Monday, October 17, 2005

Road Rage: 2, Judgment: 0

Road Rage Quotient

"Anger: an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured." Seneca

Headline in the Phila Inquirer: Teen who threw punch won't be prosecuted in road rage case.

Back story: a teenage driver cut a man off in traffic. Unclear if it was even intentional. The man got steamed, followed the teen for 3 miles. Right away you know this isn't going to end well. The teen arrived at his destination--home--and parked across the street. As he was crossing the road to his house, the man hit him with his car, knocking him onto the hood. The kid rolled off, landed on his feet, went to the man's open car window and punched him twice in the head. The man died the next day. The teen was arrested and charged with aggravated assault.

The 17-year-old driver is a high school football player, stands 6-foot-6, weighs 310 pounds. The man who hit him was 53 -- I don't know any of his other stats. But size doesn't matter when you're behind the wheel of a car -- you've got 2 tons of machine on your side. And if you decide to use that machine to express your rage, somebody's going to get hurt.

Don't get me wrong, the family of James Munter has my sincere condolences. They lost a loved one under tragic circumstances. But 17-year-old Jason Allen and his family have my sympathy too. It's equally tragic that such a young kid will have to live out his life knowing he killed a man, even though the Camden County prosecutor finally ruled it was self-defense.

From what I've read, it was the right call. And the kid has every right to claim, as kids often do, "He started it!" That's the real tragedy. A grown man, who ought to know better, acted like a kid. He let his anger at a minor traffic incident override his adult judgment. And paid a horrific price.

We're always so worried about the behavior of teenagers in today's world. Hasn't anybody noticed how often adults--supposedly role models--are responsible for setting abominable examples?

Car accidents kill more teens than anyone else, or anything else. Every adult driver who indulges his inner idiot and gives in to road rage is telling every teen driver it's okay to do the same. And it's not. It's NOT.

Road rage is stupid and pointless and self-indulgent and very, very dangerous.

I've had my own terrifying brush with someone else's road rage. Read about it here Road Rageous. And if you see yourself in either of these stories, get help before you kill someone. Or someone kills you.

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Blogger Askinstoo said...

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9:26 AM  
Blogger Chuck said...

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1:27 PM  
Blogger Yaakov Kirschen said...

When I was a kid, riding in my daddy's car, I enjoyed that when we'd get cut off by a speeding driver my father would laugh, he'd cheer "Look at him go!", and shout "Ride 'em cowboy!"

Then he'd say "He's rushing to get to an accident"

I don't know if he was trying to educate me, but 'til this day, when some boob cuts me off I smile and say "Ride 'em cowboy!"

thanx for the post, Sally,
It's important

10:49 AM  
Blogger MamaQ said...

Nice one, Sally!

6:30 PM  

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