“Road Rage Attack on Cathedral Ave & New Mexico Ave NW”

“Road Rage Attack on Cathedral Ave & New Mexico Ave NW – January 26th @ 8:35am

On my way to work, I was victim of road rage. Some psychotic asshole started honking at me frantically as I was pulling to the road (Mind you that I did look before I started pulling out, and saw him, but he was far behind so I felt comfortable pulling out. Obviously I didn’t realize he was coming down flying on a 25MPH road, and was pissed that he had to stop, he made such a big deal he also pissed me off and, YES I flipped my finger at him.

I moved on and kept on driving but had to stop at the light located on Cathedral Ave and New Mexico, this asshole got out of his car, and started pounding at my window so hard I thought he was going to break it… not once, not twice but 4 times and he also spit on my window. I just looked at him standing right on my face in disbelieve, with just a glass in between. When the light changed, I had no other reaction than to keep on driving. He made a left turn, as I did, and then the very first right after the turn.

When I got out of my shock, I pulled my phone and called 911, gave them the description of the car and the individual which is as follows:

Blue Ford Pick Up Truck with DC tags
White Male, on his mid 30’s, with light brown hair and a full beard, he was wearing a blue hoodie and jeans.

As this was happening, there was a number of people standing at the bus stop (Cathedral & NM towards TenleyTown Metro), probably watching in disbelieve as I was… If you happened to see this, please reply to this message. Assholes like this can not be terrorizing people because they are having a bad day. If this is what you do for something as little and insignificant as this, you NEED HELP!!”

127 Comment

  • Stupid Maryland drivers!! Wait, what?!

    Flipping other drivers off, no matter what the situation, is never a good idea.

    • I always like to wave/smile at the mad person… a big smile always seems to piss them off more than the finger.

      • The trick is to wave and smile as if you know them. That really throws them off.

      • I turned right on a street when 2 pedestrians had the right of way. As soon as I saw that they were about to step into the street (I wouldn’t have hit them, but I should have allowed them to cross), I looked into the mirror and they were waving frantically and smiling. I agree that it threw me off and I felt awful rather than angry if they had given me the finger. One time, I was on the expressway in the middle lane. There was a truck on my tail, even though the left lane was open. I couldn’t understand why they were on my butt instead of getting in the empty fast lane. So, I kept breaking (which is obnoxious and slightly dangerous, but it’s my way of my way of saying, “back the eff off!”). Finally, he went into the left lane and he and his girlfriend rolled down the window and started screaming at me. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but I started blowing kisses at them. I think they were stunned.

        • I’ll have to remember that trick as a pedestrian when trying to cross streets in DC!

          I don’t know what expressway you were on, but I’ve been on many that when there are more than two lanes expressly do not allow trucks to drive in the leftmost lane – ever – even to pass. I know this because I see the signs stating that. Perhaps you aren’t aware of the signs because you pay no attention because you aren’t driving a truck. If the right lane was open for you to move into, why not move over and let them pass? Because that braking was really dangerous.

  • I had an experience very much like this once. Now, I never flip off a driver. It sends some people into looney land. Not saying his actions were right, just that for personal safety reasons, I keep my fingers to myself.

    • PDleftMtP

      I am very imperfect at implementing this, but I know it’s right. You don’t know how crazy and/or armed the person driving like an asshole is.

    • Flipping off another driver is a form or road rage.

    • My wife once flipped a guy off who got out of the car and started banging on our car window right next to our toddler’s head. Once he saw her dialing 911 and noticed the small child, he came to his senses and moved on.

      • I once made the mistake of flipping off a woman who had cut us off. I regretted it when she then started screaming and throwing glass bottles at our car for the next 1/2 mile. She finally went away when she realized we were slowing down to get her license plate number.

