Nothing Like a Bout of Road Rage to Finish Out a Family Vacation

Gotta love the DC area. We were literally 2 miles from our exit to get to my parents’ house when a guy on his cellphone presumed I cut him off (which I did – albeit inadvertently, because the car in front of ME decided to get in the same lane I was getting into AND put on his brakes). The cellphone dude took umbrage, took photos of our license plate, and proceeded to verbalize and gesture obscenities at my husband (who was in the passenger seat). When he began following our car, I advised Denis to call the state troopers to advise them of an aggressive driver. For the next FOURTEEN MILES (a full 12 miles PAST our exit) this guy followed us, and whenever I began to exit the highway, he’d exit. When I’d get back on, he’d get back on. Denis spoke to a couple operators with the state troopers office, giving updates to our location. Finally, at the 14th mile, the cellphone dude got off the highway, apparently finally growing bored with following us. We had a full tank of gas – we’d have driven all the way to Harper’s Ferry, WVA if need be. We certainly weren’t going to pull over.

We took the next exit and headed back for my parents’ house, and as we pulled into their neighborhood the state trooper called back to take a report. I pulled over and told him the full story, including the fact that the dude was taking pictures of the back of our car. The trooper said the guy couldn’t do anything because Virginia has jurisdiction in Virginia and he can’t cause trouble for us in South Carolina.

As I told the cop, hopefully he’s home and his wife has calmed him down with a martini by now. In hindsight, it probably wasn’t wise for us to engage him in any way – he probably wouldn’t have followed us if we hadn’t let him know we were calling the cops on him. But, in the heat of the moment, I felt we needed to report him for aggressive driving. Northern Virginians are VERY tightly wound, and I really did fear that if we pulled off the highway he’d pull a knife or gun on us. NoVAns are that crazy (and I can say that since I lived here for 15 years).

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  1. Didn’t used to be like that. Not until people from other parts started moving in. Brought their tempers and bad manners with them.

  2. I agree with Uncle Bill on that. What makes drivers crazy in the Metro DC area is that the “rules” of the road are not the same for everybody because so many people are from somewhere else where the rules are different. Add to that the idiocy of being on a cell phone on an interstate and you get wacko behavior.

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