Sometimes a driver behind me will need to go too fast, so he’ll ride my tail. When he does that I remember about how I could use some insurance money, and then I try to figure out how I can get it without being too obvious about it.
It’s a difficult art. You’d think it’d be pretty cut and dry, just swerve around a few invisible cats, fake a few sudden right-hand turns, and your cars would be conjoined in no time. Not so easy, though. Sure you’d probably cause an accident by driving that way, but it’d be your fault. The insurance people won’t do anything. You might be able to pay off a witness to the suddenly absent construction workers you needed to just as suddenly brake for but your story will still smell fishy to the insurance people. They’re out to prove you blameful, even if you’re blameless, and they can twist the facts just like your now-twisted metal to keep from having to cash out. So you can’t give them anything to work with. You can’t trick-rig your e-brake, you can’t suddenly switch into neutral, you can’t forget which pedal makes you speed up and which makes you slow down. You can’t do anything but be driving forward or braking in a reasonable manner when the other car hits you. Even pumping your brakes at the guy behind you, a given sign to back the hell off, wouldn’t hold up in an insurance dispute. You need to remove yourself entirely from the action of the accident. You need to become a passive participant to the pulverization.
You also don’t want to get yourself killed.
It might work to cause an accident if there’s a car ahead of you that’s going even slower than you are and you brake to match their speed just before you’re too close to them. That’s all I’ve been able to work out so far. My other strategy is letting off the gas and hoping really hard that the guy will hit me.
Like most things in life, though, trying and hoping don’t seem to make it happen. It will if I don’t try. Or maybe hoping that the guy won’t hit me will do the trick.
But then sometimes it’s important to think about the situation from the other driver’s point of view. Maybe he has a good reason for driving like an asshole. It’s impossible to find out what his reason is because I can’t talk to him, that’s probably why there’s road rage and not sidewalk rage, but I can be a responsible citizen and at least try to imagine what’s going through his mind besides a huge amount of assholery. I bet the calm self-righteous state of mind I put myself into by thinking about someone else’s problems will be enough to push the driver into collision mode.
One night I was driving with my girlfriend to get some ice cream and a guy pulled one of those maneuvers where he grinds up on your back bumper with his car, cuts into the other lane, then gets up on your front bumper before speeding off. You know, the kind of move where if someone did it to you without the cars you’d expect some scented candles and Barry White to be playing. Turned out he was going to the supermarket right next to the ice cream place. My girlfriend figured he was having a grocery emergency. When we drove past his car in the parking lot she rolled down her window and yelled, “Someone’s having a grocery emergency!” I don’t know if he heard. I asked her to stop because I think that’s how people get shot. A grocery emergency isn’t a good reason to drive like an asshole, but it explains a lot.
I thought about it for a while today, and the only valid excuse I could come up with for driving on someone’s tail is if you have to poop really bad. What else are you supposed to do in that situation?
Thinking about how the guy behind me has to poop really bad makes me feel better about everything. I know what it’s like. He’s just being an asshole because that’s what he’s focusing on. I still want that insurance money, but I sympathize with the guy because he’s probably going to poop all over after he hits my car.