    • Same here. Awhile back some guy was right on my ass while I was exiting off the beltway (was probably going about 5 mph over the speed limit and the exit ramp was fairly long) – as I was almost off the exit ramp and about to merge onto the highway the guy veers out from behind me and speeds by (at this point he’d been riding my tail for say 15 seconds), at which point I (stupidly) flipped him the bird (which he saw). Bad idea. It was a two line highway (one direction) with little traffic and he road beside my car for maybe a mile or so looking at me – like the look of someone who kinda wants to snap your neck in half. I had no idea what he was going to do, my car definitely wouldn’t outrun his, and I kinda doubt we would have engaged in civil discourse had I pulled over (I definitely wouldn’t have won in a physical fight). The only thing I could think of was to pick up my cell and pretend like I was calling someone. Thankfully, he then sped away. Since then I keep my thoughts of hostility invisible (or inaudible).

    • Can we please avoid blaming the victim? It’s not helpful.

      • I don’t think anyone is saying s/he was at fault for this guy’s apopletic fit. I think people are saying flipping off someone never solves the problem… it often just inflames the situation.

      • I think it is helpful to suggest ways to minimize the chance that something like this will occur. Not flipping people off is certainly one way, in my opinion.

    • Yep – the last time I was confrontational to a driver who nearly hit me when I was running resulted in the driver hunting me down a half mile later and threatening to kill me. I just ignore the BS/A$$hat behavior and move on. Life’s too short to let some jazzbo ruin your day.

  • Yeah, not much good comes out of flipping people off. The best thing I’ve ever seen someone do in response to aggravated honking (it was me honking for them not yielding in a circle) was a dude smiling and slowly raising his hand to wave. It was unexpected, caught me off guard, and we both moved on.

    Hope the police can give you some kind of resolution, but I doubt they will. I’d keep that middle finger on the steering wheel in the future. (Bracing for victim shaming comments).

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QR41WnrdsNs

    Kudos for not running the person over! Flipping off doesn’t deserve this. There is just one prick in this situation.

  • Funny how you were brave and bold enough to give this person the finger, but when confronted face to face you got scared and called the police. Not saying you weren’t dealing with a crazy person, but as the old saying goes “Don’t start none and there won’t be none”.

    • Signing “fuck you” should not escalate the situation to a person banging on your hood and physically threatening you. The finger communicates, and under the confines of vehicular transportation, is as close to confronting a person as possible. If this person was in a grocery store for instance, and cut the line, you wouldn’t give him the finger, you’d say, “excuse me? there’s a line” essentially, the finger is replacing that in this situation. If that person then got in your face for voicing your opposition to there behavior, would you be at fault for calling the person out?

      • +1 excellent analogy

      • There’s a huge difference between saying, “Excuse me, there’s a line” (not aggressive- just being assertive) versus “the finger” (aggressive/angry/confrontational). You know why idiots give the finger within the safe confines of their car? Because they think they can get away with it- most of these yahoos wouldn’t try it in a grocery store line. It doesn’t “communicate”- it is an outright confrontation. I am not excusing the scary behavior of the dude who was hitting the person’s window. However, you ought to know better than to be giving the finger to other drivers. It is impolite, and it increases your odds of having some bad stuff happen if you use it on the wrong person.
        I think Anonymous 1 is right- “Don’t start none, and there won’t be none.” Good words to live by when it comes to road rage.

        • “you know why idiots give the finger within the safe confines of their car? Because they think they can get away with it- most of these yahoos wouldn’t try it in a grocery store line. ”

          So @anonymous, you know why a people, posting anonymously, call other idiots?

      • Bad analogy. There is an immense difference between saying “Excuse me, there’s a line” and giving someone the finger.
        I am amazed at the number of people posting here who think that giving another driver the finger is perfectly OK. The only time I can see it being possibly benign is if the other driver has just given YOU the finger — at least that way you’re not taking things up a notch.

        • People do it because when you are in your car, you can’t say “excuse me,” as you can in the grocery line. I read it as “Excuse Me!!,” said in a sarcastic manner, meant to be read as “Hey, watch where you are going!” or “Watch it or you are going to hurt somebody!” or “Cutting me off in an unsafe manner was an ahole thing to do!”

