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Is this really that bad?


Phi for All
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I didn't think it was illegal in the UK  -  I eat a pastry in my car on the way to work in the mornings, have done it for years.

Again - I didn't think drinking coffee was illegal either - I mean...  they put coffee cup holders in cars for this very purpose, no? :-/

The bloke in the car described in the OP just sounds like a dick. It does happen to drivers. I get a little road ragey myself when people cut me up or drive slowly in the overtaking lane whilst the other lanes are clear....  people are human though....  once you stop and think the rage goes or you can forgive those that rage against you.  

When it comes to road rage -  someone told me once that the best way to combat it in yourself is, if you find yourself angry at someone else's bad driving, to imagine that it is your nan driving the car (or someone else's nan maybe)...  you then suddenly forgive them their ineptitude - they are only human....  and so are the ragey arseholes too. People get snappy behind a wheel.

 

 

 

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59 minutes ago, DrP said:

When it comes to road rage -  someone told me once that the best way to combat it in yourself is, if you find yourself angry at someone else's bad driving, to imagine that it is your nan driving the car (or someone else's nan maybe)...  you then suddenly forgive them their ineptitude - they are only human....  and so are the ragey arseholes too. People get snappy behind a wheel.

I think it is because of the lack of direct contact (rather like posting on an Internet forum!) that rather "dehumanises" the other person in these interactions.

My approach, when I lived in a country with particularly insane driving, was just to sit back and enjoy the show. As long as I kept my distance, I didn't have to worry about what others did.

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27 minutes ago, Scott of the Antares said:

..but in the U.K. people have been pulled over by the police for eating/drinking at the wheel.

From what I can tell from reading around about it they wouldn't have been fined for eating or drinking, rather fined for driving without undue care and attention or driving whilst distracted.  It isn't illegal to eat from what I can tell, but if you are driving poorly whilst eating then you would be finned for driving without due care and attention ad the fact that you were eating would be the distraction quoted against you. I could be wrong, but that is what I got from a quick internet search. I would assume (hope) that you would only get fined for it if it effected how you were driving.

There was a uni professor a good few years back who was charged with dangerous driving for eating a sweet.  Although eating a sweet isn't illegal...  he had to rummage through his glove compartment for it and drove off the road and killed someone. This is driving without due care and attention. I think the line is a little blurred. Maybe I'll have to check the law again sometime when I get the chance.

 

47 minutes ago, Strange said:

I think it is because of the lack of direct contact (rather like posting on an Internet forum!) that rather "dehumanises" the other person in these interactions.

 

I think this is exactly what is thought to be true.

 

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@Phi for All, many Coffee places have drive thrus, nearly all cars have cups holders, no laws prohibit drinking coffee while driving, and if any distracted driving took place it would have been pantomiming. Clearing accelerating in a turn lane above the speed limit to mime someone sarcastically is the greater error. What I am confused by is why it impacted you enough to want to discuss it. I personally seldom drive anymore instead selecting to cycle, walk, or use public transportation. One reason why is because of how dangerous and unpleasant it is to drive. People carry their problems with them during a commute. Maybe they are running late, behind on their mortgage, going through a divorce, or whatever. Any number of things keep people from being focus behind the wheel. I have seen any number of commuting melt downs in mylife where people lose their cool and take to honking, shouting, beating the roof of their car with their fist, and on and on and on. It is my opinion those people already had short fuses due to other situations in their life. People who are fully prepared for their day and on time aren't the ones acting out on the road. Assuming you understand that why did this incident effect you? 

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10 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

What I am confused by is why it impacted you enough to want to discuss it.

I can't really speak for him  -  but I am guessing it is because he cares about what people think about him. He cares about how he behaves and self reflects and self monitors his own behaviours (much in the same way a Christian repents from wrongs). Basically he is a good guy who cares about people and the world and doesn't want to make bad judgements and is 'checking' his thoughts and reasoning with peers and people he trusts - like his pals on this site.   Maybe - as I said I can't speak for him - but I think I get why he is self reflecting on the situation rather than just assuming he was in the right (which he is imo). 

