Cook: Whole ‘nother level of road rage

I’m not a slow driver. I run yellow lights and send the occasional text. I’m not a perfect model driver, just one who is seriously wondering: What’s with the road rage on Highway 82 during the morning and afternoon commutes?

I’m not talking about getting irritated with the car driving 45 in the fast lane for miles. Yes, that’s annoying. So, you mutter “wtf” and go around it. These people I’m talking about are seething, froth foaming from their bared teeth, positioned rigidly over their steering wheels, ready to scream, honk and yell obscenities at your family at a stoplight before they flip you off and floor it when the signal turns green. And, why? Because I waited an extra 10 seconds to pull into oncoming traffic from a dangerous and busy intersection?

It could be because I’m driving 70 in a 65 (That was a joke, but this isn’t). When was going 5 miles over the speed limit grounds for someone fuming inches behind your bumper, throwing hands, screaming, “Get the … out of the way, you dumb …!” It’s like 80 is the new 65, and anything less is grounds for feeling downright frightened. It’s also worth mentioning we all end up at the same stoplight despite this behavior resembling an amphetamine-fueled bender. 

Mostly, I keep it cool, eyes forward, focusing not on Mr. Bulging-Eyes-Mouth-Frother but on the slick ice threatening to slam us all into the Snowmass Canyon wall. I can handle the aggression better than my permitted teenager, but I’m worried about what will happen when I’m not there to encourage her to ignore drivers like this.

Melissa Cook