          • Saying “Excuuuuse me!” in a sarcastic manner isn’t going to earn you any friends either.
            You can keep trying to justify this to yourself and telling yourself that it’s OK, but so far I’m not seeing any anecdotes from anyone saying: “Yeah, the other week somebody gave me the finger and I had a light-bulb moment where I realized that I was in the wrong and was so embarrassed!”
            As I was saying elsewhere, the best-case scenario is that you get ignored. The worst-case scenario is that the other party turns violent.

          • I’ve had such light-bulb moments when I did something that pissed somebody off.

          • “I’ve had such light-bulb moments when I did something that pissed somebody off.”
            Well I have too, and good for us (I actually mean that.) But I think it’s incredibly naive to tell yourself that getting the finger is widely recognized as a sincere and benevolent request for self-examination. It means “f*** you”, and that’s generally taken as an insult as far as I know.

          • In general, no. But when driving, when you have limited ways to communicate with another driver who almost killed you, yes.

          • I guess we just disagree on this. When you’re in a car, yes, you have limited ways of communicating with other drivers but to me that doesn’t change the meaning of the finger.

      • +1. There’s a huge difference between flipping the bird and leaving your vehicle, banging on a window, spitting, and then following the vehicle. Flip the bird back and be on your merry way!

    • Totally agree!!! If she didn’t flick him off, all of this never would of happened. Flicking off someone who is already a perceived nut behind the wheel is dumb, and asking for it!!

  • similar thing happened to me in dupont on m st nw a few weeks ago. i was on a bike and an aggressive driver honked at me and sped passed on the right. i did something (regretably) rude to him when i passed at the next light, and then just forgot about him. he then chased me down and tried to knock me off my bike with his car (he missed), and then chased me down into a parking garage and assaulted me. i got it all on video, called the police, and showed an officer the full video. he said that since i instigated it with my earlier rude action, that if i pressed charges for assault, he would arrest me and “walke [me] out of there in cuffs”. as someone already mentioned, the best solution is to just be on your best behavior at all times and never call the police if you get assaulted while riding a bike

    • What “rude action” is against the law? Bird-flipping isn’t. Did you key his car? Because that goes beyond “rude” and into “no sympathy for you” territory.

      • i spat at his window. not a huge lugey; but still a regrettable (and shameful!) thing to do

        • Yeah, that officer was wrong. Spitting at a person would probably be battery, but is spitting at a car window? And, while there is supposed to be something in the law about responding with reasonable force, this officer didn’t see it that way. Much as those who have this idea that any insult can be followed up with greater force – like flipping someone off naturally invites assault. It doesn’t.
          If insulting or sexual comments, or physical or sexual contact, excused a physical assault in return, men walking around, – and on the metro, and in some workplaces – would be being beaten up by women all the time.

    • Did you escalate this beyond this Officer who responded to your call? Assault is a serious offense, irrespective of what you may or may not have done to instigate it. I had a situation where an Officer responded to my call and took none of the evidence (including video footage) I had of the incident. Later on a detective called me to follow up on my case and was very distubred and apologetic with how the Officer handled my situation. She took it from there… not saying your case is the same but it sounds like a were faced with an injustice. Hope you’re okay.

  • That’s scary. I’m glad you’re okay. I witnessed a road rage incident yesterday around 17th & T NW (I was a pedestrian). I don’t even know what started it but I honestly thought the guy was going to get out of his car and I was going to have to call 911. That kind of stuff is so scary.

  • Sounds like the guy was trying to prevent a big accident from happening by honking at you and trying to prevent you from pulling out. Then you had the nerve to flip him off. I would suggest you take heed to people blowing horns and refrain from flipping off people since you cant handle the events after.

    • I think this is the bit that you missed:
      “…he was far behind so I felt comfortable pulling out. Obviously I didn’t realize he was coming down flying on a 25MPH road…”
      Had the rager not been speeding, there would have been time for the OP to pull out and get up to speed.

