Road rage in our neighborhood

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    I was just road-raged at for the third time this week, all within a mile of my house (Fauntleroy/Fairmount Park neighborhood). The first two times it happened, I was just mad and annoyed. This time, I was rattled and upset. Is this something that has become normal in West Seattle?

    The first two episodes included honking, giving the finger, screaming at me, and flashing headlights with aggressive tailgating. The incident today was a man who pulled up next to me at a light on 35th, rolled down his window, and told me to “get over to the other side of the road, you stupid f***ing b***h.” What does that even mean?!? Folks, I’m a rational, reasonable person, and I can’t wrap my mind around this.

    Any insights?



    Not to be rude, but maybe your driving skills or decision making leave a bit to be desired?


    No, I’m a safe, competent, and assertive driver. I signal, go the speed limit, and am extremely aware of my surroundings. I don’t drift, meander, go too slow, block traffic, or any of the other habits than many drivers have that make other drivers around them act aggressively. That’s why I was so surprised each of these times that the other driver could be acting the way they did.



    I hate to say it, but three times in a week by (I am assuming) three different people might mean it’s time to look yourself in the mirror.

    Signaling? Driving slow in the left lane?

    None of it justifies road rage, however.



    Agreed that road rage is not justifiable.

    I would consider that maybe you’re doing something to irritate other drivers–and maybe not consciously! One of my biggest pet peeves is when someone in front of me stops to turn left without signaling, as I would have gone around them had I known what they were planning (or not planning, as it were) to do. You say you signal, but is it possible that your signal light is out? Then you would think you’re doing everything correctly, when really you’re not…

    That said, I also live in Fairmount Park, and unfortunately we’re sandwiched between 35th and Fauntleroy, both of which have high concentrations of angry/crazy drivers.



    It’s not just you. Yesterday I was at a red light waiting to turn right (by the way people, you don’t HAVE to turn right on a red). There was traffic so I couldn’t go. The guy behind me didn’t like that so was honking, etc.

    When the light turned green, he wasn’t even going right, but straight! I see stuff like this numerous times a day…


    During the first incident, I was in an intersection at a traffic circle when another car pulled up on the right. I was already in the intersection (and had therefore gotten there first, and had the right of way) but the car didn’t slow or stop to let me continue through the intersection, and instead continued driving at me as though she would hit me. I tapped (not laid on, but TAPPED, as a warning of danger) to make sure she saw me. She slowed to keep from hitting me, but then followed me through the traffic circle, screaming at me and giving me the finger. Sound rational to you?

    The second incident happened when I was driving down Fauntleroy (going between 35-40) and got into the left turn lane. I signaled. Another car got behind me in the turn lane, and started flashing his lights at me. I turned left (in a speedy manner, and while signaling) and the car followed at an aggressively close distance while continuing to flash his lights. I drove up the residential street going 25 mph (THE SPEED LIMIT) until I parked a few blocks later. He followed behind, aggressively tailgating and flashing his lights the whole way. Bizarre, right? I can only guess he was in a hurry and couldn’t control his impatience.

    The third incident, today, was when I was sitting, STOPPED, at a red light on 35th, in the left lane. No one was behind me, or next to me. A car pulled up next to me, rolled down his window (mine was already down) and yelled at me to “GET TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROAD! STUPID F***ING B***H!” The light was STILL RED. I hadn’t been driving in the left lane long, was going between 35-40 mph, and was going to turn left soon, so needed to be in the left lane. Also, I was just sitting still!

    The reason I’m venting about this is because this kind of thing never happens to me. I’m a rational person. I don’t drive absentmindedly. I pay attention. Do these occurrences not seem odd to anyone else?

    And thanks, shihtzu, glad to know it’s not just me encountering the lunatics.


    And even if I were a crummy driver, would these reactions really seem appropriate for adults? Shouldn’t we not drive if we can’t control our emotions?



    Where is everyone in such a hurry to go? My lord, none of this is justifiable, NONE of it! I often get tailgated and angrily driven around on 35th for going between 30-35 (THE SPEED LIMIT) by people in the morning going between 40-50. This changed for a while during the speed traps, but has picked up again. I feel like people treat 35th like a highway (slow drivers should be on the right, fast on the left) and that fast is defined by going almost 50. It is bizarre.



    No, it’s NOT just you. Although I haven’t been on the receiving end of any of that idiocy, I have noticed an uptick recently in people in a huge freakin’ rush. I’ve seen more egregiously aggressive driving and a whole buncha people who seem to think that red lights indicate that stopping is optional.

    I, too, am puzzled. And nervous. I keep thinking of bicyclists and pedestrians….

    Hey, people! Be careful out there!


    Genesee Hill

    35th is a freeway. Didn’t you know? The Seattle cops can’t/won’t patrol it. Call the Washington State Patrol. lol



    When was the last time you checked the condition of your running/ turning indicators?



    So..what’s up with this “blame the victim” thing? Nothing justifies the behavior of road rage, anytime, any place, ever. Yet a few GUYS on here are questioning the driving or car maintenance of the FEMALE victim. Is there a pattern in this?

    Methinks the questioning should be aimed at the mentality of the road rager….geez!


