School of Gridlock

24 Nov

roadrageTraffic is simply part of most American commuters’ workplace reality: According to TAMU’s 2012 Annual Urban Mobility Report released back in February, we spend the equivalent of a full work week a year glaring at another driver’s license plate. Talk about road rage. During my time stuck in a little Ford Focus with a certain omniscient amphibian plastered to it side, I’ve conducted a little research of my own: How to navigate the wild, wild west of terrible traffic.


The DFW-Arlington area aggregately ranks sixth in the nation for congestion. Here, an average of 45 hours every year is squandered away behind bumpers. From the bird’s eye view of my windshield an average 80 minutes a day to and from work, I’ve studied the rules of the road, the politics of passing, the school of gridlock: I’ve watched cars powerhouse their ways past lanes of reluctant auto and watched in horror when a squadron of cars bunker down and leave not a square inch of entry for a poor lone car desperate to get inside.

It seems behind the alias of tinted windows and the relative anonymity of lettered plates, the true nature of a person is revealed. Folks who are mild and meek and kind during face-to-face interaction transform into merciless monsters when behind the wheel of 3,000 pounds of machinery. On the other hand, folks who are obnoxious, selfish and antagonists in person tend to do the same. I can it the great equalizer: Soccer moms and musclemen both have access to a horn and a certain finger and the ability to use it.


“Leon James, a psychology professor at the University of Hawaii, told drivers are more likely to display aggressive behavior in the car rather than in everyday interactions because drivers feel protected and faceless while driving. Driving is also seen as a competitive activity, raising aggression in both men and women.”

So what’s the answer? Apparently, watch out for BMWs, LandRovers and Audis. They’re listed as the top three most road rage-able cars in London’s Daily Mail.

They also say turning down “Blurred Lines” and up some Buble may help. Apparently downbeat, slower tunes calm drivers down while upbeat jams make us drive more recklessly. Tell me about it. You don’t ever what to see me drive when Ray Bands is on. What? That’s my squatting song.  Blood boils on contact. Hmmm. . . this makes me kinda, sorta, in a way,slightly, miss my reign as Queen of Public Transportation. The grass is always greener. . .

Content Commuter


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