      • Blithe

        I missed that part too: If the OP saw the driver, and so, “felt comfortable pulling out”, how is it that the OP didn’t notice how fast the other driver was going?

      • That doesn’t matter. The OP did not have the right of way to turn. She needed to yield to oncoming traffic, even if the person is speeding. The OP nearly caused an accident, considering the other driver probably had to violently slam on his brakes
        That said, the road rage dude is still a psycho.
        VERDICT: there’s no “good guy” in this incident.

        • Completely agree with this.

        • Yeah, agreed – while all likely pull out occasionally in a manner that causes someone to brake, whether they are speeding or not, we’re still in the wrong.
          BUT even after this occurrence, and even if the flipper should have not flipped off the driver but reflected that she should have better judged how fast the car was going, flipping someone off shouldn’t invite an attack!

        • Why is the OP all of a sudden a “she?”

          • No reason, my mind just read the post with that assumption – you are right, I could be wrong.

          • I used “she” as an ambiguous pronoun. I also use “he” regularly. IIRC, both are fine to use in the English language when the gender of the individual is unknown.

        • I guess a lot of people here are human radar detectors.

    • Yes, because every driver who honks their horn in this area does it for a worthwhile purpose. \sarcasm

  • Uhhh, since when does giving someone the finger the same as physical assault? If you shout “hey a**hole!” when someone cuts you off does that give them license to attack you too? Rude and psychotically aggressive are pretty different in my boo, maybe that’s just me.

    • Blithe

      Well, aggressive actions often are met with aggressive responses. It seems odd to me that many people who are verbally and physically aggressive to others — and I’m including aggressive gestures in this, are apparently surprised when the response to their behavior is not only aggressive, but ramps things up a notch.

  • Why do people think flipping people off is so bad? It is a gesture to let someone know that they did something that pissed you off, and likely was NOT correct driving. It isn’t an assault, and it isn’t an invitation to an assault.

    That said, I have seen drivers get pissed when I do it, so I try not to, for my own safety. But it IS NOT equal to an assault – it is only a gesture, and should be treated as such.

    And those road raging assholes will get all road ragy even if you don’t do that. I had two drivers get out of their cars and come toward me as if to assault me when I just honked at them for blocking the street unnecessarily. I thought that was what a horn was for! Lucky for me, when they saw I was just a woman, they turned around – I think they saw I wasn’t going to get out and fight them.

    But really, folks, if someone expresses displeasure at your driving, ask yourself first if you are doing something wrong, and fix it if you can. One of these guys was in a parking space, and one was waiting for it, and they were taking forever about doing it, but the truth is, on streets near Dupont, the streets are plenty wide enough so that MOST people waiting to park pull over to the side and there is plenty of room for other cars to pass while you wait – it don’t require parking smack in the middle of the road and blocking traffic while you wait for a parking space to open up! If you are going to drive in a rude manner, expect someone to honk at you or flip you off – I expect it.

    • “Lucky for me, when they saw I was just a woman, they turned around – I think they saw I wasn’t going to get out and fight them.”

      Wow. Way to have some internalized weaker sex beliefs there — I”m a woman and I’d definitely get out and fight them. Stand up for yourself!!

      • I’m not stupid – I wanted the car to pull over to the side so me and the line of cars behind me could get past. I wasn’t looking to have a physical fight – I never am, actually – I avoid them. I believe in self-defense – which means walking away, not fighting people.
        And yes, I believe they turned around when they saw it was a woman honking at them – I can’t think of any other reason, since their first reaction to begin honked at was stupid anger.

      • This is not “internalized weaker sex belief” in action. I mean, men have way, way more upper body strength than women. The scientific literature shows that an average male is somewhere in the range of twice as strong as an average female. Most untrained males (non-weight-lifting bros) are much stronger than even very fit females.