I could be wrong - but he was the first person I ever 'friended' on here back when we had that facility  -  this is because I like the respect he treats everyone with...   and he can be funny too. :) 

 

I was walking through the street late at night in Canterbury a year ago...  I was a bit tipsy.  I gave some homeless couple the rest of the money in my pocket...  paper and coin. I was talking to them for a bit and some drunk guy who knew them came up and told them to be careful of me as I was "clearly a wrongun". He could see it my eyes apparently and was trying to start a fight with me. I thought about fighting him, but I had a bad back and didn't fancy it.... although I reckon he'd have been easy enough to deal with presuming he didn't have a knife tucked away.   I am a pacifist anyway so wouldn't really have wanted to. It thoroughly depressed me - I try to be nice - I try to be a good person - I was Christian for many years   -  I was totally at a loss as to how my very appearance would cause someone to hate me so much -  you just have to accept that some people are arseholes I think and write them off and move/drive on.  :-( 

 

 

 

 

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@DrP, may question wasn't a criticism. It just seems fairly obvious that anyone in a car speeding to put themselves in a position to make fun of another driver is in the wrong. I find it strange that Phi is entertaining the criticism. 

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4 minutes ago, Ten oz said:

@DrP, may question wasn't a criticism..... I  find it strange that Phi is entertaining the criticism. 

:) I didn't think it was criticism. :) I was just trying to give a possible explanation for it. As I said - though - I couldn't answer for him.

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It seems to be a thing with the human psyche that self-righteous anger is often out of proportion. The idea that you are some sort of hero, putting less thoughtful or caring people to rights is very appealing, and often sends people over the top. Especially if you can picture yourself as some sort of heroic defender of the innocent. 

In the news recently, Disney cast a straight actor, Jack Whitehall, as their first gay character. There was a self-righteous clamour of protest, that they should have cast a gay actor. Stephen Fry popped up, and pointed out that he'd been playing straight parts all his career. 

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1 minute ago, mistermack said:

Stephen Fry popped up, and pointed out that he'd been playing straight parts all his career. 

Heterosexuals haven’t historically been discriminated against. Opportunities for homosexuals have historically been extremely limited, even dangerous. 

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9 minutes ago, mistermack said:

It seems to be a thing with the human psyche that self-righteous anger is often out of proportion. The idea that you are some sort of hero, putting less thoughtful or caring people to rights is very appealing, and often sends people over the top. Especially if you can picture yourself as some sort of heroic defender of the innocent. 

In the news recently, Disney cast a straight actor, Jack Whitehall, as their first gay character. There was a self-righteous clamour of protest, that they should have cast a gay actor. Stephen Fry popped up, and pointed out that he'd been playing straight parts all his career. 

It makes me laugh that some in an industry that functions on fantasy and pretence can be up in arms about not using 'authentic' people... duh!

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5 hours ago, Strange said:

My approach, when I lived in a country with particularly insane driving, was just to sit back and enjoy the show. As long as I kept my distance, I didn't have to worry about what others did.

This is my driving philosophy in a nutshell. Keep your distance, it's respectful, it's less stressful, it allows for better traffic flow, and it let's you make the best choices when you encounter someone whose driving is a problem. I can usually do this right at or just under the speed limit.

4 hours ago, Ten oz said:

What I am confused by is why it impacted you enough to want to discuss it.

As I said, I know there are plenty of jerks out there, and I'm prepared for inane behavior on their part. I wanted to see how others felt about this, whether they saw the incident as me putting people at risk by taking a hand off the wheel and unnecessarily splitting my attention while driving, or if it's more of a judgement call by the driver at the time whether it's safe to sip and drive, based on current conditions. I had the experience on the Bundesstrasse where it was frowned upon, so I thought I'd check with a more international crowd and see just how bad this behavior is considered elsewhere. 

As far as being impacted is concerned, it just struck me as bizarrely inappropriate, like yelling "Be QUIET!" at the library, or like a right-to-life activist killing an abortion doctor. It seemed absurd at the time, so much so that I wanted a reality check to make sure I wasn't missing something. I'm heavily biased when it comes to good coffee.

