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Road Rage: An Opinion

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  • April 6, 2006
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Martin Gottfried's portrayal of American drivers in "Rambos of the Road" is only partially accurate (Gottfried, 2005, p.474-476). I have had experiences with both considerate motorists as well as aggressive motorists. This article looks at the angry drivers without even considering the more passive ones. In Gottfried's conclusion he states, "It seems to me that it is a new America we see on the road now. It has the mentality of a hoodlum and the backbone of a coward" (Gottfried, 2005, p.476). Though it seems true that road rage is taking over the streets of America, many people utilize their will power to control their road rage. It is much more likely for a person to be an aggressive driver in a busy, over populated city like New York than in a less populated city like Tucson.

The more people that are on the road cause us to drive unsafely. In "Rambos of the Road," Gottfried discusses a conversation with a Manhattan taxi driver where the driver told him "intimidation is the name of the game. Drive as if you're deaf and blind. You don't hear the other guy's horn and you sure as hell don't see him" (Gottfried, 2005, p.475). On a crowded island like Manhattan, you have to drive forcefully in order to get anywhere in a given time. Although I usually took the subway to and from my destination when I was there, occasionally I would have to hail a cab. I looked forward to these occasions because the driver would always teach me effective ways to get through crowds, which I further utilized to get through the Christmas crowd on 5th Avenue. If the cabbies did not drive in a crazy manner, not only would it have taken much longer to get to my destination, but also it just would not have felt like New York. Perhaps people used to behave civil on the roads, but the population of New York City has grown immensely since the thirties, and so has our impatience.

In most cases, road rage is the result of other bad drivers. There have been many times when I have felt road...