Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A little thing that happened that didn't get bigger

I was out shopping by myself this week-end and heading home. There is a place on the road where you have to get in the left lane to make a left-hand turn and I was in the right lane. Of course, on a four-lane highway, you are supposed to travel in the right lane and only use the left lane to pass or, in this case, make a left-hand turn. So, I checked the other traffic. There were people traveling in the left lane but that's expected anymore. Fewer and fewer people follow the rules but we are all used to that. The important thing is to watch the traffic and drive safely in the circumstances whether the other people are driving correctly or not.

I checked ahead and behind. There was a gap in the left lane with the car in front and the car behind leaving a gap of at least four or five car lengths. So, I put on my left turn signal (or as it's called in Massachusetts, my blinkah) before I started moving left and then, after a few seconds, started to move left. As I watched my mirrors, I saw that the car in front was keeping steady but the car behind (a big Cadillac) was moving up. It was closing up the gap a little but it looked like there was still enough room to make it. When I was half-way into the left lane, I could see the Cadillac was accelerating! This guy was trying to keep me out of the left lane for some reason. He had been going along at a steady pace for a long time but my needing to get into the lane ahead of him had caused him to act. His Cadillac didn't have the acceleration to close the gap enough to make it dangerous for me to continue and I ended up in the left lane. But as I kept my eye on the rear-view mirror, I saw him continue to close the gap until he was right on my tail. I saw him gesture at me (guess which finger he showed me) and his mouth was moving a lot and I assume he wasn't complimenting me.

If I hadn't checked that he was going at a steady pace before I started moving or if there hadn't been enough room, I could see his anger. If the guy in front in that lane had been moving along so that the rest of the people in the left lane could be passing I would understand his anger. But no. It seemed he wanted to get upset. It seemed he thought I was wrong for pulling into his lane. I don't know why he was so ready to cause a problem that wasn't there but I'm glad I kept my head and didn't do anything to make it worse. You never know what kind of a day someone else has had. I won't lie and say I wasn't mad at him for being mad at me - for no reason (I think). It's just a reminder to me to try to keep things from escalating. Maybe he had a gun. Maybe he had just stolen the car and didn't care about whether he got in a wreck. Maybe he had a mental problem and it looked like I had done something I didn't. I'm just glad it didn't go farther.

A minute later, I turned to the left to get off the road. He zoomed past me but had to slow down again when he got closer to the guy who had been in front of me in the left lane. Now, that guy shouldn't have been staying in the left lane if he wasn't passing or turning left. I'm so mad!

No comments: