon as he walked past his rear bumper and approached my car; if he'd had a gun, I would not have been in a position to survive as close as he got. I know passing him and trying to escape would have likely escalated things in his mind, but I might have lived through it. I also should have been dialing 911 the second he opened his door and started toward me, which I completely failed to do (or even think of, frankly).

    The whole time I was just thinking to myself, "Why, oh why, are you not carrying?" I can't carry at work, and I don't have a lockbox for my car, so I leave it home during typical workdays. I was kicking myself the entire time.

    Can you spot any other things I did wrong here?

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Thunder71's Avatar
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    You did great, and I'm ashamed to admit I wouldn't have handled it nearly as well as you did - fine example as far as I'm concerned, and I'll remember it next time it happens to me.

    Prior to obtaining a permit to carry I have on a few occasions gotten out of my vehicle when someone did this kind of thing. Luckily I'm a big enough guy that it's all that was needed and it ended there. But I have to say, having my permit to carry has made me a different person in this respect, and for the best as far as I'm concerned.

  4. #3
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    there are people out in the world we share that light their own fuse
    sometimes it is unsettling to be the focus of their attention as 'we' did not do the whatever which set them off.

    you did fine.

    -------------

    since his hands were empty and i do have a gun with me i would have been a bit different:

    no display of the weapon but my drivers door would be unlocked....
    if he were to open it he would than be staring at a bbl and a cell camera.

    as he makes funny mouth sounds i say POLICE EMERGENCY which the phone dials 911
    and i offer the police a 'road rage', attempted kidnapping thwarted by my display of a gun, and his picture.
    disparity of force when you are my age is of little importance....i consider anyone big enough to verbalize a threat...a threat
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    You handled it well although a call to 911 would have warned the LEOs to a possible escalation if he continues his aggression with someone else. Good idea to leave room for escape in such a situation.
    Last edited by msgt/ret; July 11th, 2011 at 08:38 PM.
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    You did fine, Snider. Armchair quarter backing being what it is, I agree that a 911 call would have been appropriate.

    Just so you know, in that situation you WERE armed. That weapon weighed more than a 1000 pounds and the gas pedal was the trigger. Your vehicle was your means of escape, but it could also have been used to defend yourself in the most extreme circumstance. It may not move as fast as a 9mm, but it has the mass to get the job done. When you can't be armed with a firearm, you need to be creative in the use of what you do have available.
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    Good work keeping your cool. Check out COM car safes for when you're not in the driver's seat. The cell phone camera sounds like good CYA insurance, but that takes some fine motor skills, whereas 911 doesn't so much. Hey, it's monday morning quarterback corner, and I think you did great leaving some distance behind the idiot. I might have laid on the horn and hit the high beams as soon as I saw him coming back of his rear bumper, while planning on the end around exit and dialing 911. If you got his license, I'd report it. Since I drive a "Grey Man" beater with lots of rust and dents, the Lexus Liberals don't try that stuff with me. They'll pry the wheel of my clunker from my cold, dead hands.
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    VIP Member Array BigJon10125's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like you did a great job. It is very hard NOT to react to idiots and your patience I believe was your greates asset. Hopefully these idiots realize that we are more bight than bark, as opposed to them. They want to yell and make a scene. I have run into a couple of these "gentlemen" and they are just noise.

    I am now looking into what needs to be done to make an emergency call quickly on my phone in case of such an issue.

    Thanks Claude!

    BigJon

  9. #8
    Ex Member Array azchevy's Avatar
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    I just don't understand road rage.

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snider View Post

    The whole time I was just thinking to myself, "Why, oh why, are you not carrying?" I can't carry at work, and I don't have a lockbox for my car, so I leave it home during typical workdays. I was kicking myself the entire time.

    Can you spot any other things I did wrong here?
    You gonna spend that $25 - $35 and get that lock box now? Center-of-Mass Gun Safe

    Also, did you think to look at the make, model, color & license plate number of the vehicle? If you do need to call 911, those are the only indicators you have to relay to them. Get in the habit of taking note those things when someone does something on the road to raise you awareness level.

    In your case, since you were without a gun, all you could have done was drive away. So, maybe you should have attempted that if traffic allowed you to do so. You also should have probably called 911.

    The main thing you should do is get a friggon lock box for your vehicle and don't leave your gun at home. It was doing a real good job of looking like a paper weight at home.

    Just because you can't carry a gun at work doesn't mean you shouldn't have your gun with you on the road. My state doesn't allow employers to ban weapons kept in the car. And unless you work for a place where the employer randomly goes around breaking into cars looking for hidden guns, I wouldn't worry about what their parking lot policy was. Unless you sign a waiver as part of your employment allowing them to randomly search your locked car, you do have some rights to privacy left in this country. They really couldn't care less if you got killed on your way to and from work so take charge of your own safety. There is no way I would allow my employer to hamstring my safety when I am on the road going to and from work.

    Too many people allow their personal safety be put in other peoples hands who could care less about what the outcome is. Too many people feel their employer has the right to dictate you not have a gun in the vehicle while parked in the parking lot. Then when they need the gun on the way to work they go.... I don't have my gun? Hmmm.... Imagine that.
    garyacman likes this.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder71 View Post
    You did great, and I'm ashamed to admit I wouldn't have handled it nearly as well as you did - fine example as far as I'm concerned, and I'll remember it next time it happens to me.