        So, yeah, if you’re female and have the choice of whether or not to physically fight some crazy random male, the wise decision is to avoid that fight.

        • “The scientific literature shows that an average male is somewhere in the range of twice as strong as an average female. Most untrained males (non-weight-lifting bros) are much stronger than even very fit females.”

          So that means I shouldn’t fight back? All women should be pacifists because we’re weaker and “science” proves it?

      • She’s talking about their reaction to her gender, not her reaction to them.
        Anyway, regardless of whether we’re talking about a man or woman, what are you talking about? Get out and fight?!?! Wow.

    • Some people are really hung up on getting “respect” from random strangers, even if they are doing something boneheaded that is negatively affecting others. They feel the need to counter your act of “disrespect” with physical intimidation. It’s stupid and primitive.

    • Blithe

      Why do people think that everybody knows — and plays by — the same rules? I’ve read through a lot of assumptions about what “honking” means, and what certain gestures mean, and to me, the important point is to realize that whatever a behavior might mean to me, I have absolutely no idea how my behavior might be understood, interpreted, or reacted to by a stranger. So, I try to be prudent, in the interests of safety.

      • so, you never use your horn?

        • Blithe

          I’ve used my horn a few times — and it was intended to communicate: “Danger, danger….”.

          • danger, danger…usually because some car is not where they should be at that moment. thus, people also use horns to ask people to put their cars where they are supposed to be – to move them.

          • Blithe

            Based on your comments, it’s highly likely that you and I strongly disagree about several things – including the word “harmless”. If you don’t feel that gestures have meaning and consequences, then you might

          • Blithe

            Dcres, the post that was made at 9:00 was part of a partial post that went through even as I was pressing cancel. It is, however, accurate. From reading your posts, I have a sense that you genuinely can’t — or don’t want to — recognize that gestures and words have meaning, that people respond to these meanings, and that the way that other people understand and react to specific communications may differ from the way you understand and react to those same specific communications.
            — Honking my horn, once or twice, to get someone to notice a situation is very different from making a gesture, to use your words, “let someone know that they did something that pissed you off”. I don’t honk my horn to communicate being “pissed off”– but to alert someone else to a situation that I view as being unsafe. It really isn’t the same thing at all.

    • “I just honked at them for blocking the street unnecessarily. I thought that was what a horn was for!”
      Really?? You honestly thought that the horn on your car was for expressing your displeasure of others’ behavior?

      • I wasn’t expressing displeasure – I was letting the car parked in the middle of the street know that he was blocking the street for a whole line of cars, and that he should pull over to the side. I was asking him to stop blocking the street!

        • You must have been doing it for a sustained period of time for him to have been upset enough about it to come out of his car.

          • No, that’s the thing, I wasn’t. My point was, in writing about what happened to me recently, is that people who like to express road rage do it without much provocation – they are just angry a*holes.

    • “Why do people think flipping people off is so bad?”
      It is a rude and vulgar gesture, meant to convey contempt and disrespect. In short, it basically means “f*** you” or “f*** off”. That is why people think flipping people off is so bad.

      • It is usually done, in this driving scenario, to convey – you just treated me with contempt and disrespect – or, usually, you just almost killed me!

        • Close. It is usually done in this driving scenario to convey “F*** you! You just treated me with contempt and disrespect/ you just almost killed me!”

          • True…that made me laugh. And I think it is OK to respond that way. Clearly, we are divided here in among commenters.

    • HaileUnlikely

      Do you flip people off on the sidewalk or in a store where you don’t have your car to protect you? If so, ok, I guess. If not, then your only doing it when you have a giant shield around you would seem to suggest that soemwhere deep down you recognize that there might be something provocative about it.

  • I was taught to always stand up to a bully. I give drivers the finger all the time because they deserve it — everyone seems to forget that a person driving recklessly is, literally, putting the lives of others in danger. Has the other driver indicated they’d like to escalate the situation when I do so? Yes. But that person usually backs down when I indicate that I”m not going to.