3 hours ago, DrP said:

I can't really speak for him  -  but I am guessing it is because he cares about what people think about him. He cares about how he behaves and self reflects and self monitors his own behaviours (much in the same way a Christian repents from wrongs). Basically he is a good guy who cares about people and the world and doesn't want to make bad judgements and is 'checking' his thoughts and reasoning with peers and people he trusts - like his pals on this site.   Maybe - as I said I can't speak for him - but I think I get why he is self reflecting on the situation rather than just assuming he was in the right (which he is imo). 

I could be wrong - but he was the first person I ever 'friended' on here back when we had that facility  -  this is because I like the respect he treats everyone with...   and he can be funny too. :) 

:wub: 

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2 minutes ago, iNow said:

Heterosexuals haven’t historically been discriminated against. Opportunities for homosexuals have historically been extremely limited, even dangerous. 

To me this misses the point. The focus should be on ensuring homosexuals (and everyone else) has equal opportunity for various roles. Focusing on one type of role ignores the fact that a lot of thought goes into casting, and it may even limit opportunities in the future as the next group may claim that since they were actually poor farmers before going into acting, that only they can play a poor farmer with conviction.

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1 hour ago, Phi for All said:

As I said, I know there are plenty of jerks out there, and I'm prepared for inane behavior on their part. I wanted to see how others felt about this, whether they saw the incident as me putting people at risk by taking a hand off the wheel and unnecessarily splitting my attention while driving, or if it's more of a judgement call by the driver at the time whether it's safe to sip and drive, based on current conditions. I had the experience on the Bundesstrasse where it was frowned upon, so I thought I'd check with a more international crowd and see just how bad this behavior is considered elsewhere. 

As far as being impacted is concerned, it just struck me as bizarrely inappropriate, like yelling "Be QUIET!" at the library, or like a right-to-life activist killing an abortion doctor. It seemed absurd at the time, so much so that I wanted a reality check to make sure I wasn't missing something. I'm heavily biased when it comes to good coffee.

Road rage like all rage can often manifest itself in bizarre ways. I rather everyone have their morning cup of coffee than not. ;)

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I've never gone as far as road rage, but like most people I've fumed about other drivers behaviour. 

One thing I noticed a few years ago, is that I was fuming far more in the first fifteen minutes of driving. Especially in the morning. For some reason, I was much more likely to get aggressive (internally) in that period than later.

Once I'd noticed it, I consciously fought the tendency, and told myself to chill, and soon was able to recognise it and defuse it.

Has anyone else ever noticed something similar?

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20 hours ago, OldChemE said:

I think it has a lot to do with the times we live in.  People don't mildly disagree any more.  Just like in politics-- there is no middle ground.  So instead of someone wondering whether it it OK for you to drink coffee while driving (which I also do regularly) they go overboard and become incensed over a trifle.

Eh, I disagree that this a new thing. Road rage was always prevalent, for example. What has increased are cases where firearm use gets involved.

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I think he wanted you to speed up, that is why he was tailgating you. 

What would I have done?  I would have  taken his tailgating dead seriously and found a way to pull over to the side so he could pass me up, asap.  You never know what kind of person is upset with you.  They may have a gun.

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30 minutes ago, Airbrush said:

I think he wanted you to speed up, that is why he was tailgating you. 

I think this makes most sense. It also IMO better explains his pantomime. 

“Hey flower smeller... let’s caffeinate more and pick up the pace a bit, eh? Some of us still punch a clock and I just realized I may not make it in time.”

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     Years ago my employer purchased a new crane truck for me to operate; it was equipped with the customary duel air horns on top of the cab above the driver’s seat. A cord in the cab was connected to some linkage that passed through a rubber seal in the roof to where it then connected to a valve assembly on the air horns.