    Prior to obtaining a permit to carry I have on a few occasions gotten out of my vehicle when someone did this kind of thing. Luckily I'm a big enough guy that it's all that was needed and it ended there. But I have to say, having my permit to carry has made me a different person in this respect, and for the best as far as I'm concerned.
    +1 on this. I decided a while back to try a couple days driving with my Jeep's front sway bar disconnected as it was supposed to provide a smoother ride. It did so, but only until one day on the highway. The highway was 3 lanes, with a fourth lane being a temporary one for entering/exiting traffic. I was in the middle of the three main lanes in fairly light traffic when this lady enters the highway on the fourth lane and decides to just straight away swing all the way across and almost broadside me. I jerked the wheel hard to the left and hit the brakes, knowing there was no one in the left lane. I found out that day just how important those sway bars are in highway driving. I thought my Jeep was going to roll, I've never tilted that far off center even off-roading. It finally settled and I got it jerked back into a straight direction in the far left lane and the lady is just sitting there in her shiny BMW completely oblivious that she could have gotten me killed. I reconnected the sway bar shortly thereafter.

    Given your situation, I think you did the best thing. You didn't acknowledge the yelling and prepared for a quick escape should one have become necessary. Very well done indeed. The only thing I'd have done differently would be to place my firearm in my lap.
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  12. #11
    Member Array Snider's Avatar
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    Good replies all around, thank you for your insight all!

    Bark'n, I'll order up one of those safes tonight, I have no reason not to. My employer doesn't dictate where I park, I have plenty of lots all over the city available to me. Thank you for the link, I wasn't sure where to start that search!

  13. #12
    Distinguished Member Array ArkhmAsylm's Avatar
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    You kept your cool & your distance, with an escape route planned. It went no further than bullyboy's posturing & your increased heart rate, so all is well!

    I've learned the last few years to stop worrying about what jerk is going to get in front of me, affording myself a slightly (!) more relaxed ride to work. I always keep a set distance between my car & the next, going down to no less than 1-2 cars distance during slows & stops.

    Treat yourself to a small lockbox for the car (I have a couple GunVault MV500's, one for the car, one for bedside) to allow you a little more security to & from work. You can find them on Amazon for under $85. I also keep a small canister of Sabre Red pepper spray (ballistic stream, no over-spray) with me at all times for those less-than-lethal moments.

    Stay safe, Snider!
    "Historical examination of the right to bear arms, from English antecedents to the drafting of the Second Amendment, bears proof that the right to bear arms has consistently been, and should still be, construed as an individual right." -- U.S. District Judge Sam Cummings, Re: U.S. vs Emerson (1999)

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    You gonna spend that $25 - $35 and get that lock box now? Center-of-Mass Gun Safe

    Also, did you think to look at the make, model, color & license plate number of the vehicle? If you do need to call 911, those are the only indicators you have to relay to them. Get in the habit of taking note those things when someone does something on the road to raise you awareness level.

    In your case, since you were without a gun, all you could have done was drive away. So, maybe you should have attempted that if traffic allowed you to do so. You also should have probably called 911.

    The main thing you should do is get a friggon lock box for your vehicle and don't leave your gun at home. It was doing a real good job of looking like a paper weight at home.

    Just because you can't carry a gun at work doesn't mean you shouldn't have your gun with you on the road. My state doesn't allow employers to ban weapons kept in the car. And unless you work for a place where the employer randomly goes around breaking into cars looking for hidden guns, I wouldn't worry about what their parking lot policy was. Unless you sign a waiver as part of your employment allowing them to randomly search your locked car, you do have some rights to privacy left in this country. They really couldn't care less if you got killed on your way to and from work so take charge of your own safety. There is no way I would allow my employer to hamstring my safety when I am on the road going to and from work.

    Too many people allow their personal safety be put in other peoples hands who could care less about what the outcome is. Too many people feel their employer has the right to dictate you not have a gun in the vehicle while parked in the parking lot. Then when they need the gun on the way to work they go.... I don't have my gun? Hmmm.... Imagine that.
    Yes to the above.



    Get a 30 dollar combination lockbox with cable tiedown. Gun in car. Saddle up when you go home from work.


    Do This right now: Amazon.com: GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock: Sports & Outdoors


    You watched hands. You left alot of room.

    Seriously, you did great.


    Prime yourself to drive away IMMEDIATELY as first option. Get AWAY to safety.

    Then deal with 911.

    If cannot get away, you have your sidearm with you.

    Congratulate yourself on the things you remembered and did well.
    "When plunder becomes a way of life for a group of men in a society, over the course of time they create for themselves a legal system that authorizes it and a moral code that glorifies it."
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  15. #14
    Member Array paullie's Avatar
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    the only thing i would add is, instead of driving around someone with a gun, drive over them
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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by azchevy View Post
    I just don't understand road rage.
    very funny....really

    its an act that many have perhaps cause of frustrations over which they have no control; so in their 3000 pounds of armour they go off in the head and on strangers....

    funny cause for all the tailgating, passing on the right or on the curve--or creating their own lane.....

    at the next red light they are 20 feet closer to it than i am.

    they gain nothing really. but their doc says they are depressed and gives them more pills...
    DamnitBob likes this.
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