    Stand up for yoruselves people!

    • “I was taught to always stand up to a bully.”
      I was taught to ignore a bully. Reckless drivers aren’t going to all of a sudden drive better because I gave them the finger – I’m inclined to think that if anything the opposite is true. I can’t control other drivers, but I can control myself, so that’s what I concentrate on. “Standing up for yourself” in a case like this is just a self-esteem exercise, it doesn’t actually achieve any meaningful result (well, maybe if you have low self-esteem).

      • ““Standing up for yourself” in a case like this is just a self-esteem exercise, it doesn’t actually achieve any meaningful result (well, maybe if you have low self-esteem).”
        Yup, exactly this x 1000. Any therapist will tell you this.

        • Yes, it would have been quite stupid of me to get out of my car to deal with two angry – for no good reason – and therefore possibly drunk, men. My self-esteem doesn’t need that!!!!

        • So, you’ve taken a poll of all therapists and they’ve all agreed that standing up for yourself is a self-esteem exercise and is really an indicator of low-self esteem?

      • And +1 to “Reckless drivers aren’t going to all of a sudden drive better because I gave them the finger – I’m inclined to think that if anything the opposite is true.”

        • Not a road rager, no, it won’t change their behavior. But someone who didn’t intend to say, cut someone off, who is trying to drive lawfully and safely, might realize, hey, I did something there unsafe that I shouldn’t have, I’d better be more careful.

          • You really thinks that’s how it happens? Just about anyone is going to regard someone who gives them the finger as a jerk — that’s it. So the best-case scenario is probably that the other driver doesn’t respond and thinks to himself/herself, “Jerk.” The worst-case scenario is someone responding by getting out of the car and banging on your window, or worse.

          • Well, count me as the exception then – I reflect on what I could have done to piss someone off.

          • OK, but what’s the outcome of that reflection? Does it result in a change in your behavior, or are you just trying to figure out what the (perceived) infraction was?
            I remember being in Maryland once and being honked at for stopping at a stop sign; I guess the driver thought I should’ve done a rolling stop. I’m not going to cease stopping at stop signs just because someone else disapproves. Similarly, if somebody is tailing me on Beach Drive because they think I’m going to slow — even if I’m going 30 mph and the speed limit is 25 mph — I’m not going to speed up.
            I think I’ve been given the finger only once or twice. In at least one case, it was unclear what the driver was even upset about.

          • Er, “too slow,” not “to slow.”

          • I guess I’m not as perfect as you. Sometimes, I do change my behavior – not when I’m doing things right, as in your examples, but sometimes there are grey areas where I can and do start to do something differently.
            Anyway, my point originally was not that it WILL change most people’s behavior. It was that is shouldn’t be seen as justification for an assault. Do you actually disagree with that point?

          • No, I don’t think giving someone the finger is justification for an assault.
            I also don’t think that bad driving is an excuse for giving someone the finger.
            The fact remains that there are short-tempered people out there who see someone else giving them the finger as provocation for violence.

          • I agree to disagree here. I think F*you to someone who just almost killed me is an appropriate reply.
            Yes, some people want to escalate violence when they are flipped. Which is why I rarely do it – for self-protection.
            But those people who think that escalation to physical violence from a gesture or words is natural, to be expected, or in any event OK are just plain wrong. To say you shouldn’t do something because others find it provoking slides into justifying the violence. And there is no justification for resorting to violence because of words or gestures.
            Many people find many things others do that are fine provoking – you only need to read the newspaper to see situations where people are attacked for doing or wearing or saying things people find provoking that are really ok things to do or wear or say.

          • I guess it depends how you define “almost killed you.” In an earlier post you described the finger as “a gesture to let someone know that they did something that pissed you off” — that’s a much lower bar.
            Giving the finger to someone certainly doesn’t justify a violent response, but it IS an escalation (unless the other party has already given you the finger), and it’s not necessary. Moreover, giving someone the finger to strangers is generally not regarded as an OK thing to do.

