Tag Archives: road rage

The Best Day to Drive

I went on a little road trip to Santa Barbara over the holidays to visit my girlfriend’s parents. The drive from San Francisco is about 330 miles and usually takes five to six hours depending on traffic. But I inadvertently discovered the best day to drive out of the whole year. It’s Christmas. 

There was nobody on the road and we took advantage. We cruised along at a good ten to fifteen miles per hour over the speed limit, comfortable enough to avoid getting pulled over for speeding. All the drivers were more considerate than usual. It was probably a byproduct of Christmas and Hanukkah overlapping. Everyone was overly generous. I hardly saw any tailgating or neglecting to use turn signals and there was a lot of thank you waves going on. We left the city around 8:15 and we arrived by 12:30, stopping only once for coffee. That’s not too shabby. From now on, I’m going to do all my road tripping on major holidays. While everyone is celebrating with friends and family, the roads are free for cruising. Take advantage.

Critically Rated at 14/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Courtesy Wave

There are a lot of aggressive drivers on the road these days. You see a lot of people cutting off other cars, following too closely, neglecting their turn signals, and planting the seeds for a road rage tree. There are a lot of dick moves that you can pull that will piss off other drivers. If you cut someone off or almost crash into them, you can erase the tension with a simple courtesy wave. The courtesy wave is an easy way to say sorry for being an asshole or show your appreciation for an act of kindness. That simple hand gesture can save your life, especially if you’re driving in Los Angeles. If someone lets you back out of parking spot during rush hour, you better give them a courtesy wave. The courtesy wave is not an excuse to drive like an asshole, it’s a way to let other drivers know you’re sorry for driving like one.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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XFASLNR

This is a true story involving road rage and a customized license plate. I was a senior in high school and I was driving home on the freeway, my friend was in the front seat, and Tom Petty was on the stereo. We saw a red pickup truck with a customized plate that said “XFASLNR.” We spent a few minutes debating and deciding what XFASLNR meant. Extra Falsener? Is that something? We gave up and drove past the truck and as we did, my friend made a funny face at the red truck. He didn’t flip him off, or scowl at him. I think he stuck out his tongue and waved his fingers like a five-year-old taunting his crush on the playground.

That was enough to make XFASLNR declare war. He instantly floored it, cut me off, and slammed on his brakes. I used my ninja reflexes to dart into the other lane. I didn’t even have time to flip him off before he tried to cut me off again. And again and again. He would veer into my lane; he would speed up behind me and try to tap my bumper, he would try to run me off the road. I wasn’t close to home either. He chased me for a few miles before I finally got to my exit and made my escape. We considered ourselves lucky and the matter closed.

A year and a half went by and I was now in my second year of college. I went to my buddy Cody’s house and there was a red pickup truck in his driveway with the license plate XFASLNR. I had a flashback to my near-death experience and ran into to Cody’s house and demanded answers. A mutual friend who was from the same hometown was sitting in the living room admitted that the truck was his dad’s. I told him the whole story of being chased halfway across the county. He told me that it was definitely his dad and regaled me with stories of his dad tailgating, swerving, and instigating fights over perceived slights for years. He told me about being five years old and pleading with his dad to not punch another driver who cut him off. He acknowledged that his dad was crazy and I realized I was lucky to be alive.

And then I asked him the question that had been bugging me for years, the whole reason why my friend made that stupid face that set him off… What does XFASLNR mean? And it means Ex Fast Laner. His dad used to race cars and be in the fast lane. I know that’s not the most exciting conclusion to this tale of road rage, but at least I got closure. That’s worth something, right? And it’s kind of stupid to road rage when you have a memorable customized plate that makes it easy to identify you.

Critically Rated at 13/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Excessive Honking

It sucks that you are stuck in traffic. It really does. You’re in a rush, you have somewhere you need to be, you’re stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic, and your blood pressure is starting to rise. But excessive honking isn’t going to suddenly make the road clear up. And that constant blaring is annoying everyone and contributing to the traffic jam negativity. So shut the fuck up and lay off the horn.

Horns are supposed to be a warning. You use them to warn someone that they are about to back into your car. You use them to notify pedestrians of their impending death. You aren’t supposed to use them to escalate road rage. That’s what the middle finger is for.

Critically Rated at 3/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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