    Jeff H

    Car drivers are funny. I am “car-free”. And ride a bike. And run. And take the bus. And water taxi. And ferry. And roller-blade. And use a scooter. And kayak. Maybe I’m a hardcore “busser”. Or a “water-taxi-ist”. How about “scooter-ist”??

    Bottom line…WTF is everyone’s problem? I love asking that when people try to do stupid $h!t. Doesn’t matter if they’re in a car, on a bike, or on foot. People just do stupid $h!t every day. I’m just glad I have a GoPro and capture video of it. ;-)

    In any case, I’m happy and enjoy getting around, ESPECIALLY NOT IN A CAR. I honestly don’t know how much gas is right now, or what (car) traffic is like around Seattle. Cars make people evil. I would love to hear how they don’t.

    Let me know if you are interested in better transportation methods in/out of West Seattle. Time to downtown Seattle via bike is 20-25 minutes (from Alaska Junction), at ANY TIME OF DAY. No joke. I can’t wait to hear the “rhetorical” responses. Let ’em flow! ;-)



    Jan, get over yourself. No one is blaming the victim. If I was consistently getting honked at I would check my lights.

    I’m tired of your high and mighty ness



    Jeff… No argue with you there. Commuting to work by bike is THE BEST.



    I often think 1/3 of drivers are drugged, 1/3 are sleep deprived so also judgement-impaired and the last third are left trying to avoid making contact. Seriously, it is stressful driving during rush hour. I avoided 3 accidents last week. One guy speeding up and refusing to move behind me as his lane ended — and willing to smash his BMW into me. Crazy. It’s not you but you can’t escape “them”!

    I was hit on my bicycle by a driver speeding up in the right lane to turn left ahead of the left lane of cars. Went through the windshield. Better than going under a car but I don’t trust drivers enough to commute on a bike again. Getting hit on a bike really hurts.



    Speaking as somebody who learned to drive in the Type-A, hyper-aggressive, east coast urban wasteland…

    That all reads as nuts to me. I doubt it’s anything you’re doing, and I think it’s a little weird that people here are assuming that it is. (Y’all think that dude down in Spanaway provoked the reaction he got, too?) People in this country drive like they’re the only people on the road, and everyone else are temporarily animate obstacles in their path. A little patience would go a long way.


    Jeff H

    Keeping with the original topic…

    Poster asked about people (in cars) being aggressive, and borderline “assaultive”. I live at Findlay & Fauntleroy.

    I ride a bike most days. And I push the button to trigger the light at Findlay/Fauntleroy every morning. I LOVE that it triggers instantly. Cars hate this! Too bad…so sad. ;-)

    But jeez…I get aggressive when I drive a car (maybe a few times a year). I get “assertive” when people do stupid things in a car around me, whether I’m driving, running, biking, walking, on the bus, etc. This is maybe a few more times per year.

    It all boils down to the car. Just remember that people aren’t necessarily evil, but it’s just about the car making people evil. No car = no evil.

    I love to smile and wave at people doing stupid $h!t in cars. I know that I’ll eventually catch (and pass) them on bike (or even when running). Getting it on video makes the day very enjoyable. I spent less than $200 for a GoPro camera. One day I’m going to put together all the clips of “interesting” maneuvers and reactions of (car) drivers.

    The point is…just relax, smile, and wave at the people who are “more important” than you. And cameras are cheap. If you’re really in a hurry to get to work (or wherever), then I would recommend riding a bike…MUCH faster (and cheaper) to get around Seattle. And will make you much happier.



    One way to trigger road rage is to drive 30mph down the Admiral hill, from the viewpoint to the bridge.

    Sure, that’s the speed limit. But stick to it and you’ll see lots of examples of human behavior.



    JKB…I try to keep it at 35mph down Admiral….and I am tailgated, and people pass in the right lane around me going at least 45-50 mph, and then swerve back into the left lane. I don’t want to be the one getting the ticket….so they’ll just have to get pissed…as one said”too bad, so sad”…


    Jeff H

    Yup…”too bad, so sad”…for drivers. I gotta say though…I do get pissed when cars hold me up going downhill on a bike (Admiral, Avalon, California, etc). It does give me a little “ride rage” thinking how cars are in the way. Funny how in the grand scheme of things that bikes are generally faster than all other modes of transportation. Not sure why more people don’t get this…errr…rather don’t take advantage of this.



    Not blaming the victim, it just seems 3x in a week is a bit much. It might be good to look at yourself or your car. The fact that she’s a she doesn’t mean anything. I hardly ever see road rage in West Seattle so it seems there may be something else afoot.



    Jeff H. I appreciate that you all like bikes. I am 65, walk with a cane, and riding a bike is well, not in my repertoire these days – lol. So, it’s my car or I don’t go. I promise I will try my best to not slow you down on Admiral WAy. You stay in the bike lane, I’ll stay in the left lane, and we’ll both be happy :)



    @jeff H, try to get from West Seattle to Redmond in 25 minutes. Good luck (car or bus).

    As to the original poster. It’s probably you. One maybe two drivers in a week, you might be able to chalk it up to someone having a crummy day. However three is indicative of something else.

    Clearly the person experiencing road rage is the worst offender, however there are levels of culpability (as with anything). Your tapping on the brake, was probably perceived as a brake check. Sending the driver of that car into an Oh S# moment.

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