          • I don’t get pissed off easily, so for me, it is someone almost killing me. That is way worse than a F*you, and responding that way is not escalating, and I don’t think a polite response to almost begin killed is required.

  • Between this and the end of the Mimosa nail special, there seems to be a lot of rage on Popville today.

  • ah, many of these road rage anecdotes remind me of my soon-to-be ex-husband. his road rage is epic.

    Hmm. Maybe this whole divorce situation isn’t so bad after all.

    • If you were with a road rager, yeah, you are better off!

    • LOL! Glad you’re finding some humor in an otherwise unpleasant situation.

    • You dodged a bullet. Road rage is just a symptom of a greater internal unhappiness. It’s a sign of deep seated anger, impatience, and general lack of self-esteem. I’m sure the correlation between domestic abusers and road rage is very high.

  • The OP is making a mistake to perceive himself/herself as a “victim” here. By giving the other driver the finger, he/she unnecessarily escalated the situation. YES, the guy’s reaction — banging on the window, etc. — was totally disproportionate and unjustified. But many people have short tempers and are super-sensitive to anything they perceive as disrespect, and it’s just not worth it to antagonize them.
    And as OP Anon pointed out, it sounds like the OP wasn’t even in the right as far as traffic laws are concerned.
    Moral of the story: Don’t give other drivers the finger or do something that escalates the situation (bang the hood of the car, etc.).

  • I saw something very similar on Wisconsin & Hall Place as I was walking past a few weeks ago during not-so-good weather, and it was very scary. Long story short, I almost called the police, but the guy walked away from the other driver (who did nothing wrong — and also didn’t react or even LOOK at the road rage guy) after about a minute, so I just reported him. The road rage guy was a FedEx driver and so they reported the truck to Fedex. I hope he got fired.

  • This is scary. It’s a good reminder to me as to why I never flip off anyone. You just never know what will set people off.

    • It is more of a reminder to not cut someone off, then after they honk at you, to not flip them the bird.

      A good lesson, but one that the OP – and hopefully everyone on the road – already knows.

  • You never know who could be behind the wheel. It’s just not worth taking the chance you cross some violent person. Heck, you don’t even have to flip some people off for them to throw some road rage your way! Whether you are in the right or not, I don’t see any reason to not try to act maturely. Or at least smile and wave! Sometimes that pisses them off more than if you flipped the bird, haha… Believe me, I am no saint. That said, I just happened to run across this PSA starring Evander Holyfield on this very subject…..


  • I’m surprised this hasn’t come up yet: When I was growing up, and I know I am not alone here, I always heard the expression as “flicked off”, since there is a flicking motion involved. Nobody is doing a flip, and there is certainly no bird!

    Does that make sense or sound familiar?

  • I read through quite a few comments before anyone noted that “looking before pulling out” then complaining that the other driver is going to fast is not a good defense. In fact, you broke the law, nearly causing an accident that could have injured the other driver. Apparently you thought your desire to go first trumped his right of way. The problem started with you, but apparently you still don’t get it. I think a horn blast was appropriate. He went beyond that, and you escalated things by giving him the finger? Then you wrote about it as if you did nothing wrong ? You have a lot to think about.