   On what may have been the first or second day of driving it; I was pulling out onto a street near an intersection just as the traffic light changed to red for the direction I was intending to go (right turn). There was about two car lengths of empty traffic lane extending from the driveway where I was waiting, to the stop line at the intersection. There was only one car that was immediately approaching from the left, but a block or so down the way was what looked like an endless string of cars. I anxiously waited for the young woman driving that first car to drive past me so I could pull in behind her before all those other cars came. (This town is known for how the cars and the traffic lights seem timed to conspire against you. And if someone would take up the left turn lane at the light I would not be able to make the turn into the street because the truck is so long, it was go now or wait much later in this regard)

   The young woman, who looked to be in her early twenties, stopped an entire car length short of the intersection, just past the front of my truck, so close I could not even put my bumper into the street. I put my hand in the center of the steering wheel where a padded horn button was located and lightly pressed down .  .  .  nothing happened!, the smaller “car” like horn, that my previous trucks had been equipped with,  was either malfunctioning or deleted by this manufacturer. As I looked back down the street at those fast approaching cars I reached for the air horn, I had only used the air horn in this truck once but I knew from using the ones on my old trucks that all I had to do was just barely pull the cord to let a little bit of air into the horns to make a small little squeak so as to get the young woman’s attention.

    Well, the air pushed open the valve and let out a blast so loud it caused the poor girl to jump in her seat as she quickly hit the gas to get out of the way. Worst yet, the horn would not shut off, I let the cord go completely slack at the first squawk but the valve stayed open, and as I pulled in behind her car I continued to try to release the valve only to make it louder!!!

By now, she was sitting at the light pleading through her rear view mirror to the deranged psycho truck driver not to kill her.  I could only continue to frantically yank on the cord while cussing at it in the most colorful display of language and what probably appeared to her as the angry shaking of my raised left fist.  The light finally changed and we preceded slowly ahead, the horn shrieking its monotone death wail, and her, now turning her upper body to directly plead for her life between her car’s headrests while I continued my assault on the horn cord.

  We traversed in front of a gas station with probably a dozen people standing motionless as the spectacle slowly passed and then stopped behind the cars waiting for the next signal to change. By this time the young lady was so terrified I’m sure she thought about abandoning her car and making a break for safety. But the traffic began to move again and we continued on with her pleading for her life and me yelling and shaking my fist. When I finally reached the next intersection I couldn’t take her terrified gaze and the angry stares of the bystanders anymore and made a left turn against the signal to get to a large parking lot where I could finally disarm this WMD.  

 

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How to react to petty trifles when forced to do so against one's inclination?

 

In my view that was a potentially  very dangerous situation and I have been in danger on the road at times also.

 

Once,in Texas **me and my girlfriend ,when hitch hiking were picked up separately by two trucks . I ,in my lift was warned that my driver had a gun .

 

Nothing happened to my girlfriend (and we made a few miles to El Paso) but that was the last we tried hitching in Texas.

In Phi's place I would have done anything to avoid contact with the driver behind (would not have waved to him) , would not have stopped the car under any circumstances and would have taken  his number (not obviously) in case he was  likely to subject anyone else to his behaviour.

 

Regarding coffee drinking ,it is a good idea . Better to drive in comfort  than thirsty so long as  done reasonably. It is mobile phone users that infuriate me  and I fantasize about recording them  doing this with a dash cam ......

**40 years ago

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17 hours ago, Phi for All said:

:wub: 

Sorry - that came out a bit more bromantic than I intended. lol.

16 hours ago, dimreepr said:

What happens to one's concentration, if one drops a scolding substance into one's lap?

Which is why you need to drive with 'care and attention'. It isn't difficult if you have a brain and are prepared to use it.  This morning I was totally paranoid on my way to work whilst eating my pie!   As I said - I don't think eating is illegal unless you allow it to distract you.

6 hours ago, Airbrush said:

 You never know what kind of person is upset with you.  They may have a gun.

 Really? Maybe in some 'shithole' country in Africa or some other 3rd world place.  Not in civilised societies.   

 

13 hours ago, mistermack said:

I've never gone as far as road rage, but like most people I've fumed about other drivers behaviour. 

That's what road rage is though isn't it?  Getting angry at other drivers  -  often associated with the shaking of a fist.

Regarding the OP - I'd have just flipped the guy the bird and laughed at his idiocy.

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