Road Rage

A New Jersey Staple

Max Miller • Jun 14, 2017

New Jersey being the place it is, with the type of people that inhabit it, road rage is a somewhat common occurrence. I'm sure most inhabitants have a fun road rage story in their past. I had a relatively innocuous one this past weekend. Feel free to leave yours in the comments section.

Driving south along Route 1 in North Brunswick, I was headed with my sister to a second cousin's bat mitzvah. I was in the right lane nearing my exit when I noticed an obscenely large brand new pickup truck tailgating me. The driver was an older white man with a muscle shirt and sunglasses on. Judging by his expression and hand gestures, he seemed very angry about something, presumably the existence of traffic in general, and had decided to take it out on me. I got annoyed and casually flipped him "the bird" (I am from New Jersey, after all), which surprisingly did not smooth things over.

As soon as he could, he pulled into the middle lane, passed me, and zoomed right back into the right lane in front of me. I couldn't see his face as he passed me because of how ridiculously tall his truck was, but once he was back in front of me, I could see him angrily mouthing in his sideview mirror. I answered by sticking my tongue out and wagging it. He happened to take the same exit as I did, and as we both drove onto the jughandle, he came to a full stop and began waving his arm out the window, as if to indicate, "come over here and let me give you a piece of my mind."

In instances like this, you can either decide to engage and escalate, or, just as easily, not. I didn't really feel like pulling up beside him and getting into an argument with this apparently unpleasant man, which could have ended in any number of ways, so I just decided to wait behind him until he got bored, which happened after approximately 30 seconds. He drove off, and I was able to celebrate the coming-of-age of my young cousin in one piece. A story with a thankfully uneventful conclusion, but had I participated in this age-old NJ tradition, it could have been much different.