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Standing by the side of the road without rage

Written By: Terry Foster | December 1, 2011

Filed Under: Uncategorized

He was a young kid. I could tell he was remorseful. I could tell he was nervous and I could tell he wanted to be anywhere but standing in front of me on the side of the road.

I was on my way to work headed toward one of those annoying round abouts when the car in the left lane began to veer into my lane. I slammed the breaks and tried to move over. But there was no room. The cars scrapped and suddenly we were in an official accident.

There was no real damage. I lost a little paint and will try to find a place to make the side of my car look brand new. I had the right to be mad but I wasn’t. I guess I understand he did not do it on purpose. He did not try to harm me, so why get mad?

Should I have cursed this kid out to scare him into paying better attention on the road? Should I have demanded to speak to his parents?

“I am so sorry,” he said. “I didn’t see you there.”

What was I supposed to do? I simply told him stuff happens and to be careful. We exchanged information in case I make an insurance claim. I don’t even want to do that. I simply want the car repainted or polished or whatever the heck they will do to it.

I’ve seen people pull over to the side of the roads and scream and holler during accidents. I’ve seen road rage first hand. I get mad when people cut me off. I beep the horn when folks try to squeeze me out of my lane. I even got into it in a car wash when people would not allow me to merge.

But I felt for this kid. Why make a scene? What was the point? What would I have gotten out of screaming at him?



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2 Responses to “Standing by the side of the road without rage”

  1. Esmeralda Serrano Says:

    Screaming at him would have been in rage. As a human we know how to control our feelings and you get mad yes but props for not acting out. That’s doesn’t excuse that this DB doesn’t need to learn his lesson but I’m sure he did w yourself as the operator. Look at it like it could have been worse and he is now aware (hopefully) that he needs to learn how to operate a motor vehicle a lil bit more safetly. If you have broad collision coverage this wouldn’t be an issue. Glad you’re safe Terry, really. In these times and weather it could be worse. Be a defensive driver. Not a complete passive aggressive one.


  2. BID316 Says:


    I don’t know exactly what led to the lack of attention (or control). This information may have made me more “upset.” Yes, the youngster is lucky and the best thing that we can do is teach our youngsters. That is our job as grown folks. So, if he learned something (the right way), your reaction was “worthwhile.”

    A while ago, before Comerica Park, I was driving near Tiger Stadium after work. This teen driver was stopped at the green light on the I-96 service drive and 12th/14th(?). I passed on the left. I assume that she was trying to get to Tiger Stadium for an evening game and she wanted to turn right, but it was one-way left. Anyway, before I could pass her, she went from a dead stop in the center lane at a green light to turning left in front of me (across two lanes) and causing my front passenger-side bumper to leave a small hole in her rear driver’s-side quarter panel.

    It was no big deal. No injuries. No significant property/vehicle damage. I asked the officer who happened to be on site if he had seen what had occurred and he claimed to have not seen anything. Even so, our position on the road sorta proves what happened. I was certain that the officer just didn’t want to involve himself with something that trivial.

    Anyway, (again) no big deal. I wasn’t driving a new Jaguar (or anything like that) and neither was she. I do hope that the driver learned a very valuable lesson about paying attention to your surroundings while you drive. I hope that she was more careful in the future. I assumed that she was driving a parent’s vehicle and that she could later claim that it was hit in a parking lot.

    Who knows? If I had been driving a much newer (or much nicer) vehicle, I might have been more upset due to her utter carelessness. I might have been more upset with her parents for not better preparing her for “a simple drive around town.” Bottom-line: You can’t make a claim on every incident AND you don’t want to be at the mercy of the carlessness of others. You could have three little (avoidable) non-injury accidents over the course of a week which were the fault of the other driver(s). These days, with so many distracted drivers talking, texting, etc., it’s a wonder that we don’t have more accidents.

    I see STUPIDITY everyday during rush hour!!


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