    • I think the original poster MIGHT have something to think about if they read these comments here. But this could have gone down two ways – we don’t really know because we weren’t there. If the road rager was going the typical 10 or even 15 or so miles over the speed limit that people often drive when there is little traffic, then the OP should have been able to reasonably judge the speed of the car and not pulled out in front of it because it would have been unsafe.
      However, it may have been the case, as the post suggests, that the car was wildly speeding, which we have seen (I’ve seen it in this town), and in which case would have been moving so fast that you can’t really tell it is going that fast, as it is coming at you at a speed you can’t even anticipate when you aren’t on a highway. If that was the case, someone wildly speeding on one of those streets (I’m familiar with the streets at that intersection) the the road rager is really the one at fault, because you really can’t see that kind of speeding coming sometimes.
      We don’t know which it was because we weren’t there.
      I can see someone who got out of their car and threatened someone like that as being someone who could have been wildly speeding. People who wildly speed and just want someone to get out of their way sometimes also honk like crazy, I’ve seen that too. But the road raging threatening behavior makes me think this may have been drug or alcohol fueled behavior – and so I’m more inclined to believe that this may have been someone driving in a manner that was in any way possible to anticipate, and so was in no way defensible, even if someone is pulling out in front of them.
      In any event, whichever it was, the road rager had no business doing what they did, that threatening behavior – none at all – even if the poster pulled out in front of them I sometimes honk when people pull out in front of me in a way that was unsafe to let them know that they didn’t judge correctly and put us both at risk – not when I can safely brake, but when there really was accident risk. If they flipped me back, I wouldn’t care, I’d ignore them. I certainly wouldn’t get out of the car and threaten them – I can’t imagine a scenario where that would be OK. There is really no excuse for that sort of behavior.
      I’m a bit disheartened that so many people on here seem to equate a harmless gesture from inside a car (whether the feeling that prompted the gesture was justified by the previous events or not) with someone getting out of their car and threatening someone. These things are not equal. A gesture does not in any way invite that sort of behavior. Whatever occurred previously, that road raging behavior was NOT the poster’s fault!
      As I don’t think people COULD reasonably think that, that these things are equal, or that one invites the other, I gather from all of this focus on the gesture on here that people who comment are really judgmental, to the point of bullying, and I find that disheartening as well.

      • I live at the bottom of a short but rather steep hill. People speed and people wildly-speed. It is not always the easiest to tell visually the car that is going 15 over from the one going 25 over when they are on the hill. But the latter sure get to you startlingly fast.

  • gotryit

    I can’t possibly imagine caring if someone flipped a bird at me.
    And I flip off other people who deserve it. But then, I learned my manners and how to drive in NYC…

  • It’s kind of terrifying that there’s so many posters here who believe that an elevated middle finger is an invitation to having a random stranger come up to your car and pound aggressively on your window. Who says DC is full of assholes?

    • IMO, it’s disturbing that so many people here think it’s totally OK to give other drivers the finger.
      I don’t think ANYONE has said that pounding on someone’s window is a justifiable reaction to being given the finger. But the reality is, there are short-tempered people out there who DO react that way. And when something like this happens to you, you realize that maybe it’s not such a wise idea to (in this case) give someone the finger after all.
      (Unless you’re the OP, who’s apparently in denial.)

  • Flipping off a dude who’s already pissed will put him over the edge and he might try to physically get at you. I wouldn’t give someone the finger unless you’re ok with them approaching your window with a bright red face. That said, sorry this happened to you. What a bag of dicks that guy is.

  • People in DC in general need to calm the #$%^ down on the road. Seriously !@#$holes, with cars we are able to get places a hundred times faster today than we have been at any point in history even in traffic is bad. Just relax. And I am fully self-aware that my opinion on this is radical and probably indicates that I should move.

    • +1
      i don’t understand why people get so angry, or feel the need to “stand up for themselves” by flipping people off.
      do people think they’re teaching others something by their expressions of displeasure?

  • op, thats scary as hell. sorry you had a run in with such a violent person.
    the notion that someone wants to harm you because you pulled out in front of them is sick.

  • Sorry, no one want to harm her because she pulled out in front. And certainly, no one should get out of a car and threaten someone. But she made a gesture that was expected to cause a reaction, and she got one. As for discussions regarding whether the car was going fast or “really fast”, DC law requires her to yield to oncoming traffic. It does not say, yield unless you think he was going too fast. I don’t know the chapter and verse, but I heard a DC cop quote it to a woman who stopped at a stop sign and the proceeded, at which point she got t-boned. Then he wrote her a ticket. We all make mistakes, but it’s not your job to show someone they need to slow down by pulling out in front of them. How about just waiting your turn?

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